Can Breakfast All-day Boost Your Sales?

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“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

Whole Foods Denied “World’s Healthiest” Moniker

whole-foods1.jpgIn 2010, Whole Foods successfully took on the name “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store,” trademarking the slogan on the basis of existing consumer sentiment. But they recently submitted an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to call themselves  “The World’s Healthiest Grocery Store” – a significant jump in status which could indicate plans for more aggressive expansion overseas.

Unfortunately the Patent office rejected the application, on the basis that such a slogan makes a “laudatory” and unverifiable claim. Papa John’s slogan “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza” was originally denied for the same reason. One reason the switch from “America’s” to “The World’s” might have struck officials as puffery is that Whole Foods currently has a presence in only Canada, Britain and the U.S. – hardly the whole world. They’ve also struggled historically to push into these overseas markets, where existing chains often have a hold on loyal clientele.

Whole Foods now has 6 months to update and refile the case for reconsideration.

To read more, click here.

Elon Musk’s Brother Has a Plan to Sell Organic Fast Food for Under $5

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Kimbal Musk, Elon’s less famous brother who made scads of money himself in Silicon Valley before leaving for culinary school, is getting ready to open the first of (what he hopes will be) many locations of a new organic fast-food chain. He tells Tech Insider that in addition to the Kitchen and Next Door, currently the two halves of his restaurant mini-empire, he’s about to launch a new concept called the Kitchenette, where everything will be fast, healthy, and organic but cost under $5. The first location is set to debut in Memphis this August.

With this venture, Musk enters a field that’s really heating up. The idea of bringing tasty and healthy affordable food to the masses has been the culinary world’s holy grail for a while. Musk is packaging the idea as sort of a Pret A Manger–style grab-and-go spot. He says the space will be like a coffee shop, with a counter, indoor seating, and a big patio out front, and the menu will mostly consist of sandwiches, soups, and salads, all made using ingredients sourced from nearby farms. The locavore bent will ensure ingredients stay seasonal, but Musk says there’s another benefit, too:

While the Kitchenette’s pricing sounds too good to be true, Musk says he will make it work with a little help from local farmers. The same farms distribute meat and produce to all three of restaurant concepts, and knock down the price based on what’s in-season.

Read more here.

A Pioneering Global Standard to Reduce Food Waste

Pilot-scheme-shows-promise-in-repurposing-commercial-food-wastes.jpgThe issue of food waste is something of a hot topic these days, from proposed regulations overseas  to the ugly-food movement and the startups it has already spawned. This attention is well deserved. Besides the tragedy of waste in a world where 800 million still go hungry, wasted food also produces 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions and costs $940 billion worldwide every year.

The micro-movements that have sprung up on this front are important, but they face some major hurdles, even as more governments and large organizations commit to joining the cause. Most notably, food waste is extremely difficult to track and report on. Since it occurs all along the supply chain, and often across borders, the costs associated with this waste are typically baked into other operational costs and nearly impossible to quantify. Until now, there has been no consistent reporting standard on the issue.

To address this, a partnership of international organizations convened  at the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) 2016 Summit in Copenhagen to come up with the first-ever set of global definitions and reporting requirements for companies, countries and others to consistently measure and report their food waste. Such standards will be crucial to measure the success of all these organizations as they make commitments to improve. Many major international organizations, including the UN, Consumer Goods Forum, and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, are already behind the coalition’s Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW Standard). 

The new standard will have the greatest impact on large corporations and governments, but food waste is a costly issue for all retail and restaurant businesses as well. We recommend following the lead set at the 3GF Summit, and making a commitment to tackle waste on a small scale as well.

To read more, click here.

Start-Up Spacious has a Vision for New York Restaurants

As more and more businesses (particularly in the tech start-up sphere) forego traditional offices, the demand for alternative working spaces will continue to increase. The new start-up Spacious seeks to capitalize on that, by turning dinner-only restaurants into co-working space during the day. Spacious owner Preston Pesek sees it as a way to “reclaim the city for creative professionals.”

A Spacious membership costs $95 per month, and includes unlimited access to their available workspaces, as well as WiFi, coffee, water, and conference rooms. Currently their only actual space is Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen and Bar, so Spacious is offering a 20% sign-on discount for members who join now. Eventually they hope to add more options throughout the city, and possibly include lunch in the offer as well.

The benefit to the restaurant (besides exposure) is a profit-sharing agreement, but in some cases the exposure might be enough to justify the risk. According to a  DBGB manager, the partnership has already brought more dinner traffic to the restaurant from Spacious members who see the space during the day and invite back larger crowds at night.

To read more, click here.

Piping Hot or Chilled, Carrot Soup with Spice

Carrots are a kitchen workhorse. They’re second only to onions as one of the most common ingredients in our savory, and occasionally sweet, recipes.  They go in our salads, stews and soups. We eat them raw with dip, roast them, or quickly sauté them for dinner.

Spiced Carrot Soup with Lime is a recipe that moves away from the traditional, one-dimensional, sweet, thick carrot soup.  Using a technique known as tarka in Indian cuisine, cumin and mustard seeds are sizzled in coconut oil, adding extra flavor.  Ingredients needed for this creation include coconut oil, medium onions, chopped ginger, minced garlic, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, salt, young carrots, daikon radish, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, serrano pepper, cilantro leaves and lime wedges.

This soup may be served hot from the pot for dinner, or it may be served chilled during the day.  It is best with young, long and slender carrots, which are considered fresher and tastier than the carrots from jumbo bags.

Carrots are a vegetable with many health benefits, including the improvement of vision.  Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver.  Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.  Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts.  Carrots also help prevent cancer, slow down aging, promote healthier skin, and help prevent infection.

Now is a good time of year to enjoy just-harvested new-crop carrots.  So let’s get cooking!

Please click here to read more…

After 5 Months of Gratuity-Free, Nishi Changes Tact

20160227-Momofuku_Nishi_interior_2.0.jpgWhen David Chang opened Momofuku Nishi in Chelsea 5 months ago, the chef generated the usual buzz for a new Momofuku concept. But Nishi was also earning press as the latest addition to the gratuity-free movement, so far spearheaded by other big names like Meyer and Tarlow. Chang even gave an interview in his magazine Lucky Peach on the decision, citing their desire to pay kitchen workers a living wage.

This week, Nishi will be changing course and adding a tip line to the bottom of all checks. Prices will also lower somewhat, but wages for kitchen should stay the same. The team explained the decision in a Tumblr post, saying “This is by no means the end of the no-tipping discussion at Momofuku. But at this moment, we think a tipping model will benefit our guests and staff.”

Nishi also added brunch this week, which included a number of smaller, more affordable portions of items on the dinner menu. Hopefully the changes will satisfy early critics, who had praise for some dishes but considered them too pricey.

To read more, click here.