Food Halls Offer Unique Opportunities for Food Vendors and Guests

bergn1

Food halls have been opening at a rate that’s made them difficult to ignore.

From a guest’s perspective, food halls provide the opportunity to pick and choose from different vendors to create just the elevated (shared or single) artisanal and chef-driven meal they want. They can drop impromptu without needing to coordinate party palates ahead of time. Food halls also offer a place to linger while enjoying the hustle and bustle of a busy food market.

From the operator’s side, the format is attractive as well. Tenants share overheard expenses while getting the exposure and traffic that comes from being part of a high-profile venue. For up-and-coming entrepreneurs, it’s a way to break into the business without a lot of capital. For established, even celebrity chefs, it’s a way to meet the people where they are and sell to their food—and their brand—to a broader audience.

New food halls are emerging most often in once-abandoned urban spaces as local governments and neighborhood groups bend over backwards in to pave the way for developers. There’s fierce competition for coveted vendor spaces. For operators looking to nab a spot, this means having a tight concept that’s on-trend and can turn orders quickly—all while offering food quality that’s several notches above standard food court fare.

How To Make Your Restaurant A Pokemon Go Hotspot!

pokemon go

As smartphone apps go, the augmented-reality “Pokemon Go” really is a monster. “Pokemon Go” has been downloaded to more than 15 million smartphones in less than a week, according to the analytics consultancy SensorTower, and restaurant operators are asking how they can capture them as customers as well as Pokemon hunters catch the little Pocket Monsters.

A restaurant operator can buy 30 minutes of heightened Pokemon action by buying Lure Modules and installing them at PokeStop locations. Here’s a seven-step tutorial on buying and using the “Lure Modules” that the developer Niantic is selling and experts recommend to draw customers’ attention:

  1. Make sure your location and your smart phone are near a PokeStop, which is designated by an elevated blue cube on the app that turns into concentric three-dimensional spinning circles as you near it.
  2. If your restaurant is within yards of a PokeStop, buy Lure Modules by first tapping the red and white ball at the bottom on the “Pokemon Go” app. That will take you to a “Settings” screen with options such as Items, Pokemon and “Shop.” Tap “Shop.”
  3. You are now on a purchase screen, and you can purchase PokeCoins through the iTunes or Google Play stores by scrolling to the bottom. A Lure Module costs 100 coins (99 cents). You can buy larger amounts such as 550 Pokecoins for $4.99 and 1,200 coins for $9.99.
  4. After the PokeCoins are purchased, you can by a Lure Modules for 100 PokeCoins or eight Lure Modules for 680 PokeCoins. Your purchase will show up among the Pokeman Go “Items.”
  5. During the period when you want to increase possible “Pokeman Go” traffic for 30 minutes, tap on the spinning “PokeStop” and click on the white bar immediately beneath its location.
  6. A screen noting an “Empty Module slot” will open and tap the white bar to install the module. Your location is a “Lure” spot when you see what looks like a mini blizzard of pink leaves. The Pocket Monsters will show up for you and others for 30 minutes.
  7. Let potential customers know you’ve made in investment by posting your alluring purchase to your Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat fans, such as Just Salad did in New York as seen in the tweet pictured above.

America Throws Away Half of Its Edible Produce

fresh-produce

New research suggests that fully one-half of the nation’s produce now probably ends up as garbage. This dismal nugget from the story pretty well summarizes the findings:

Vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the US are left in the field to rot, fed to livestock or hauled directly from the field to landfill, because of unrealistic and unyielding cosmetic standards, according to official data and interviews with dozens of farmers, packers, truckers, researchers, campaigners and government officials.

The story distinguishes waste that’s “downstream,” or ruined because it goes bad on a grocery shelf or sits forever in a fridge bin, from waste that’s “upstream.” The first kind supposedly accounts for $160 billion worth of produce every year — which isn’t hard to believe when you remember each American family single-handedly trashes $600 worth of food in that time frame — but factor in ugly produce left to rot in the field or rejected by grocery stores, and The Guardian estimates this figure quickly climbs to half of all of the fruits and vegetables the country grows.

Read more here.

Angel’s Share Alums Open New Cocktail and Ramen Bar

11-rokc-009.w710.h473.2x.jpgShigefumi Kabashima and Tetsuo Hasegawa, both formerly of the popular speakeasy-esque bar Angel’s Share, have just unveiled the full cocktail menu at their new spot in Hamilton Heights. The bar is called ROKC (short for Ramen, Oysters, Kitchen and Cocktails), and the menu is a playful American twist on the high quality Japanese drinks at Angel’s Share. Examples include a Thai tea spiked with absinthe and cachaça, a matcha latte with Japanese whiskey, and a fruity cocktail called “Flower” with shochu, lavender, elderflower, and cranberry, served in a lightbulb and presented over ice in a trapezoidal pot.

These cocktails are all newly unveiled, but the ramen and limited raw bar have been available for a few weeks during he restaurant’s soft-open. Ex–Maison Premiere sous-chef Jeff Srole has been heading the seafood menu, and Isao Yoneda (formerly of Totto and Hide-Chan) is responsible for the three types of ramen bowls.

To read more, click here.

Ice Cream gets Honored With Its Own Museum

MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM .jpgBeginning in August, the meatpacking district will be home to a new museum dedicated to the wonderful world of ice cream, where guests can play in an ice cream-themed playground, learn about the history of the cold treat, and of course try samples. Co-founders Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora originally embarked on the project last year in order to fulfill Bunn’s childhood dream of being able to swim in a pool of sprinkles. That specific fantasy will be available to all visitors at the museum, where the pair have filled a life-size pool with sprinkles that may not be edible, but are designed to look and feel exactly like the kind usually seen on sundaes.

The rest of the exhibit, which is sponsored in part by Tinder, features a playground with equipment like an ice cream scoop seesaw and ice cream sandwich swing, a tasting lab with weekly rotating flavors from New York ice cream shops, plus sculptures, paintings and murals throughout the maze-like space. Black Tap and Oddfellows have already been announced as partners.

Tickets are $18 for single admission or $30 for a couple. To read more, click here.

Craft Brewers Go Hi-Tech

craft hop

The dirty secret behind today’s IPAs: There’s little dirty about them. Brewers are sourcing their signature bitterness in sterile labs, not muddy hop fields.

The hop plant contains oils and resins that give beer its bite; lab-made extracts of those flavorful and bitter oils and resins were once relegated to Big Beer’s industrial toolbox, while craft brewers stuck to cramming whole cones of the hop vine into the brewing kettle. No more. Not that industrial hop extraction is anything new. In the 1870s, the New York Hop Extract Company supplied brewers with hop resins made by soaking flowers in gasoline. Today, labs use liquid CO2 as a solvent, boiling hops to extract oils and then venting the gas away. The liquid that remains is clean, shelf-stable and concentrated, easy to preserve and to ship. “Extracts have better longevity [than raw hops], particularly in countries with developing logistics or harsher climates,” said Alex Barth, CEO of John I. Haas.

Still, the new wave of extraction is small. Robert Bourne of Extractz makes variety-specific extractions in an Ohio garage. He supplies a few local brewers but admitted he’s on the fringes: “It’s more of a home-brew thing.” Even when they come from a garage, extracts haven’t quite shed their industrial associations. The Hop Stoopid label shows a rustic barn; the fine print proclaims the “mountain of extracts” in the beer. “People read the label and call us up saying they won’t drink it,” says brewmaster Jeremy Marshall . “They think it’s some industrial, nonnatural thing.” Others maintain that whether from a leaf or a vial, flavor trumps all.

Read more here.

 

England’s Restaurant Business ‘Regrexit’

Bibo-Restaurant-Lounge-Substance-1

Add this to the roughly 1 million bad things the U.K’s “Leave” coalition should’ve seen coming: Brexit is having a adverse effect on England’s restaurant industry. In a story today featuring reporting by chief restaurant critic Richard Vines, Bloomberg essentially gave prominent restaurateurs free rein to grumble about their compatriots’ vote to leave the EU, and they say business is already getting hammered in this post-Brexit world where “bean-counters keep closer tabs on expense accounts, a weak pound raises prices of imported food, and eateries struggle to hire workers from the EU.”

The country’s dining scene had actually been doing pretty well up till now, too — Bloomberg says the number of restaurants jumped by 21 percent over the past five years. But even in advance of the vote, sales growth industry-wide nose-dived by half. One restaurant group immediately scrapped multi-million-pound plans to buy four pubs in Scotland. Stats show there’s been 12 percent less corporate credit-card spending since the referendum, while many chefs worry the worst is yet to come because they fear already-costly products like Spanish jamón ibérico are going to climb even higher. Richard Corrigan, a celebrated chef, expects the price of French wine to jump by 15 percent and so has given staff very clear instructions to stock up on the Bordeaux.

Read more here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 676 other followers