Looking to offer your customers something a little different? How about a fruit smoothie? According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, frozen fruit sales are soaring, up nearly 70% in the past five years. Fruit producer Dole notes that most of those sales are the result of the popularity of smoothies, already a home favorite – and a smart addition to your menu.
Yellowfin Tuna Tests High In Mercury
Burning coal and artisan gold mining are being blamed for a significant rise in mercury in ocean water, phys.org reports. As global use of fossil fuels continues to pollute the environment, one of the most vulnerable species is the yellowfin tuna. Researchers found that the concentration of mercury in that species has increased at least 3.8 percent per year from 1998 to 2008. Yellowfin tuna, often marketed as ahi, is widely used in raw fish dishes—especially sashimi—or for grilling, phys.org says.
Foie Gras Back In The News
A few weeks ago, a federal judge dismissed California’s ban on the sale of foie gras, leading to widespread celebrations among the state’s restaurateurs and farmers. Bur no sooner have the celebrations subsided than California’s attorney general says he will challenge the ruling. Proponents of the ban say forced feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their livers amounts to animal cruelty, Reuters reports. Chefs claim the ban inhibits their creative freedom. While the case is yet to be scheduled, the ban on foie gras’s production continues.
Starbucks To Sell Wine And Beer In Canada
It is called Starbucks Evenings. Soon to roll out in Canadian test markets, Starbucks Evenings will offer customers a menu of wine, beer, and small plates like olives, nuts, and cheese after 4 p.m. Why is the world’s largest coffee chain dipping its toe into the evening market? In a word: money, CBC News reports. With 60% of customers being women, Starbucks believes that females are more prone to join friends for a glass of wine at a coffee bar instead of a traditional bar.
NRA Asks For Easier Employee Verification Process
Listening to the complaints of its constituents, the National Restaurant Association is taking the lead in asking Congress to develop an easy-to-use national worker verification system, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. At present, the NRA says that the patchwork quilt of verification systems leads to non-compliance and an undue burden for restaurants across the country.
Favorite Valentine’s Gifts
According to Brad’s Deals, the most popular Valentine’s Day presents this year will be special dinners and lunches. The majority of people surveyed say they pay a special day out and plan to spend an average of $100 on their Valentine. Brad’s Deals also notes that Valentine’s Day is the No. 2 proposal date, second only to Christmas Eve. And what about using a coupon for that special day, including your first date? Not a problem, says 56% of respondents.
More Restaurants Tracking Waste
Driven by high costs, nearly 70% of restaurants concerned about high waste costs are now tracking those costs closely, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 forecast. In order to get a better handle on waste costs, the NRA notes that 67% of fine-dining restaurants, 49% of family-owned eateries, and 46% of casual dining establishments are now depending more on local sourcing for ingredients.
Sysco Agrees To Sell 11 Distribution Facilities
To help placate the Federal Trade Commission’s concerns over its pending merger with US Foods, Sysco agreed to sell 11 distribution facilities to Performance Food Group. “The affected facilities are located in Denver, Kansas City, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and Corona, CA. In US Foods' most recent fiscal year, these distribution centers generated $4.6 billion in annual revenue,” Food Management reports.
Defining Healthy Can Be Tricky
What exactly does healthy mean? Is it about calories or about how something is produced? Does it mean GMO free or something else? According to Nation’s Restaurant News, restaurants around the country are tackling the question from a variety of perspectives that address emotional, physical, and geographic differences. Using terms like natural, real, and unprocessed are becoming increasingly popular. So are foods that increase vitality, especially those claiming power attributes. Some of the early adopters, such as Subway, Del Taco, and Applebee’s, are already cashing in on the health trend by describing menu items using positive profiles. Give it a shot on your menus and measure the impact on sales over a period of weeks. You might be surprised.
Growth Of Fast Casual
Over the past 15 years, fast-casual restaurants have grown by 550% -- 10 times faster than the fast-food industry, The Washington Post reports. Among some of the big players in the space are Chipotle, Panera Bread, Applebee's, Chili's, and Shake Shack, which just launched a massively successful IPO. Okay, so what does it all mean? More fast-food eateries will move to adopt fast-causal menus, the experts predict, so McDonald’s may take on Shake Shack. Wendy’s and Subway will move further along with healthy menu choices, and “I think you're going to see less and less distinction over time as more fast food concepts shift towards the fast casual model," Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, an industry research firm, told the Post. "If you think it's hard to tell what makes a restaurant fast casual today, it's only going to more confusing."
Eliminating The Renewable Fuel Standard
Voices in the new Congress are gaining volume in their call for the repeal of the renewable fuel standards (RFS) mandate, the National Retail Federation reports. In a rare sign of bipartisanship, both Republicans and Democrats want to see the RFS mandate repealed. The introduction of the RFS Reform Act calls for the abolition of ethanol in fuels, which, critics say, has accomplished little more than adversely impact food prices and restaurant costs.