Pepsi and Coke settle a Truce for Veteran’s Day

This past summer, McDonald’s and Burger King made headlines with Burger King proposing a collaboration in efforts to create awareness for “Peace Day.” However, with McDonald’s declining the offer, Burger King teamed up with other restaurant chains to “end friendly restaurant feuds” for a day. Likewise, for Veteran’s Day, Pepsi Co. and Coca-Cola came together to create a public service announcement for American Corporate Partners, a nonprofit that connects veterans to professionals for career guidance.

Both CEO’s approached the cause in friendly terms. “They compete on the beverage side for customers, but independently both companies are very focused on veterans,” says Sid Goodfriend, ACP Founder and chairman.

While both companies target the same consumer market, they both also support similar causes in which they seize rivalry for. This is the first time the two CEOs have come together in a public way, but according to a Coke representative, Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi attended a reception hosted by Coke during the World Economic Forum at Davos.

To read more, click here.

Per Se, the Second Most Expensive Restaurant in NYC, will Raise Prices in 2016

per-seThe second most expensive restaurant in NYC, after Masa, is ranked to be Per Se. Thomas Keller’s Per Se is already priced at $310 including service and the dinner menu. However, in 2016 there will be a raise in its prices to $325. This increase will clear the way for other restaurants to follow suit as restaurants across the city prepare to grapple the cost of minimum wage increases and increasing food costs.

The three Michelin-starred venue hiked its prices, typically does every two to three years, was in early 2014 after the state’s minimum wage went up by 75 cents to $8. The upcoming hike concedes with the increase in the restaurants prices with the minimum wage increasing by a quarter to $9, and the tipped-minimum by 50 percent to $7.50.

Per Se will unlikely have a direct impact from the changes in regulation as tipped minimums don’t apply because service is included already in Per Se’s system. But the minimum wage change can influence the overall composition of hte labor force, and cause those that are already making more than minimum to seek corresponding raises to avoid salary compression with those receiving government-mandated increases. Per Se’s increase in $15 is deemed to be valid considering new federal overtime regulations, rising food costs, the ned to give merit-based raises to retain staffer.

With the increase in labor force in New York City, many restaurant owners have diverged in ways to cope with and strategically arouse the new regulation. Danny Meyer has eliminated tipping and instead raised menu prices, while Per Se is raising prices by $15 with already menu included tips. Overall, restauranteurs are finding alternative solutions to earn revenue to cover increasing costs. Dining out will become, even more, expensive in the following years with Cuomo’s integration of the $15 minimum wage campaign.

To read more, click here.

Governor Cuomo Proposes ‘All Industry’ Minimum Wage of $15

Unknown-1This past summer, legislation passed that restaurant chains in New York would need to implement yearly increases for minimum wages until 2018 for NYC and 2021 for the rest of the state to incur a $15/hr wage. However, Governor Cuomo has announced his intentions for all industries to increase minimum wages in New York State. “You cannot support a family on $18,000/ year in New York State, not to mention have a decent living,” Cuomo said. The New York State minimum right now is $8.75 and will rise to $9.00 in January, which is an annual salary of about $18,720 assuming 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. However, a $15 wage would raise yearly salaries to about $31,000.

Cuomo’s intentions to drive salaries in all industries will potentially effect the hospitality industry the most. The hospitality industry occupies some of the lowest paying jobs in the economy. Many of the employees in the hospitality industry conduct a tip based wage, where the minimum is $5.00. An average server in the greater New York Metropolitan area makes $13.21 per hour after tips, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. In New York State, servers make an average of $12.16. NYC cooks make about $13.41 and dishwashers make about $9.66.

The tipped minimum wage will be increasing to $7.50 in January. However, for Cuomo to increase minimum wages for all workers in all industries to be $15, he will need legislative approval.

Many businesses have opposed the raise in minimum wages as it increases labor costs, and can potentially cut back on hourly staffing and reduce hiring. However, those that support “Fight for Fifteen” disagree with examples from San Francisco and Seattle, as the rising minimums in those cities did not prompt to a significant layoff or closure of hospitality industries. Moreover, believe that these measures will increase employee retention, decrease worker reliance on taxpayer subsidized public assistance programs like food stamps and stimulate consumer spending throughout the economy.

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California Is Shutting Down Major Water Supplier

tumblr_l4nsht3HtT1qb7v91California has declared a drought emergency almost 19 months ago and is still implementing new ways to conserve water. In its efforts, California has given clear instruction to Sugar Pine Spring Water to change their water source out of California. Sugar Pine Spring is the company listed as a certified source of Starbucks bottled water Ethos. It uses “California’s bone-dry water supplies in its mission to alleviate worldwide thirst.” Starbucks, however, has complied with state regulations and released statements to switch to a new water source within six months that isn’t experiencing regional drought.

Despite warnings from the California, agents from the State Water Resources Control Board revealed that surveillance cameras captured 99 Sugar Pine tanker trucks filling up with San Francisco’s water supplies. The Water Resources Control Board has announced that fines will begin soon if Sugar Pine doesn’t comply with regulations. The state has also fined Sugar Pine at $224,875 for disregarding the original request to stop draining supplies in California back in 2014.

To read more, click here.

EATER NY asks NY’s Best Food Writers the Do’s and Don’t of Restaurants

Unknown-1Eater asked New York’s best food critics to anonymously share their frustrations about the restaurant industry. A total of 26 complaints were complied to help owners and businesses in NYC’s restaurant scene to avoid bad criticism from food writers.

Some of the key complaints from critics were that while space and real estate in NYC might be tough, over crowding of tables is a total miss on drawing comfort for eaters. “It feels like every time I go out to eat these days, my server has to pull the table out, let me in and shove it back in place like I’m being bolted into a roller coaster car.” Other critics included how restaurants with a wine list of $50+ but doesn’t accept credit cards is inconvenient and faulty especially when average checks are going to be high. Moreover, if a restaurant accepts reservations, they should allow reservations all hours instead of “before 6 or after 9:30.” Lastly, critics grieved about how places with vegetarian options tend to make things all vegan. “Theres a reason why vegetarians aren’t vegan.”

To read more on the 26 complaints by critics, click here.

Babu Ji redefines NYC’s Ice Cream Wars

As the humidity and heat rises in New York City, social media feeds have been buzzing around trending ice cream parlors. In recent years, gourmet ice cream shops have been spurring up in New York City and this summer is no different. Babu Ji is the latest contestant in this “ice cream war” and isn’t shying away from challenging the market.

While Babu Ji offers an array of traditional Indian fCard, Pista, Honey Kulfi Mikey Pozarikoods, it’s trademark is the Kulfi Ice Cream. New Yorkers are no stranger to Kulfi as it has already entered the market in the past through grocery vendors and other traditional Indian restaurants. However, the Kulfi at Babu Ji is unique in that Jessi Singh, the restaurant’s chef and co-owner, invests almost an entire day into making a Kulfi. Continuous stirring of the milk base and adjustments of temperature create a consistency different from an average ice cream. Kulfi has a more chewy texture that is smooth, creamy and dense and in the last bites there is cardamom and pistachio. Babu Ji offers only one flavor right now but Singh intends to bring more flavors with local fruits and in “clove-and-ginger-charged chai.”

Not only does Singh invest hours into creating Kulfi but hopes to offer a nostalgic and traditional aura to his customers. Kulfi is “the only thing that cools you down in the afternoons in India where long summers days with 100 percent humidity and no proper electricity exists. Moms and grandmas often make Kulfi to cheer others up” says Singh. Singh also uses traditional metal molds directly from India to enhance the Kulfi experience to that of India.

To read more about Babu Ji’s Kulfi, click here.

Babu Ji – 175 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

Tartine Bakery New York Bound


San Francisco’s most beloved bakery, Tartine, has announced that it will be joining forces with another San Fran favorite, Blue Bottle Coffee. Opened in 2002 by Chad Robertson, Tartine Bakery is highly renowned for their artisanal baked goods and their cult following. Blue Bottle Coffee, also celebrating its thirteenth year, was founded in Oakland, California by James Freeman and is best known for their extensive brewing guides and focus on single-origin beans.

Robinson will become CEO of the bakery which will now be a part of Blue Bottle. Blue Bottle founder and CEO James Freeman has been friends with Robinson for 10 years, but their alliance is only a recent and spontaneous development reports Inside Scoop. Tartine’s restaurant, Bar Tartine, will remain independent as it will be sold to chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns.

With the merger, the famed San Francisco bakery will be introduced to New York as well as Los Angeles by the end of the year. Previously, Tartine had previously announced their plans for an expansion that would bring them overseas to Japan, where Blue Bottle recently opened their first Tokyo based venture. This fall will also bring the debut of the bakery’s first ice cream shop, Tartine Cookies and Cream, which will open in the Heath Ceramics building in the Mission District. Blue Bottle currently has 19 locations throughout California, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Japan. In 2012 Blue Bottle made the news when it raised $19.6 million from investors and in 2014 they raised an additional $25.75 million.

To read more from the New York Times, click here


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