NYC Officials Are Looking Into Grubhub’s Reviled Restaurant Fees

New York City government officials are now diving into the Grubhub debacle, in which several restaurants have accused the food delivery app of slyly charging fees for customer phone calls that never resulted in actual delivery orders.

City Council’s Committee on Small Business will hold an oversight hearing to investigate those fees, as well as others charged by similar apps like like DoorDash and Uber Eats — an act that could eventually lead to more government regulation.

The hearing will go down on June 27, giving local restaurateurs a chance to voice their concerns. City officials will specifically focus on how these fees and other policies are affecting NYC restaurants, especially small mom and pop shops, the Post reports.

“If we see there is abuse, or if there is a manipulation here, then it could certainly be referred to the legal authorities,” Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj tells the Post. The hearing’s findings could eventually lead to the involvement of the Public Advocate, the city Comptroller, or the state Attorney General, he says.

Read more here.

How He Got 200,000 People To Buy Ugly Fruits and Vegetables

Imperfect Produce is a subscription home delivery service for "ugly" fruits and vegetables that are perfectly fine to eat.

“Four years later, Simon cofounded Imperfect Produce, a subscription-based home-delivery service for discounted “ugly” fruits and vegetables that are perfectly good on the inside, but otherwise rejected from the food supply chain for their looks.

“About 70 billion pounds of food is wasted annually in the United States. It’s from homes, cafeterias, farms, restaurants, grocery store and stadiums. Almost all of it is good food,” said Simon. “We wanted to think bigger about how to fight this food waste and create a more sustainable food system that was scalable.”
Simon partnered with his friend Ben Chesler, who shared his passion for social good, and the two homed in on farms as the starting point of their food recovery and delivery service. Up to 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown on farms in America is discarded because the produce doesn’t meet grocery stores’ aesthetic standards, said Simon.
“It’s often for discoloration, scarring on the surface caused by the fruit rubbing against a tree limb or an atypical shape,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the size. We see a glut of small avocados that go to waste because consumers tend to prefer larger avocados for guacamole.”

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McDonald’s Redefines Health In Terms Of Sustainability

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“McDonald’s is moving toward a menu free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, but every product has a unique challenge, said Amy Wilcox, director of quality systems and supply chain management for McDonald’s USA. She and her colleague, Cynthia Goody, chief nutritionist for McDonald’s, explained how “clean” ingredients are a key part of the chain’s sustainability initiative during the “Sustainable Approach to the Menu” panel at Restaurant Leadership Conference.

But “we can’t use the clean label description, because everyone has a different definition,” said Wilcox. “We had to create our own definition for suppliers, operators and customers. And that involved a lot of outreach to make sure all our suppliers were on the same page.”

The chain, in fact, announced this past September that is was removing artificial preservatives from its “classic” burger lineup in the U.S. “We have a great group of suppliers,” said Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s U.S., at the time. And now, the chain announced that a third of its eggs are cage-free—and it expects to source 726 million cage-free eggs this year. Right now, chicken nuggets fit the sustainability criteria, as do American cheese and burgers. As far as McDonald’s burger goes, “the pickle presented a problem,” said Wilcox. “We couldn’t find one that fit our definition, so we went forward with what we had and put an asterisk next to it on the menu. Being truthful and transparent is important to us.”

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The New York City Restaurant That Prohibits Cell Phone Use

Il Triangolo

“(…) Gigliotti, who is 52-years-old, opened Il Triangolo in April 2011, which specializes in Southern Italian food. He created many of the recipes including homemade fettuccini ala Triangolo, chicken frangelico and shrimp limoncello.  It seats around 60 people.

He owns a cellphone bought for him by his daughter and thinks they’re a useful gadget for ordering items.

But back in 2014, when cellphone use started proliferating and most of his customers starting taking out their smartphones during their meals, Gigliotti became irritated. He noticed that “people weren’t paying attention to their food, their surroundings or their own family members.” No longer were his customers conversing; they sat there and ate and checked their cell phones as if they were dining alone. In fact, their behavior slowed everything down in the restaurant. Instead of eating and leaving quickly, they’d spend more time dining because they weren’t concentrating on eating their food and instead zeroed in on checking their emails or the web.  Meals that once took two hours were taking two and a half hours, and guests waiting longer for a table.

Gigliotti put up a small sign that said no cellphones placed on the table. When he encountered new customers, he’d tell them in person about the policy. If customers receive a phone call during the meal, they’re asked to step outside of the restaurant so as not to disturb any guests. Almost everyone complies.”

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Which Commercial Kitchen Layout is Right for Your Restaurant?

Zone Kitchen commercial kitchen layout

“(…) Zone layout is what it sounds like – the kitchen is divided into different areas depending on the task at hand. So there might be a food prep zone for chopping and mixing, and all of the necessary tools and equipment will be right there in that station. The cooking zone is only for cooking already-prepped ingredients.

Good for:
The benefit of this type of layout is for restaurants that serve up several menu items that are not cooked, for instance, salads and smoothies. That way, servers can access both cooked and non-cooked dishes, and each staffer can focus on their specific job without getting in each other’s way.”

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Will Legal Marijuana Create New Restaurant Opportunities?

Will legal marijuana create new restaurant opportunities?“If you’ve been to a food conference lately you’ll notice there’s at least one session talking about cannabis, CBD, cannabinoids, or whatever term we’re using now. I’ve been to two conferences in recent weeks that addressed the topic and I’m writing this post while in California, where voters legalized recreational use of marijuana via referendum in 2016. Therefore, I have pot on the brain — so to speak.

At NPD we’re always analyzing how trends affect the food and beverage industry and if you talk to a — what shall we call them, “pot enthusiasts” — you’ll know food plays a major role when they use marijuana. This can be from how they ingest the marijuana to the munchies leading them to eat a variety of indulgent foods.

We took a look in our SnackTrack information, which monitors the consumption of ready-to-eat, convenience-oriented snack foods in the U.S., to see if there are changes since legalization occurred. In those states that legalized recreational marijuana, brownie consumption has increased a whopping 107 percent compared to pre-legalization times. Chewy candies, which had a stable consumption level for years, grew by 17 percent after legalization, and fruit snacks also increased after legalization.

I’m not sure yet if this is a result of the munchies, pot brownies or gummies, and all I can fully say with confidence is these changes are correlations. However, these correlations are in line with what we’ve known anecdotally for some time about recreational pot usage and can point to growth opportunities should more states allow it.”

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4 Ways to Take Your Sales Strategy to the Next Level with a Video Presentation

“To maximize potential impact, businesses are upgrading their sales strategy to incorporate a video presentation. Not only does this put a face to your business, but it can also be individualized to each client, and can significantly help you stand out among the rest. Consider these steps to take your sales strategy to the next level with an introductory video.”

1. Introduce Yourself To Clients

Add a more human, and engaging, element to your pitch and introduce yourself to potential clients with a video. You can let them know what makes your products or services better from the rest, and give them an idea of what kinds of people they can expect to work with by choosing you.

A corporate video can be used as an initial means of contact or a unique way to send clients some information prior to a sales meeting – more than just a sales deck showing off products and price points, a corporate video can provide a platform to show off your merchandise and let potential buyers see them in action.

This is an excellent sales strategy that will get them thinking about your business, and help to take things to the next step.

2. Use Video Content During Your Sales Pitch

When you get the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with a client, having video content in your sales strategy can help a lot.

More than just presenting numbers, a corporate video enables potential buyers to see your products in use, and learn exactly how they’re beneficial. This is especially useful for those businesses that offer services or products which can’t be brought into the office for the meeting. Adding a quality visual aid to your sales approach allows you to show off the design process, manufacturing floors, your talented staff, and so much more.

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