Three years ago, a client in the food services industry hired me to write and publish blogs for them as well as secure article placements, discussing the features and benefits of their products. While I did not say anything to the client, walking into the project, I was a bit concerned.
I didn’t know how to cook anything.
You see, when I lived in New York, about the only thing in my refrigerator was a bottle of Maalox. That’s probably about the same for thousands of others in that town. With about ten restaurants or deli’s on every block, there is no reason to cook.
While Chicago, where I am now, does not have as many food outlets, many people, especially single professional people, eat out every meal as well. It’s part of the city lifestyle.
This means for me to become a food services blog writer, I had to learn as much as I could about food, especially as it pertained to this client’s products and services. I had to submerge myself into the food services industry in order to become an effective food services journal article writer. Researching and learning in order to create the best food services marketing content.
That includes learning how to read food labels. They are more confusing than you might realize.
This client offered technologies that allow foodservice outlets such as convenience stores, school cafeterias, and fast food outlets to make their own food labels. So, understanding food labels, including the history of food labels – they date back to the days of the Roman Empire if you can believe it – was first on the agenda.
The next step in becoming a food services blog writer is to learn not so much about cooking, but what goes into a cooked dish. For instance, this client offered a menu management system. With this system, chefs could tell how much fat and how many calories are in a food item, as well as how many vitamins and other foot metrics.
Knowing these amounts, the chefs could make changes if needed. For instance, if the calorie count was too high, chefs could remove some of the high-calorie items in a beef stew, for example, and supplement them with other ingredients that have less calories.
Another thing a good food services blog writer must learn is how important time and temperature can be to food, especially food cooked for many people such as in a restaurant, catering service or school cafeteria. Using our beef stew example again, let’s say a school cafeteria cooked enough beef stew to service 200 people. Once the pots containing the stew are removed from the oven, they are allowed to cool before serving.
But here’s the problem.
All too often, food is left out too long. The kitchen staff gets busy with other projects and does not pay that much attention to the stew. The big problem is that bacteria can build up surprisingly quickly, especially when items are cooked in such large amounts.
Fortunately, they offered technologies that would help the staff monitor these temperatures. If they dropped beyond a safety realm, text messages were delivered to the kitchen crew to take necessary precautions.
The Fun Part of Being a Food Services Blog Writer
Something else a food services blog writer must do, and this can be kind of fun, is to attend food and restaurant tradeshows. Everything imaginable is being cooked, and free samples are everywhere. However, a good food services blog writer has to do much more than try different samples. They must ask questions such as:
- What are the ingredients? This would include asking if there are ingredients that can cause allergies or food reactions.
- What are the metrics, referring to calories, cholesterol, vitamins, and the many other items listed on a food label?
- Can the food be microwaved and then served, or must it be cooked in an oven?
- If it is cooked somewhere else, and if so, how far away is the kitchen?
This last item can be more important than we realize. A food services blog writer knows that many of the things we eat in restaurants are prepared in bulk somewhere else. These can be near or many miles away.
For example, if the restaurant is in Chicago and the commercial kitchen is in Southern California, that’s a long way to transport food items in refrigerated trucks. Temperature variations can occur in transport, refrigeration problems can develop, and other situations can occur, all resulting in food spoilage. If this happens, there can be a delay of several days delivering those food items to the restaurant.
A skilled food services blog writer has to know these and many more things about food. Then once all the research and details are decided, the fun begins of creating the marketing content and providing the client with the journal article that I have written.