The humble meatball gets the upscale treatment with this gourmet panini concept from Restaurant Associates, which offers four exotic meatball choices, six toppings and four breads for customers to mix and match.

The meatballs are the star attraction with selections like one combining pork shoulder, prosciutto, hot cherry pepper and cipollini onions. Another has Angus beef, ricotta, parsley and black pepper. Toppings include saffron aioli, olive-caper tapenade and spicy pepper relish while the breads include ciabatta, rosemary focaccia and seminola hero.

The concept is paired with RA’s 1727 Deli Station, where sandwiches retail for $5.75, while Paninoteca selections are $6.25, so they help boost check average while also increasing customer counts. Meanwhile, there is no additional labor due to the 1727 Deli pairing, and the food cost of Paninoteca is a very acceptable 38%.

Project Team:

Bill DeSoto - Executive Chef
Frank Miglino - Director of Operations
Sean Collins - Food Service Director
Matt Pisano - Marketing Manager