McDonald’s Spent $48 Million to Push Bacon in February

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“McDonald’s led all companies in advertising dollars spent at $48 million, less than what the chain allocated in January. Taco Bell (second on the list) cut its TV advertising funding by nearly half, likely due to Grubhub picking up most of the tab for its joint commercial with the chain touting limited time free delivery. Grubhub reportedly spent just under $7 million in ad dollars in February.

The biggest surprise of the month was Arby’s, which catapulted up 26 spots from January to crack the top 10 in advertising dollars spent. The quick service restaurant has completed a large sales turnaround in recent years by relying more on promotions and new deli meats to entice customers, according to Forbes. The chain’s success also led its parent company to acquire both Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic in 2018.

Overall, quick service restaurants and pizza chains dominated TV advertising again in February, with Yum Brands’ subsidiaries — Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC — in the top 10 for the fourth consecutive month.  Olive Garden and Applebee’s, the casual restaurants that cracked the top 10 in January, ended February at 11 and 14, respectively, after shelling out more than $10 million each.”

Read 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.

Fishing for Transparency: Farmed Fish Gains Market Share

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“Farm fishing, or aquaculture has been on the rise since the 1990’s. Globally, we have become more reliant on farm fishing as the demand for fish increases. While these trends correlate through a simple supply and demand relationship, it’s important to note just how much aquaculture will play a part in satisfying our need for fish.”

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“Food trends. Millennials are the largest population on planet Earth in 2017, and restaurant industry trends point to the fact that their food preferences are different than that of boomers. Because of that, they are very aware and knowledgeable about the food that they eat. Many are conscious of eating higher amounts of protein – enter, the rise of fish. Consuming fish has many benefits: it’s high in protein and omega 3s, helping to improve cognitive abilities and lowering the risks of heart disease.

Fresher fish. When you go out and catch fish in the ocean there are a variety of issues. First, many parts of the ocean are overfished. Second, to get these fish to market requires one to first send a crew out there for weeks, pick up the fish, package it, board it on a truck and distribute it. Just because you live in New York, does not mean that your fish is coming from the Atlantic, it could be coming from Europe or Asia, so the commute is much longer. Farm fish, however, typically come from areas closer to home. The farms are built closer to the demand and require less transportation and travel. (…)”

Read more here.

 

Murray’s Opens a Mac-and-Cheese Restaurant in the West Village

Murray’s has a cheese store that also sells charcuterie and condiments on this busy West Village block, and, a few doors down, Murray’s Cheese Bar, serving wine and a cheese-friendly menu. Now, in an empty storefront, formerly Amy’s Bread, on the same block, the company has opened a macaroni and cheese restaurant. It’s a counter-service spot, with 20 seats, featuring a build-your-own menu. Start with a bowl of pasta cooked with cheese and other ingredients, then add other cheeses, vegetables, meats, sauces and toppings, all in four possible portion sizes (snack to family). Classic, barbecue, French onion and Buffalo chicken are among the style and flavor options. The pastas — all radiatori — are made by Sfoglini, a pasta company in upstate New York. There’s also a breakfast mac and cheese made with sausage, bacon, egg and Cheddar that’s served only on Saturdays and Sundays.

254 Bleecker Street (Leroy Street), 212-243-3289, ext. 350, murrayscheese.com.

See more Openings here.

Billionaires Are Betting Big on Alternative Meat

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Creating designer protein that can make your veggie burger taste like the real thing is as easy as brewing beer. Or at least that’s what a new subsidiary of Boston-based bio-manufacturing startup, Ginkgo Bioworks Inc., says.

Ginkgo’s Motif Ingredients, which aims to replicate animal protein for meatless alternatives, is getting $90 million from investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, whose board includes tech billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Jack Ma. Commodity powerhouse Louis Dreyfus Co. and Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, New Zealand’s dairy-exporting giant, are also backing the company.

The goal at Ginkgo is to get alternative products to market faster, chief executive officer Jason Kelly said in an interview. In a statement announcing the funding, the company likened making alternative foods to the beer-brewing process, because vital ingredients such as vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and flavors are made through fermentation with genetically engineered yeasts and bacteria. Eliminating extra time in the lab can streamline the process and make it go faster, Kelly said.

Read more here.

Fluffy Japanese Pancake in Chinatown

People are going wild for these Japanese souffle pancakes

“Chinatown Japanese dessert shop Taiyaki is drawing wildly long lines with a new menu item: fluffy souffle pancakes. People waited in a two-hour line to grab the pancakes last weekend, which come topped with sugar, butter, whipped cream, and syrup, or with matcha cream. The Chinatown restaurant at 119 Baxter St., between Canal and Hester Streets, is selling a stack for $7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.”

See more here.

Refined British Restaurant Found Hiding in a Brooklyn Bar

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“Cherry Point sits on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, a few steps from the corner where Bedford Avenue, having flowed all the way across Brooklyn from the shores of Sheepshead Bay, suddenly comes to an end. The area is marked by a cluster of restaurants. Some have a washed-up feeling, as if they’d all been drifting along in Bedford’s currents and had been stranded there. A few stand out in the landscape.

In the fall, Cherry Point took a decisive turn into the second category when a new chef took over, but not everyone in the neighborhood seems to realize it yet. People still tumble in for happy hour, when servers whose hairstyles take a minute to adjust to will pour three-gulp martinis, manhattans and Rob Roys (due for a revival) in little Nick & Nora glasses for $8 each, and then after happy hour ends at 7 p.m. most of the crowd generally drifts out to find somewhere else for dinner. The space, with its old-timey wainscoting and its central bar, is easy to mistake for a tavern.”

Read more here.