What Is Mouthfeel?

The word "mouthfeel" refers to the sensations that are experienced inside the mouth while eating or drinking. These can include textures that touch the tongue, roof of the mouth, teeth, throat, or it even can refer to an aftertaste. The term is believed to have originated in wine tastings, where tasters will articulate their experience as a means of sharing thoughts about a particular wine. For example, the way a particular wine coats the inside of the mouth is an indication of the viscosity of the product and is an important feature when considering the overall quality of the wine. Mouthfeel is also commonly discussed in coffee cuppings as well as tastings of other craft beverages such as whiskey or some types of beer.

How Does Mouthfeel Relate to Foodservice?


Nowadays, mouthfeel terminology can refer to any number of foods and is often discussed among food critics. It can even be argued that mouthfeel has more impact than flavor in determining whether a person prefers one food over another. The silky texture of tofu or the crunch of crispy duck skin contributes to the overall experience of eating the dish.

For example, there are a wide variety of foods that some people shy away from, strictly due to their texture. Some people find okra too slimy, oysters too snotty… biting into a mushroom can evoke unpleasant mental images, and even the most delicious cherry tomatoes can turn people off when they pop under the pressure of teeth. Without a doubt, mouthfeel has a huge impact on the way we experience food.

It’s no accident that food textures can raise some red flags for us. Our natural response to mouthfeel while eating is an instinctual trigger that’s intended to serve as an indication of whether or not something is safe to eat. As foods lose freshness, their texture changes and (in most cases) becomes unappealing. If we experience an unexpected texture while eating, it can cause us to lose our appetite for fear of something being spoiled. In most cases, however, the textural experience can be analyzed objectively for the sake of critique.

Manipulating Mouthfeel

With today’s modern technologies, there are endless possibilities when it comes to food. Many molecular gastronomists love to play around with texture to give their guests an entirely new experience. From flavored vapors to foam, there are so many techniques that can be used to impact the mouthfeel of a dish. But you don’t need to venture to a Michelin Star restaurant to find examples of manipulated mouthfeel. If you’ve ever eaten “astronaut ice cream,” you’ve experienced a textural play on a familiar food.

Dark Dining

You may have heard about a recent trend called “dark dining” where the entire dining room is devoid of light and servers wear night vision goggles. Some dark dining restaurants will hire blind or visually impaired servers who can move about the space with little difficulty. Another rendition of the dark dining concept entails diners being blindfolded. The overall goal of this setup is that by removing the sense of sight, diners can be more fully immersed in their other senses to experience the act of eating in a new way. While the vast majority of restaurants put a lot of effort into their plating presentation, dark dining establishments focus more on the flavor, aroma, and texture of their foods to encourage their customers to focus on aspects of eating that they ordinarily might not notice… namely, mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel Descriptor Words

As with most artistic critiques, there’s a vocabulary that aids in the sharing of thoughts and opinions. These descriptors can be categorized into two basic segments: drinks (for wine, coffee, tea, liquor, beer, and cocktails) and foods. Some common mouthfeel descriptor words include:

Acidity Metallic, citrusy, bright The quality of the acid, whether balanced or astringent
Density Close, airy The compactness of the texture
Dryness Arid, scorched The degree to which moisture is removed from the mouth
Graininess Particulate, powdery, dusty, grainy, chalky The quality of small particles
Gumminess Chewy, tough The amount of energy needed to break up the food
Hardness Crunchy, soft The amount of force needed to take a bite
Harshness Aggressive, delicate The power over the palate
Heaviness Full, weighty The perceived weight of the food in the mouth
Irritation Prickly, stinging The amount of discomfort
Mouth Coating Oily, buttery The type and degree of the layer left in the mouth after eating
Roughness Abrasive, textured The degree of coarseness
Slipperiness Slimy, stringy The degree of sliding sensation
Smoothness Satiny, velvety The silkiness or fluidity
Uniformity Even, uneven The evenness of the texture
Viscosity Full-bodied, light-bodied The amount of force needed to move liquid
Wetness Moist, sloppy The amount of moisture

How to Describe Mouthfeel

describing mouthfeel

To give an example of how one might use descriptor words to describe mouthfeel, let’s explore one common fruit that creates a unique mouthfeel. Peaches provide a variety of sensations: breaking through the skin to reach the flesh of the fruit, finding juiciness there as well as the fuzzy texture from the outside of the peach. We chew the fruit and then finally swallow it. And while most of us may not pay much attention to any specific sensations while we eat, these are all components of mouthfeel.

So, using the words from the table above, one could describe the hardness of the outer layer of the peach as soft, the wetness of the peach’s flesh as juicy, and the smoothness of the flesh as slightly stringy with a delicately chewy skin.

No matter if you’re a seasoned chef or new to the scene, you’ve likely encountered foods that stood out to you because of their mouthfeel. Whether you use the common vocabulary or not, mouthfeel is undoubtedly an important part of the overall eating experience and should be taken into account when developing new dishes.

Posted in: Foodservice Trends | Menu Tips | By Jessica Wieser

What Are Bitters? We Explain

Bitters are a classic cocktail ingredient, and they can be found in nearly every bar and nightclub around the world. People have been adding bitter ingredients and flavors to alcoholic beverages since the time of the ancient Egyptians, but our modern concept of bitters was invented in the early 1800s as medicine for relieving stomach pain.

Many bitters companies closed during the American Prohibition era and the ingredient was almost lost forever, but in recent years, mixologists and craft cocktail makers have brought bitters back to prominence. Due to the popularity and versatility of bitters, it is essential for bartenders to learn what they are, what types are available, and why to use them in drinks.

What Are Bitters?

Bitters are a liquid ingredient with a bitter flavor that are primarily used in cocktails and alcoholic drinks. They are created by infusing bark, herbs, fruit peels, flowers, roots, and other ingredients in alcohol, and there are a variety of flavors that you can create. When added to cocktails, bitters are measured in "dashes," but the amount of a dash can differ depending on the bottle. Typically, a dash of bitters is 6-8 drops or 1/8th of a teaspoon.

Difference Between Digestive Bitters and Cocktail Bitters

What are bitters

There are many varieties of bitters, and the types of bitters have unique flavors and are used for different purposes. Before we get into the types of flavored bitters, you should first understand the two main categories of bitters and what they're used for.

Digestive Bitters

Digestive bitters are popular in Europe but are not as prominent in the United States or Canada. Rather than being used as an ingredient, digestive bitters are drunk straight or on the rocks, and they are usually served after a meal has finished. The purpose of digestive bitters, also known as digestifs, is to help you digest your meal.

There is another variety of digestives, known as aperitifs, which come before a meal but serve the same purpose of helping digestion. There are a variety of popular digestive bitters, but some of the most famous are Amaro, Campari, Jaegermeister, and Unicum.

Cocktail Bitters

Most people in North America are more familiar with cocktail bitters. This type of bitters is much more concentrated and has a very strong bitter flavor. And, rather than being drunk straight, cocktail bitters are used as an ingredient in cocktails and mixed drinks, most famously in Manhattans and Sazeracs. Cocktail bitters are very versatile, and there are many different varieties and flavor profiles.

Different Types of Cocktail Bitters

Among cocktail bitters, there are plenty of different flavors to choose from, and mixologists are constantly creating new and interesting options. Here are some of the most popular categories and flavors:

cocktail bitters
  • Aromatic: Aromatic bitters are the largest category of cocktail bitters, and they are the ones that most people are familiar with. Aromatic bitters are flavored with herbs, spices, and barks, which gives them a strong aroma, hence the name. This type of bitters is one of the oldest varieties, and it's required for many traditional cocktail recipes. Angostura bitters, which are one of the most popular varieties, are aromatic bitters.
  • Citrus: Citrus bitters are the second most popular type of bitters, and they are used in a variety of cocktail recipes. Among citrus bitters, orange is the most popular flavor, but there are other options like lemon and grapefruit, as well.
  • Herbal: This is one of the most varied categories of bitters in terms of flavor and aroma. Tarragon, thyme, and lavender are some of the most popular types of herbal bitters.
  • Nut: Nut bitters are a relative new invention, but they are growing in popularity, especially among adventurous bartenders and mixologists. Two of the main nut-flavored bitters are chocolate and coffee, which, while they aren't nuts themselves, have a dark and roasted flavor that is similar to other nuts.

Why Use Bitters?

whiskey bitters

Bitters are a versatile ingredient that should be on the shelf in every bar and nightclub. But why should you use them in your cocktails? Here are a few reasons why bitters are essential for every bar:

  1. Bitters add complexity to your drinks. Adding bitters to a cocktail doesn't necessarily mean it will have a strong bitter flavor. Instead, bitters help accentuate other tastes, like sourness or sweetness, and give your drink more depth of flavor.
  2. They're a necessary ingredient for many popular cocktails. Some drinks like the Manhattan, the Sazerac, or an Old Fashioned won't have the same delicious and complex flavor without at least a dash of bitters.
  3. Bitters have health benefits. Just like digestive bitters, the cocktail variety is good for your stomach and can aid with digestion.

What Are the Major Bitters Brands?

Choosing a brand of bitters can be a difficult choice, and it depends mostly on what kind of cocktail you want to make because the different brands can have vastly different flavor profiles. And while there are now hundreds of brands and types of bitters to choose from, there are four major brands that you should be familiar with and have stocked in your bar or restaurant.

Aromatic bitters

  1. Angostura Bitters: Angostura is the oldest brand of bitters, dating back to the early 1800s. This company specializes in aromatic bitters, and their bottles feature an easily recognizable oversized label. Angostura bitters are a necessary ingredient for creating cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned.
  2. Peychaud's Bitters: Peychaud's are an American-made bitters that were invented in Louisiana in the 1800s, and they are a classic ingredient in Cajun cooking and classic cocktail recipes. Peychaud's bitters are an essential ingredient in making a traditional Sazerac cocktail.
  3. Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6: Regan's is a relative newcomer to the scene, as they started in the 1990s. The brand was started when a New York City couple decided to make better orange bitters. Their Orange Bitters No. 6 are considered some of the best citrus bitters on the market, and they can be used in a wide variety of cocktails.
  4. Bittermens Bitters: Bittermens is also a new bitters company that sprang up from the craft cocktail movement. Unlike classic brands like Angostura and Peychaud's, Bittermens is attempting to shake up the industry by creating new and unique bitters flavors, such as Mexican mole, cranberry, and orange cream. Their bitters are perfect for creative mixologists and bartenders who want to experiment with new flavors.

Bitters are a popular ingredient used in a variety of cocktails, and because of their popularity, it's important that bartenders and restaurant owners learn what they are, the different types, what they're used for, and why they should be used in recipes.

Posted in: Foodservice Trends | Bars & Breweries | By Richard Traylor

Should Your Restaurant Start Serving Breakfast?

how to offer breakfast

Consisting mainly of inexpensive ingredients (like eggs, potatoes, and toast), breakfast foods have a lot of potential for a high profit margin. And as “the most important meal of the day,” surely people are seeking breakfast options that are suitable for their lifestyle, right? While it may seem like a foolproof way to improve your business, offering breakfast doesn’t necessarily make sense for every restaurant. However, offering breakfast does make sense for a lot of restaurants as long as the following factors are considered before taking the leap.

Considerations Before Committing to Serving Breakfast

1. Will There Be Competition or Demand for Breakfast in Your Area?

As with any kind of business, a good first step is to find out what the competition is like. Are you situated in an area that’s already saturated with great breakfast spots? Do you get a lot of foot traffic in the morning as people are on their way to work? Really, the question you need to ask is: are people looking for breakfast in this location?

2. Do You Have Enough Employees?

Do you have enough employees to cover the early morning shifts, or will you need to hire more people? Training and paying new staff can be a huge expense when launching breakfast for the first time.

3. Will You Need to Purchase Any New Equipment?

offering breakfast in your restaurant

What equipment will you need to buy? Most breakfast items are pretty simple to make, and turn out great with just a skillet or griddle. However, customers will expect coffee, which obviously requires a coffee maker. Will you need to purchase a waffle maker? The expense of these equipment pieces can add up, if you’re not careful.

4. Could You Produce Breakfast Quickly?

Because most people have to get to work or get started with whatever else may be on their schedules for the day, they likely don’t want to spend a lot of time on breakfast. If your establishment is set up in a way that’s conducive to speedy execution, perhaps breakfast is a good idea for you. But if you have limited space and staff, long waits could cause frustration for diners.

5. What Service Style Will You Choose?

The type of service you choose depends largely on the other factors in this list. But there are three common styles that most businesses choose from, mainly relating to their hours of operation.

  • Breakfast All Day - You’re probably pretty familiar with the idea of 24 hour diners that offer breakfast all the time. This is one of the most popular styles of breakfast restaurant and, of course, many popular chains have branded themselves as strictly making breakfast all day.

  • should your restaurant offer breakfast
  • Open Early for Limited Time Service - It’s become pretty common for bars (that would ordinarily see most of their profits late at night) to open for Sunday brunch. You might even see Tex-Mex restaurants opening early to offer breakfast burritos for the morning hours of the day. If there’s a demand and you can provide a high-quality product, it doesn’t matter what type of food you serve the rest of the time.

  • Selection of To-Go Breakfast Items - Prepackaged grab-and-go breakfast foods are perfect for small cafes or bakeries that people might stop by on their way to work. Something that holds up well for a few hours in a bakery case, like a muffin or yogurt parfait, is a good choice.

Deciding whether or not it makes sense for your business to offer breakfast is no easy feat. From customer demographics to staff and kitchen resources, there are a lot of factors that should be considered before incorporating breakfast into your menu. While it may be the most important meal of the day and can be made with inexpensive ingredients, there’s no guarantee customers will think of your restaurant when breakfast time rolls around. But if you carefully think through the pros and cons before committing, breakfast can be a great addition to your regular service.

Posted in: Menu Tips | By Jessica Wieser

Purchasing Heavy Equipment Online: What You Need to Know

how to order heavy equipment online

If you're considering purchasing large restaurant equipment online, you probably have a lot of questions regarding delivery, compatibility, and costs. While ordering equipment from the comfort of your home and having it shipped to your restaurant may seem daunting or unsafe, it's actually a great way to save time and money. To learn more about the most important questions to ask when purchasing restaurant equipment from WebstaurantStore, keep reading!

Shipping Questions

Because WebstaurantStore is an e-commerce business with no brick and mortar stores, any and all equipment purchases are shipped from warehouses. Here are a few important questions to ask:

How will my item be delivered?

Webstaurant equipment traditionally ships through FedEx, but once an order reaches a certain size in weight or dimensions, shipping switches from ground to common carrier. You’ll be informed how your equipment will ship upon placing your order.

Will my equipment be installed for me?

No, your equipment will not be installed for you. You’ll need to install it yourself or hire a professional.

Do you offer call before delivery service?

Yes! This free feature is optional for all commercial customers and required for all residential customers shipping via common carrier. Call before delivery means the shipper will contact the phone number listed with your shipping address approximately one business day prior to delivery to arrange a four hour drop-off window. This ensures someone at your facility will be available to receive your order, saving you time and money.

Do I need lift gate service or White Glove delivery?

Depending upon the size and weight of your Webstaurant restaurant equipment, you may elect to purchase lift gate service or White Glove delivery. Keep reading to learn more about these two options:

Lift Gate

ordering restaurant equipment online

If your equipment cannot be delivered by FedEx and you don’t have a loading dock, consider using our lift gate service. If you add lift gate service during checkout, you’ll pay a flat rate of $45 to have your equipment delivered on a truck with a lift gate that lowers your items onto the ground. Adding lift gate service for your equipment delivery after it ships is $60.

Keep in mind that delivery truck drivers aren’t responsible for anything other than lowering your equipment to the ground via the lift gate. They won’t take your order inside or unpack it.

White Glove

equipment purchasing faq

If you purchase White Glove delivery service, two trained movers will bring your equipment inside, unpack it, and remove any packaging debris from the premises. Please note that they will not remove your existing equipment. You’ll also be provided with a four hour delivery window. Remember that White Glove delivery typically adds 5-7 business days to your order’s transit time and that costs are determined based upon the equipment’s weight and the distance White Glove agents have to travel.

When should I inspect my delivery for shipping damage? How do I note any damage?

Regardless of how your purchase is delivered, it’s essential that you inspect your equipment while the truck driver is still there. If you see or suspect any damage, note it on the bill of lading and contact WebstaurantStore customer service immediately. If you don’t inspect your order while the driver is still there, it can be nearly impossible to be fully reimbursed by the equipment manufacturer or carrier.

Can I ship my equipment purchase to a residence? How do I determine if my purchase is approved for residential use?

Most equipment product pages feature a disclaimer explaining whether or not the product is designed for residential use. Most equipment warranties are voided if the purchase is delivered to a residence, and we may sometimes refuse shipment altogether.

Can I pick up my equipment order from a WebstaurantStore warehouse?

No, you cannot pick up your equipment from one of our warehouses. All purchases are shipped directly to your business or residence.

Compatibility Questions

Ordering equipment that isn’t compatible with your restaurant’s utilities costs you money in return shipping expenses and restocking fees. Avoid this situation and save yourself time by asking these questions:

How do I know if my equipment will fit my restaurant’s utilities?

is it safe to purchase equipment online

Before placing your Webstaurant kitchen equipment order, it’s essential that you ensure your purchase is compatible with your establishment’s existing utilities. If you’re not completely sure, check with a professional before ordering. To determine the utility connections your purchase requires, check the specsheet or manual on its product page on our website.

Electric-Powered Equipment

Make sure that your business can meet the voltage, phase, and amp requirements of the electric-powered equipment you’re interested in. Additionally, ensure the cord and plug that come with your order are long enough and compatible with the electrical outlet you’ll be using. Some pieces of equipment don’t include a cord and plug with purchase, so you should also pay attention to that.

Gas-Powered Equipment

You’ll also need to determine beforehand whether the gas requirements of the equipment you're purchasing match the gas that’s available in your restaurant. Pay attention to whether the equipment is powered by natural gas or liquid propane, as these are two different fuel types. Your restaurant also needs to supply sufficient gas pressure to the equipment in order to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness.

How do I know if my equipment will fit into my kitchen?

To ensure your equipment purchase will fit through your doors, pay attention to whether the listed dimensions include handles, casters, and legs. Doing so ensures that you’ll have the clearance required above and on either side of your equipment to get it inside and installed. You’ll also need to make sure your hallways are wide enough for the number of bends and curves required to transport your equipment to where you want it. Check the specsheets and manuals on the product's page on our website for your purchase’s specific dimensions.

Are my equipment’s included casters pre-installed?

The specsheet and manual included on your item’s WebstaurantStore product page should mention whether or not the included casters are pre-installed. If you can't find this information, be sure to contact customer service before placing your order.

Costs Questions

Here are a few of the most important questions to ask when it comes to the costs associated with ordering Webstaurant restaurant equipment online:

Are discounts available if I purchase several pieces of equipment at once?

Because WebstaurantStore’s prices are wholesale, additional discounts are very rare. However, if your order is particularly large in size or price, you can request a quote via an online form. The quotes team will review your application and let you know if any discounts are available for your order.

How are equipment shipping costs determined?

All WebstaurantStore shipping costs are calculated based upon your order’s weight, dimensions, and shipping distance. The cost of your order doesn’t play a role in determining shipping costs.

If you're shopping for a new reach-in refrigerator, gas range, or stainless steel work table, purchasing restaurant equipment online is a great way to save time, money, and hassle. Asking the right questions as you make Webstaurant kitchen equipment purchases will also keep you informed and help the ordering, shipping, and receiving processes proceed as smoothly as possible.

Posted in: Management & Operation | By Nora Fulmer
Webstaurant TVProduct demonstrations, how-to's, & descriptions ArticlesIn-depth information and tips for running a successful restaurant Buying GuidesTools to help you find the perfect product for your business