José Andrés to Open in Hudson Yards

hudson-yards_650The Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development project in America. It is expected open in 2018 with dozens of restaurants that is curated by Thomas Keller.

Thomas Keller has recently announced that he has come to an agreement with José Andrés and Costas Spiliadis to open Spanish and Greek-seafood concepts in the Hudson Yards, respectively. Both restaurants will be inside the 1 million square foot Shops & Restaurants at Hudson yards complex.

The Hudson Yards complex will be Andrés’ second New York projects. This summer he is opening the Bazaar in the SLS New York at 444 Park Avenue South.

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Brooklyn Pizzeria adds 3 Percent Obamacare Surcharge to All Checks

8420596411_84dabd79fe_cUnder the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, all companies will inquire an added cost of giving employees health coverage The Affordable Care Act requires all companies with 50 or more full-time employees to provide their staff with fairly priced health insurance. To cover the extra costs incurred, Franny’s, a famous Brooklyn Pizzeria, will add a 3 percent surcharge to all of its checks in order to “cover the affordable care act for all Franny’s employees.”

Franny’s is not only added a new surcharge but will also hike prices to increase employee wages to maintain and attract staffers when minimum wage is being raised across fast-food restaurants. Franny’s co-owner Francine Stephens admits that the higher prices is a concern and will likely affect how often some guests are able to come in for dinner.

With new regulations like increasing minimum wages, and implementations of employee benefits, many restaurateurs are coping with the higher costs in a variety of ways. More notably, Danny Meyers has coped with increased costs by taking an all-inclusive approach to pricing. Stephens says she wants to be transparent with prices but is also tracking Meyer’s move.

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Ample Hills to Open an Ice Cream Factory

16-ample-hills-gowanus-1.w245.h368Ample Hills Creamery is a four year old Brooklyn scoop-shop in Brooklyn, known for their throwback flavors. Since opening their first stores in Prospect Heights, they have expanded to locations in Gowanus and stalls in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Gotham West Market, and Jacob Riis Park. Ample Hills has acquired $4 million in funding from venture-investment firms including Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Tom Potter and the founders of Seamless.

With their new funds, Ample Hills will be opening a 15,000 square foot factory, which will be used to make all of their ice cream except for a single location specific flavor that differs at every store. They will also be using the funds to hire more management team and expand both wholesale pint distributions and direct shipments to consumers.

Co-Owners Brian Smith and wife Jackie Cuscuna have expressed their intents to expand their brand slowly for quality driven growth. They plan to expand within New York before branching out to other parts of the country.

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How Race influences Yelp Reviews

A recent study by Sharon Zurkin, Laurie Hurson, and Scarlett Lindeman at CUNY examines the language of Yelp restaurant reviews in gentrifying neighborhoods. The study finds that race factors heavily into user’s perceptions and descriptions of businesses. More than 7,000 restaurant reviews in Bedford Stuyvesant, and Greenpoint were examined. The sample set was selected consisting of trendier restaurants that have opened since 2005, along with the “top ten” best reviewed restaurants in the local area.

The authors focused on 1,056 reviews that mention the neighborhood: 720 Bed-Stuy and 336 Greenpoint. Reviews of the “trendier” restaurants were three times as likely to contain some mention of the neighborhood itself. The uneven breakdown lead authors to conclude that reviewers draw attention to neighborhoods when the majority of the residents are of black race.

Reviewers also tend to describe Greenpoint’s ethnic restaurants in a more positive light than they do historically black restaurants in Bed-Stuy. Polish restaurants in Greenpoint are described as “authentic” and “cozy,” while those in Bed-Stuy are described as “sketchy.”However, trendier restaurants in Bed-Stuy include more positive reviews.

Authors conclude that while reviewers want to preserve Greenpoint’s ethnic white restaurants, Bed-Stuy’s case is “discursive redlining” that contributes to gentrification.

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National Restaurant Association retaliates against $15 Minimum Wages

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 12.59.52 PMThe National Restaurant Association has recently filed a petition late last week challenging New York’s minimum wage increase. The NRA is asking New York’s Industrial Board of Appeals to outstate the order from the Department of Labor to gradually raise the hourly minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour.

The increase in state-wide wages for fast food workers was made official in September when Governor Cuomo announced that in yearly breakdowns the wages of all fast food chains in New York would need to increase wages. The board recommended that $15 per hour was an “adequate” wage for fast food workers and was approved by Cuomo’s labor commissioner. However, NRA has submitted a 26 page appeal claiming that the wage increase is just a “thinly veiled attempt by Governor Cuomo” to avoid the hassle of getting things approved by the state legislature and finding a different way to enact his own policies. The filings include issues of separation of powers, and argues that the board made the new wage without a representative for the restaurant industry.

Many franchise owners as well are planning to file a lawsuit that argues that “it is not fair or legal to be saddled with such a significant” increase in costs that will be only applied to the fast food industry, not to all industries. The franchise owners believe the wage increase is “unfair and discriminatory.”

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Fuku will Now Deliver

FUKUDavid Chang’s spicy fried-chicken sandwich shop, Fuku, has become a major headline since opening this past summer. Lines to snatch a sandwich are out the doors, and expansion of Fuku+ followed quickly after successfully opening Fuku on the lower east side. However, customers no longer will need to wait on line for a spicy-fried chicken sandwich. Starting today, Fuku will deliver across Manhattan and up to 85th Street through Caviar.

David Chang is no stranger to utilizing off-site delivery services, like Maple, and now will deliver Fuku items through Caviar, another delivery service. Along with the famed sandwiches, the 163 Salad, Fuku Fingers, French fries, a Milk Bar Confetti cookie, and the Ssam Sauce will be available.

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Cake Doughnuts at Dough

54a30dc55ad7f-dough-brooklyn-donut-bakeryDough is already proclaimed for their perfectly formulated yeast doughnuts- crunchy exteriors with pillowy insides. However, recently Fany Gerson has been experimenting new forms of doughnuts. The first released were “doughka,” which are babka made with doughnut dough. Now, Gerson plans to formulate the perfect cake doughnut.

Gerson experimented with a lot of recipes using a traditional depositor, but because she wasn’t content with the results, she shifted to making a version that rolls and cuts. “This way, I could also play with things I could put inside,” she says. “I wanted to do a cake doughnut that has a lot of flavor and is dense but not too greasy. Cake doughnuts are much heavier in general, and as a good friend put it, they were probably created to be dunked in coffee.”

After numerous attempts, Gerson will, finally, be releasing her perfectly formulated cake doughnuts today. There are three flavors- sour cream rolled in cinnamon sugar, lemon-buttermilk, and banana-chocolate-chunk. Each cake doughnut is $2.50, and is available after noon today. With only three flavors available now, Gerson plans to explore different flavor options for the cake doughnut. One in particular that is set to be released is an apple-pear-cider cake doughnut.

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