One major sports bar selling literally tons of chicken wings annually, realized that item wasn’t all that popular with its female patrons, which make up about half of its clientele. So the chefs experimented with unbaked, chicken-breast chunks prepared any way the ladies like them…alongside one of the 30 or so sauces available. The new chicken chunks are a big hit, not only for patrons looking for something a bit lighter to eat but also for the restaurant’s bottom line.
What Your Waitstaff Really Earns
Payscale.com is reporting that the average waiter and waitress earn $8.20 an hour in tips with overall pay totaling $13.20 an hour. There is a growing national call for a $15.00 an hour minimum wage for waitstaff. Based on Payscale’s tipping data, that would place the average combined hourly rate at $23.20 for waitstaff.
Drones Over Our Food
The Federal Aviation Administration recently ruled that the use of drones for agricultural purposes is fine under some new limitations. Drones can weigh no more than 55 pounds, can not fly above 500 feet, and can not exceed 100 mph. Users also need to be certified after completing a requisite training course and must fly the drone within eyesight at all times, CNN reports. Drones are increasingly used by farmers for pesticide applications, field surveys, and crop development.
Millennials Want More Family Dining
NPD reports that millennials with children want more restaurant options for young families. According to recent findings, these families are looking for more expansive menu options that do not come in a box. They are looking for healthy food choices aimed at children, Nation’s Restaurant News reports.
New Kitchen Trends
According to Restaurant Business, several trends will help to reshape commercial kitchens over the next decade. Among the top trends are:
* More automated food prep for roasting, dough prep, and refrigeration with digital displays For easier use by non-English speaking staff
* Smaller, more flexible kitchens, since more from-of-the-house retail space will be needed
* Even more sustainable guidelines for cooking and refrigeration practices are coming thanks to the EPA
* The customization trend will move some kitchen appliances out front to accommodate the make-your-own trend in pizzas, burritos, stir fry dishes, and the like.
* Open kitchens will be back as an evolving source of guest entertainment that displays your staff’s skill and restaurant’s transparency in how it prepares meals
Bacon Increases In Popularity, But Consumers Want Healthier Choices
While the sale of bacon is up 8% over last year, most diners claim they want healthier choices when they dine out, the National Restaurant Association reports. An estimated 80% of restaurant owners acknowledge that they have altered their menus to accommodate customer wishes for healthier foods.
Starbuck's Adds Bacon, Egg And Cheese Sandwich To Morning Menu
In an effort to increase its morning sales, Starbucks recently introduced a new bacon, cheese, and egg sandwich to its menu, Bloomberg reports. Like Starbucks's ham and Swiss breakfast sandwich—the new offering is served on a croissant bun and is meant to augment company sales by venturing further into the food business.
FDA Issues Warnings On Cumin Use
Faced with increasing instances of cumin spice adulteration with peanut proteins, the FDA has issued a warning advising people who are highly allergic to peanuts to consider avoiding products that contain ground cumin or cumin powder products, because some shipments of these products have tested positive for undeclared peanut protein. Several companies receiving the tainted product have recalled cumin products, but the FDA is taking the additional step to issue public advisories about the product.
Sales Are Up Thanks To Tourists
With more than 76 million international visitors expected in the U.S. this year, the National Restaurant Association is suggesting that its members should take a proactive approach to attracting a share of the estimated $100 billion foreign tourists will spend in 2015. Just how should they go about that? Reach out to visiting groups before they even leave home, the NRA says. Group tours plan trips way ahead, the NRA says, so it is wise to extend a friendly welcome, maybe offer tailored menus, and then enjoy all the benefits of your hard work, good food offerings, and lots of new customers.