In just the past few years, the number of people saying that they snack at least twice a day has grown by nearly 50%, Food Management reports. But today’s snacks can range from sweets to meats and everything in between. A number of restaurants are already tailoring and expanding happy hour menus to cater to the growing snack trend, especially popular with the Millennial crowd. According to Food Management, the one thing to keep in mind is pricing, as Millennials are also well known for their frugality.
Harvard Donates Food
Nearly 2,500 lbs. of food that would otherwise go to waste at Harvard University will now be donated to local community groups each week in an innovative program that could have a major impact on urban hunger if adopted by other instructions, Food Management reports. The donations are carefully monitored, are frozen, and do not contain leftovers from students’ plates.
McDonald’s Decision To Use Antibiotic-free Chicken Will Increase Chicken Pricing
McDonald’s recent announcement that it will no longer use chickens treated with antibiotics as of 2017 will likely increase the price of chicken for everyone by about 3%, Reuters reports. While the use of antibiotics by veterinarians is legal, there is increasing controversy of their presence in feed for healthy animals, including chicken, beef, and pork. Human overexposure to antibiotics make them less effective in fighting off serious infections and could lead to superbugs that are antibiotic resistant, experts warn. Several restaurants and fast-food chains are joining in on the ban that chicken suppliers like Tyson say will cost millions to make the change. Those increases will pass on to retailers and eventually to consumers in higher prices.
Ancient Grain Suddenly Hip
Farro has been around as long as, well, pharaohs, but the grain long popular in the Middle East and Europe is now in the spotlight as some pretty chic eateries in the U.S. According to The Wall Street Journal, farro is a low-calorie substitute for wheat, rice, barley, and white flour. Some chefs are now using farro in making cakes, in salads, and even to make pasta. So if you are looking to offer something a bit different on your menu, go with the food of the pharaohs. You and your customers may be pleasantly surprised.
Consumers Want Instant Coupons
More than 60% of Americans say they want instant dining coupons, but very few are willing to give up any personal information to get them, Today in Food reports. Only 20% say they would reveal their current location while 14% say they would share their browsing history. Those who do participate want special deals and discounts including loyalty points.
Sysco US Foods Deal Not Dead… Yet
Sysco officials have extended their offer for US Foods by 60 days in anticipation of a court ruling on antitrust charges filed against Sysco by the Federal Trade Commission, Dow Jones Business News reports. During a hearing last week, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta noted he would consider the case from May 5 to May 8. He said that he will consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction to block the companies from merging while the FTC would hold a longer, more-robust trial in its in-house administrative court system, beginning in July.
Panera Bread Launches Home Delivery
National restaurant chain Panera Bread announced that it will launch a citywide delivery service in Louisville, KY, which joins St. Louis, MO for delivery options. The service is the next step in the company’s efforts to expand its reach by offering convenient ordering and online payment.
Rotisserie Chicken Reaches Restaurants
Although slow roasted chicken on a spit has been a longtime favorite at eateries such as Boston Chicken, the tender morsels are now debuting on restaurant menus across the U.S., Technomic reports. Among the more popular combinations are garlic, barbecue, and sweet flavorings. Ethnic rotisserie chicken preps are also popular with Hispanic treatments leading the way with bold, spicy, and sweet seasonings and flavors. If your kitchen is looking for a change, rotisserie chicken may just be the thing to spice up your menu.
Restaurant Spending Growing At Pre-recession Levels
Senator Schumer Wants More Warehouse Inspections
Citing a rising incidence of rat infestations in food distribution warehouses, Sen, Charles Schumer of New York is calling on the FDA to “immediately implement a three-pronged plan that would boost the number of inspections, create a public, searchable database about violations, and increase the fines to improve conditions and deter future violations,” Food Quality and Safety reports. Industry observers note that the FDA is way behind on inspections, largely because of deep budget cuts.
Saving On Your Water Bill
Water is costing you money. To save $600 on your water bill, you will have to sell $6,000 in food and drinks if you operate your restaurant with a 5% profit margin. Want to learn three quick ways to save that $600?
1. Only serve water to guests who ask for it. Why? It actually takes three glasses of water to serve your guest one after counting the ice and the water needed to wash the glass in the first place.
2. Put new aerators in your hand sinks on a regular basis. Doing so can reduce your hot water use by thousands of gallons a year.
3. Install the best pre-rinse spray valve in your dish room. According to Smartblog, it can save you up to $300 a year because the valve sprays out less water that cleans as well as the older units.
Shake Shack Sales Cool Down
Despite its red hot IPO, Shake Shack sales have cooled down considerably, registering a fourth quarter loss, Reuters reports. That, in turn, sparked a 9% drop in the company’s share price, which rose 123% since the January IPO. Industry experts say the stock is overpriced with sales continuing to hover around 4%.