Due to Maine’s ban on shrimping for the second winter in a row, the state’s lobstermen are spending more time than normal in deep waters catching lobster, CBS Money Watch reports. In the past lobstermen used the winter months to catch shrimp. No more. From January through March, shrimp move into deeper waters and are more elusive, leading to prices increasing as much as $1.50 a pound. According to Downeast Lobstermen’s Association, its members have no choice but to extend the lobster season in order to make ends meet.
GMO Wheat Could Be Coming Our Way
After a 15 year hiatus, Monsanto is planning to reintroduce genetically engineered wheat that farmers rejected back in the mid-1990s, The St. Louis Dispatch reports. The wheat will be resistant to three types of herbicides that are used in abundance on American farms. The bottom line is that “Frankenwheat” may be coming our way within the next decade and that scares people. Why? Because people eat most wheat products, unlike GMO corn and soy, which ends up as fuel or as animal feed.
There is a lot of confusing stuff out there when it comes to selecting the right mobile strategy for your restaurant. More than 55 % of Millennials claim they would likely not support a business that does not have a mobile presence in the form of an app. So what does that mean? Potential customers want to be able to find your restaurant on their cellphones via GPS, see the menu, prices, be able to make a reservation, and order out, QSRweb.com reports. One more thing: electronic customers want a rewards’ program, which few owners currently provide.
Wholesale Food Prices May Continue To Increase
Wondering why your wallet is a little thinner these days? Blame inflation. When it came to food, inflation ended at 4.5% in 2014, The Food Institute reports. This coming year, prices for protein foods (meat) will continue to increase, but not at 2014 levels, The Food Institute says.
Top Fast Casual Restaurants
In a customer survey of the top 120 fast-casual restaurants, Technomic researchers ranked the top five on five different criteria:
1. McAlister’s Deli -- pleasant, friendly service
2. Firehouse Subs - Welcoming, comfortable atmosphere
3. Zaxby’s -- Unique items
4. Jason’s Deli – Availability of healthy option
5. Raising Caine’s Chicken Fingers –Intend to recommend
Airports Serving Farm-to-table Foods
It may come as a surprise to learn that a recent survey of airport restaurants are flying high with farm-to-table offerings, The New York Times reports. “It’s the same kind of renaissance that we’re seeing streetside,” Frank Sickelsmith, vice president for adult beverage and restaurant development for HMSHost, which runs concessions at more than 100 airports, says in the Times. “Airports want iconic brands from the local market. More often now, that’s farm-to-table.”
Illegal Fishing Threatens Safety And Quality Of U.S. Seafood
A Presidential Task Force says that the U.S. seafood industry is threatened by illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The transport of fish is a complex industry and some observers note that there is no chain of custody for fish. That runs a big risk on both the freshness and safety of fish. To combat those concerns, the task force recommended standards for U.S.port inspections, renewed efforts to negotiate international commitments to eliminate fish subsidies that have led to over-fishing, and enhanced efforts to identify seafood imports as a means to reduce fraud, Food Quality & Safety reports.
Prepared Meals For Home Are Growing Fast
Companies such as Dinewise, Bistro MD, E Meals, and Hello Fresh are growing rapidly as busy professionals are buying into the prepared meal service concept that provides the ingredients and recipes delivered to your home weekly for as little as $10 a meal. Choices range from vegan to organic and everything in between. According to Top Consumer Reviews.com, the leader of the pack is Dinewise, followed by Bistro MD, Diet To Go, Gourmet Station, and Magic Kitchen. That said, some restaurants are launching their own local versions of the eat-at-home meals. Beyond traditional takeout, these meals contain all of the ingredients needed to make your own fresh meals within a few minutes. As an additional revenue stream, it may well be worth looking into the rising popularity of the prepared meal phenomenon.
Dockworker Dispute Continues
Despite the federal government stepping in to mediate a long dispute involving West Coast dockworkers, slowdowns continue to hurt the food business, The Food Institute reports. Work slowdowns by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are losing offshore sales and delaying truck deliveries of fresh fruit and produce. The dispute is over health benefits and guarantees. In response, many producers are diverting their products to other ports in Texas and the East Coast.
Chipolte Pulls Pork From Menu
National chain Chipotle is winning over supporters following its decision to pull pork from its menu temporarily due to supply issues. The company decided to suspend serving popular pork offerings after learning of humane standard violations from its pork supplier, Restaurant Smartbrief reports.
Pizza Hut Adds Gluten-free To The Menu
Pizza Hut recently announced that it will begin serving gluten-free pizza this month using gluten-free dough from Udi’s, The New York Times reports. According to the report, restaurants across the country are adding gluten-free items to their menus to meet the rising demand of customers. Unlike
its competitors, Pizza Hut is hoping to offer a completely gluten-free pizza and the company is working with the Gluten Intolerance Group to ensure that it is developing the right gluten-free kitchen protocols. Oh, and if you want to wash that down with a beer, MillerCoors has just the item -- Coors Peak Cooper Lager, currently being test in Seattle and Portland.
Buck A Slice For The Homeless Cuts Crime
Rosa's Pizza in Philadelphia decided to promote a unique fundraiser. Pay an extra buck for a pizza and that dollar would provide a free slice to the homeless, Reuters reports. So far, the pizzeria has served more than 8,500 free slices to the homeless in less than a year through the “pay it forward” program. Some of the homeless say the free slice program helps them avoid committing petty crime to get money for food. The pizzeria owner never thought of that angle, but in global exposure alone his generosity is earning countless fans and widespread public praise from as close as Fox School of Business at Temple University to faraway Africa.