6 Types of Grains Every Restaurant Pantry Should Have

Nick Mirev
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    Refined and whole grains are important ingredients in a variety of dishes. That’s why a restaurant’s pantry consists of many different types of grains. Restaurants often benefit from wholesale prices when they stock the most used grains such as rice, oats, and refined wheat. Buying wholesale grains is a good practice for restaurants with large pantries and good grain storage capacity. In this article, we’ll discuss the main types of grains restaurants use, how they can increase customer satisfaction with the help of grains, and what are the latest trends in this field.

    Most Used Types of Grains in the Restaurant Industry 

    Generally, there are two main categories of grains. Refined ones and whole grains. The refined category includes all types of processed and modified grains. This means wheat and corn flour are also types of refined grains. Let’s check the main types of grains used by restaurants.


    A lot of dishes include rice as the main ingredient. It is one of the most-consumed grains in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cuisine. There are at least 10 types of rice used in the restaurant industry. The most common ones are Arborio rice, Basmati rice, brown rice, black rice, and sushi rice.


    Wheat is used in the production of pasta, bread, and a variety of pastry products. Wheat flour is one of the most popular flour varieties.


    The US is the biggest producer of corn in the world. It’s widely used in Southwestern and Mexican cuisine. Tortillas, corn chips, and corn on the cob are just some of the delicious foods made with corn. The main types of this grain are sweet corn, popcorn, dent corn, and the colorful flint corn.


    This gluten-free grain is becoming increasingly popular. It’s commonly used in salads, but can also be used as a substitute for rice in some dishes. There are also lots of appetizers with quinoa.


    Oats are commonly used in whole-grain breakfast food. However, many baked goods use oats instead of wheat flour. Oats are very rich in fiber and are considered to be among the healthiest grains.


    As it’s one of the most nutritious types of grains, barley is often used as an ingredient in salads and soups. Its nutty flavor and chewy texture complement dishes with a hearty and strong flavor.

    Other Grains

    There are dozens of grains used in restaurants, bakeries, and other establishments part of the food industry. Some of them are specific for set cuisine such as sushi rice. While others like einkorn have been around for millennia, but are relatively less known by consumers. Some other grains that are fairly well-known in the restaurant industry include teff, farro, freekeh, spelt, sorghum, and millet. Most of those are the so-called ancient grains. We’ll examine the term below.

    Key takeaway: Rice, wheat, and corn are the most used types of grains in restaurants. Venues can increase their profits by buying bulk grains and by offering interesting and exotic options such as ancient grains or sprouted grains.
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    How Restaurants Can Increase Profits with the Help of Grains

    As an increasing number of people strive to eat less meat and dairy products, restaurants can profit significantly from offering more dishes with grains. Let’s check some ideas on how a restaurant manager can use grains as a way to maximize the profits of their venue.

    • Offer gluten-free meals. Even though about 7% of the population in the US has gluten sensitivity, consumer data suggests that about 25% of Americans strive to eat gluten-free. Therefore, having an abundance of gluten-free dishes on your menu will likely increase the average order value in your venue.
    • Offer whole-grain brunch options. Farro, quinoa, and oats are often used as ingredients in breakfast food. Dishes like breakfast bowls and breakfast salads are excellent tea pairings. Not to mention the health benefits of eating whole grains.
    • Make grain-based sides. Quinoa pilaf or barley risotto with mushrooms are just two examples of sides that can excellently complement the main dish.
    • Add more grain-based salads to the menu. Ingredients such as quinoa, bulgur, and barley are increasingly popular. If you offer salads with these grains as the base, they have the potential to become the stars on your menu.
    • Buy bulk grains. Restaurants can stock grains in bulk. This usually means lower prices and higher profit margins. 
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    Trends in Grains Restaurants Can Implement

    Ancient Grains

    Ever since the Neolithic Revolution, people have been perfecting grains like rice and wheat with the help of selective breeding. On the other hand, ancient grains are the ones that have little to no changes. They include spelt, chia, buckwheat, and other types of grains. Ancient grains are becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Incorporating them into your menu can bring additional business to your venue.

    Alternative Flours

    Corn and wheat flour are doubtlessly among the most popular ones. However, alternatives such as chickpea, coconut, and almond flour are becoming trendy. The fact that a lot of these alternative flours are low-carb and gluten-free makes them popular with people who follow dietary restrictions. They can be used not only for baking but also as a coating for fried meals or for thickening sauces.

    Local and Organic Grains

    Many organic producers sell bulk grains to local restaurants and businesses. If you stock your pantry with grains from such suppliers, you’re not only guaranteeing their organic origin but also helping the local community.

    Sprouted Grains

    Sprouted grains are gaining popularity as well. They have increased nutrient content and are easy to digest. Adding sprouted grains in salads or using them as part of the plating are just two of the ways you can improve the customer experience in your restaurant.

    Grain Bowls

    They are popular for every time of the day. Grain bowls are very rich in nutrients and can be combined with a variety of vegetables, seafood, fruits, and other ingredients. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Types of Grains

    Whether you’re a restaurant owner or you manage a bakery, you might wish to know more about the different types of grains. The following questions might help you improve your menu.

    What Are the Healthiest Grains?

    Brown rice is considered to be one of the healthiest grains on the market. Buckwheat, barley, oat, and quinoa are also among the healthiest options out there. The right way to a nutrient diet is to eat a variety of foods. So, make sure you implement whole grains into your diet.

    Are There Restaurants That Specialize in Grain Dishes?

    Yes. Just as there are seafood restaurants, there are venues that specialize in offering dishes with different types of grains. At these restaurants, you can taste different types of exotic grains. Furthermore, a grain restaurant’s menu can also give you tasty ideas of how you can prepare more meals with whole grains in your daily life.

    How Do Restaurants Buy Grains?

    Usually, venues use restaurant wholesalers. These suppliers offer a variety of products, including grains. Alternatively, more and more businesses in the food and beverage industry are benefiting from the services of marketplace apps such as BlueCart. With the help of such eCommerce platforms, managers can easily connect their restaurant inventory software and other parts of the restaurant technology ecosystem.

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