Maple Leaf Canadian and Family Owned


The Delights of Ontario Rainbow Trout


Rainbow Trout with Mashed Potatoes


The Delights of Ontario Rainbow Trout: A Freshwater Gem


Nestled amidst the bountiful waters of Ontario’s lakes, rainbow trout has become a prized catch and culinary delight. With the abundance of freshwater resources, Ontario offers an ideal habitat for this cold-water fish to thrive. Let’s dive into the world of Ontario rainbow trout, exploring its characteristics, culinary appeal, and recipe suggestions:

The Splendor of Ontario’s Waterways

Ontario’s vast network of lakes provides an ideal environment for rainbow trout to
flourish. With clear waters and abundant food sources, these lakes nurture healthy populations of rainbow trout.

Culinary Delights of Ontario Rainbow Trout

Its delicate pink hue and mild flavour lend themselves well to a variety of cooking techniques, allowing chefs to showcase their creativity. The high oil content in the fish enhances its tenderness and imparts a rich, buttery taste.


Rainbow trout on cutting board


Recipe Suggestions

• Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout with Lemon Butter Sauce: A classic preparation that highlights the natural flavours of the fish. Served with a tangy lemon butter sauce and accompanied by roasted vegetables, this dish offers a delightful balance of freshness and richness.

• Grilled Rainbow Trout with Herb Crust: A simple yet elegant preparation that involves encrusting the fish with a blend of fresh herbs before grilling. The charred exterior adds a smoky depth of flavour, while the moist and flaky flesh remains the star of the dish.

• Rainbow Trout Ceviche: A refreshing and light option for those seeking a vibrant and zesty experience. The fish is marinated in citrus juices, mixed with diced vegetables, and seasoned with herbs.

• Roasted Whole Stuffed Trout: A tantalizing blend of flavours. By stuffing the trout with aromatic ingredients like lemon, garlic, onion, and fresh herbs, then roasting it to perfection, this recipe promises a delightful and flavourful dining experience. Visit for the full recipe.

Don’t forget - Highlight the farm-to-table journey through your marketing channels: Emphasize that the rainbow trout is sourced from Ontario’s pristine lakes, connecting customers with the region’s natural beauty and sustainable fishing practices.





Flanagan Foodservice at 3:07 PM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

Gift Cards Should Top of Your Restaurant's Wish List

Christmas plate setting with gift card


Celebrate the Christmas Season with Gift Cards from Your Restaurant


If it is in fact true that it is better to give than receive, then gift cards must be at the top of a restaurateur’s wish list. These simple plastic cards could be an important marketing tool—and revenue generator—at this busiest of commercial periods on the calendar. Let’s explore why gift cards have become significant for restaurants’ success and why they make perfect presents for the upcoming Christmas holidays.


The Significance of Gift Cards

  1. Flexibility for the customer: Gift cards provide recipients with the freedom to choose their dining experience. Whether it’s a cozy dinner for two or a family celebration, gift cards allow customers to enjoy a meal at their preferred time.
  2. Boosting cash flow for restaurants: Selling gift cards injects immediate cash flow into a restaurant’s operations. This influx of funds can help cover expenses and support the restaurant during quieter periods.  We have found people will spend more on a gift card than they will on a gift. While they might buy a $50 present, they will likely raise the stakes and buy a $75 or even a $100 gift card at a restaurant.
  3. Boost your slower season: Add yet another gift beneath the tree: if the cards are purchased as festive and holiday presents in the hustle-bustle of a busy December, the delay when people redeem them could prove to be a boon to the restaurateur who might see a bump in sales later in January and February when business is typically slower. Patrons often find themselves using the full amount of their gift card—and then some. Customers generally buy additional food and more expensive dishes than they might otherwise; compound that with the potential for increased sales of beverage alcohol, and the result can be some healthy extra revenue in winter’s gloomier months.
  4. Increased brand exposure: When customers purchase gift cards for friends or family, they are essentially promoting the restaurant to new potential patrons. This word-of-mouth marketing can lead to increased foot traffic and loyal customers in the long run.


Person handing a small gift box


Special Offers and Unique Options

Several restaurants have gone the extra mile to make their gift cards even more enticing for customers. Some establishments offer exclusive discounts, complimentary items, or bonus gift cards with the purchase of a certain value. Here are a few examples to consider:

  • [Restaurant A]: Purchase a $100 gift card and receive a complimentary appetizer on your next visit.
  • [Restaurant B]: Buy a $50 gift card and receive an additional $10 bonus gift card.
  • [Restaurant C]: Enjoy a 20% discount on all gift cards purchased online during the holiday season.

Remember, gift cards not only make wonderful presents but can also contribute to supporting local businesses.





Flanagan Foodservice at 11:38 AM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

Bowl Craze: The Rise of Bowls on Restaurant Menus

Various bowls with rice and vegetables and meat

Bowl Craze: The Rise of Bowls on Restaurant Menus


Whether it’s Salad, Breakfast, Buddha or Poke, bowls are now one of the more popular options in menus, and some say it may have taken over the once reliable, classic sandwich format. Packed with protein, greens and grains, bowls not only promote wellness, they also mix international flavours from various cultures into beautifully eye-appealing meals. This format is easy to make and offers flexibility for operators; already on-hand ingredients can be prepared in advance, and meals are easily customizable for customers. Bowls also offer healthy, filling alternatives, a convenient takeout option, and are usually presented in eco-friendly packaging.


Now, the question is: Are bowls just a passing trend, or are they a sustainable staple that will continue to shape the culinary world? Let’s find out.


Around 2016, the popularity of poke and acai bowls emerged and quickly gained popularity in North America. Since then, operators started experimenting with unique flavour combinations and incorporated variations of this concept such as grain bowls, burrito bowls, noodle bowls and many others onto their menus. Datassential[1] reports that “consumers have pushed for customization in foodservice, choosing everything from bowl formats to burritos to the ingredients that go into each of those that fit their individual lifestyles”. Additionally, Tecnomic Ignite [2] states that since the end of 2020, bowls have skyrocketed in terms of operator penetration. Continuing in 2021, veggie bowls became one of the leading vegetarian entrees on Canadian menus, rivaling veggie burgers, veggie pizza and salad options.[3] Bowls have been trending mostly in traditional CDR (Casual Dining Restaurants), quick service, and fast casual restaurants since 2020.


In 2022, Foodservice Equipment and Supplies also reported that bowls are “found on 34.8% of menus, up 9% over the past four years”.[4] As of today, 42.8% of operators have bowls on their menu! The top three types of bowls in the US are currently Curry bowls, followed by veggie bowls and then protein bowls. Although these types of bowls seem quite different from each other, they all have one common ingredient: vegetables.


According to Technomic Ignite, vegetables are the dominating ingredient in the growth and mainstream stage that are paired with bowls in operators’ menus.[5] The most popular ones (in the US) are onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables such as edamame, and chickpeas. Although popular, these vegetables take time to wash, peel and cut, and chefs cannot ignore major challenges hindering their efficiency such as labor shortages or product availability. With growing demands of ingredient customization from consumers, this makes vegetables harder to incorporate to create a colourful, nutritious dish. How can fast-casual operators take advantage of this trend while maintaining productive operations? Frozen vegetables!


Various vegetables chopped in white bowls


Arctic Gardens provides just the solution for chefs to create unique, flavourful bowls. Our Frozen Fresh vegetables are pre-cut, and pre-washed to save substantial preparation time, and cut down labor costs as well as waste. Additionally, they are available year round, and have a long-lasting shelf life ranging from 18 to 24 months. The Arctic Gardens products come in single blends (i.e diced onions, edamame, diced red and green bell peppers) as well as blends which can help operators build protein-packed bowls. Our vegetables are individually frozen at their peak of freshness, locking the perfect texture and nutrition customers demand. Arctic Gardens helps operators make veggie-bowls rapidly:  operators can just portion out what they need, and store the rest in the freezer for later use.


An example of an easy-to-build bowl is Artic Gardens Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Bowl. Made with our delicious pre-seasoned roasted brussel sprout blend, this bowl is loaded with grains, silky vinaigrette, and with a hint of crunch! Discover this great recipe here.



Article submitted by:


Artic Gardens Logo









Flanagan Foodservice at 10:28 AM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

Why Frozen Produce Should Be In Your Next Recipe


Frozen and fresh strawberry


Why Frozen Produce Should Be In Your Next Recipe

By Alasko Foods



When it comes to nutrition, fruits and vegetables have always been the go-to in terms of healthy eating. Tried and true, their combination of practicality, taste, and nutritional benefit are second to none. However, frozen rather than fresh produce has several unique benefits which make them a clear choice for the resourceful restaurant operator.


Here are five reasons why:


1) Always in season

Frozen fruit is actually richer in nutrients on average than their fresh counterparts, according to a study by the University of California-Davis.¹ This is because of its enhanced preservation through a unique freezing method. Companies like Alasko, which utilize IQF (individual quick freezing) technology, do so because it locks in freshness, flavour, colour, and taste.


Individual quick freezing takes single pieces of food and, as the name suggests, freezes them individually at extremely low temperatures. This prevents the formation of large ice crystals that conventional freezing would cause, and preserves the high-quality state that the food is currently in.


IQF fruits and vegetables are always in season, simply because that’s the state at which they are frozen in.


2) Always available

Thanks to worldwide sourcing—which market leaders such as Alasko benefit from due to their extensive global supply network—it is feasible to obtain the best possible product from whichever region it happens to be currently in-season. Using IQF technology, the produce that ends up in your recipe and menu items is as fresh as it was when picked.


3) Convenience

Frozen produce has a lot more potential to it than meets the eye.


Rather than having to peel, chop, and prepare a fresh fruit or vegetable, IQF produce is frozen in a state that is ready to use. Simply toss fruits in a blender to make a smoothie, chop them up and make a salsa, or incorporate them into a smoothie bowl. Easily mix vegetables into a stir fry or casserole, or into a dip.


The possibilities are extensive!


4) Extended life

The disadvantage of fresh produce is that it needs to be consumed in a certain window of time before it starts to become overripe. This can put a lot of pressure for you to make use of it as quickly as possible. (Granted, frozen produce still has this window as well, but it is far lengthier—typically 24 months, as opposed to a week or so.²)


Simply take out the portion you need, and put the rest away where it will remain frozen and unspoiled.


5) Cost efficient

Using frozen fruits and vegetables minimizes your expenses in the areas of labour and food waste. Frozen produce is already cut, washed, and ready to toss in a recipe, and unused quantities can be put right back into the freezer. Even better, frozen produce can be less costly than their fresh counterparts.³


When it comes to the ingredients to put in your recipes, you are constantly faced with choice. Frozen fruits and vegetables have several benefits that are often overlooked in comparison to the alternatives. Whether it’s the heightened nutrition, convenience, or cheaper cost: frozen fruits and vegetables are definitely worth it.


For delicious IQF products to use in your next recipe, contact your Flanagan Foodservice sales representative or call our Customer Relations team at 1-855-FLANAGAN.


About Alasko

Alasko Foods is a leader in global sourcing of conventional and organic frozen fruits and vegetables, with a reputation for providing superior, world class service to customers across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Committed to delivering the safest and highest quality products, without compromise, Alasko Foods will source, process, pack, label, brand and distribute the best fresh-frozen fruits and vegetables the world has to offer. Learn more at



[1] Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture c 87:930–944

[2] U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 2015;

[3] United Stated Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2016





Flanagan Foodservice at 10:59 AM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon

Chill Out with Frozen Drinks

Iced caramel latte coffee in a tall glass


Chill Out with Frozen Drinks

How your business can benefit from a cool offer


In the competitive world of restaurants, bars, and family entertainment centers, operators are constantly seeking innovative ways to attract customers and enhance their overall experience. One such strategy gaining popularity is the inclusion of a high-quality frozen beverage offer.


People of all ages are drawn to refreshing and indulgent frozen treats, making them an attractive option for customers seeking a cool, thirst-quenching experience. By providing an enticing range of flavours and toppings, establishments can cater to a broad audience, including children (kid-friendly flavours and imaginative presentations) and adults (alcoholic frozen cocktails or boozy milkshakes). Satisfied customers are more likely to return and recommend the venue to others, resulting in enhanced loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.


A good frozen beverage program can set an establishment apart from its competitors. By offering unique flavours, customizable options, and eye-catching presentations, operators can create a distinctive experience that stands out in customers' minds. .


Frozen beverages often have higher profit margins compared to other menu items, as they require relatively inexpensive ingredients and simple preparation methods. Additionally, upselling opportunities arise when customers opt for add-ons such as whipped cream, syrups, or fruit garnishes. 


Don’t forget to promote, promote and promote! Strategically placing attractive signage or display boards showcasing frozen beverage options, piquing customer interest and encourage them to explore additional menu items. Consider creating a combo that pair frozen beverages with popular food items, enticing customers to increase their overall spend.


From attracting new customers and enhancing the overall dining experience to generating additional revenue and staying competitive, frozen beverages have become a valuable asset for businesses seeking to differentiate themselves in the market.


For your menu:

Blender Boyz logo


Blender Boyz line of slush and cappuccino mixes. A delicious blends of flavours and real ingredients:




Blender Boyz French Vanilla Cappuccino




Blender Boyz Mocha Cappucino




Blender Boyz Blue Raspberry Slush




Blender Boyz Cherry Slush






Flanagan Foodservice at 10:18 AM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon


Flanagan Foodservice
Name: Flanagan Foodservice
Posts: 113
Last Post: November 17, 2023
Jackie Oakes
Name: Jackie Oakes
Posts: 2
Last Post: May 4, 2023

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts



Get Seasonal Ontario Ingredient Spotlight Maximize Profits Keep Up With Trends Marketing Your Restaurant Canada Environment Flanagan Food Show Cleaning Events Recipe Flanagan News COVID Resources Take Out Strategy