Consumers Demand These Culinary Innovations

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, culinary trends are taking the stage. Just a few years ago, many diners hadn’t heard of exotic dishes and ingredients like kimchi or ostrich steaks.

In an effort to keep their art interesting, chefs are constantly innovating to provide their customers with experiences that WOW diners. However, today's customers are more educated and more adventurous than ever. This is pushing chefs to continue experimenting and is certainly keeping chefs on their toes!

Mark Garcia of Avocados From Mexico says the new consumers’ well-traveled palates are pushing guests to ask for more from their dining experiences.

“We’re really experiencing those flavors when we travel and we expect them when we come back home,” said Garcia. 

Chef Eileen Andrade of Finka Table and Tap adds that social media also encourages innovation.

“Social media has been a huge influence, for sure. I mean, now you have everything at your fingertips. It’s like, you’re sitting in Miami and you see something cool trending in LA. Then you’re like ‘I wanna do that,’ so you do it in Miami.”

Chef Andrade continues to explain how chefs must build trust to allow customers to step out of their comfort zones. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort but at the end of the day, the customer's experience is what matters.

“We have alligator on the menu. We have ostrich. We’re trying to do things a little differently and kind of present these ingredients and these flavors to people who normally haven’t had it. And we do that by gaining their trust at the table saying, you know, ‘If you don't like it, we’ll take it off the bill but just try it.’ So we’ve been successful in changing people’s mind[s].”

Watch the episode above to learn about even more culinary trends we’ll be seeing this year.

 
 

How to Spot a Toxic Culture

How to Spot a Toxic Culture

Your restaurant's culture is the life force of your brand. It creates energy. That energy transcends and influences your staff. That trickles down to encompass the guest experience. To those on the outside looking in, it can be either a beacon or a warning sign.

A toxic culture is a symptom of a much deeper condition: the total absence of leadership. The good news is that toxic cultures can be spotted and treated. Determining how aggressive you need to be with the treatment will depend on how bad the toxicity has spread into your brand. Like cancer, toxic cultures have one mission and that is to destroy your brand one person at a time. Just like in the fight against cancer, early detection is your best chance. So, how do you spot a toxic culture? Do you have one? Check out these warning signs and see for yourself.

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Generation Z, Welcome to the Conversation

Generation Z, Welcome to the Conversation

On this episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron discusses with author and speaker David Stillman on how Generation Z (73 million strong) is the emerging worker and consumer base. The truth is most people are not talking about Gen Z, but it's time to start paying attention and listening to this group. As David Stillman says, "This really is one of the first times in history, in the generational conversation, where the younger generation is the authority figure..."

Listen to the episode for more!

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The Main Dish: Restaurant Fundamentals, Chocolate-Wine Pairings, and Other Highlights

In the age of information overload, refinement is key. That was the thought behind The Main Dish — a quick compilation of the most bookmark-worthy links from the Foodable WebTV Network. Aside from our usual daily content, every Sunday, The Main Dish will serve a fresh batch of handpicked pieces of the most appetizing lists & literature that you may have missed.

Have you Forgotten Some of These Restaurant Fundamentals?

This article is not about how to not use technology (it’s a great asset,) but don’t let it fail you, your staff, or your customers. Let’s strip back the technology for a moment and remind ourselves as an owner, operator, manager, or frontline employee – some of the tactics that we must never forget or stop learning.

Dade Night Dining: The Most Romantic Restaurants to Visit in Miami

Summer date nights shouldn’t conform to the four corners of a $39 prix fixe menu; especially when Miami has a plethora of restaurants that serve affordable food– with a complementary side of romance. Isn’t there nothing more disappointing than taking your date to a “froufrou” steakhouse only to discover you’ll have to choose between chicken or fish. Save the embarrassment by trying one of these eateries that are sure to set the mood. 

Beverage Experts Pumped About Sustainable Straws and Szechuan Peppercorn

This episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse is chock-full of great beverage insights from coffee makers to bartenders and spirit distillers. Host Chelsea Keenan hears from beverage experts about consumer trends they are seeing and trends they are pushing for in the next few years.The founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, Geoff Watts, and Sourcing Director Michael Sheridan take us to the root of coffee, or more specifically— the cherry.  Coffee is grown on trees in the form of cherries.

Wine Lovers are Trading In Their Brie for Brix

Charcuterie and cheese boards have long been staples for wine lovers looking for a tasty, complimentary snack, but when lung doctor Nick Proia started thinking about the different effects these snacks were having on his arteries, it didn’t make sense to him. Watch the full On Foodable Weekly episode to learn more about chocolate specially formulated for wine!

What You Can Learn From Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip Franchisee Incentives

Finding the right investors for one's business can be an arduous task. Between meetings, presentations, and coming up with the best ways to market a concept— an operator can be left exhausted at the end of the day and sometimes to no avail. One effective way to get the attention of people with the big bucks is by creating attractive franchise incentives and limited-time offers that investors simply can’t resist.

Here’s Why the Top Three QSR Chains are the Ultimate Marketing Masters

Today’s foodie has more restaurants to pick from than ever. With innovative fast casuals and elevated casual dining restaurants popping up across the country, quick-serve establishments are being forced to rebrand and adapt to keep consumer attention. For any restaurant to keep up in this competitive digital space, their marketers have to think outside the box. While traditional print marketing may be still relative, the consumer’s everyday experience is now a virtual one.

Here's How Kellogg's Plans to Take its NYC Cereal Experience to the Next Level

Here's How Kellogg's Plans to Take its NYC Cereal Experience to the Next Level

The American multinational food manufacturing company is making its cereal café even bigger and better. 

Last summer, Kellogg's opened a cereal café in New York City to showcase its expansive portfolio of cereal projects. Kellogg’s partnered with Co.create NYC to bring its cereal to the masses in NYC in different ways. 

The brand would often use the store to collaborate with chefs and restaurants to offer a unique experience to cereal lovin’ consumers.

"Kellogg's NYC will remind families how fun and delicious cereal is, especially when elevated with creative ingredients," said Anthony Rudolf, formerly of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and Eleven Madison Park that partnered with Kellogg’s when the first café opened. "We'll give guests a chance to experience cereal, something they've been connected to their entire lives, in a completely new way."

The award-winning chef Christina Tosi also collaborated with the brand to develop some of the café’s menu items.

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Here’s Why the Top Three QSR Chains are the Ultimate Marketing Masters

Here’s Why the Top Three QSR Chains are the Ultimate Marketing Masters

Today’s foodie has more restaurants to pick from than ever.

With innovative fast casuals and elevated casual dining restaurants popping up across the country, quick-serve establishments are being forced to rebrand and adapt to keep consumer attention.

For any restaurant to keep up in this competitive digital space, their marketers have to think outside the box. While traditional print marketing may be still relative, the consumer’s everyday experience is now a virtual one.

Every restaurant brand is trying to catch the attention of this elusive, distracted consumer, but some brands do this better than others. QSR chains, especially those who have been around for a while, understand that marketing can make or break a brand.

We decided to take a closer look at the top three QSR brands on Foodable’s most recent National Top 25 Restaurants list to see how these ultimate marketing masters stay above the competition. 

Starbucks is King

This coffee-focused QSR landed at No. 1 on the 2017 mid-year National Top 25 Restaurants ranking.

What’s this brand’s secret recipe? Is it the creative limited-time beverages like the Unicorn Frappuccino that end up going viral? Is it the wildly popular mobile app? It’s a mixture of both of these things.

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Will Dunkin' Drop the “Donuts” to Compete with Starbucks?

Will Dunkin' Drop the “Donuts” to Compete with Starbucks?

The beloved New England coffee chain, Dunkin' Donuts, is testing out a name change. Instead of being “Dunkin' Donuts,” the brand may soon just be known as “Dunkin'.”

It looks like the brand is trying to distance itself from being known as a place to just get doughnuts. 

Is this because these delicious fried ring-shaped pieces of dough don’t fit the healthy lifestyle of of today’s consumer? 

Back in the 1980s, Dunkin' made the memorable line, “Time to make the donuts” famous. Doughnuts were a popular breakfast item. 

Fast forward to today, doughnuts now have an unhealthy negative connotation. Although innovative concepts like The Salty Donut, Stan’s Donuts and VooDoo Doughnuts are thriving in their markets offering high-quality doughnut masterpieces at a much higher price-point than Dunkin', these concepts are being visited by foodies as a treat. Most aren’t visiting these concepts on a daily basis. 

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What You Can Learn From Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip Franchisee Incentives

What You Can Learn From Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip Franchisee Incentives

Finding the right investors for one's business can be an arduous task. Between meetings, presentations, and coming up with the best ways to market a concept– an operator can be left exhausted at the end of the day and sometimes to no avail.

One way to find investors to buy into your franchise is to start investing in your business yourself.

While there are many ways to help your business grow, like investing in your company culture, hiring the right kind of team, and improving the product quality of a business– when it comes to scaling, things can get tricky.

One effective way to get the attention of people with the big bucks is by creating attractive franchise incentives and limited-time offers that investors simply can’t resist.

A good example of this is currently being rolled out by Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip, which recently announced a “Buy 3 Get 2 deal,” along with 50 percent off franchise fee in 30 regional malls.

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These Beverage Experts Are Pumped About Sustainable Straws and Szechuan Peppercorn

This episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse is chock-full of great beverage insights from coffee makers to bartenders and spirit distillers. Host Chelsea Keenan hears from beverage experts about consumer trends they are seeing and trends they are pushing for in the next few years.

The founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, Geoff Watts, and Sourcing Director Michael Sheridan take us to the root of coffee, or more specifically— the cherry. Coffee is grown on trees in the form of cherries. These are then picked off the trees and from there the seeds can go through a variety of different processes at different stages, all creating different flavors from the same coffee bean. Watts outlines the process for honey coffee, a very popular process with today’s consumers.

“You can take it off the tree and immediately take off the skin and put the coffee into a big tank... and let it sit and ferment or have an enzymatic breakdown of this sticky mucilage on there.”

As farmers and coffee houses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, natural processes like honey coffee are beginning to gain traction.

Bartenders Danielle Dang and Robin Goodfellow chime in with trends they have been seeing behind the bar. The American population is moving towards favoring more responsible, sustainable practices. In an effort to be a part of the movement, Goodfellow says he needs help from industry suppliers.

“Like, there's this huge big straw debate going on in the cocktail industry, like ‘Don’t give straws to guests! It’s ruining the environment!’ you know? And guests wants straws,” he explains, “so as a designer, I’m furious that straw companies are not making biodegradable straws. This is not my problem: To use straws or not to use straws. Make it better!”

Be sure to watch the episode for other great insights from our experts on this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse.

Wine Lovers are Trading In Their Brie for Brix

Wine Lovers are Trading In Their Brie for Brix

Charcuterie and cheese boards have long been staples for wine lovers looking for a tasty, complimentary snack, but when lung doctor Nick Proia started thinking about the different effects these snacks were having on his arteries, it didn’t make sense to him. 

“I knew that in my coronary arteries there was a little war going on between the fats of the cheese trying to narrow my arteries and all those great chemicals in wine that are trying to open up my coronary arteries,” he explains.

So, Proia started looking into healthier alternatives like dark chocolate.

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