Coca-Cola Launches New Innovative Freestyle Operating System

Coca-Cola Launches New Innovative Freestyle Operating System

Continuing on the innovative journey, Coca-Cola Freestyle will be releasing its newest member of the Freestyle family this week at the National Restaurant Association (NRA)  trade show in Chicago. 

The new unit- Coca-Cola Freestyle 9100 will be available nationally in 2019, featuring a 24-inch, high-definition touchscreen, and Bluetooth connectivity. This will let consumers connect to the Freestyle mobile app when they enter an outlet with a machine and will be able to cue up their beverage choice, or create a new mix. 

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5 Things Restaurant Owners Need to Know About Sex-Based Discrimination

5 Things Restaurant Owners Need to Know About Sex-Based Discrimination

Turns out, sexual harassment isn’t the only type of sex-based complaint employers are facing. LGBT-related workplace complaints are on the rise, but unlike with sexual harassment, the law isn’t nearly as clear. In fact, it varies extensively across state and federal courts, leaving many employers at a loss to understand their legal obligations. Let’s take a look at what restaurant owners need to know about sex-based discrimination in the workplace – what conduct is illegal and where.  

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Chipotle, Applebee's, and Other Chains Turn to Delivery to Survive

Chipotle, Applebee's, and Other Chains Turn to Delivery to Survive

Delivery is slowly becoming a customer expectation. With that in mind, quick-serve and fast casual chains are jumping on the delivery bandwagon.

Earlier this week, we reported that Panera rolled out national delivery and made the conscious decision to not partner with a third-party to keep more of the profits made from delivery. 

"We do make money with delivery, but a lot of the restaurants that are using third parties, they don't make that much more," said Blaine Hurst, Panera CEO to "Business Insider." "What it is, is they don't believe they have a choice."

Although the third-party services have made it easier for brands to offer delivery, they cut into profits and the brand loses some of the control of these orders. Ultimately, it's up to the third-party's delivery driver to get the food and bring it to the guest in the estimated time frame. So the service aspect is dependent on the delivery provider, not the restaurant. 

UberEats, for example, takes a 30 percent cut, plus the platform also collects a $4.99+ delivery fee from the customer. 

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Elevating Comfort Food: Give Your Customers What They Want

Elevating Comfort Food: Give Your Customers What They Want

Consumers today are constantly looking for the next big thing.

They are looking for new technologies, new experiences and new ways to explore flavor. But while millennials are pushing forward in this age of exploration, a majority of customers are exploring their palates in more modest ways.

Instead of searching for cricket flour or “bleeding” vegan burgers, most consumers are simply looking to inject some excitement into their current staples. For example, truffles.

Truffles and truffle oil have captivated the appetites of people for more than a thousand years. In the mid-1800’s over 2,000 tons of truffles appeared throughout Europe. But after World War I, much of the rural lands were destroyed and the growth of truffles plummeted. By the 1960’s we were producing less than 400 tons.

Still a rare delicacy, in recent years truffles have been reserved for the wealthy. Today, truffles can set an operator back over $1500 per pound, eating up budgets.

But consumers today are craving the elegance associated with the gourmet ingredient. They are looking for ways to experience the truffle taste without having to pay the exorbitant truffle price, which is putting pressure on operators.

Working the flavor into your menu is easier than you’d think. In response to consumer demands, menu incidence of truffles has increased 4.2% over just the last year. Fast casuals have taken on the ingredient most heavily with a 10% increase in use in the segment. Fine dining and quick service establishments both report increases in use between 5 and 7 percent.

So how can you begin working the item quickly and easily into your menu?

Kicking up Comfort Food

The potato may be the most versatile vegetable available. Mashed, hashed and crinkle-cut, all forms of the starchy tuber are delicious and have held their popularity for decades. While it seems there will never be a shortage of inventive formats for the potato, the flavor profile of potatoes seem to have stayed largely unchanged.

Potatoes pair well with delicious, salty fats like butter and cheese or fried in oil. Truffles, on the other hand, provide an earthy, umami flavor not typically experienced with traditional fats.

Enter Idahoan. Idahoan’s products are made with 100% real potatoes every time, dehydrated using an innovative process that better preserves the natural potato taste and texture. By incorporating real black truffle, Idahoan has created a flavor combination that provides a light yet exquisite taste experience, giving customers, and operators, exactly what they’ve been searching for. And it’s paying off.

Growth in the Spud Segment

The total growth across the industry for the mashed potato category is +2.1% year-over-year according to a Technomic Volumetric Assessment of the Foodservice Potato Market published in December of 2017. Idahoan Foodservice’s mashed potato growth is +3.5% year-over-year, giving the brand a noticeable step up.

The choice of Black Truffle is important: Black truffles deliver a delicate, more refined flavored than that of white truffles, which makes them a perfect complement to the delightfully pleasing taste of Idahoan mashed potatoes.

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Forget Uber Eats, Panera Bread Launches its Own Delivery Service

Forget Uber Eats, Panera Bread Launches its Own Delivery Service

It seems like every day, a restaurant brand announces they have partnered with a third-party delivery service like DoorDash, Postmates or Uber Eats to expand its on-demand delivery in a certain market. 

Panera Bread, on the other hand, has made the conscious decision not to partner up with one of these delivery providers and instead, announced last week that the chain now offers national delivery at all stores in 897 cities and 42 states in the U.S.

Customers can use the Panera app to get their lunch or dinner delivered directly to their door for just a $3 delivery fee in most markets. 

“Panera delivery isn’t a pilot program. It’s not in just a few test markets. We now offer delivery across the country,” said Blaine Hurst, Panera CEO in a recent press release. “Delivery is fueling our next phase of growth, and the success we have seen so far is exciting. The combination of providing clean food options via an entirely digital experience is giving us a real advantage, and the momentum is just beginning.”

According to Panera, 30% of sales are made online, via kiosks, or through the app. The chain is aiming to increase that number and has hired 13,000 delivery drivers.

Currently, Panera has 2,000 stores and is known for being tech-savvy with its popular mobile app and loyalty program, along with its massive employment of self- service kiosks within the last few years. 

In April 2017, the chain was purchased by JAB Holdings for about 7.2 billion. It appears as though, JAB is aiming to keep Panera Bread ahead of the tech curve by now offering national delivery.

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The Field Day App Connects Brands with Ambassadors to Execute That Last-mile Sales Opportunity

The Field Day App Connects Brands with Ambassadors to Execute That Last-mile Sales Opportunity
  • The Field Day App Can Help Solve the “Last-Mile” Sales Challenge for Big Brands.

  • Most National Brands Have Undeveloped Local Sales Strategies. On this Podcast, Erle and Val Explore a Guerrilla Marketing App That Can Help.

Today's restaurant chains have many channels of foodservice offerings like brick and mortar, takeout, delivery, and catering.  Many times, all of these channels are centralized under one facility.  

One challenge for these restaurants is creating a sales and marketing plan that increases awareness for all offerings.  For example, an off-premise offering is a local proposition to the consumer and for national chains that have all-encompassing sales and marketing strategies, awareness around their local offerings are generally underdeveloped.

On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show Valerie and Erle speak with Alex Nocifera, founder of Field Day; a platform and marketplace for brand ambassadors helping big brands like Chick-fil-a, California Pizza Kitchen, and Red Robin drive local marketing efforts, such as catering sales outreach. 

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What Will it Take to Win Over Generation Z as Foodies?

What Will it Take to Win Over Generation Z as Foodies?

For the past few years we have been asking how do we get millennials into our restaurants. Well, I have some good news and some bad news for you. Millennials are not the problem you think they are. That’s the good news. The bad news is you’re going to need to shift gears for the generation coming up quickly right behind them...Generation Z.

Born between 1997 and the present this young demographic is really hot for transparency in what they eat. While they only make up 25% of the market it is 25% that has a big digital impact in the world. This generation takes to the internet to start a revolution and it’s coming to your restaurant soon. How can you win over this “fresh-centric” generation? Here are a few ways to get them to embrace your restaurant brand:

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Zume Pizza is Aiming to License Their High-Tech Delivery Trucks to Other Restaurants

Zume Pizza is Aiming to License Their High-Tech Delivery Trucks to Other Restaurants

What’s better than fresh food delivered to your door? Fresh food that was made while on its way to your door.

At least that’s what Mountain View’s Zume Pizza thinks. This startup has dozens of patents on the baked-on-the-way method they’ve been cultivating since 2016. Zume Pizza delivery trucks are also equipped with robots to make the pies.

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You're Not A Vegan Restaurant, But A Few Vegan Meals Could Increase Business

You're Not A Vegan Restaurant, But A Few Vegan Meals Could Increase Business
  • These Vegan Recipes Can Broaden Your Menu and Your Customer Base.

  • It Is Time To Realize That Vegan Meals Are Not Just For Vegan Diners.

Vegan is the new gluten-free and just like the trendy gluten-free diet, not all customers who are looking for plant-based menu items are doing so for health reasons.  Vegan diets are clearly better for you and for the environment, but they are also trending. Not all customers who are looking for vegan options are vegans. Some customers are just interested in the cuisine or are looking for a healthy appetizer or entree to pair with menu items more appealing to their carnivorous palate.  Restaurants who are finding ways to broaden their menu offerings are finding success in attracting this new consumer. In this episode from Foodable's Smart Kitchen, we bring you two vegan recipes that will wow your guests, vegan or not.  Watch the full episode for complete preparation and recipe. 


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James Beard Foundation Announces 2018 Award Winners

James Beard Foundation Announces 2018 Award Winners

The coveted James Beard Foundation announced the restaurateurs and culinary masterminds who will be the recipients of this year's awards.

2018's theme is “celebrating the collective spirit of our community and the power of food. Championing causes, speaking up for those who can’t be heard, and cooking their hearts out, our community rises to make this world a better, more delicious place for all.”

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the James Beard Awards were hosted by Carla Hall, co-host of "ABC’s The Chew" and the awards were given to some of Foodable's favorite culinary superstars.

Some of the highlights include Outstanding Restaurateur which was awarded to Caroline Styne.

Styne snagged a nomination for Outstanding Restauranteur in 2017, but this year was her year. Her partner is Suzanne Goin, who was inducted to the JBF’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in 2017, is the badass chef at their concepts A.O.C., Lucques, and Tavern.

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