There's no doubt that Italian food is popular among consumers, especially as pasta and pizza are some of the nation's favourite dishes. So how about capitalising on this and introducing Italian days or nights - or even weeks! It's Italian National Day on 2 June, so you could tie in a special celebration then.
The good news is that Italian food is easy to prepare. A simple menu is to offer different varieties of pasta and a list of sauces to go with them, then customers can choose the pasta and the sauce. Bar and Restaurant Foods' Classic Selection, offers a wide choice from Creamy Mushroom Sauce, Stilton Cheese Sauce, as well as Alfredo and Napolitana. Or there's the range of Dolmio frozen filled pastas, pasta sauces, frozen pouches and pastes from MasterFoodServices, from which you can create authentic dishes.
And if you want little or no preparation, Jugg Foods, offers dishes such as Tortellini alla Puttanesca combining bacon and sun dried tomato pasta parcels with a spicy tomato sauce.
The new pasta dishes from Billy Boy, are quickly reheated in the microwave or conventional oven. There's Fresh Ravioli filled with porcini mushrooms covered in a mushroom sauce; Penne Pomodoro and Spicy meatballs in a pizzaiola sauce.
Finish off pasta dishes by serving an Italian-style salad such as Tuscan Bean, Mediterranean Potato or Spiced Potato and Pea, all by Napolina. Or use their Pizzeria bases and toppings.
Add pizzazz to the Italian menu with Mediterranean style dishes like Tomato and Herb Pork Escalopes, or Red Wine and Herb Turkey Fillets, both from Plusfood's Fribo range, which can be cooked in a few minutes by deep frying, shallow frying or oven baking.
Parma ham is classic Italian produce. Recipe ideas are available from the Parma Ham Information Bureau.
Customers will expect luscious Italian desserts such as cheesecake, but you don't have to spend ages in the kitchen making one. Brake Bros, offers a wide selection such as Banana and Amaretti Freezer Cheesecake and Passionfruit Freezercake. Ice cream is also very traditional so serve Carte d'Or ice cream, from Wall's in flavours such as Vanilla Toffee Crunch and Vanilla Chocolate Cookies Ice Cream or a Pineapple Sorbet.
Serve traditional Italian drinks with the meal such as Castello Italian beer, Peroni beers, and San Pelegrino mineral water. Or there's Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the UK's leading Italian imported beer.
The Rombouts Individual Filter Coffees, give you the option of serving Italian style coffee alongside traditional filters one cup at a time. The new Italian Style Filters are made from specially roasted ground Continental beans and come complete with Italian style filters and lids in red and green.
Aa Italian style buffet is a great idea for a theme evening. Serve food in the Italian Style Buffet collection from F.Trauffler, which includes everything you need from oval platters to large salad bowls.
If you're planning an Italian take-away evening, Linpac, can supply hinged lid containers for Marini's restaurant chain, each of which features a design using the three colours of the Italian flag.
Tables should be bright and colourful - check out designs from Decor Style, and Duni.
Here are some ideas from Brakes: make up some Italian flags and using crepe paper, create some chains and garlands. Why not turn the servery into a gondola?
To create a real Italian atmosphere, how about Luciano Pavorotti or the Three Tenors? Contact the sales development department of the Performing Rights Society.