Union Square Cafe to Re-Open Next Week


Union Square Cafe, a beloved Danny Meyer restaurant, that sadly closed its doors almost a year ago is set to re-open at a different location next week. Danny Meyer opened Union Square Cafe in 1985 but was forced to close it a year ago due to an increase in rent. The new Union Square Cafe will be just four blocks down from where it used to be located. The new location has increased the capacity to more than 150 and has also added a second bar upstairs. Other characteristics from the original restaurant have been added as well such as, warm cherry wood, dark-green wainscoting, decorative elements with an Arts and Crafts look, and most of the art on the walls. As for the menu, old favorites will be featured  such as gnocchi, calamari fried in graham cracker crumbs, a tuna burger, pan-roasted chicken and a banana tart. The restaurant will now be baking its own bread now that there is more space available. To read more about the re-opening of the Union Square Cafe click here.

Can Breakfast All-day Boost Your Sales?


“This quarter marked the 10th consecutive quarter of positive sales growth and our 20th consecutive quarter of outperforming the casual dining industry,” said Sandra B. Cochran, president and chief executive officer, during a Nov. 22 earnings call with financial analysts. “We believe the differentiation of our brand experience and our excellent operations execution and our broadened marketing efforts helped us in outpacing the industry.”

Read more about Cracker Barrel’s 18% growth in net income here

Texas Judge Blocks New Labor Regulations


Photo: Shutterstock

As we all know, new labor laws are set to take effect on December 1, 2016 allowing overtime to be paid to salaried employees. However, not everyone is excited about this new regulation. A Texas court issued an injunction on Tuesday opposing the regulations that are set to take effect next week. Judge Amos Mazzano believes the Department of Labor “exceeds its delegated authority and ignores Congress’s intent by raising the minimum salary level such that it supplants the duties test.” The injunction also mentions the financial burdens it will cause on state agencies.  It is likely the case will at least go to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana and quite possibly the Supreme Court. To read more about the labor laws and Judge Amos’s  injunction click here.

The Cost of Operating a Restaurant in New York City

This week the New York Times published an article investigating the costs of operating a restaurant in NYC versus the rest of the country. Among factors considered were rent per square foot, cost of produce and labor, and regulations. The author found that all of these factors are individually more expensive in New York City than other parts of the country, and in sum combine to create a prohibitively expensive business environment for restaurateurs. The article, which can be found here, succinctly characterizes the very difficult business of operating a food business in New York City. Of particular note was the increased price of produce in NYC versus the West Coast. It is well worth a read for current operators, those considering the industry, or the generally curious reader.

Can Chipotle Make a Comeback by Offering Desserts?


Photo Sourced from Eater.com

It’s no surprise to anyone that Chipotle has had a hard time recovering sales after the infamous E. coli/Norovirus/Salmonella scandal. They have struggled with sales and gaining their customer loyalty back. However, an earnings call with investors this past Tuesday shows several new items that could help the struggling Chipotle. The chain is now testing the idea to add two new desserts to the menu; no specific details were released. The chain could also be getting a new face lift with a new restaurant design which has already been implemented in certain locations. New technologies for ordering was another item on the agenda at this investor call. Several new ordering options could soon hit stores as soon as January. These include table top ordering, pick-up time technology, and a new way to order and pay without even downloading an app. Lastly, Chipotle plans to end their investment with the growing Asian-Inspired concept, ShopHouse. However, plans are being made to investment in other concepts such as, Pizzeria Locale and Tasty Made. Will these changes be enough to help Chipotle get back on their feet and become a brand we can all trust again? Read the full story here.

Fany Gerson opens La Newyorkina on Sullivan St.


Dough’s chef and co-owner, Fany Gerson, has opened the first brick-and-mortar location for her paleta (Mexican ice pop) concept La Newyorkina. The new store on Sullivan Street will offer new and old flavors of the homemade paletas. While Gerson’s pops were already being sold to over 30 restaurants, stores, and pop-ups around New York, they can now be purchased at a dedicated storefront near Washington Square Park. The store also offers homemade cookies and ice cream.


You can visit La Newyorkina’s website here.

Kirin acquires 25% stake in Brooklyn Brewery

Crain’s reported on Wednesday that Kirin, the second largest brewery in Japan, has acquired a 25% stake in New York’s Brooklyn Brewery. The two companies said that they plan to roll out the Brooklyn brand in Japan starting January 2017 and that additional expansion into Brazil would follow. The craft beer industry produced 24.5 million barrels of beer and boasted $22.3 billion in retail sales last year, but the taste for these products is just now reaching certain foreign markets. Kirin stated that part of the impetus for the investment was a growing desire for these products within Japan. Keep an eye out for similar investments from abroad; Asahi, Suntory, and Sapporo are reportedly looking for similar investment opportunities.


You can read more about Kirin’s investment into Brooklyn Brewery here.