The Main Dish: Foodable's First Documentary Available On Amazon, Culinary Trends 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.

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Missed the Fast Casual Nation Documentary? Watch it Now on Amazon

This week, Foodable Network released its first documentary— Fast Casual Nation: Changing The Way America Eats, on Amazon. The full-length documentary, narrated by the network’s CEO and Executive Producer, Paul Barron, begins by exploring the food landscape that led to the birth of fast-casual concepts across the country.

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..."

Stadiums Are Amping-Up their #FoodGame

At Hard Rock Stadium, in Miami Gardens, choices beyond hot dogs, burgers, and fries are available. With Miami being so diverse, it only makes sense that transplant concepts, like Fuku— a fast-casual concept featuring spicy fried chicken from New York’s popular Momofuku Group — would also be featured at the stadium. Fuku at Hard Rock Stadium is David Chang’s first venture into South Florida, but third in a sports venue.

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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 adventurous than ever.

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. Like cancer, toxic cultures have one mission and that is to destroy your brand.

How These Female Innovators are Forever Changing the Food Industry

Similar to our Chef Alliance list, we have compiled the Innovator 50, a list featuring the most inspiring individuals in the industry. This list isn't only designated for chefs or restaurateurs either. There are five categories within this special selection of individuals, each celebrating innovators in a different area of expertise. These numbers prove that women are leading the way.

How These Female Innovators are Forever Changing the Food Industry

How These Female Innovators are Forever Changing the Food Industry

Similar to our Chef Alliance list, we have compiled the Innovator 50, a list featuring the most inspiring individuals in the industry. 

This list isn't only designated for chefs or restaurateurs either. There are five categories within this special selection of individuals, each celebrating innovators in a different area of expertise.

Even though male chefs earn an average of 28.1% more than female chefs according to Glassdoor, the food industry is no longer a man’s world.

According to the National Restaurant Association, more than half of the restaurants in the U.S. are owned or are co-owned by women. 45% of restaurant managers are women, compared to the 38% of female managers found in other industries.

These numbers prove that women are leading the way. While Carin Stutz of Red Robin and Kat Cole of Cinnabon are reigning in the corporate restaurant world, our Innovators list features some of the other women changing the way America is eating.

Let’s take a closer look at the leading ladies who have helped to create some of the most successful food businesses in the country.

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Why Rewarding Good Behavior Is the Oldest Trick in the Book

Why Rewarding Good Behavior Is the Oldest Trick in the Book

The simplest ways to retain employees and motivate them are often the most overlooked. Rewarding the best team members is increasingly important, especially now that we live in a climate that continues to deliver blows to the restaurant industry. Once tried-and-true models for running successful establishments are no longer relevant. Minimum wages and expenses associated with employees are climbing, food costs continue to rise, and the market never stops changing. Now, more than ever, is the time to examine a restaurant’s management team and best practices.

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Impossible Burger Ingredient Gets Pushback from the FDA

Impossible Burger Ingredient Gets Pushback from the FDA

The Impossible Burger, a veggie burger that looks so much like the traditional beef burger that it even bleeds, has quickly been added to the menus of the best restaurants in the country. 

Impossible Foods, the company that created the beloved veggie burger has received $250 million in investment.

However, the ingredient soy leghemoglobin, which is made from soybean plants is getting regulatory pushback from the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) 

The plant-based company has requested that the F.D.A. to confirm that the ingredient is safe to eat, but the agency has not done so. 

 “The New York Times” has reported that the F.D.A. is concerned that the ingredient has never actually been eaten by humans and may be an allergen. 

“F.D.A. believes the arguments presented, individually and collectively, do not establish the safety of soy leghemoglobin for consumption,” wrote agency officials in a memo to Impossible Foods on Aug. 3, 2015, “nor do they point to a general recognition of safety.” 

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Missed the Fast Casual Nation Documentary? Watch it Now on Amazon

FCN Doc Amazon Poster

This week, Foodable Network released its first documentary— Fast Casual Nation: Changing The Way America Eats, on Amazon.

The full-length documentary, narrated by the network’s CEO and Executive Producer, Paul Barron, begins by exploring the food landscape that led to the birth of fast-casual concepts across the country.

“You had casual dining, you had fast food and that pretty well defined food service. Sit-down experience: you tipped, the service, longer wait times. Restaurants doing great sales volumes and then QSR, fast food. Nothing in between,” said Firehouse Subs’ CEO, Don Fox.

Modern Market’s CEO, Anthony Pigliacampo believes fast casual could not have happened if it wasn’t for the fast food segment teaching consumers how to eat out multiple times a week over a span of 30 years.

“I think what’s really happening is consumers are finally saying: 'Wait a second, I really need to eat out all the time because of my lifestyle. I’m a busy modern person, I need to eat out'... And we think that’s how consumers view fast casual and it is the fuel that enables them to have this modern lifestyle,” explained Pigliacampo.

Millennials, of course, are a big driver of the fast casual sector and with this generation growing up in a world where technology, food customization, and social media have all collided, it created the perfect storm to drive this food sector to new heights.

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"This is a part of my life's work to explore the future of food. Fast casual is and will be a part of that future that is shifting in a big way today.  This documentary is the first step in a mission that is designed to help the restaurant business shift into what will be the next generation of food.  Fast casual is on the threshold of being a catalyst of how food and restaurant operations will flourish in the next 20 years,” said Barron, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry.

The film also touches on how some restaurants were able to survive the 2008 recession by getting creative with real estate, the changing attitudes of the consumer towards healthier options, and how traditional culinary professionals began moving into the fast casual space in order to make thoughtful food more approachable.

"It is clear that you cannot create a market, what happens is you can understand and see things in a different way. Understand how the consumers respond and then respond to it,” said Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread.

Fast Casual Nation: Changing The Way America Eats is not just a film for restaurant industry professionals. It’s a documentary where anyone from the business world, film world or even foodies can learn something from and enjoy!

Amazon Prime members can watch the film for free as long as they have an active account. Non-members can rent the high-definition movie for $2.99 or buy it for $9.99.

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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