Let’s get something straight right up front. It is not cheap to install Apple Pay in your business. That said, beyond the cool factor, electronic payment technologies such as Apple Pay are growing rapidly as cellphones become omnipresent. Some retailers who have adopted Apple Pay are reporting that patrons using the app end up spending on average 10% more than traditional payers. With the rising incidence of credit card fraud, technologies like Apple Pay seem inevitable. It may be something you could use for your business… and your customers.
Food Management Partners Buys Ovation Brands
Food Management Brands recent acquisition of Ovation Brands Inc. will likely lead to staff consolidation, the Nation’s Restaurant News reports. Ovation Brands owns 328 restaurants in 35 states, including five buffet brands — Ryan’s, Fire Mountain, Country Buffet, Old Country Buffet, and Hometown Buffet — and the casual-dining Tahoe Joes Famous Steakhouse chain. With its latest acquisition, Food Management Brands now has over 500 restaurants and annual revenue of more than $1 billion.
Selling Outside Your Restaurant Walls
Recent estimates place food sales outside of restaurants to total an estimated $525 billion a year, Smartblog reports. The challenge for restaurateurs is how to increase their share of those dollars? Jackie Berg, Marketing Director of Olo, helps restaurants increase revenue per square foot by delivering faster, more accurate, and more personal service through digital ordering, says he sees the future success stories coming from those who develop partnerships to help them take better advantage of opportunities outside the four walls of their businesses. “We’re certainly missing out on more than half the world by focusing only on interactions that happen inside the store,” he told Smartblog. “Shifting service models and doubling down on a seemingly unfamiliar world can be a frightening proposition, but only if you’re working with the wrong partners.”
Welcome To Genome Trakr
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently unveiled Genome Trakr, “the first distributed genomic food shield for identifying and tracing foodborne outbreak pathogens back to their source,” Food Quality & Safety reports. The new site provides public health officials and researchers with real-time comparison and analysis capabilities to speed up investigations of foodborne illness outbreak investigations and reduce foodborne illnesses and deaths.
OJ Production Is Down; Prices Will Remain High
Florida orange farmers are actually happy about the 3.3% drop in production in oranges this coming season, The Ledger reports. For the past three seasons, orange production has been off by double digits due to a citrus disease that has reduced crops by 61% over the past 12 years. Juice prices have been increasing due to the shortages. They are expected to continue rising based on an expected 10% drop in orange production in Brazil, the world’s largest grower.
Still reeling over the arrest of its former spokesperson Jared Fogle on admissions sex acts with minors and distribution of child pornography, Subway’s marketing plans are in a state of flux, Ad Age reports. Not only has the company’s marketing leader left the company in what Subway insists is unrelated to the Fogle affair, Subway’s ad account is also up for grabs. Marketing gurus predict the company will try to shift the public’s focus off the Fogle controversy by stressing the chain’s fresh ingredients and customization of sandwiches. Almost a certainty is the fact that Subway will avoid a spokesperson for a while, given what happened with Fogle. Across the massive chain, Subway is asking that the likeness of Fogle be removed from window display ads and menus, but so far, many of the franchises are slow to comply.
Classically Trained Fast Food Chefs
A classically trained chef trying their hand at fast food is nothing new. Think Chipotle, for example. What is different this time is the new breed is focusing on fast food that is local, organic, and fresh. A case in point is Chicago’s PACKED, recently opened by a veteran chef of five-star restaurants, who believe that patrons will be willing to wait a bit longer and pay slightly more for something memorable. In Los Angeles, Stir Market is a food hall that serves fresh vegetarian options including $5 side salads of couscous, kale, and prepared grains. It is not about the cost, Chef Stacy Rampton says. “People want good, quality food that’s fast. That means the industry has to evolve. The majority of places serve fried carbs. There is no variety. People are getting smarter. It’s important to them to know where their food comes from, where it’s grown, and the farmers who are growing it.” In New York, that message comes through loud and clear at by CHLOE. The eatery is 100% vegan, plant-based, and kosher-certified. Its goal? Bring the meatless to the masses, says Chef Chole Coscarelli, best-selling author of Chloe’s Kitchen, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, and Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen.
Small Brands, Big Profits
In the age of fresh, local, and authentic, entrepreneurs are finding it to be a virtual golden age for little brands that feature unique ingredients and harbor major dreams. According to investment bank Jefferies, big-name brands are falling out of favor with consumers, who are looking for something different, The New York Times says. Like fresh baby foods, authentic sauces, yogurts, condiments made from real, not artificial ingredients, and soft drinks that actually contain natural flavorings. The proliferation of small-brand, high-quality products seems unstoppable. To find out what may be available in your area, ask your local distributor. You and your customers may be glad you did.
Target Hosts Fast-food Chain
By October, national retail Target will open nine Freshii fast-casual restaurants, three Pizza Huts, and two D'Amico & Sons eateries in a market test of higher-quality food and fast-casual cafes, USA Today reports. Most of the 1,800 Target stores have cafes. If the tests prove positive, look for a major change in Target’s food strategy. At present, nearly 40% of Target customers say they visit the store’s present cafes, and they want an upgrade from the junk food currently offered.