The Trouble With Fast Food

McDonald’s commissioned an independent television production company to produce a one-hour special where six random Australians were given the task of investigating the entire food-making process. Whilst McDonald’s funded the project, and their food-making processes were the ones scrutinised, it’s clear very little was hidden from these independent ‘food critics’. This program showed that McDonald’s food, and probably most major fast-food chain offerings, is actually relatively healthy – and more hygienic and fresher than we think.

Fast food companies have always gone to great lengths to convince the eating public of the wholesomeness of their food. It’s an incredibly profitable business. But, one of the business risks, in a health-conscious age, is having a reputation tainted by thought that your food is unhealthy or, worse, disgusting.

So, typical fast food – in the main – is safe for consumption and may be moderately healthy. But why do we feel unhealthy having eaten it? Compared to a serving of grandma’s pot roast where we felt sated and fulfilled, fast food tends to leave us feeling unfulfilled, spiritually.

I have a thesis about food: the only prepared food profitable to us is the food cooked with love. That is, food cooked for a known individual to eat. Food cooked with them in mind. It’s food that has soul.


In the healthiest sense, proud is the cook that makes their food to please the eater. They have a vested interest in everything they do. They want to create it tasty, hygienic, and aesthetic on the plate. They care. They cook their food with love. And they want their food eaten with love and respect for the process.

Fast food, on the other hand, is an unloved child whose parent neither loves the food, their work, nor the receiver of the food. It’s made with no soul or spirit. It may fill our bellies and nourish our bodies, but the experience of eating fast food does nothing to nourish our souls.

We ought to become keen observers of how food makes us feel, and although food of itself doesn’t make us evil, our practices can sometimes make us feel that way. Feeling bloated or dry in the mouth or queasy are all psychosomatic signs that the experience of eating certain food hasn’t been positive. The food hasn’t served its nourishing purpose.


Whenever we go to takeaway restaurants, not only is the food not cooked with love, it’s often not served with love. Patrons are commonly treated as second-class citizens; mainly because the person serving them has no propriety. They’ve not been trained to care.

Wherever we go in life it pays, as much as possible, to place ourselves in situations and circumstances of good experience. Enriching experience is good for the soul. Placing ourselves in non-enriching experiences, though, leads to a deadening of the soul. The service that comes with the food is just as important as the eating experience is. The service, too, must come with love.


The trouble with fast food is it’s generally not cooked nor served with love. Often it’s prepared and cooked by people with no stake in its consumption. Eating food is a spiritual activity. If we care enough for ourselves and those we love we limit our reliance on fast food. We’ll still eat it, perhaps, but less so.

Controlling Beverage Costs For Your Restaurant

Restaurants that serve just about any type of beverage can usually benefit from beverage costing, but restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages are the best candidates for beverage costing analysis for increased profitability.

Beverages are one of the easier ways to maximize profits for your restaurant due to the lower costs and far greater profit margins than with food.

How To Calculate Beverage Costs

Similar to calculating food costs, you need to designate a time frame where you will analyze the beverage costs for your restaurant. This can be one week, one month or several months. Typically, the longer time you allow for analysis, the better and more accurate the information you will gain from the report. Usually, non alcoholic beverages like soda, coffee, juice, water etc, are not included in your beverage costing calculations, instead these should be included in your food costing analysis.

After the reporting period, you’ll then need to total the beverage sales for each variety of beverage, such as beer, wine, mixed drinks, etc. You’ll then need to figure out your total beverage purchases from that same time period, which will be your cost of beverage sales. You’ll then need to determine your inventory adjustment. This means you compare the inventory at the end of your reporting period to the inventory at the very beginning of the reporting period. For instance, if the beginning inventory level for whiskey is $250, and at the end of the reporting period, the inventory level is valued at $170, then the inventory adjustment is the $80 difference.

You then apply this difference to the total purchases for the reporting period, thus giving you your total cost for beverage sales. Then you can figure out your beverage cost percentage by using the National Restaurant Association’s calculation method, which is “Beverage Cost = Cost of Beverage Sales/Beverage Sales”. Once you have this information, you can analyze your total sales and costs and make adjustments for increasing profit and efficiency. Typical figures for a restaurant’s beverage cost percentage are 30% – 32%. You can then compare the performance during the reporting period to previous performances and this will allow you to identify any problems or trends, thus allowing you to tightly control and decrease beverage costs.

Further Controlling Beverage Costs

There are some additional ways to control beverage costs, however, including restocking only as needed bottle by bottle, keeping tight control of inventory with proper theft controls, implementing a consistent method for your bartenders to complete sales and update tabs swiftly, utilizing accurate pouring methods and using consistent drink recipes.

Turkish Coffee FAQ

Turkish coffee is the oldest way of making coffee. This is a short article answering frequently asked questions about Turkish coffee. You can also post your question as a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Questions are in bold.

What kind of coffee must I use for Turkish coffee?

Turkish coffee nowadays is usually made of Latin American blends. Usually the blends contain two kinds of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Except for the Latin American coffees the blends may also include coffees from Asia or Africa. Some of the best coffees for Turkish blends come from Brazil, Ethiopia and Yemen.

Should I use a coffee particularly made for Turkish coffee or can I use any blend?

Turkish blends are created in a special way to be optimized for Turkish coffee making. Most people that drink the popular Turkish coffee brands are used to a special characteristic taste. This doesn’t mean that you cannot use another coffee blend to make Turkish coffee. For example you can use an espresso blend. The only requirement is that it must be ground very fine like powder. If it isn’t ground fine enough there will be no foam on top of the coffee after you make it and the taste will be weak.

So, in other words you can experiment with any blend you want if you grind it fine enough for Turkish coffee. The taste will be different than the usual though.

Is it healthy?

Turkish coffee is as healthy as any regular coffee. Actually according to some some researches a quantity of two small Turkish coffee cups (demitasse cups) can be beneficial for the heart. If you exceed this amount then it may become bad for your health like any other coffee. Bear in mind that Turkish coffee is made almost as quickly as instant coffee but it’s far better for your health.

What is this thick thing on top of Turkish coffee? Is it like espresso?

When you make Turkish coffee properly you will notice on top a layer of dark, thick and homogeneous foam. This is also known as kaimaki in Greece. If the coffee doesn’t have kaimaki then something is definitely wrong with the coffee making:

  • small quantity of coffee used
  • not properly heated
  • ground coarser than required
  • very stale coffee

In some Eastern countries it is an insult to serve Turkish coffee without this special foam on top.

Kaimaki foam is looks similar to the espresso crema but it very different in terms of physical properties. The espresso crema is formed not only due to heat but also because of high pressure so it’s quite different.

Do I need any special expensive equipment for Turkish coffee?

Making Turkish coffee is very easy and very fast. All you need is a small coffee pot and a heat source. You can use a small stainless steel pot and your electric stove top but it’s preferable to use a traditional copper or brass Turkish pot. Regarding the heat source it’s better to use low fire to make the coffee. A gas burner or an alcohol burner is my favorite heat source for home use.

What size coffee pot do I need?

This is a question that creates a lot of misunderstandings. Basically it depends on how much coffee you are going to make each time.

First, what you need to know is that you will need a coffee pot that holds approximately double the amount of coffee. This is because coffee must have enough room in the pot to foam up and furthermore because of the so-called “oven effect”.

Let me explain…

Traditional Turkish coffee pots have an hourglass shape. This special shape creates an oven-like effect when making Turkish coffee. The oven-effect is highly desirable for better taste. The only requirement for this “oven-effect” is to fill the pot till the point where the pot diameter is smaller. Usually this means a half-full pot.

So, If you want to make two demitasse cups, for you and your friend, you will need a 4 demitasse-cup size coffee pot.

Please note that sizing differs among manufacturers. So instead of looking for a 4-cup size coffee pot look for a coffee pot that holds 4*60ml which equals 240ml. 60ml or approximately 2oz is the size of a demitasse cup.

What about a coffee pot for just one cup?

In this case you will need a coffee pot that holds 2*60ml=120ml coffee.

What about one normal cup?

One normal cup is approximately 250ml so you will need a 500ml pot.

These numbers are not exact. They are just guides to help you. Most of the times buying a bit smaller coffee pot will also be adequate.

Can I grind Turkish coffee with my coffee grinder?

Turkish coffee is ground at the most fine grind setting. Most grinders for home use are incapable of grinding so fine. If you have a blade grinder consider upgrading to a burr grinder. This doesn’t mean that every burr grinder can grind Turkish coffee. So if you are in the market in research of a burr grinder make sure it has a Turkish coffee setting. Some burr grinders don’t have a Turkish coffee setting but they can be modified very easily to grind fine enough for this coffee. This information can be easily found if you make a couple of searches in a search engine.

Another solution are manual-operated Turkish coffee grinders. These grinders are much cheaper than burr grinders and because of their low speed coffee is ground gently without getting heated. In cheap burr grinders because of the small burr dimensions the rotating speed is higher. This way the friction is bigger and the heat generation is higher. More heat means more coffee taste destruction! So in other words small grinding speeds of manual grinders are better for your palate! The big drawback is that this sort of grinding can remind you of manual labor sometimes…

Is there any special way to serve Turkish coffee? Any special tradition?

If you have guests and you want to impress them with your coffee making mastery and your hospitality you can do some simple things. First use a big traditional looking serving tray and put some glasses of water for your guests. Water is used to clean the mouth before tasting the coffee. Prepare the coffees immediately before serving time so that they keep their kaimaki foam and their temperature. You can pair the coffee with some cookies or muffins.