Food culture has seen something of a revival in the modern era. Not exclusively in five-star restaurants, but in fast casual and fine dining alike.
Social media accounts have made it easier than ever to share beautiful dishes with thousands, even millions, of people. Online marketing campaigns and local SEO can direct customers to new fine dining experiences they might have overlooked otherwise. When you’re a restaurant just trying to figure out where you fit in all this, micro green varieties can add some zest to your menu. Candied flowers and micro herbs are beautiful food accents that breathe life into any dish, from salads to soups to rare steaks.
Who knows? Your edible flower petals might just mean the difference between a standard dining experience and the next big thing on Instagram.
Where did micro green varieties come from in the first place? According to food critics micro greens have been around for 30 years, seeing a revival partially credited to the rise in food photography. They’ve seen become a staple at many modern restaurants, with some designing their entire menu around the art. A recent study found visits to fine dining restaurants have gone up by 3% over the past year alone. That’s thousands more Americans dining in upscale restaurants on a regular or semi-regular basis.
Let’s take a deeper look at the increase in upscale dining and the impact it’s having on restaurants of all shapes and sizes. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, households with incomes of $100,000 or higher are responsible for at least 35% of the total spending on food away from home. The upscale segment of the restaurant industry makes up around 10% of total American restaurant sales, to boot, and more establishments than ever are doing their best to stand out in a competitive sea. Micro green varieties are a subtle and artistic way of setting your business apart.
Did you now there are at least 100 types of common garden flowers that are both edible and palatable? You can use edible crystallized rose petals to decorate your pastries or edible flowers for salads that should look just as beautiful as they are tasty. Presentation and plating is a careful art that is best cultivated by dipping into psychology. Children have been found to prefer six food colors and seven food components, on average, while adults often go for more minimalist arrangements at three and three, respectively. No matter the age or preference, most diners love to see organic micro greens on their plate.
Micro greens take a careful hand to cultivate, store and transport. Failing to respect their unique needs is a recipe for disaster that will reflect badly on your menu. These tiny, edible greens are both tasty and pleasing to the eye, coming in enough varieties to compliment just about any style. They are generally rated on a scale between one and five, with one being considered too poor for sale and five being excellent. The marketability threshold tends to hover between three and four, with visual quality being the biggest indicator toward a sale. Your crystallized pansy, organic petite micro greens and sugar flowers should come from a reputable buyer.
Today one of the largest and most active Flickr groups is called ‘I Ate This’, including a staggering 300,000 photos and counting across 20,000 different members that regularly visit restaurants. The restaurant industry is always hungry for new and innovative experiences, that of which can be cultivated with a little creativity with your micro greens. These edible greens have to be stored at an optimal temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit and need to be kept in a closed container, among other things, to prevent the flowers or greens from browning.
Micro green varieties are the very definition of a little going a long way. What could edible flowers for cake decorating or spring salads do to entice more visitors to your restaurant?