JetBlue Airways builds Farm at JFK International Airport

e190JetBlue Airways is building a farm at John F. Kennedy International Airport as a result of a multi-year effort between GrowNYC, a non-profit environmental group. The efforts to build a 24,000 square foot farm outside Terminal 5 is primarily intended to create a more organic landscape and to be used as an educational tool to teach people about farming. JetBlue hopes to invite local students and airline customers to learn about agricultural growth. Moreover, for their food menu to be more transparent for customers.

Restaurants within JetBlue’s terminals will have access to use herbs and produce harvested from the new farm. JetBlue is, also, planning to produce their signature blue Terra Chips from the Adirondack blue potatoes grown at JFK.

The farm will grow chives, basil, carrots, mints, arugala and potatoes. Because of safety issues, produce that attract birds and animals will not be harvested- grains, seeds, berries and tomatoes. The farm is expected to yield over 1,000 pounds of potatoes every four to six months.

The new development for JetBlue creates bigger impact on global awareness in the agricultural, organic industry and potentially builds better brand equity.

To read more, click here.

Q & A with Andrew Rigie, Hospitality Alliance

unnamedExecutive Director of Hospitality Alliance, Andrew Rigie, explains his insights into the hospitality industry in new York City from the creation of The Alliance to the front line of regulatory reform.

What led to the creation of the Hospitality Alliance?

The vast size and scope of the New York City hospitality industry is larger than many states with more than 24,000 eating and drinking establishments. In essence, the hospitality sector is a vital source of economic growth and social landscape for NYC. The creation of the Hospitality Alliance is necessary as it is an independent organization represents the industry’s interests to government and the media.

In just three years, since the launch of the Alliance, this marketplace has really changed. How have the needs of this group changed?

The hospitality industry is always changing, but business owners still face old and some new problems. Over the past three years, the need for education on labor law compliance, food safety, and how technology and real estate are affecting the industry is prominent. Hospitality Alliance hosts seminars and conferences to provide information business owners need to know and create forums to facilitate current trends and issues. Different perspectives can be introduced and elevates the industry through these events.

Rigie continues to discuss his perspective on the current trends and issues of the industry

How is the Hospitality Alliance dealing with the October 1 EMV chip technology regulation?

The biggest concern for many businesses is that they are not familiar with EMV and the new liability regulations. Many small business-owners are now liable. Members are recommended to comply and speak with their POS and merchant providers, and lawyers to better understand options regarding this new regulation

How do you assess the future and the growth of the restaurant industry?

The restaurant industry has now become a driving force for many other industries and for consumers. While food and beverage was always labeled as an amenities in hotels and office buildings, both tourists, and locals are now demanding and searching for better food accommodations. The hospitality industry is evolving and is becoming a positive effect on both economic and social development.

To read more on this Q&A, click here.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea acquires Stumptown Coffee

imgresMany specialty coffee companies have been growing and playing major effect on the coffee industry. Key players in the industry include La Colombe and Blue Bottle. However, with the recent acquisition by Peet’s Coffee & Tea, this Berkeley-based company is hitting major headlines and expanding beyond their existing sites.

Duane Sorenson founded Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland in 1999. It currently has ten stores across America. With the recent acquisition of Stumptown by Peet’s, continue growth is forecasted. Stumptown will be preserved in that they will be operated independently, but will  benefit from Peet’s resources and funds. President at Stumptown, Joth Ricci said “As we look to share Stumptown with even more coffee lovers, Peet’s, the original coffee company, has the expertise and capabilities to help us to continue to grow.”

To read more, click here.

Cage-Free Eggs at Starbucks

UnknownStarbucks has announced their “Animal Welfare-Friendly Practices” plan where they will source food items that are from animal protected welfare companies. The Human Society immediately praised Starbucks on their new program as “the most comprehensive animal welfare policy of any national restaurant chain.” Starbucks’ largest action within the program is to source more humanely raised eggs. However, Starbucks predicts their company change in all locations in North America will take five years max.

Starbucks has been making efforts to make the witch since 2008. They have released that they have made “significant progress” with farmers, enough to pledge to be entirely cage-free by 2020. Not only did Starbucks pledge to source eggs from cage-free hens, they have announce plans to phase out gestation crates for pigs, eliminate growth hormones and end other inhumane farming practices.

While Starbucks’ shift is commendable for advocates in animal-welfare, some worry that there will be a shortage of eggs. Like Starbucks, other restaurant chains are shifting to sourcing materials from Animal Welfare farmers. McDonalds has been working on their switch since 2010, and are now committed to going cage-free. U.S. supplies, however, just revived from the worst-ever bird flu epidemic.

Many companies are creating shifts to animal welfare policies, and creating more demand for organic, humane sources.

To read more, click here.

Taco Bell Hops onto the Veggie Trend

taco-bell-veggie.0.0The world-wide shift to vegetarian based, and overall healthier foods has become apparent in the food industry. Taco Bell, a Mexican-food chain, is the first major fas-food company to offer a certified-vegetarian menu. The American Vegetarian Association confirmed menu items to be meat-free. Taco Bell will offer 13 different items including the Cantina Power Veggie Bowl, and the Seven-layer Burrito.

Customers can view the vegetarian categories through the company’s website and the mobile-ordering application. However, while this category may seem new to consumers, CEO Brian Niccol regards this “shift” as something that has already been implemented in Taco Bell’s menus as they already sell 350 million vegetarian menu items a year. However, now they just make it more apparent and clearer as a vegetarian option.

Vegetarians will be able to combine 35 certified-vegetarian ingredients to create different vegetarian combinations. There will also be an option to substitute beans for meat. This array of options will ideally appeal to a bigger market for Taco Bell- vegetarians. Moreover, Taco Bell has also announced that along with the vegetarian option they do have 26 items that are certified-vegan ingredients that vegans can combine as their own meal.

With many fast-food chains restaurants becoming less appealing to consumers, Taco Bell’s efforts to shift their brand image and appeal to a healthier menu choice can potentially create customers in more markets like vegetarian and vegan.

To read more, click here.

Square reveals Generalized Data on Both Consumer and Operational Trends in U.S.

3CoffeeData_16_How-Much-is-a-Cup-of-Coffee-_680_72ppiIn honor of National Coffee Day, Square released generalized data related to both consumer trends and operational strategies among thousands of U.S. cafes. Square is a popular point-of-sale systems and analytics provider. The report released by Square is broken down into four main topics- Most popular coffee drinks across the country, customers’ average tipping percentage by state, average coffee drink costs broken down by U.S. region, and peak times on weekends vs. weekdays.

The most popular coffee drink in U.S. cafés is hot coffee. Majority of U.S. consumers order hot coffee at just over 51%. However, it is reported that iced coffee comes is a mere 2% which is less than chai or hot chocolate. This can reflect the lack of differentiation in the menu as reflected through POS systems, or that Americans are straying away from cold coffee.

Through data analysis on tipping per state, it is reported that North Dakota has the biggest tips. In general, it appears that consumers in the South, the Southwest, the Rockies and the Midwest are more generous with their tips, whereas consumers in much of the Northeast have proven to be the stingiest. New Hampshire consumers placed last in the Union, while Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont were close runner-ups.

The average drink costs by U.S. Region can be determined through the reports released by Square. Every region has difference in prices, widely affected by the demands of the consumer. While the Mid Atlantic has the highest average cost out of all the regions in terms of their Americano, the price of their Mocha is significantly less than other regions. This can be the effects of less demand of Mocha. Moreover, the Pacific Coast has one of the higher average coasts for Chai, while their Americanos are cheaper than other regions due to the trends of Chai in the Pacific region.

Lastly, peak times on weekends and weekdays can be observed. 8:30 AM is the peak on weekdays while 9:45 is the peak on weekends. Moreover it has been noted that a number of cafés are opening around 4:30 AM on weekdays. Square also notes that tea sales increase by an average of 45 percent after noon.

To read more, click here.

Shake Shack’s Newest Burger

Pickled-Jalapeno-Burger-540x540Shake Shack had just released their Chicken Sandwiches this past summer adding a new item on their menu. Now, Dupont Circle Shake Shack is dedicating a special burger to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Every Day with Rachael Ray, the Pickled Jalapeño Burger. Shake Shack is incorporating Rachael’s favorite flavors like picked jalapeños. The tribute Pickled Jalapeño Burger ($6.19) is a cheeseburger topped with crispy marinated shallots, Gordy’s Thai basil pickled jalapeños and Sriracha sauce. The burger was created by Shake Shack, Culinary Director Mark Rosati, Rachael Ray, and nine other chefs.

Shake Shack has also released their recipe for the Pickled Jalapeño Burger in the 10th Anniversary issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray ( November 2015 edition). The burger will be available at the Dupont Circle Shack in Washington, DC form Tuesday 10/13 through Sunday, 10/18 only.

To read more, click here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 636 other followers