When it’s cold outside, they’re hot in the kitchen.
For those Crystal Clipper Café employees who spend their winter inside, there’s a way to judge the weather outside. It’s by what skiers put in their stomachs. Hot chocolate sales rise when the thermometer drops, although it’s the most popular beverage all season long. Fountain drinks and coffee beat out bottled water in terms of takers, and Crystal’s chili disappears quickly with over 2600 servings sold this winter.
But the chow of choice regardless of the weather is French fries, hands down. Since the start of the season, the café has sold over 15,335 orders of fries. The favorite fry accompaniment is a cheeseburger – nearly 6,000 of them so far. Our new Panini Station, though, is taking a bite out of the burger numbers with the Chicken Pesto Panini picking up 1136 fans so far this season. Poultry’s always popular – chicken tenders have posted over 8700 orders this winter, and snowsports fans have gobbled down nearly 900 Chicken Caesar Wraps since ski season started. Pizza slices and potato chips are high on the hit list, while the very popular salad bar continues to draw crowds. There’s always demand for fruit cups and yogurt parfaits, but standard daily fuel favors the fast food fare.
Topping the sweet treat chart is that perennial favorite, the Crystal Krispie – a mitten-shaped rice krispie treat that’s been on the menu forever. This year, nearly 2500 Krispies have disappeared into skier stomachs, well on the way towards the 5500 Krispies consumed in an average season. Approximately 1539 Chocolate chip cookies have met their demise so far, followed by brownies, no-bake cookies, and the new Fluffernutter bars (a combination of peanut butter, Cheerios, marshmallows, and chocolate chips) in preferential order. Another new menu item, fried mozzarella sticks, is proving to be a big hit this winter.
Appeasing all those appetites as quickly as possible requires a crackerjack crew that knows just what to do. When the fryer’s hot in the kitchen, our café crew keeps their cool by utilizing a multi-tasking system that keeps things moving. During slow periods, they prepare for the next appetite onslaught, cleaning and planning ahead for the next day.
As it warms up outside, the crew will be hosting slopeside outdoor barbeques on March weekends, featuring those menu-favorite standbys like burgers and hot dogs. And yes, everybody will want fries with that.