Pumpkin Spice Is Overrated. There We Said It... But These Recipes Are Not

Pumpkin Spice Is Overrated. There We Said It... But These Recipes Are Not

Autumn’s most eponymous squash, pumpkin, has much more to offer this season than a hurried rush of spicy latte in a green and white cup in one hand and the Instagram machine in the other.

There is reasonable certainty that what we like about pumpkin spice latte is not so much the latte, nor the pumpkin, but all the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, clove and vanilla that makes coffee devotees clench their fists in spasms of caffeinated angst.

Pumpkin is inexpensive, abundant and swollen with complex, deliberate flavor that is celebration-worthy rather than tucked under too much spice. Loaded with plenty of naturally occurring sweetness that can be coaxed with a long cook time, pumpkin flavor can be lost under the clove of darkness.

In the North End of Boston, for instance, Giacomo’s North End Ristorante lifts their pumpkin game with pumpkin tortellini in sage-mascarpone sauce. The subtle Italian cream cheese works as a velvet canvas for the pumpkin to be the star. Just around the corner, in the very same neighborhood, La Famiglia Giorgio gets all Italian with their pumpkin treatment, too. Pumpkin is tucked into pasta pillows and dressed with marsala in pumpkin ravioli.  

Read More

This QSR Turned Lifestyle Brand Partners with Forever 21

This QSR Turned Lifestyle Brand Partners with Forever 21

Taco Bell is known for being a fan favorite brand and has fostered a loyal following, especially with millennials. The QSR chain is making another move to appeal to this younger segment of the population. 

Taco Bell has released a clothing line that is available for a short time at Forever 21. The limited-edition fashion collection, release just last week, includes items for men, women and girls.

There are taco-themed jackets, sweatshirts, zesty bodysuits, and even cell phone cases available on the Forever 21 website. Prices for the items range from roughly $8 to $25.  

“Inspired by iconic graphics that each brand is known for and set against a mix of playfully vibrant prints, the collection features tops, bodysuits and cropped hoodies for women. For men, a sweatshirt, hoodie and anorak jacket are updated with pops of color and distinctive illustrations that effortlessly bring the heat. The exclusive collection also features select graphic tees, a pullover and hoodie for girls,” writes Taco Bell in a press release.

Read More

The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

Last week, the penny-per-ounce soda tax on consumers, implemented by Cook County early August of this year, was repealed after much push-back from the public and heavy lobbying from Chicago’s business community.

Foodable first reported on the controversial tax last year, when five U.S. local governments (San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, Boulder, Cook County) passed tax measures on sugary drinks following the example of cities like Berkeley, Ca. and Philadelphia, Pa.

Cook County was the largest local government to implement the soda tax and the only entity to tax consumers directly rather than the distributors of the sugary beverages like in the rest of the cities.

After just two months of being in effect, the sugar tax will end by Nov. 30, the end of the Cook County budget fiscal year, thanks to a 15-2 vote by the county’s Board of Commissioners, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

Critics of the tax repeal point to aggressive ads by the beverage industry criticizing commissioners for plans to allocate the revenue from the soda tax to help cover budget deficits as one of the reasons why big soda was able to convince the public the measure was not a good idea in the first place.

Read More

BUILT.: The Revitalization of Market Square in Houston

BUILT.: The Revitalization of Market Square in Houston

“The FCSI consultant learns from each other — we meet regularly, we challenge each other, we network, and we learn from what others are doing,” says Chris Tripoli, FCSI The Americas member and president at A’la Carte Foodservice Consulting Group.

This sentiment is essentially the basis of the partnership between FCSI The Americas and the Foodable Network. Through BUILT., Foodable’s new episodic network show, viewers get a front-row seat and behind-the-scenes look at how FCSI The Americas consultants tackle everyday foodservice challenges, whether it’s rethinking a hospital cafeteria, reworking an airplane menu, or restructuring restaurant habits on food waste. Each episode will focus on a different project with a different FCSI member. While viewers are led through the problem-solving journeys of these passionate individuals, they will soon discover solutions of their own.

Read More

U.S Labor Department Appoints Dawn Sweeney for This Task Force

U.S Labor Department Appoints Dawn Sweeney for This Task Force

The National Restaurant Association has announced that its CEO and President Dawn Sweeney has been appointed by the U.S. Labor Department to join the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.

The focus of the task force is to foster career pathways in different industries. 

"The members of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion will provide varied perspectives that will help guide the administration's strategy on growing apprenticeship programs nationwide. I am grateful for their participation in this important effort," said Alexander Acosta, secretary of labor leading the task force. 

Sweeney will be representing the restaurant industry and will join a team of 20 influential leaders. 

“We are honored to represent the restaurant and hospitality industry as a member of Secretary Acosta’s Apprenticeship Task Force,” said Sweeney in a statement. “Apprenticeships offer career development opportunities that are vital to growing our economy and training America’s workforce. We look forward to streamlining and expanding the apprenticeship program to open additional pathways to achieve the American Dream.”

Restaurant brands like Golden Corral, Firehouse Subs, and FATZ Café will be participating in the program by mentoring apprentices. In the hospitality space, Wyndham, Hyatt, and Hilton will be also offering apprenticeships through the program. 

Read More

Often Overlooked, Benefits of Proper Restaurant Lighting

Often Overlooked, Benefits of Proper Restaurant Lighting

There are so many critical elements that go into the design of a restaurant, so much so that it can easily become overwhelming. It’s a moment during the start-up or renovation period, where specifics that play a large impact on customer experience, can simply be overlooked. One of the key elements that are often overlooked — is the importance of restaurant lighting.

To create positive emotions and to deliver on your promise for memorable customer experiences, a concept must think through its initial design while utilizing processes, maximizing communication, and creating surprises through a multitude of ‘touch points.’ Arguably one of the most important touch points in the overall design — is again that of restaurant lighting.

Lighting within a restaurant (or bar), affects many elements within both operations and guest experience, including food and drink presentation, atmosphere, and length of stay. Lights come in many creative materials, shapes, sizes, and brightness; therefore the largest challenge is finding the right balance for each location and concept.

When planning a restaurant space, one has to consider the ‘job’ of each light source. Is it meant to highlight wall features, to enhance a back-bar, to highlight walkways, washrooms, and exits, or is it to create the right mood over a table? Or perhaps it is for security, liability, and theft prevention? When considering the job of each light source, it’s imperative to remember to keep customers and operations top of mind first and not the architecture itself.

Here are other ways that restaurant lighting can have a large impact on revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction by again, considering the ‘job’ of each source.

Read More

Blue Apron Faces Layoffs After Lukewarm IPO

Blue Apron Faces Layoffs After Lukewarm IPO

On Wednesday, Blue Apron announced it will be implementing “a company-wide realignment of personnel to support its strategic priorities.”

Since going public in June of this year, Blue Apron has been hard at work fixing operational issues in order to grow subscriber numbers and also please investors’ expectations.

As Foodable reported in August, the first quarter report for Blue Apron revealed a surprising $238 million in revenue, a disappointing $31.6 million in losses, and a decline in subscribers (from 1 million to 938,000 customers) leading to a drop in shares.

Since then, the company has been forced to shrink its marketing budget, laid off 14 recruiters and launched a podcast in an effort to become more of a lifestyle brand around home cooking.

Now, the meal-kit competitor is faced to lay off approximately 6 percent of its staff across both corporate offices and fulfillment centers—  that figure will “probably amount to more than 250 layoffs” according to “TechCrunch.”

Read More

AmazonFresh Partners With eMeals to Offer Affordable Meal Kits

Southwest-Chicken-Tortilla-Soup.jpg

Every time a company can provide choices and time saving solutions to its customers at a competitive price, it’s a win!

This is why this digital, meal-planning solutions company focused in providing easy-to-make recipes to everyday consumers, eMeals, is proving to be a competitive, emerging player in the meal kit market category.

Unlike BlueApron and other meal-kit services, eMeals does not pre-portion, package the recipe ingredients, but instead partners up with existing grocery stores and food delivery companies to provide affordable meal kits.

This week the economic meal-kit company announced AmazonFresh will be joining Walmart Grocery, Kroger ClickList, and Instacart as part of eMeals’ team of fulfillment partners to assist in grocery delivery and pickup services.

Certain fulfillment companies have partnerships with specific stores depending on the city they serve. For example, Instacart delivers groceries in Hollywood, Fla. from the following stores choises: Publix, Whole Foods Market, Costco, CVS, PetCo, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Sur La Table.

“Meal kits and online grocery programs are reshaping the grocery market, and we are the first company to combine those two trends,” said eMeals CEO Forrest Collier. “Adding AmazonFresh to our fulfillment lineup expands our reach to most of the top players in online grocery and advances our mission of giving customers more choice, flexibility and affordability than any other meal kit service.”

How eMeals it works:

Chicken-Broccoli-Basil-Stir-Fry.jpg

After a meal plan is chosen each week (there are over 100 recipes to choose from weekly in the eMeals website or mobile app), a shopping list is generated automatically.

Subscribers to eMeals have the choice of picking-up the groceries themselves or opt to have their list integrated with existing grocery programs and have them delivered or ready for curbside pickup.

The service provides step-by-step recipes to help the home cook churn out daily meals depending on prefered diets.

Read more

Packed With Protein, Why Health-Conscious Consumers Can't Get Enough of This Product

Packed With Protein, Why Health-Conscious Consumers Can't Get Enough of This Product

The healthy food movement is alive and kicking.

“The consumer-driven shift towards fresher, cleaner foods isn’t a fad. It is a movement that is here to stay,” reported “Fortune” last year.

And stay it has!

We are increasingly seeing more fine-dining restaurants offer fresh, seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients within their menus. As well as many fast casual concepts making health-conscious decisions when it comes to sourcing ingredients, ultimately, making the healthy food movement part of their business model.

According to a Statista survey, 59 percent of professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation stated that vegetable carb substitutes were a top trend in main dishes for restaurant menus in 2017. In another survey from the same source, 76 percent of consumers said they are making small changes to achieve a healthier overall diet in 2016.

At the rate consumers are gravitating to a health-conscious diet, it is more important than ever for foodservice professionals and suppliers to recognize this and cater to the demand.

That’s exactly what yogurt company Chobani® has been doing through its recipe gallery for the foodservice industry.

Read More

This Cookbook Aims to Capture a Snapshot of American Food

This Cookbook Aims to Capture a Snapshot of American Food

The United States has a truly diverse food scene.

Not only are we lucky enough to be in a country that has fostered a creative epicenter with resources that help both chefs and amateur cooks specialize in different culinary areas (from seafood and barbecue, to forging and plant-based cooking), but we are also known as a nation of immigrants, full of people with different backgrounds, traditions, and palettes.

Joe Yonan, the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food & Dining editor of “The Washington Post,” set out to capture a snapshot of America and what better way to do this, than through food?

In Yonan’s introduction to the book, he states: “...when we ask the question, ‘What is American food?’ we might as well be asking, ‘What is America?’ Because the answer is every bit as complex...”

Well, the outcome was America The Great Cookbook.

The West Texas-native decided to ask America’s best chefs a personal question: What do you cook for the people you love?

The cookbook, which will go on sale the last day of October, will feature recipes and stories from over 100 food personalities, producers and home cooks representing all 50 states.

Read More