Pie Five Makes Low Carb, Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust a Permanent Option on its Menu

Pie Five Makes Low Carb, Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust a Permanent Option on its Menu

Earlier in the year, the fast casual pizza chain Pie Five introduced a low carb, gluten-free cauliflower crust.

The crust was going to only be available for a limited time, but after a widly successful debut, the brand has decided to make it a permanent item on its menu. 

"Cauliflower is exploding in popularity due to its taste and amazing health benefits," said Christina Coy, Vice President of Marketing for Pie Five Pizza Co in press release from when the crust launched. "We were inspired to incorporate this versatile veggie to create a healthier crust that is still super delicious. Now, with the debut of our cauliflower crust, health conscious guests don't have to cut pizza out of their diet."

In January, Pie Five started selling the cauliflower crust at its locations and it quickly started to sell out. 

Cauliflower is rich in vitamins and natural antioxidants, while also being low carb. With the spike in low-carb diets over the last few years, cauliflower crust has emerged as an popular alternative. 

Evidently, today's health-conscious diners are embracing Pie Five's new crust. 

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Check Out These Chef Recipes Using Frozen Fresh Alaska Halibut

Check Out These Chef Recipes Using Frozen Fresh Alaska Halibut
  • These chef recipes will bring flair to your menu. 

  • Halibut is sweat, flakey, and easy to prepare. 

Today in the Foodable Smart Kitchen and Bar Studio we take a look at Frozen Fresh Alaska Halibut. Halibut is a naturally lean whitefish with a sweat, flaky, snow-white meat that is easy to prepare and beautiful on the plate. We asked Chef Thomas Stewart, executive chef of Gianni's Restaurant in The Villa Casa Casuarina, formerly known as the Versace Mansion, to demonstrate how to properly fletch a full Alaska Halibut and to create two recipes using Mediterranean and Italian influences that are present in his renowned Cuisine. 

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Don’t Miss These 2018 Hospitality Marketing Digital Trends

Don’t Miss These 2018 Hospitality Marketing Digital Trends

As popular as online platforms are these days, it is important to not discount content made with desktop computers in mind, especially when it comes to marketing for your hospitality business.

At least that was one of the takeaways from the infographic by MDG Advertising on “Hospitality Marketing in 2018: 5 Digital Trends to Watch.”

The agency is predicting many changes in the space for 2018. The main reason why is because it is constantly affected by evolving technologies and consumer trends— including a growing Gen Z population.

Although the infographic takes a deep dive analysis of how these changes will affect the travel industry, these demographic and tendency changes affect all brands in the hospitality space, including restaurants.

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Trump's New Tip Pooling Rule Means Harsh Fines for Rule-Breakers

Trump's New Tip Pooling Rule Means Harsh Fines for Rule-Breakers

First, the back story:  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the rules for paying minimum wage and overtime.  It allows employers to take a tip credit against its minimum wage obligations if certain conditions are met.  One of those conditions is that tipped employees must be allowed to retain all of their tips. There is one exception to this – that employers can require employees to participate in a valid tip pooling arrangement.  

There are various requirements for a tip pool to be valid but most importantly, the tips can only be shared with people who customarily and regularly receive tips. Typically, these jobs are in the front of the house.

The FLSA is silent as to whether these same restrictions apply to employers who don’t take a tip credit and instead just pay a full minimum wage.  In 2010, the Ninth Circuit ruled that they don’t apply if you don’t take the tip credit. In 2011, the DOL issued regulations saying that they apply whether you take the tip credit or not.

The Tip Pooling Loophole

In 2017, the Trump Administration proposed a rule that would clarify this issue.  

The rule sought to allow employers who pay a full minimum wage to include back of house workers in a tip pool.  But the rule as proposed left open a potential loophole – that in giving employers control over the tips (under the expectation that they would use them to pay back of house workers) that the rule would have also allowed employers to pocket the tips if they wanted to.  

This prompted an enormous uproar and ultimately the administration scaled back; the law would be revised to make clear that employers cannot under any circumstances keep any portion of their employees’ tips.

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Vegan Fast Casual By CHLOE Receives a $31 Million Investment

Vegan Fast Casual By CHLOE Receives a $31 Million Investment

The New York fast casual By Chloe has plans and now also the funds to expand globally.

The vegan brand has received a $31 million investment from Kitchen Fund, Collaborative Fund, Bain Capital, TGP International/Qoot International, and other investors to open more stores worldwide.

The chain that opened in 2015 now has 10 stores in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Providence, R.I, and now London.

By Chloe’s first UK location opened in London last February, but with the recent investment the brand is primed to continue its expansion in Europe and has plans to open stores in the Middle East.

“The goal from day one was to bring vegan food to the masses and make it as accessible and as fun as possible,” said Samantha Wasser, by CHLOE’c co-founder and creative director.

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The Facebook Data Debacle

The Facebook Data Debacle
  • 1:06 - The Story of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

  • 4:44 - The First Violation

  • 5:52 - The Value Proposition of FB: You Cant Opt Out

  • 7:07 - The Rise of Social Media Data Gathering

  • 10:19 - The Impact on Restaurants

  • 11:25 - Foodable Labs Analyzes Facebook Engagement

  • 15:18 - Can Facebook bounce back?

  • 17:20 - Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos

  • 20:17 - Facebook Social Restaurant Visits DOWN 17%

  • 21:47 - Foodable Plus: 10 Tips for Preparing for the Mass Exodus of Facebook

Facebook has been dominating news headlines this week and for good reason. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been testifying to Congress on the topics of data security and how the social media giant has been trying to improve.

There’s a lot to consider here: How did this impact the election? Is my data safe? Is it finally time to get off the grid?

But before we take drastic measures, take a minute to join Paul Barron for a thought-provoking discussion about what happened and how this scandal may be affecting your restaurant. Didn’t think about that? No worries, we’ll cover everything from how users are engaging with your FB content to how this data debacle is impacting your restaurant sales.

Cambridge Analytica

This is where our story begins. Cambridge Analytica hired a professor to create a Facebook app that collected user data. You’ve seen those fun but useless personality quiz apps on Facebook, right? Right. Users who authorized this app gave the app access to their data like their "Likes". But not just their own data, the data of their entire friend network. This feature was removed in 2014 but the damage was already done.

The important thing to note here is that, up to this point, Cambridge Analytica hadn’t done anything wrong. This was completely legal and in line with Facebook's guidelines in 2014. But when the professor sold the data to Cambridge Analytica, that’s when they violated the Facebook user agreement, which prohibited the sale of Facebook data to third party companies. Facebook removed the professor’s app and demanded that he and all third parties immediately destroy the data but up until now it is believed that Cambridge Analytica still has some or all of the data.

The Impact on Restaurants

Now people across the globe are understandably upset. There are a number of arguments to be made. But what does all this commotion mean for the restaurant industry? Well, as Paul explains, Facebook engagement is down meaning you’ll be having a harder time connecting with your audience using the platform. Social Restaurant Visits through FB are also down.

So, is it time to jump off the Facebook bandwagon? Listen in and find out!

And after you listen to this podcast, join us on Foodable Plus for 10 Tips to Prepare You for the Mass Exodus of Facebook.

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Red Robin on Best Practices for Restaurant Takeout and Catering Differentiation

Red Robin on Best Practices for Restaurant Takeout and Catering Differentiation
  • Erle Dardick and Valerie Killifer explore takeout and catering as two separate "channels" in your restaurant make-up.  These "channels" need to have different strategies to work effectively. 

  • Trudy Jones, Director of Alternative Platforms for Red Robin, explains the different elements to consider when taking on takeout and catering channels in your restaurant. 

Takeout and catering are completely different businesses, and the secret to making them work successfully is in the design of different consumer solutions for each channel, including unique transaction workflow, menus and product selection, packaging, centralized services, and workflow — and each have entirely different strategies. In this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show we speak with Trudy Jones - Director of Alternative Platforms for Red Robin, to explore the different elements required for takeout and catering, and why each one is important for delivering a brand experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

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Wild Type— A Startup With The Mission To Feed The World with Lab-Grown Meat

Wild Type— A Startup With The Mission To Feed The World with Lab-Grown Meat

This company just raised $3.5 million in a seed round and is on a mission to solve world hunger through science.

It’s called Wild Type— inspired by a biology term meaning something exists naturally.

So, how will it find enough food to feed the growing masses, you may be wondering?

Well, first, let's get something straight. The company will not be “finding” food but growing it in a lab. More specifically, Wild Type will be working on engineering protein growth.

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White Castle Adds the Plant-Based Impossible Slider to its Menu

White Castle Adds the Plant-Based Impossible Slider to its Menu

Move over McDonald’s, White Castle is also adding a plant-based burger to its menu.

The fast food chain has partnered with Impossible Foods to introduce a new mini slider with a veggie patty.

Coined the White Castle Impossible Slider, it will be sold at 140 of the burger chains in New Jersey, New York, and the Chicago area for now, but depending on the sales, the chain may expand the menu item nationwide.

The slider will be topped with cheddar cheese, pickles, onion, and the White Castle signature 2-inch-squared bun.

"Plant-based proteins are growing. We felt it was a good opportunity to test it with our customers," said Lisa Ingram, White Castle’s CEO. "We think it will appeal to a broad range of customers — those that are meat eaters who want to try something different and non-meat eaters who want this."

The Impossible Slider will cost a little over double the traditional mini slider, which is about 94 cents.

This isn’t the first veggie slider that White Castle has served, but the Impossible Slider is bigger.

When it comes to veggie burgers the Impossible Burger looks so much like the traditional beef burger that it even bleeds. This plant-based burger is now on the menus at over 300 restaurants and with the White Castle announcement, the veggie patty will be available at hundreds of more.

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This Humble Seaweed Snack Company Will Make $10 Million This Year

This Humble Seaweed Snack Company Will Make $10 Million This Year

Today’s successful brands all seem to have a number of highly successful characteristics in common. Maybe they’ve positioned themselves as “the first”, maybe they’re focused on being healthy, or being authentic, or maybe they just have a great story. But these brands usually tend to have another attribute in common; they’ve got some money to get started

But sometimes, brands have just the right combination of successful attributes to become booming businesses. 

SeaSnax, for example, began as a mother-father team who just wanted to give their daughter a better alternative to the unhealthy, high-sodium, corn oil-laden seaweed snacks that were already on the market. According to Entrepreneur, Jin Jun began experimenting in her kitchen and soon had the first snack approved by her seaweed-loving toddler, combining the flavors of seaweed, olive oil, and salt. 

At that point, Jun and her husband found a manufacturing facility to make the snacks. They maxed out their credit cards to pay for their first orders. 

"They really thought we were crazy and that we were wasting our time and money," Jun says.

It wasn’t easy from the get-go. Jun and her snacks were rejected from every farmer’s market in LA. She was on the phone six hours a day trying to sell the snacks, only sleeping 3 hours a day until she was able to get her snacks on the shelves at a local Whole Foods. Then, Yahoo featured SeaSnax as one of the "10 healthiest snacks" on their homepage. 

Today, SeaSnax are sold at 6,000 stores around the world and have expanded to include an array of different flavors and items like seaweed flakes and a salad mix. 

This year, the company is on track to do $10 million in sales. The trick to their success?Authenticity. 

"It was a combination of sincerity and naivety. We were able to build a very loyal customer following… because I hear time and time again that people can trust us," Jun says. "My daughter sets the bar. If I wouldn't feed it to my daughter, I wouldn't feed it to a customer."

SeaSnax doesn't even really have a marketing plan.

“[W]hat has worked for our brand is our sincerity and our willingness to share and give. We don't spend a whole lot of money on fancy shows or websites or paying for Facebook likes. Everything we've ever done is not advertised, it's done quietly and humbly.”

For more on this story, visit “Entrepreneur.”

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