The National Restaurant Association reports that most Americans know Italian, Chinese, and Mexican dishes. When it comes to Japanese, Korean, Brazilian, and Argentinian food, to name just a few of the world’s ethnic dishes, Americans are a customer base waiting to happen. In fact, surveys show that Americans are eating more global foods now than five years ago. So where do they eat these dishes? Restaurants, of course, which presents a unique opportunity for your establishment to do a little ethnic food samples of its own. Your customers may be more adventurous than you know.
It has been tough sledding for McDonald’s the past few years with new menus, anemic quarters, and whispers that McD’s had lost its way. Welcome to 2015. With its back-to-basics and improved menu, including all-day Egg McMuffins, the company is reporting a 23% increase in earnings this quarter. Its stock, meanwhile, hit an all-time high before retreating recently. That has investors pouring money into an old-time favorite and has also helped to put the happy back into the company’s meals.
Washing Your Hands Can Save You Money
Nearly 80% of illnesses can be transmitted by the hands. This includes potentially harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Shigella, Campylobacter, and viruses like norovirus, which all pose a serious threat to public health. Without proper precautions, restaurant workers can inadvertently launch a tragedy, not to mention lawsuits that could put you out of business. The solution? Training and practicing good hand hygiene today, tomorrow, and every day.
The Lowdown On Hard Cheese
Here is the bad news. Nearly a quarter of the hard cheese sold in the U.S. is adulterated. Many other adulterated foods have garnered headlines, but cheese? Not so much. The adulteration is mostly in grated, dehydrated, and shredded versions of the Italian favorite Food Quality & Safety reports. Adulterants include cellulose, starches, vegetable oil, or other lesser-quality cheeses, and non-cheese fillers entirely. According to a recent survey, 95% of consumers are upset with the extant of adulteration in foods, and three quarters of respondents say that adulterated cheese should be ousted. Nearly 50% of consumers say they would stop buying from companies that adulterate its products.
Watch What You Say In Ads
The term “foot-long” is such a popular way to describe a Subway grinder, it has become part of the American lexicon. Now it is also part of several major lawsuits brought against the company by customers who say the sandwich is not 12 inches long, as advertised. Now multiply that by millions of sandwiches sold and you get the idea—major fraud. The nine plaintiffs in the case will received up to $1,000 each, a federal judge recently ruled, and the company will pay out a total not to exceed $525,000. The company pledges to pay more attention to its subs’ size, but says it has done nothing wrong. All sandwich bread is made from the same amount of dough, it says, adding that a variety of reasons account for size variations.
OJ Shortage In Our Future?
Citrus growers in Florida are warning that citrus greening – the world’s most serious citrus plant disease – will reduce annual crop harvests to about a third of its current size. Juice prices would more than double with a gallon of OJ, TheLedger.com reports.
Monitoring Cattle Goes High Tech
Cattle ranchers are forever guessing what price their herds will bring at market. It is a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. With the advent of solar-powered scales at watering troughs, farmers will now have a daily readout, The Japan Times reports. The information helps farmers decide when to move their cattle along to the next padlock. The system works best in semi to arid lands that feature manmade watering stations. Ultimately, it is about getting beef to market sooner at less cost, and so far, the solar-powered stations and the information they provide allow ranchers up to 40% more in profits.
Chipotle’s New Take On Business
Marketing is important to a mega-chain like Chipotle Mexican Grill. But, it is not as important as spending more on ingredients, Chipotle's Chief Creative and Development Officer Mark Crumpacker says. Favoring what is in the food instead of what it says on the package, Chipotle is investing its advertising dollars in less expensive digital and in-store marketing.
Fast Casuals Adding Wine To The Menu
Call it the drink of the ages… or maybe the moment, but more fast-casual restaurants are now offering wines on their menus to provide a more upscale appeal, Eater reports. It also is a distinct differentiator between fast food and fast casual, Zach Koff, the Vice President of Operations for Shake Shack says. Wine also suits the business model well, allowing for quick pours from boxed wines and kegs at five bucks a glass.
Veggie Burgers Go Upscale
Okay. Mentioning veggie burgers and the word good in the same sentence seems absurd. No more. The much maligned veggie burger is now available in gourmet fashion at some of the country’s best eateries. In the meat-loving city of New York, patrons can now dine on a scrumptious meatless burger at no less than Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar, the ultra-trendy NoMad Bar, and a new upscale place called Superiority Burger. So what is behind the new success trend? None of the contenders poses as a meat substitute. They celebrate what they are; but then there is the crunch of lettuce, the snap of a pickle, taste of ketchup, and feel of the bun, then abracadabra, it is a great-tasting burger. Hard to believe? Give it a shot. You may find that one-time vegetable scraps are now the makings of a real winning combo for your customer, the environment, as well as the register.
Fish Species Back On Market
Red snapper, red grouper, ocean perch, pollock, monkfish, and whiting are just a few of the dozen fish that are now back on the market after a long hiatus due to their endangered status, the National Restaurant Association reports. Due to longstanding conservation efforts, these species are back in the main stream for everyone to enjoy. To highlight that, the NRA is launching a national awareness campaign about these fish as year-around alternatives to the “usual suspects.” Remember the old saying there are more fish in the sea? Here is your chance to offer your customers even more varieties of fish. Bon Appetit!