Homemade Solutions for Time-Starved Families

Man picking up to-go food from TooJay's

What’s the last thing most on-the-go Floridians want to do after a long day of work? For many of us, it’s cooking a made-from-scratch meal, complete with washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. That’s why more people than ever before are searching for fresh, grab-and-go breakfast, lunch and dinner options. They want high-quality meals, enjoyed at home, that fit into their time-crunched lifestyles without sacrificing health and flavor.

According to a survey of nearly a thousand Working Mother readers, 55 percent of respondents agree that convenience foods help them juggle work and family responsibilities.

That’s where TooJay’s Deli comes in, with its focus on being the best restaurant for families.  There’s a reason the restaurant brand has won Best Deli and Best Take-Out from the Orlando Sentinel, Best Sandwich Shop and Best Dessert from The Palm Beach Post and other prestigious awards! 

In addition to in-restaurant dining, all 30 TooJay’s throughout Florida also feature a take-out deli where piled-high meats, homemade salads and side dishes are served every day. There are sliced-to-order deli meats like brisket, pastrami, corned beef, roast beef and turkey breast, freshly baked rye bread, as well as homemade soups, tuna, dill chicken and egg salads.  For traditional deli lovers, the deli always features bagels and lox, knishes, matzoh ball soup and other favorites. What’s more, anything on TooJay’s dine-in menu is available for take-out. 

Need to dash in and out? Here’s what to do. Order in advance by calling your local TooJay’s or place an order online or through the Delicious Rewards app, available for Apple and Android smartphones.

TooJay’s knows that one size does not fit all when it comes to balancing convenience, nutrition and taste, so its menu offers a wide array of take-out and dine-in choices. For time-starved families, TooJay’s deli counter is a great place to start.

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TooJay’s Deli CEO talks future expansion

Originally reported By Matthew Arrojas  – Reporter, South Florida Business Journal on Jul 1, 2019, 1:54pm EDT

A new TooJay’s Deli is slated to open July 9 in Dania Beach, which would mark the West Palm Beach-based chain’s 30th Florida location and sixth in Broward County.

TooJay’s will hire 60 to 70 employees to staff the 5,000-square-foot eatery, expected to open this summer at 131 S. Compass Way at the Dania Pointe shopping mall. The 183-seat restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

But the deli’s CEO and president Maxwell Piet has grand plans for the chain beyond this upcoming location. While these plans start local, Piet told the Business Journal that he hopes to grow the brand nationally with over 200 future locations from its current 29 outposts.

Founded in 1981 in Palm Beach, TooJay’s has extended throughout the state to cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa. However, there are still markets in Florida that Piet hopes to penetrate, like Jacksonville.

He said the goal is to have around 45 Florida locations before going national. Right now, the focus is on renovating all existing locations before spreading more across the state. Once he hits the 45-restaurant goal, Piet said the brand would be stable enough to support national expansion.

And through it all, TooJay’s will stay company-owned.

Piet said there are no plans to franchise the TooJay’s Deli brand. He worries that franchising would lead to complications, as the brand succeeds with certain demographics and in certain locations, and leaving these decisions to franchisees could be problematic. The deli does best with seniors and families, so he needs to be sure every location targets those demographics, he said.

Additionally, the fact that most TooJay’s have attached bakeries could add further complications to franchising.

TooJay’s recently experimented with smaller restaurants with its Naples location. Downsizing the typical store could open up more real estate opportunities, leading to faster expansion, Piet said. Most TooJay’s locations are 5,000 square feet, but the Naples eatery is about 3,500 square feet. It has continued to do well, despite the smaller size, he said.

All TooJay’s locations will be remodeled in the coming months. After all remodels are complete, then the chain will turn its focus on expanding once again.

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Come to Your Senses and Enjoy Dessert

Imagine a birthday, anniversary, wedding, holiday or other happy occasion without a beautiful cake as its centerpiece. Singing Happy Birthday without a cake is as unthinkable as a wedding toast without champagne! 

Key Lime Pie

Simply put, desserts make people happy. That’s why TooJay’s welcomes guests to its restaurants with a friendly hello and a display of its famous selection of freshly baked cakes, pastries and cookies, guaranteed to get a smile every time.  

What is it about desserts that makes people happy even before they’ve taken their first bite? It’s the way these irresistible creations appeal to our senses, starting with the perfect combination of color and texture. 

While our reactions may be subjective, colors are associated with eliciting specific emotions. According to the psychology of color, white, for example, usually suggests purity, while red conjures up feelings of love, pink elicits kindness, yellow suggests warmth and brown suggests strength. For the pastry chef, colors add contrast and interest to creative presentations and, combined with complimentary textures, prime our palate for an irresistible sensory experience.

Once we’ve taken our first bite, flavor comes to the fore. Is the primary flavor bold, unmistakable and perfectly balanced with other elements? For example, is the Killer Cake unquestionably a chocolate lover’s dream-come-true? Does the key lime pie present the perfect blend of tart and creamy? Primary flavors create a delicious experience and a lasting impression when they come through loud and clear. 

As we consider TooJay’s array of elegant desserts with their enticing combinations of color, texture and flavor, the question becomes which one complements our meal best of all.  All the sensory notes should be in harmony and enhance our experience in the same way as the right bottle of wine. Knowing what guests have ordered up to that point, servers can be instrumental in helping them choose the ideal finale to a perfect meal. 

Finally, there’s the WOW factor, because beautiful desserts are works of art. They’re guaranteed to grab your attention at TooJay’s and you’re sure to be saying WOW!  

If you’ve ever been there, you know what I mean.

Irresistible? You bet! It’s no wonder that guests are happy and dessert sales are humming at TooJay’s, where our senses tell us it’s time to enjoy dessert.

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America’s Love Affair with Burgers

What can you say when you hear that Americans ate 50 billion burgers last year? “Wow! Americans really love burgers!” is the only reply that comes to mind. 

There are various historical explanations of how hamburgers came to be so popular, some more plausible than others. What we do know is that America’s favorite sandwich has been evolving for hundreds of years and reached its prime in the mid-20th Century with the growth of the middle class. Its simplicity — a meat patty in a roll with basic condiments – explains the hamburger’s enduring popularity among all but vegetarians. Burgers are as American as Mom and apple pie.  

America’s obsession with hamburgers has spread around the world, much like its passion for blue jeans did several decades ago. Reasonably priced and easy to eat, hamburgers are gobbled up everywhere, in countries rich and poor. There is actually a Big Mac Index used by global financial analysts to compare the value of international currencies! 

It’s easy to understand why people love hamburgers, especially when they’re made with top-quality meat and served on a great bun with fresh onions, lettuce, sliced pickles, tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, cheese, bacon, avocado, artisanal mustard… the choices for making a burger all your own are endless and easy. TooJay’s calls it simply great food!

Burger choices are always interesting at TooJay’s, partly thanks to creative summer LTO burger specials, available through the end of July. Guests are invited to enjoy variations of America’s favorite sandwich such as the Blackened Everything Burger (blackened sirloin topped with chive, caper and everything-spiced cream cheese, balsamic caramelized red onions, arugula and thinly sliced dill pickles), the Hangover Burger with a fried egg on top, the Avocado Burger (Freshly sliced avocado, melted Swiss cheese, arugula and lemon garlic aioli) and the Latke Sliders, which combine our famous potato pancakes with the iconic burger. 

Timeless guest favorites like the ultimate Pastrami Burger (juicy sirloin rolled in our pastrami rub and topped with tender pastrami, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese and chipotle mayonnaise) are always on the menu, because Americans love their burgers!

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Fort Lauderdale TooJay’s WOWS Rick Karlin, reviewer for SFGN

“Desserts are a big attraction. The rugelach are better than Grandma used to make, and the Killer Cake” click here to read full article

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“Ask and ye shall receive: Tapping into the game-changing power of ALL employees’ ideas” from Pizza Marketplace

“Max Piet, the president and CEO of Florida-based deli chain, TooJay’s Deli and Restaurant, partnered with the brand’s Training Director Rachel Richal … click here to read more

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Florida Weekly reviews Naples TooJay’s

“…I made note of the rugelach, the layer cakes and the decadent looking cheesecake then proceeded into the cozy dining room….click here to read more!”

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TooJay’s Pastrami Burger Top Pick in 2019 Best of Flavor

TooJay's Pastrami Burger

“Two years ago, a limited-time offering called the Pastrami Burger, released as part of the celebration, was so successful…” click here to read more

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The History of Bagels and Lox

Table with assortment of bagels

Like pasta, guacamole and other menu favorites with immigrant origins, bagels with cream cheese and lox have become part of American culinary culture. Although bagels and lox have Jewish roots, it’s no longer unusual to see red and green bagels for Christmas and green ones on St. Patrick’s Day!

No one knows for sure who created the winning trifecta of a bagel, cream cheese, and lox, but we know the components came to America with Eastern European Jews in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The connection is apparent in the Yiddish word laks which means salmon, the Polish word bajgiel and the luscious layer of cream cheese known as a schmear. Bagels are distinguished from other rolls by their ring shape and the process of boiling them in water before baking them, resulting in a crisp exterior and chewy inside.

Beyond its Jewish-American connection, the history of lox also has strong links to Scandinavia, where, in the days before refrigeration, fishermen mastered the art of preserving salmon in a saltwater brine. Today the Scandinavian version is called gravlax. Scotts, on the other hand, are known for their distinctly smoked version, simply called Scottish salmon. No matter what it’s called, traditional lox is thinly sliced salmon fillet cured in a salty brine.

That’s not the end of the story. Because lox cured in salty brine has a strong, salty taste, today it is usually cured with a lighter salt and then smoked, creating the milder “Nova” that’s so popular in New York-style delis like TooJay’s.

With its silky texture and pleasing flavor, Nova salmon is a versatile addition to many delicious dishes, such as TooJay’s popular Nova Latkes starter, a plate of three crispy mini potato pancakes topped with sliced Nova and sour cream and finished with arugula, diced red onion and capers.

For breakfast and brunch, TooJay’s Nova Salmon Benedict puts a flavorful spin on a classic, combining the flavors of Nova salmon, tomato, red onions and capers, topped with hollandaise sauce. If you prefer a more traditional breakfast, there’s the always popular Nova, Eggs & Onions Omelet. For catering at home or in the office, TooJay’s Nova platters with all the fixings and a selection of bagels is a crowd-pleasing top-seller.

And now a nondenominational joke to conclude the story of bagels:

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a religious school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large tray of bagels. The teacher posted a sign on the bagel tray: “Take only one. God is watching.”

Further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a plate of chocolate chip cookies. One child whispered to another, “Take all you want. God is watching the bagels.”

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Dinner Solutions for Time-Starved Families

TooJay's Kids Meal

Once upon a time, families came home from school and work to find the table set and dinner ready. Today, that scenario is a distant memory for most busy families. With two-income families working long hours and children busy with after-school activities, it’s no wonder that most Americans order some sort of takeout once a week or more, according to industry research. Time-starved guests of all ages are looking for convenient ways to ease the stress of mealtime.

Millennials, about 80 million strong and the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, have had a lot to say about how to win the hearts of young families. About half of these 20- and 30-somethings already are parents, according to demographic research. What’s most important to these parents when choosing a casual dining restaurant? It needs to be kid-friendly, offer healthy options on the kid’s menu and make takeout easy and convenient.  

Online Ordering Made Easy

TooJay’s is on it! You can view our menu and place an order for convenient pickup on our website or mobile app for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Most locations also partner with a delivery service and the links can be found right on the website. Be sure to join the “Delicious Rewards” program on TooJay’s mobile app, available for iOS and Android. You’ll get a free dessert for signing up and then you can seamlessly order, earn and redeem points right inside the app.

Kid’s Menu and Family Appeal

TooJay’s menu selection can’t be beat, with lots of items to make both kids and parents happy. For the under-12 crowd, our Kid’s Menu offers Chicken Salad Chop Chop atop fresh greens and garden vegetables, a Jr. Tuna Melt with tomato and melted Muenster, as well as hamburgers, mac & cheese and other kid favorites. All lunch and dinner selections come with a choice of two sides, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The kid’s breakfast menu, served Monday – Friday from 8:00 until 11:00 a.m., offers healthy options to start the day, such as French toast, eggs, waffles and fresh fruits.
It’s hard to imagine anyone in the family not finding something they love on our menu! When it comes to homemade comfort food, made-from-scratch soups, salads, deli favorites and desserts, TooJay’s as it all. Start with our healthy Tomato Cucumber Salad or opt for our hearty, award-winning Nova Latkes mini potato pancakes. Our soups are second-to-none, whether you crave traditional matzoh ball soup or the soup of the day. Our Strawberry Citrus Salad is always a favorite, as is our Trio Salad Plater. We have classic American burgers, the unique Pastrami Burger, a variety of chicken dishes and choices to delight everyone in the family, no matter what they’re in the mood to eat.
If there’s room for dessert, you can opt for a little bite of something sweet with our Mini Black & White cookies or go all the way with a sumptuous cake from our famous bakery.
With convenient on-line ordering for pickup and a menu that makes both kids and parents happy, TooJay’s is making life easier for hard-working families throughout Florida.

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