In last week’s Enterprise Insight we discussed the benefits of assembly lines. On that note, the LA-based restaurant group that founded Umami burger announced their newest project 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, making its way to New York in the near future. The model will be a “build-your-own” assembly-line-style fast-casual restaurant serving $5-$7 pizzas. The minds behind Umami burger know how to cater to customers’ fast-paced schedules; each pizza only take 1 minute to cook.
As of October, both the frequency and the check average of business meals has increased. Casual and Fine Dining restaurants have become the targets of diners eating out for business-related meals, according to a survey by Consumer Edge Insight.
David Decker, president of Consumer Edge Insight remarked, ”A higher-spending business meal customer is a very welcome development for the high-end but also the middle tier of the restaurant industry. For fine-dining restaurants, one of their core customer segments is starting to visit restaurants more often and is more likely to be trading up to fine-dining than a year ago. While this is a smaller customer segment for most casual-dining restaurants in terms of traffic, the higher average spending among this group makes them an important segment to understand and target as much as possible given your brand.”
So what does this mean for limited-service concepts?
Limited-service restaurants wanting to target business diners should seek ways to overcome obstacles to being perceived as less desireable for business-meal occasions. One idea is to promote catering.
Fast food employees are on strike, seeking a wage increase of $15/hour. This Thursday the Strikes are expected to occur nationwide in 100 cities, and protests will take place in 100 more. With this information, companies have the foresight to plan around the inconvenience, which will be unavoidable with employees’ participation in strikes and protests in 200 cities.
The Parks Department’s private conservancy board is cracking down on the appearance of Washington Square Park’s food vendors. Apparently the hot dog carts are too “unsightly,” and they therefore no longer have a home in the Park. Mario Batali’s Otto gelato cart and the popular N.Y. Dosas cart still have license to stay, and Melt will soon join them, selling gourmet ice-cream sandwiches. We’ll miss hot dogs in the Park!
The New York Times reported that the Urban School Food Alliance, a committee made up of six big-city school systems nationwide, has initiated a sustainability pilot program. The preliminary initiative is switching from plastic trays to plates made from sugar cane. These recyclable plates cost 11 cents more per plate to manufacture and take slightly longer, but there’s no denying the positive message it reinforces to children about the importance of being environmentally conscious amongst other eco-friendly benefits. A few schools in Miami have already made the switch to sugar cane plates. The next project will be switching over to antibiotic-free chicken. Completely revamping school systems’ food programs nationwide sets the precedent for other institutions including hospitals and universities. Perhaps it won’t be too long after all before all restaurants nationwide enforce sustainable practices.
Huffington Post compiled a list of food terms that have become void of meaning. This is in large part from commercial companies throwing around terms for marketing purposes without considering their actual meanings— like the word “natural” which has no formally recognized definition. It’s also because these adjectives have become omnipresent in general, so consumers have stopped questioning their significance. The list includes:
- New American