Halal Guys, Wetzel’s Pretzel partner with Kitchen United

Image result for Halal Guys, Wetzel's Pretzel

Kitchen United, which offers off-premise kitchen centers for brands and franchises, now has two new partners as well as a new restaurant concept. Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels are now partners with Kitchen United, which also launched Fresgo, a fast Italian offering serving out of the Pasadena, California kitchen center.

The Halal Guys and Fresgo are now available for pickup, delivery and catering from the off-premise kitchen space, with Wetzel’s Pretzels officially opening April 1, according to a press release. Kitchen United’s Pasadena kitchen center opened last year and is home to Canter’s Deli, AmazeBowls, Cheat Day, Grilled Cheese Heaven, Mama Musubi and The Pizza Plant.

“One of Kitchen United’s goals from the beginning has been to leverage our collective restaurant experience to help our restaurant partners take a leadership position in delivery, a fast emerging growth opportunity in the industry,” said Jim Collins, Kitchen United CEO, in the release. “As a team of restauranteurs, we are thrilled to launch Fresgo in order to provide valuable insight and learnings to our partners. We are very pleased to add The Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels to our family of restaurant partners in order to help them expand their reach into the Pasadena market.”

See more here.

What To Expect From Hudson Yards’ Restaurant And Food Options

Anya Fernald is bringing Belcampo's burgers, bowls and

“(…) The majority of new restaurants are slated to open this Friday, an almost unfathomable feat in a city where opening day can be synonymous with delays and postponement.

“We have an absolutely incredible construction and tenant coordination team,” Stuessi says with a laugh when asked how they’re pulling off the large batch of openings. “They’re working with us to bring them all to life in one moment.”

Already, there’s a sense of community in the new neighborhood.

“You see people from different restaurants walking in each other’s spots, grabbing a coffee,” Stuessi says.

The benefit of proximity has also helped the restaurants work together on staffing and supply needs; Stuessi recounts that the hospitality businesses were able to share applicants with their neighbors when good candidates presented themselves but job openings were already filled. “There is a sense of camaraderie with everyone opening a restaurant in Hudson Yards at the same time,” says Sam Gelman, vice president of operations at Fuku, Momofuku’s fast-casual fried chicken sandwich mini-chain.

The Hudson Yards outpost will feature Fuku’s new bone-in fried chicken program and menu of sides, along with its signature spicy fried chicken sandwiches and chicken fingers.

Opening day eats

More than 25 restaurant and food concepts are planned for Hudson Yards, with a majority making their debut this week. (Some, like Sweetgreen, have already opened, while others, like new concepts from Danny Meyer in The Shed and Stephen Starr in the Equinox Hotel, as well as a Maison Kayser, will follow.) Here’s a look at everything on the food front that’s slated to open on Friday:

The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards

  • Teak Tearoom at The Conservatory: Choose from a variety of teas, as well as bites and baked goods, at this all-day cafe. Level 1
  • Blue Bottle Coffee: Get your java fix from the specialty coffee roasters. Level 2
  • Citarella Hudson Yards: Shop a selection of seafood, meat, cheese and produce, as well as wine and spirits, at the gourmet market. Level 2
  • The Drug Store: Try new beverages from Dirty Lemon at this cocktail bar. Level 2
  • Fuku: Find the latest location for the Momofuku fried chicken spot. Level 2
  • Kith Treats at Snark Park: The ice cream and cereal bar adds an outpost in this exhibition space. Level 2
  • Bluestone Lane: Another spot to get your coffee fix. Level 3
  • Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: The fancy ice cream shop continues its rapid NYC expansion. Level 3
  • William Greenberg Desserts: Pick up some black and whites from the kosher bakery. Level 3
  • Belcampo: Sustainably-sourced meats are the focus of this California chain. Level 4
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar: Fill up on boutique candy. Level 4
  • Hudson Yards Grill: The latest from chef Michael Lomonaco. Level 4
  • Jack’s Stir Brew: More in coffee. Level 4
  • Li-Lac Chocolates: The chocolate institution opens its newest chocolate bar and new flagship. Level 4
  • Queensyard: A restaurant and bar from the UK’s D&D London. Level 4
  • Shake Shack: Get the chain’s signature burgers and milkshakes. Level 4
  • Bouchon Bakery: Find a selection of French pastries and freshly-baked breads. Level 5
  • Kāwi: Chef Eunjo Park helms this new restaurant from Momofuku. Level 5
  • Milos Wine Bar: Get yogurt to go during the day, sip on Greek wines at night. Level 5
  • Neiman Marcus: The department store will feature a cafe (Cook & Merchants, level 5), bar (Bar Stanley, level 6) and restaurant (The Zodiac Room, level 7).
  • Peach Mart: Momofuku’s new to-go concept specializes in kimbap and sandwiches. Level 5
  • Wild Ink: Chef Peter Jin helms this new restaurant from the UK hospitality group rhubarb. Level 5
  • TAK Room: Chef Thomas Keller debuts a new concept in NYC. Levels 5 and 6
  • Estiatorio Milos: Chef Costas Spiliadis opens a second NYC location of his acclaimed Greek restaurant. Level 6

View more here.

The Future of Hotel Dining Will Be Branded

Image result for The Future of Hotel Dining Will Be Branded

“Paris-based Accor is one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, with more than 4,500 places to stay (homes and hotels) in 100 countries and 10,000 dining outlets that — according to Accor CEO of food and beverage and lifestyle, Amir Nahai — generate more than 5 billion euros, or $5.7 billion U.S. dollars, in revenue on an annual basis.

And now that SBE, the Los Angeles-based hospitality group whose hotel and restaurant brands include the Mondrian, SLS, Delano, Cleo, Katsuya, and Umami Burger, is partly owned by Accor, you can expect to see more of those thousands of restaurants and bars being rebranded under SBE.

Over the next seven years, Accor and SBE plan to open at least 100 Umami Burger restaurants worldwide, as well as focus on opening other SBE dining and beverage brands such as Carna, SkyBar, and Dandelyan within Accor properties.”

See more here.

Tim Hortons Expands to China

Image result for Tim Hortons Expands to China

“Tim Hortons has arrived in China, joining the high-stakes battle to sell coffee in a massive country that mostly drinks tea.

The Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain, run by Burger King-owner Restaurant Brands International Inc., plans to focus on “everyday value” as it muscles up against the ambitious plans of local and foreign players such as Starbucks Corp. Its also debuting at a tricky time as a diplomatic row brews between China and Canada (…).

GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES

Besides joining a crowded field that includes Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., Coca-Cola Co.’s newly acquired Costa Coffee and local startup Luckin Coffee, Tim Hortons faces a slowing Chinese economy and complicated geopolitical situation.

Its origins as a beloved Canadian brand may run into some nationalistic consumers, given the political tensions underway currently.

Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has been held in Canada at U.S.’ request since last December. The Canadian government said in January that 13 citizens have been detained in China since Wanzhou’s arrest.

Many Chinese consumers, however, seem unfazed. Canada Goose Holdings Inc., which opened its flagship store in Beijing in December amid calls for boycott of Canadian goods, downplayed the backlash fears earlier this month after it saw shoppers line up outside its store.

Tim Hortons has struggled to build a following outside its home country. The chain, named for a Canadian hockey star, is opening its first Chinese shop on Tuesday in People’s Square, in Huangpu, Shanghai and is banking on a growing middle class keen to try Western inventions like its honey cruller donuts.

“Tim Hortons will need to offer not just something unique that Chinese consumers can’t find at other chains, but also spend heavily on marketing to build awareness of the brand,” said Jason Yu, Shanghai-based general manager of Kantar Worldpanel in Greater China.”

Read more here.

Sweetberry CEO predicts 300% growth in sales

Image result for Sweetberry Bowls CEO Desi Saran

“Predicting a 300 percent sales increase for a 1-year-old brand is a pretty gutsy statement for any new business, but Sweetberry Bowls CEO Desi Saran is confident that he’s on to something.

The restaurant veteran and serial entrepreneur first opened the New Jersey-based brand, which serves acai, coconut and pitaya bowls, wraps, salads, smoothies, in 2017, and has since grown it to 13 locations. That was after he served as an operating partner at Playa Bowls, four years ago, helping to grow it from a beach-front smoothie stand to a national chain. He left that behind, however, to launch Sweetberry Bowls, which Saran said is on its way to becoming a global chain.”

“Q: What sets you apart from your competitors?
A
: Sweetberry Bowls is a brand new company, and we’re truly making a name for ourselves in the growing Acai bowl category, which is fairly new in the fast casual space. But, we’re not just a bowl concept or smoothie shop – we serve a full product mix of salads, sandwiches and wraps as well. As a result, our product offering isn’t just seasonal, but fully functional all year round.”

Read full interview here.