Month: November 2015

Forbes has a list of what they consider to be the ten most significant food trends of the past year. Number one on the list, of course, is all-day breakfast. Restaurants across the spectrum of price point and service level have all been making breakfast a more prominent feature on their menus, from McDonald’s introduction of all-day McMuffins to the explosion of bottomless brunch at higher-end places.

Another one of the trends highlighted by Forbes is, unsurprisingly, fried chicken. The frenzied excitement that greeted David Chang’s fried chicken concept and Danny Meyer’s introduction of a Shake Shack chicken sandwich shows that Americans’ appetite for fried fowl is bottomless right now.

Two more surprising dishes on the Forbes list are Poke and Shakshuka. While these dishes may not have the same name recognition or popularity ad some other more established culinary trends, they continue to increase in popularity as time goes on. Poke is the latest of the raw fish preparations to take America by storm in the wake of sushi and ceviche. Shakshuka is a braised egg dish from the Middle East that is winning over hearts on food blogs everywhere.

Which of these trends do you think are here to stay, and which will fizzle out by this time next year?

Read the full article here: Top 10 Food and Restaurant Trends of 2015

Commentary

Although Americans’ changing shopping habits have made many restaurant chains leery of investing in food court locations. Nick Crosson of the Raleigh-Durham based food truck Porchetta is more optimistic about the future of food court dining. Crosson recently signed a 10 year lease at a Raleigh mall to give his roast pork concept its first permanent location. Setting up in a food court can be a good business move for food trucks because it increases brand visibility and can improve financial returns for a successful brand.

Read the full article here: Courting the Food Truck

News

Alex Guarnaschelli is a familiar face to anyone who has watched the Food Network in the last few years. The Iron Chef and Chopped judge spoke to Restaurant Hospitality about the 5 things she needs to have in her kitchen at all times. Chef Alex loves the temperature control of her immersion circulator, and can’t spend a day in the kitchen without quaffing club soda and bitters. She also never lets a day go by without leafing through the 1997 edition of the Joy of Cooking, which her mother edited.

Read the full article here: Alex Guarnaschelli: 5 Things I Can’t Live Without

News

After decades of being demonized for its purported negative health effects, butter is coming back into Americans’ good graces. According to the American Butter Institute, consumption of butter has increased 25 percent over the last ten years and is at its highest level since the 70s. Butter’s resurgence has been aided by the reappraisal of the importance of fat in a balanced diet and the recent research about the harmful benefits of the trans fats used in many butter substitutes.

Butter has been showing up prominently in all kinds of American chain restaurants recently. Jack in the Box scored a major hit with their introduction of the Classic Buttery Jack Burger, which incorporates a garlic-herb compound butter similar to the ones found at fancy steakhouses. Bonefish Grill dresses up their Swordfish and Pumpkin Ravioli with a truffle-flavored compound butter. Even McDonald’s is jumping on the butter bandwagon. The chain announced that they would switch to using real butter on their McMuffins as part of their all-day breakfast rollout in September.

Read the full article here: Butter Reasserts Role in Sweet and Savory Dishes

Commentary

All restaurant owners want their business to be profitable and successful, but some want more than that. Ambitious operators dream of turning their restaurants into multi-location empires with many employees and high brand recognition. Fast Casual has a list that breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of expanding your restaurant business beyond just one location. The article covers topics like expenses, economies of scale, supply chain issues, and more.

Read the full article here: 5 Pros and Cons of Scaling Your restaurant Business

News

Every bartender has had to deal with customers ordering a crazy drink or two, but this roundup from Shiftgig might take the cake! How does a pitcher half filled with beer and half with gin sound to you? What about a mixture of beer, cola, and Frangelico? If a customer ordered called a bionic beaver, what would you put in it? The article has seven other crazy drink orders, as well as a recipe for a wacky beer cocktail that actually tastes good.

Read the full article here: Bartenders Confess: Customers’ Crazy Drink Requests

News

After the release of the first iPad in 2010, excitement about this new technological development reached a fever pitch. Some restaurants were eager to take advantage of consumer interest in tablets by incorporating them into their in-restaurant ordering process. Customers could browse the menu and order via tablet, and even play a limited selection of games while they waited for their food to be ready. In-restaurant tablets seemed perfect for games-focused establishments like family-friendly restaurants and sports bars. Most crucially, in-restaurant tablets offered an alternative way for customers to pay that sped up table turnaround time.

Despite these advantages, in-restaurant tablets may soon become an endangered species. Instant payment, which was the main functional advantage of tablet technology, can now be handled by mobile apps on customers’ own smartphones. With mobile payment technology, customers can browse a restaurant’s menu and send payments directly to a central point-of-service terminal without the need for table-side tablets. While tablet technology seemed promising at first, it may turn out to be just another fad.

Read the full article here: Will Mobile Cause Tablet Ordering to Go the Way of the Dinosaur?

News

Taco Bell’s original location, a one-story hole in the wall with a walk-up window opened by Glen Bell in 1962, is going on a journey soon. The building, which the company has dubbed “Numero Uno,” was scheduled to be demolished by the city of Downey, California. Even though Numero Uno hasn’t operated as a Taco Bell since 1986, the company decided it was too important to go to the wrecking ball. Instead, Taco bell will lift the 400 square foot building off of its foundation and truck it 45 miles to the company’s headquarters in Irvine.

Read the full article here: Taco Bell to Save Original Restaurant from Wrecking Ball

News

How do you usually decorate your business for the holidays? Christmas trees, wreaths, and tinsel may seem like the obvious choices, but going the traditional route might not be the best option. Try going with a rustic feel by replacing floral table displays with arranged twigs, holly, and spruce branches. The holidays are all about warm feelings, so creating warm lighting displays with orange-toned candles and dim incandescent bulbs is a great way to cozy up your space for winter.

Read the full article here: How to Dress Your Hospitality Venue for Christmas

News

We are truly in the midst of a renaissance of American food culture today. Consumers are more educated, enthusiastic, and passionate about the food they eat, and have an appetite for new information and experiences in the food world. American media devotes more and more ink to all things comestible, and food is a fun and engaging topic of conversation.

The Hartman Group has released a deep-dive report on the current state of American food culture that explores how American appetites have shifted in the last few years. While the report is vast and thorough, there are five key findings from it that exemplify the recent changes in American food culture it explores.

It should be noted that there are different types of consumer. Not everyone has followed the American food revolution. For people who have followed the trend and become more engaged with food, desire for variety has changed the way they cook and where they choose to eat out. The schedule of mealtimes has also drifted to accommodate modern work schedules. Finally, the meaning of “fresh,” always variable, has now drifted to connotating a level of transparency bout ingredient sourcing.

Read the full article here: Food Culture Today: New Appetites, New Routines

Commentary