Opinion pieces on the foodservice equipment and supplies industry from leaders and laymen from all aspects of the business, including dealers, distributors, design consultants and multi-unit operators.
The National Restaurant Association reported that business was soft in August. Foodservice hiring remained strong last month. McDonald’s makes major changes in their Canadian operations. Dunkin’ Donuts says slowing sales are the result of higher prices that the chain raised in response to increasing minimum wage requirements. These stories and a whole lot more, This Week in Foodservice.
Kurt Fleischfresser started cooking in the cafeteria kitchen of Oklahoma State University while attending college. He went on to become a widely renowned chef and restaurateur for 30 years. His resume reads like a history novel, with years of accolades after first training under fine-dining French master Chef Bernard Cretier at Le Vichyssois outside of Chicago as a young chef, and then working in various restaurants in Scottsdale, Dallas and Oklahoma City. He joined The Coach House in 1987 as head chef, taking ownership of the restaurant in 2004 and continuing its legacy, which will celebrate 30 years next month.
A bout ten years ago our company, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café — a fast-casual concept with 48 locations — began to hire employees with special needs. This came about by pure happenstance. While on vacation, my wife and I met a fantastic educator from our hometown, who is an advocate for those with special needs. This person outlined the potential benefits of hiring someone with a disability to work in our restaurants.
I always love it when we are able to bring you stories of people within the equipment and supplies industry or the wider restaurant community who are finding ways to succeed. While doing well, they are at the same time helping others or doing good. Keith Richards (the other Keith Richards) provides us with a great example in his Parting Shot this month on page 92. Be sure to give it a look.
In the past foodservice consumers understood they might need to trade food quality for speed of service when visiting certain types of restaurants. Thanks to the still burgeoning fast-casual segment, though, today's consumers no longer have to choose between what they perceive as quality and speed of service. They can now have both in a comfortable and flexible environment.
Starbucks attempted to deal with scheduling problems but came up short. New York City tried to rid the city of foam and hard plastic food containers but was shot down in court. Johnny Rockets and the QuikTrip C-store chain have both introduced new concepts. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.
The Federal Reserve surprised many by keeping interest rates near zero. Major chains are under pressure to spin off their real estate holdings but the IRS may intervene. Sysco has a three-year plan that includes focusing sales attention on independent restaurants. Foodservice prices continue to increase faster than overall consumer prices. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.
Restaurant sales remained moderately strong in August. Job openings hit an all-time high in July. Operators are not standing idly by while McDonald’s rolls out its all day breakfast program. Wawa says foodservice was the primary reason for the largest remodeling program in the c-store chain’s history. To escape expensive ground floor rents, New York City restaurants continue to lease upper floors. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.
The Restaurant Performance Index chalked up a solid gain in July and operators continued to invest in equipment. GDP was up 3.7 percent in the second quarter. As the economy improves, operators find the labor market tightening. A study finds independent hamburger restaurants grew faster than the chains. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.
Technology has transformed food safety efforts significantly in recent years. Today, we not only rely on specialized equipment to plant and farm, but we have very specific pieces of equipment that provide food safety reassurance. For example, the online international journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering recently published an article spotlighting engineers at the University of California-Berkeley who have developed a "3D smart-cap". The engineers demonstrated that the device can wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk. What a tremendous impact this cap could have!
Chef Brandon Kida has returned to his hometown to helm the kitchen at the acclaimed Hinoki & the Bird. The restaurant, inconspicuously tucked into Los Angeles' Century City business district, opened in December 2012 as an "imaginative dining concept" by the growing restaurant group Culinary Lab. Raised by his Japanese-American parents in the heart of Los Angeles' Koreatown, Kida is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He's cooked in the kitchens of L'Orangerie in Los Angeles and in New York City, at Lutèce, Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Smörgås Chef Restaurant Group's Blenheim Hill Farm and, most recently, Clement at The Peninsula Hotel.