Ramp Up Your Restaurant

By Posted in - Marketing & Restaurant PR on May 11th, 2016

It’s like a secret club. Foodies scour menus for this en vogue ingredient every spring. Popular restaurants — from fine dining to hipster joints — use ramps to garnish soups, zest salads, stuff pastas and even muddle into cocktails. Il Palio, a Clairemont client, underscores its menu with these foraged, onion-like greens that seem to be the leprechaun of spring ingredients. Catch them while you can!

So what gives ramps the edge?

It’s the secret ingredient factor. Ramps provide a sense of culinary elitism, a phenomenon that extends back to basic supply and demand economics. Ramps are rare not only because they’re seasonal but also because they’re foraged; suppliers must discover them, not cultivate them.

Jed Portman, an editor of Garden and Gun, shows off his own recently foraged ramps on Instagram.

Jed Portman, an editor of Garden and Gun, shows off his own ramps on Instagram.

Ramps pack a punch, too. Bon Appetit warns home cooks to prepare their palates. The intense, garlicky aroma can linger around the house for days. Memorable and distinct, ramps also offer a plethora of versatile applications. Venture beyond slicing and dicing for salads. Try deep frying it, Epicurious suggests.

These factors create a sense of urgency that launches ramps to the top of every foodie’s bucket list. Regardless if ramps are actually on your menu, chefs, restauranteurs and culinary marketers can glean a tidbit from this ingredient’s unexpected stardom.

What is your restaurant’s “secret ingredient?” Perhaps you feature a rare item, or perhaps your chef offers an intriguing twist on standard fare. And while culinary specialties are certainly a defining highlight, your hallmark may not be a specific ingredient or even a style of cooking. Explore your atmosphere, your service and your staff’s personality. Anyone remember Ed Debevic’s? Its infamy lives through its service — or lack thereof — rather than its cuisine. And that works well for its marketing persona!

Now that you’ve defined your hallmark, find out tips to name your restaurant or new menu item!

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