A growing number of restaurants are increasing wine sales by the glass through new pairing menus, FSR Magazine reports. To keep wine fresh, eateries are employing the Coravin system, which preserves freshness and allows for tastings of more expensive and rare wines. When they enjoy [the tasting menu], they start coming back and exploring the bottle list," Jason Wagner, beverage director at New York City's Fung Tu, says. "It's lifted the restaurant up to a second tier of people."
Dominant Chains In Food Sector
According to the annual Nation's Restaurant News survey of the industry, the top brands in their respective sectors offer few surprises:
- Panera Bread, with 78.8% share in the bakery-cafe sector - Subway, with a 63.3% share of the LSR sandwich business - Panda Express, with a 59.6% share of the LSR Specialty sector - Starbuck's, with a 58.1% share of the beverage/snack business - Taco Bell, with a 57.9% shares of the LSR/Mexican market - McDonald's, with a 48% of the burger business
Winners And Losers Among Top 100 In Food Industry
Of the 12 major segments in the foodservice industry, seven improved their market share while five slipped. Among those who lost business last year were burger chains, casual dining, sandwich and pizza restaurants, and family dining establishments, Nation's Restaurant News reports. Among the winners were the beverage and snack sector, Mexican restaurants, C-stores, bakery cafes, specialty restaurants, and in-store dining.
Pizza Restaurants Among Emerging Top Five
According to Technomic, the top contenders for national franchise glory are basically pizza joints – with a twist. Interestingly, all three come out of the American West, which is not historically known for its pizza. Seems like things are a changing, folks. Here are the top five growing chains:
1. Pieology Pizzeria, with customizable toppings on pies available in 5 minutes
2. Blaze Pizza, based in Southern CA, with 50 restaurants
3. Smallcakes A Cupcakery, based in the Southeast, has 88 stores
4. Nékter Juice Bar, with fresh juices, salads, smoothies now has 46 stores
5. Mod Pizza, based in Seattle, WA, and originally founded by a coffee company
New Overtime Proposal
The Obama Administration's recent proposal to change overtime rules for workers is expected to double the number of restaurant workers eligible for overtime. If passed, a significant number of salaried assistant managers and restaurant managers would be eligible for time-and-a-half pay after 40 hours a week. According to the proposal, the threshold for overtime pay would increase from $455 a week, or $23,600 a year, to $970 per week, or $50,440 per year. That increases the potential number of workers eligible for overtime by 5 million. The new regulation could be in place within a year.
Eating Safe In New York City
Five years after initiating its letter grading of restaurants for cleanliness and safety, New York City health inspectors recently reported that 95% of the city's restaurants received a grade of A, as opposed to only 80% in 2010, MedicalDaily reports. Specifically, the incidence of serious violations has dropped 11% , rodent citations are down 18%, and nearly 60% of new restaurants now receive an A grade on their first inspection, up from 40% five years ago. According to New York City health officials, restaurants now understand that if they do not display the A in their window, consumer dine elsewhere.
Consumers Say They Want Green Products, But...
In new research released by Nielsen, 26% of consumers say they want products from ecologically friendly companies, while 16% claim they wish the products they buy came from more socially responsible sources. The problem is, it appears consumers say one thing and do another, researchers found. Only 6% of consumers actually buy new products that are either ecologically friendly or demonstrate their social responsibility.
Dutch Egg Relief
Seizing on an opportunity, Dutch farmers plan to ship eggs to the U.S. To help allies with the shortage and make a few guilders in the process. A number of Dutch suppliers have already passed USDA muster, so the next omelet your chef whips up made well have an international flavor, at least in name.
New York Restaurants To Begin Composting By 2017
Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently proposed new regulations that would mandate composting of scraps for all New York City restaurants by 2017, The Wall Street Journal reports. "We want to be at the forefront of cities that are going to zero-waste-to-landfill," Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, told the Journal.
Restaurant Mergers Growing
Another sign of a resurging economy are the more than 500 mergers that took place in the restaurant industry in 2014, The Food Institute reports. According to the Food Institute, restaurants should stay apprised of the consolidation trends in order to avail themselves of opportunities and avoid pitfalls in a rapidly changing marketplace.
JBS USA Buys Cargill Pork Business
JBS USA is acquiring Cargill's pork business for an estimated $1.4 billion. The deal includes two processing plants, five feed mills, and four hog farms, Cargill says. JBS USA is a leading processor of beef, pork and lamb in the U.S., a leading processor of beef in Canada and a leading processor of beef and lamb in Australia.
Women Advance In Restaurant Industry
Women are moving up in the restaurant world, Nation's Restaurant News reports, as some 45% of management restaurant posts are now held by women. In addition, women-owned restaurants have increased by 50% while nearly half of all culinary graduates are now women. Sadly, the new research also shows that discrimination continues to be an issue in a male-dominated industry, where a fair share of women claim they face a fair share of sexual harassment on the job.