Locally Sourced Produce Hits New Level
Chefs in the New York area are negotiating deals with regional farmers that offer cash up front for produce that will be planted this season. Some chefs are literally catering to local farmers with promises of catered meals, baked goods, and bonuses if they agree to grow specific vegetables, New York Magazine reports.
New York To Ban Foam Cups And Plates
New York Mayor Bill DiBlasio's office has announced that it plans to ban the use of plastic foam cups and plates in New York City as of July 1, reports Nation's Restaurant News. New York will now be the largest city in the country - following San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon - to prohibit the foam containers, which environmental groups have long decried as a hazard that clogs the nation's landfills. The ruling is expected to remove some 30,000 tons of plastic from the trash stream.
Vegan Restaurant Takes Top Honors In Philly
Vegan has more than arrived. Vedge of Philadelphia recently topped some heavy hitters to gain Zagat's Top Food title in the city and also be named one of the top 38 restaurants in the nation, the National Restaurant Association reports. Rich Landau and his wife and business partner, Kate Jacoby, began building a mainstream clientele with their earlier restaurant Horizons. The Philadelphia eatery grew popular with the city’s fine-dining crowd, and eventually about 85% of its customers were non-vegans who just loved the food. They estimate that 95% of the guests at Vedge are omnivores, and it is probably about the same at V Street, the casual, less-pricey restaurant the couple opened last year.
More Dining Out, Ordering More Appetizers As Meals
Technomic researchers report that some 12% more people are dining out than in 2013. In addition, diners are ordering higher priced, artisanal appetizers for dinner choices. Most of these diners are late-night eaters, Technomic says.
Foie Gras Is Back
After being banned in California in 2012, foie gras made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened is now back on the menu, The National Restaurant Association reports. The ban was overturned after a group of out-of-state foie gras producers challenged the law in the California courts. In response, a number of California chefs are holding foie gras celebrations around the state. Why not join in with a party of your own?
Your Restaurant Is Being Sued... Now What?
Most restauranteurs are ill-prepared to face a lawsuit, Restaurant-Hospitality.com reports. Far from what occurs on TV or in the movies, most lawsuits involving restaurants are filed by former employees or by contractors claiming breach of contract. In either case, don’t panic and contact your lawyer immediately. Good record keeping is also essential and do not throw anything out once the suit is underway even if you think it could damage your case. It is not only illegal, but the penalties can be stiff. In addition, plan on the process taking as long as two years until final resolution. During that time a number of hearings and depositions may be held which you may or may not want to attend. Your attorney will brief you on when and what you really should attend. When it comes to attending the actual trial, you have no choice. You need to be there. But remember this, most cases will never make it to the courtroom and will be settled or dropped before that point. Is it expensive? Yes. Scary? Yes. Something to ignore or take lightly? Absolutely not, Restaurant-Hospitality.com says. It is not only your business at stake, it is your good reputation -- and that is hard to win back once it is tarnished.
Irish Beef Coming Your Way
For the first time since Mad Cow Disease led to a ban of European beef in the U.S. in 1999, the FDA lifted the ban last year. First takers to import beef is the Republic of Ireland and imports come none too soon, say the experts. The Irish beef is pasture-raised, hormone-free, and is expected to command premium prices and help feed growing demand at high-end restaurants, QSRWeb reports.
Dissecting Pizza: What's Important
A new survey by zpizza finds that it is the toppings that sell the pies, at least by 36% of consumers. Another 29% make pizza purchases based on the crust, while 16% make their selections based on sauce. Men, it seems, favor pepperoni and women prefer bacon.
Top Menu Items For 2015
The National Restaurant Association recently released research on the top menu items in U.S. Restaurants. Among the Top 10 are:
· Italian Cuisine
· Fried Chicken
· French Toast
· Fried Foods
· Comfort Foods
· Fruit Desserts
· Pulled Pork
· Chicken Wings
Controlling Increasing Costs
With food costs increasing an estimated 2.5 to 3.5% this year, restaurants need to take a good hard look at costs in order to preserve profits, QSRWeb reports. Here is what you can do about it:
- Talk to a distributor and don't keep your suppliers on standby. You pay for it in the long run.
- Look for alternative brands.
- Evaluate your storage space and think about buying in bulk for those items you use regularly.
- Rethink your menu and reengineer your offerings to reflect seasonal fare.
- Know your costs and keep detailed records.
- Do your homework, especially on the waste your restaurant generates. That is money out the door.
- Keep track of trends and keep up with the industry as to when it is time to expand or hunker down. Just going with your gut will put you out of business sooner than you can whip up a soufflé.
- As always, Team four foodservice can help by negotiating direct with manufacturers on your behalf. Call today at 1-888-891-3101