Panera Bread recently announced that it plans to expand its delivery service beyond the seven hub sites that it established earlier this year. Most are meant for catering services, but Panera plans to add home delivery as well in order to offset growing competition in the restaurant business. Panera’s business was up 7% last quarter but still fell below Wall Street expectations.
Bird Flu Expands To Three States
Iowa is now the third state to declare a bird flu crisis that is spreading rapidly and now threatening the country’s largest egg-producing state. While the epidemic has a low threat level to humans, it has resulted in the extermination of 21 million birds and threatens up to 25% of the state’s egg supply. Also hit hard are South Dakota and Minnesota. The last-mentioned state has the largest poultry farms in the nation.
Bob Evans To Shutter Underperforming Restaurants
Bob Evans Farms has announced that it will close 20 underperforming restaurants over the course of May, Columbus First.com reports. The sale is expected to net $15-$17 million. The sale impacts 780 employees. Once completed, Bob Evans will continue to hold 540 restaurants.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
With Mother’s Day coming this Sunday, Open Table notes that the average restaurant guest will be spending on average more than $30 per guest. Mother’s Day has become one of the biggest brunch days of the year and the number one Mother’s Day cities. Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C., Cambridge, MA, Alexandra, VA, and San Francisco, CA round out the top five cities for celebrating Mother’s Day.
Guacamole is entering the mainstream. A favorite at eateries like Taco Bell, the tasty blend made with avocado, jalapeño peppers, onion, and garlic, and lime is finding its way onto seasonal menus at Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts. Qdoba even gives it away with orders – free. While the big chains worry about keeping their Guacamole looking and tasting fresh, you can one-up the big dogs by offering fresh Guacamole of your own on your menu specials. Give it a shot; both you and your customers may be surprised.
Canadian Chefs Trying To Carve Out A Name For Their Locales
From Newfoundland to Montreal, Toronto to Quebec, Bangor to Boston, chefs are experimenting with Northern foods in what they call “deluxe campfire cooking.” What is that exactly? Try fresh-caught Atlantic scallops and cod, moose, squid, and just about everything else that swims in the sea and roams the Northern woods. That would include arctic hare and partridge, fresh turnips, smoked mackerel, wild pigeon, and pine-needle-infused mussels. While these exact dishes may not be hard to come by in the middle of Connecticut, for example, it does not preclude the challenge for your kitchen to try its hand at some regional dishes of its own. It is a great creative experiment for the staff, usually a real treat for your clientele, and a great way to drum up some added business for your restaurant.
Tavern On The Green Gets Tax Break
A year after its reopening, Tavern on the Green in New York City’s Central Park just got a sweetheart deal on its taxes, The New York Post reports. The iconic restaurant underwent a $15 million overhaul last year, but will not need to pay New York any fees until 2019. Since reopening, the restaurant has been plagued by a series of issues, from bad reviews that led to the resignations of two highly touted chefs, lack of money. Its new chef, John Stevenson, who was most recently the chef at Russ & Daughters Cafe, on the Lower East Side, plans to open a beer garden and outside raw bar at the restaurant’s historic location later this week, May 8. The restaurant has a 20-year lease with New York City and its current annual revenues are estimated to be $17.5 million.
Italian Olive Oil Is In Short Supply
Italian olive oil is in short supply this season thanks to a 34% drop in Italian olive oil production. Behind the drop were last year’s hot spring, rainy summer, and an olive-eating fly. In combination, they raised prices to nearly $3.00 a pound for Italian olive oil, up 84% from last year, The Seattle Times reports. With prices so high for the genuine article, it is important that you not fall victim to adulterated olive oil scams. Check with your distributor to verify its sources.
Farm-to-table Broker Is Booming
Massachusetts started one revolution. Now it is starting another with Lettuce Be Local of Sterling, MA. The family-run company links restaurants to local produce, meat, and dairy farmers, as well as provide event planning. Since its founding in 2012, the company has expanded its services to 20 restaurants and 70 farms, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports. You reading this, entrepreneurs out there?
Diet Pepsi Changing Formula
Consumers say they hate it. Aspartame, they claim, is the reason why they are no longer drinking Diet Pepsi, The Oregonian reports. In response, Pepsi is switching to sucralose, another artificial sweetener better known as Splenda. Aspartame has been the subject of many studies, but concerns persist that it causes blood cancers, especially in men.
Major League Food – Part Two
Going to the ballpark these days can lead to some interesting food choices. At Diamondback Stadium, for example, you can sample the Churro Dog – a weird combination of a churro stuffed hot dog, glazed donut, topped with frozen yogurt, caramel, and chocolate sauce. At Turner Stadium in Atlanta, GA, fans can enjoy finger-licking chicken wings topped with special sauces. For the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, the specialty is Hoagies. Coor’s Field in Colorado, serves the taco dog, topped with either cheese, lettuce, or pico de gaco, a salsa.