Pomme Frites asks for Help

PommesFritesThe beloved belgium fries shop Pomme Frites is getting ready to reopen in its new location on MacDougal St. Pomme Frites was a victim of the 2nd Avenue fire this past March. While this fry shop was a legendary fries shop in the St. Marks area, fry lovers are anticipating the shop’s return. In attempts to quickly reopen the shop, the owners Omer Shorshi and Suzanne Levinson are asking for donations to help buy fryers, fridges and appliances needed to make their famous fries and sauces. While the original location was insured, the equipment is dated from 1996 when the store first opened that claims won’t be enough to cover new appliance costs and legal claims are a slow process.

Pomme Frites are estimating a goal of $64,000 in equipment funds. A total of 180 people have donated so far at an average of $10 which is slightly 10 percent of the full goal. Pomme Frites is giving vouchers to those that donate for an order of fries with three toppings, something that would sell for $9 at the old shop, so it essentially allows people to pre-pay their first order of fries. Shorshi and Levinson are hoping to reopen the shop by October and are constantly asking for their beloved followers to donate.

To read more on Pomme Frites, click here

Card Processing To See Major Change

In October, the credit card processing industry is going implement a major change that affects every point of sale: the introduction of EMV chip payments.  EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, is a technology that is widely relied upon elsewhere in the world–Canada, Europe, Asia–but has yet to be mandated in the States.  Now, the credit industry is being required to roll out the technology domestically to help counteract fraudulent charges.

EMV cards work by storing data on integrated chips rather that magnetic strips.  When the card is charged, the buyer must also provide a pin number at the point of sale in order to authorize payment.  Now, the card companies are moving the liability of fraudulent charges to the business owner that does not accept EMV cards.  For small businesses, this means you should begin the following five steps to start preparing for compliance:

1. Assess Your Current POS System: your point of sale terminal may require new hardware and software in order to process the transaction.  Confirm with you POS provider or the bank with which your run your business for more information.

2. Speak With Your Credit Card Processor: in addition to the point of sale, you should ensure that the processing is uninterrupted by the new method.  Check in with your card processor to confirm compatibility.

3. Reevaluate Your Point of Sale: given the massive changes this and similar new technologies–like Apple Pay–cause, now might be a good time to upgrade or swap your system.  This is a perfect opportunity to justify a change to a new system.

4. Keep Security in Mind: EMV is a more secure technology than magnetic stripes, but it’s not perfect.  Furthermore, not everyone will immediately have new EMV cards come October.  Thus, it is as important as ever to be aware of and ready for possible security issues.  Ask your card provider to run an analysis on your system to find any information leaks.

5. Educate and Train your Employees: As cashiers, your team will be responsible for helping guests check out with the new technology.  Be sure to explain the new cards and train them on the new process–they should no longer be handling guests cards, and that’s a major change!

To read more, click here.

Retail Spotlight: The Butcher’s Daughter

Dietary patterns of photo8people in these past few years have changed drastically where more are searching for fresh vegetables and fruits rather than tender meats. “The Butcher’s Daughter” a trendy juice bar, and cafe is gaining a lot of spotlight on being a leader in this revolution towards greens. The Butcher’s Daughter, located on the corner of Elizabeth st. and Kenmare St., takes pride in being “the vegetable slaughter house: treat vegetables and fruits as a butcher would to meat.” Their menu is 100% vegetarian and non-dairy and is mostly vegan and gluten-free. The menu changes daily and incorporates seasonal ingredients. The crowd favorite at The Butcher’s Daughter is the avocado toast with mustard seeds but their array of sandwiches and salads still attract a large pool of consumers. The cafe also caters towards juicers with their long list of drinks- juices, smoothies, and exilir shots. While the cafe stands at 900 sq ft. with an open kitchen, a 35-seat capability indoors and 30-seat outdoors, there are enough employees to offer great service despite the cafe being busy.

The Butcher’s Daughter’s unique theme as a “butchery” continues throughout not only their menu but in the design of the cafe. While its common for restaurants to brand their name and logos across their merchandise and store to build brand recognition, The Butcher’s Daughter successfully markets their brand without overly stamping their name. Instead they reinforce their theme of being a butcher for vegetables with industrial decor, concrete floors, and meat hooks against earthy materials like wood, brick and greenery. Their sandwiches are served on wooden cutting board while their drinks are served in mason jars. The employees can be seen wearing The Butcher’s Daughter t-shirts that have different quirky messages e.g. “We Sell Designer Kale” at the front and their logo on the back of the shirt. These shirts are also available for customers after writing a review on yelp, which ultimately drives social media and brand marketing through customers and with customer satisfaction through incentives. The Butcher’s daughter continues their earthy charms with details in their light fixtures, menu boards, receipt cups, and their table setting.

The Butcher’s Daughter successfully creates a thematic cafe that revolves around their menu and that blends with its neighborhood location. The Butcher’s Daughter sits at the south east side of NoLIta. NoLIta was once part of Little Italy but since 1990s an influx of expensive retail boutiques and trendy restaurants and bars have outsourced the Italian residences. Residents in the NoLIta area are demographically younger and popular in the arts. Trendy competitors around The Butcher’s Daughter in NoLIta include Sweetgreen, and Juice Press. These attractive restaurants in NoLIta follow a common trend vegetable and fruit based products. While The Butcher’s Daughter caters towards the same market they have become a strong competitor in NoLIta because of their delivery in creating a distinct theme across their menu, service and design.

Enterprise Insight: Managing the Design and Construction Process

There is an enormous amount of work required in getting a foodservice enterprise open. A big part of that journey is the design and construction phase, and it is very easy to lose a lot of time and money on these processes. This month, we are going to discuss three items that can help alleviate some headache and heartache with design and construction:

  1. Know What You Want
  2. Do Your Due Diligence
  3. Constantly Reevaluate The Project

Know What You Want

Before signing with an architect, designer, or even a lease, it is important to have an idea in mind of the flow, service format, fixtures, finishes, and overall aesthetics. Bringing this collection of details to your architect and designer will help communicate to them what you’re looking for—and save a lot of dialogue and time. The closer to your own personal vision you can start the design team off with, the closer to it you will finish.

This can be as simple as a Pinterest board, or as in-depth as exact product samples; sketches on tracing paper or CAD drawings.  Whatever you’re capable of, do it and be prepared to explain what you’re looking for.

Do Your Due Diligence

Before singing a lease, bring your architect to the prospective spaces to poke, prod, and push around the site conditions. When bidding out the job, compile all of the RFI’s and ensure that the entire scope is accounted for in the bid set. Confirm with your architect of record that your space is properly equipped to handle your intended use, and if it’s not, what will the costs be.

In markets like New York, where operators are rarely going into new construction, field conditions can cause change orders that easily increase costs by 25% or more

Constantly Reevaluate The Project

You should reevaluate the project in both financial and emotional terms throughout the process. In 1995, Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian C. MacMillan developed a planning technique called “Discovery-Driven Planning.” In it, the authors laid out an approach involving five elements, with the chief one being, essentially, “what must prove true for this to work?”

Ask yourself this question throughout the design and due diligence process to ensure you’re still on target. If, for example, due diligence reveals that the space requires extensive foundation repairs that massively changes the budget, then the operator should pause and determine whether the future success of the business is enough to justify the cost.

Made in China

Imported-Wine-in-ChinaChina is infamous as a leader in mass production- “they can reproduce Western manufacturing or technology overnight, but they lack prestige to replicate European artisan culinary delicacies.” China, recently, is successfully producing wine in their growing boutique wine market that has debunked its conventional stereotype. European countries like France and Italy have a long history and generations of producing wines in their vineyards while China has never been recognized for their wine. However, the Chinese have reoriented their wines to reciprocate the production methods held in Europe to produce their own wine in their vineyards and it has successfully entered the industry. The Cabernet blend Jia Bei Lan became the first Chinese wine to take the prestigious international trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2011. Chinese wine has grown in clientele across elites in China, but still face a challenge in convincing consumers to give Chinese products a chance. Because of China’s reputation of mass production elitists and wine enthusiasts label Chinese wine to be foul. Moreover, the idea of wine based from vineyards is a new concept to the Chinese culture. For 4,000 years the Chinese have preferred grain-based wine rather than grape wine. Along with productions of boutique wineries in China, China has also been influencing the shifts of the luxury ends of the market as China’s elitists are increasingly showing interest into the wine market.

To read more on China’s influence in the wine market, click here

Whole Foods, Whole Paycheck

Whole Foods is a leading grocery market in New York City that is imagesnotorious for its high prices. While many consumers thought the produce was pricey because it was really healthy or organic, in actuality, after investigation from the Department of Consumer Affairs, it has been noted that Whole Foods is guilty of overpricing their produce. Whole Foods has been charged with over 800 violations during 107 separate inspections since 2010 for inaccurate consumer prices. Recently, inspectors weighed 80 different types of items at eight different locations and found that every label was inaccurate with many overcharging the consumers. Michael Sinatra, Whole Foods Spokesman, notes that the store always refunds any items found to have been incorrectly priced and likewise “never intentionally used deceptive practices to incorrectly charge customers.” Whole Foods employees remarked that corporate is held responsible for these incorrect labels because it is ordered by corporate. While just last summer Whole Foods agreed on a settlement of $800,000 in a California investigation regarding the same problems, Whole Foods, now, is potentially facing fines of more than $58,000 in New York City.

To read more on the investigation at Whole Foods, click here

Papa John’s joins in Cleanup

Many restaurant chains are under 900pressure to go all-natural in their ingredients after numerous changes in menu from high profile chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co. And now Papa John’s International inc. is eliminating ingredients used in their pizza and dips. Ten of the fourteen are being eliminated by the end of this year and the remaining four by the end of 2016. But these costs are estimated at and added expense of $100 million each year. John Schnatter, founder and chief executive officer, has been making changes with their menu since 1996 with changes like removing fillers from the meat used for toppings and improving the pizza dough. They have removed mono-sodium glutamate from its ranch dressing and pulled trans fats form its garlic sauce. The company has also pulled cellulose, an anti-caking agent, from its mozzarella cheese. Papa John’s pizza is generally more expensive than its competitors like Pizza Hut and Domino’s but boasts their “quality ingredients for a better pizza.” While prices in pizza will increase in price corresponding with the expenses in producing pizzas with higher-priced natural ingredients, Schnatter believes that their customers have shown willingness to pay a dollar or two more for their pizzas. Papa John’s has recently started posting their ingredients online and pushing on menu transparency. With the shift in ingredients, Schnatter hopes it will put the chain in a position that’s hard for competitors to match.

To read more on the changes in Papa John’s, click here


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