The Main Dish: Building a Start-Up Restaurant Brand, Getting Past The "Fry or Die" Mentality, 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 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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Miami Spice Newcomers to Try Post Hurricane Irma

In the wake of Irma, where ruble dresses the streets and electricity serves as currency, Miami is gallantly finding its way back to normalcy; and we have never been hungrier. As hurricane snacks dwindle and stale, locals are in search of a stiff drink, good meal and strong AC. Thankfully, Miami Spice offers just that. Miami Spice is the coveted sampler platter of South Florida’s restaurant year.Every August and September, hundreds of top-ranked eateries slash their prices and foodies flock to their tables like it’s Black Friday.

7 Tips for Your Restaurant to Stand out on Social Media

Take a look at your Facebook feed and you will  see a world vying for your attention. The thing is you are trying to capture the attention of your current guests and even entice new guests to come for a visit too. Kind of a conundrum, huh? Throw on top of that TV and radio commercials, then you have messages 24/7 out there. We all want to be seen. We all want your attention. If you don't want your share of the attention out there, never fear because others will gladly take your share. So, how do you stand out?

Buena Onda's Scratch Kitchen Stands Out in Fast Casual

Aside from earning the prestigious title of Iron Chef in 2009, Jose Garces has many other claims to fame such as his many restaurant brands in Philadelphia. VolvérDistrito, and Amada are just a few of his successful concepts. But you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get a taste of the chef's famed fish tacos. The Garces Group’s only fast casual concept, Buena Onda, takes Garces’ culinary excellence and serves it up at affordable prices. Take, for example, their 5-dollar margaritas available on Taco Tuesdays!

Restaurants Support Florida Communities Post-Irma

With more than 100,000 Floridians still without power, the state is working feverishly to return to normalcy. All the while, the Category 5 Hurricane Maria looms nearby. Though Maria is not expected to hit Florida, residents are still cautious and have not fully recovered from Irma’s destruction yet. But restaurants in Florida have stepped up in the wake of Hurricane Irma, offering discounts, ice, and even power to those without. Though many restaurants are recovering themselves, they have come out in droves to support their communities.

Building a Start-Up Restaurant Brand

The risk involved with a startup restaurant can be steep. How steep depends on the source of the report, as Upserve suggests, with a reported failure rate ranging from 17 to 30 percent. No matter the study, and no matter the percentage, restaurants fail. The reasons for failure run the gamut from poor hiring to lack of inventory controls. While those things can bring down even the most successful of establishments, the lack of a cohesive concept and brand serve as the culprit in many startup failures. Don’t be a statistic.

Kitchen Life Lessons: Getting Past The "Fry or Die" Mentality

I have met cooks that would crawl across a desert made of mayonnaise and broken glass to help a fellow kitchen mate. I have witnessed the current boyfriend and the ex-boyfriend work shoulder-to-shoulder during a fully-racked Friday night grind that pushed sales into the outer stratosphere. I have worked with some of the fattest human beings to waddle across the street to get behind a six-burner and push out food that would make your mama cry, all with the grace of the entire Bolshoi Ballet. All for one reason.

The Main Dish: Target Launches $5 Wine Line, The Birth of Beervana and Craft Beer, 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 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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The Birth of Beervana and Craft Beer

The beer industry has changed tremendously over the past 20 years. Today you can find a local Craft Beer in almost every city across the country, creating a new generation of beer lovers. The United States has gone from the home of the light lager to one of the most recognized beer manufacturers in the world.  If you have been following the progression of craft beer in the U.S.A, there’s one place you must explore: Portland, OR. Also known as Beervana. Arguably, the birthplace of the craft beer movement. Learn more about host Kerry Finsand in our pilot show— Beer Artisan.

Can Aquaponics Change the Food System?

In this episode of Sustain, we meet JD Sawyer, founder of Colorado Aquaponics, which houses an aquaponics farm known as Flourish Farms. “The food system is out of balance. We’ve got to figure out a way to have higher quality foods using less resources, period, or it’s not gonna work. It’s really gonna take a grassroots effort. Instead of fighting the model, we’re just gonna have to change it.” Says JD and he believes that Aquaponics can be the solution. Aquaponics is defined as an eco-friendly system that recirculates water from a fish tank through a vegetable grow bed. Nutrients from the fish waste feed the plants and the plants filter the water to keep the fish healthy. Raising fish is a huge part of the equation for Flourish Farms. 

Is Your Operation Ready to Offer Digital Ordering?

Nearly every household orders food to-go from a local restaurant at least once or twice per month (some per week) and the days of traditional ‘phone orders’ or simply waiting in line, are clearly coming to an end thanks to new and continuously improving technology. Many independent restaurants have been sitting back, watching the development of online/mobile ordering, also known as digital ordering, wondering if they need to get into this space and/or how to even get started. The question shouldn’t be ‘should we introduce digital ordering?’— the question should be ‘when will we introduce digital ordering?’ 

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Orchestrated Chaos at Chef Adrianne's

On this episode of Food as a Lifestyle, we meet Chef Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar as she begins her day with a little bit of foraging at Paradise Farms. These little adventures that she takes often inspire her menu. Today’s inspiration comes from double-yolked eggs. Before Chef Adrianne even arrives at the restaurant, she’s outlining the menu. “Eggs. Bacon. That’s a classic combination! I think I have that Berkshire pork belly... So, perhaps I will do the pork belly, but I’ll do it in, like, a square. Braise it soft…,” says Calvo.

Winemaking Sparking Consumer Interests

On this episode of On Foodable Side Dish, Rachel Speckan walks us through City Winery, a West Loop winery, restaurant, and concert hall. A lover of dusty Italian reds, lush and stony Savennieres, and funky American microbrews, Speckan is a true connoisseur. She uses her expertise to teach courses at City Winery and host wine tastings.Speckan, the National Wine Director for City Winery, loves that the modern consumer has begun to more deeply interact with the wines they drink.“People are really starting to care about where things came from, wanting to know the story behind it and its journey through life,” said Speckan. “...they really care and want to hear about its provenance and its terroir…”

From Clubs to Inexpensive Private Labels— How to Get in on the #WineTrend

Whether people are drinking more wine to get through the week #WineWednesday or to simply save the wine bottle corks for their next Pinterest project, wine culture has become increasingly popular in the U.S. showing a steady upwards growth in consumption year over year. After all, the U.S. has about 9,091 wineries, with California vineyards accounting for about 87 percent of the total U.S. wine production, giving Americans plenty of options to choose from when it comes to New World wines alone. The bottom line is wine is trending and big corporations, as well as consumers, are taking notice and doing something about it.

The Main Dish: Houston-Based Restaurants Respond to Hurricane Harvey, How to Adopt Japanese Flavors, 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 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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Getting Past the Labor Crunch Affecting the Restaurant Industry

Forget why it happened — or continues to happen — but there is a very real shortage of kitchen labor. You can have a shimmering five-star Yelp rating, a filled dining room, and the best craft beer list around, but without staff to make food and make drinks, you are nowhere. Throwing your hands up in meaningless desperation because ‘there aren’t people out there!’ is less than productive. Instead, get real about plugging employment holes.

12-Year Local Brand Urbane Cafe Thinks There's Room for Growth in Fast Casual

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, host Paul Barron talks to Tom Holt of Urbane Cafe about why he decided to take on a full made-from-scratch menu in Ventura, California 12 years ago. In 2003, Holt was a professional motocross racer and couldn’t find a healthy fast casual in Ventura. He took that as inspiration to create his own. And thus, Urbane Cafe was born. Everything at Urbane is made from scratch from the bread and the sauces to the dressings. 

How to Adopt the Flavors of Japan

Guests are increasingly adventurous with the help of social media, which is educating and luring guests to establishments that are offering delightful new flavors. These flavors comfort, intrigue, and perhaps confuse a little–all at the same time. Adopting the flavors of Japan, even when used in non-traditional ways, is a way to offer guests an authentic flavor that satisfies and doesn’t have to add much to existing food costs. 

 

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Everytable: The Oasis Found in U.S. Food Deserts

Foodable met up with some of the great minds in hospitality at this year’s HUB conference in Southern California. On this episode of On Foodable Weekly we hear how CEO Sam Polk started Everytable and how the company stays profitable. Everytable creates healthy grab-and-go meals and sells them for cheaper than the price of local fast food. The goal is that everyone, even those in food deserts, can afford to feed their families nourishing meals.

How Houston Restaurants are Giving Back to the Local Community Post-Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane season is upon us and as another beast of a storm comes tumbling our way, Texas is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. People’s houses, businesses, and even lives has been destroyed in a matter of days. But out of the bad comes the good. In these times of hardship, we really see America’s charitable spirit. Millions have been donated and there have been so many volunteers after the storm that they are being turned away.

The First Step To A Better Restaurant

Do you want a better restaurant? Of course you do. You wouldn't be reading a blog post like this if you didn't. You can have a better restaurant today. Actually, right now. It starts with one simple decision. Just three powerful words: raise your standards. While it sounds simple on the surface, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. Saying you want a better restaurant and actually getting a better restaurant can be the challenge. 

The Main Dish: Whole Foods Drops Prices, the Best Bread In the Country 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 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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The Role of Bread In An Elevated Dining Experience

Ahh, bread. As a guest in a fine dining restaurant, either you love it or... you don’t understand it! Has anyone ever advised to not eat too much bread, because it can ruin your appetite? Or, maybe you had that one friend who would refrain from eating the warm doughy loaf in hopes of maintaining or improve their figure. These mixed attitudes towards bread have left the ancient food with a negative reputation. To restore that reputation, the rise of the "bread program” movement highlights the significant role of bread in an elevated dining experience. “It’s incredibly important,” said Chef Marc Forgione, whose restaurant serves an elevated version of the classic potato roll, brushed with clarified butter and sprinkled with black salt.

Coolhaus: How a Beat-Up Ice Cream Truck Turned into a Multimillion Dollar Brand

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. It’s safe to say that Ice cream continues to be a fan favorite and is here to stay. While ice cream chains like Baskin-Robbins and Carvel often are nostalgic to ice cream lovers, today’s foodies are gravitating to other innovative concepts. But consumers aren’t only looking for creative ice cream flavors, they are looking for something different. Enter Coolhaus, a brand that started when the co-founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started selling ice cream sandwiches at the Coachella music festival from a beat-up van. While the brand still operates food trucks in LA, Dallas and NYC, there are now two brick-and-mortar stores in California.

7 Ways You Can Increase Your Brand's Social Responsibility

Giving back to the communities we serve is not a mandated practice, but is rather something extra that restaurants, and businesses alike, can do to improve their local and national communities. This is also known as— social responsibility. This practice can not only increase employee engagement, but also develops a positive perception of your brand, increases revenue opportunities, and increases the possibility of local media coverage. What restaurant wouldn’t want that? 

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So, What Do We Call Whole Foods Now? Affordable?

Amazon.com Inc. slashed prices at Whole Foods Market stores on Monday, with some items seeing cuts up to 43 percent. Items like organic Fuji apples and organic rotisserie chicken were accompanied by orange signs showing the old price, the new price, and text reading “More to come...” In total, over 400 items have seen price cuts. According to "Bloomberg," prices on whole trade organic bananas fell 30 percent, responsibly farmed tilapia fell 33 percent, and organic Fuji apples fell 43 percent. Since Amazon won the antitrust approval by the FTC last week, the e-commerce giant has made some big announcements about both of the the companies’ futures. Learn more by watching this week's episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse!

A Fundamental Shift In Consumer Expectations Leads to a New Restaurant Segment

As consumers continue to demand more transparency and more healthy options, what is the future of foodservice? Today, something is fundamentally changing in our industry.  In this episode of On Foodable Weekly, we sit with Scott Davis, President of CoreLife and Steve Schulze, Co-founder of Nekter Juice Bar to talk about how the consumer is enforcing their values with their dollar and the industry is reacting.  The customer has created a whole new segment that we call, future brands. These restaurants are more focused on lifestyle and offer more than just a meal. For example, CoreLife is focused on providing fitness classes like yoga, and lifestyle content. 

Zuuk Mediterranean Brings Bold Flavorful Bowls Paired with Addicting Made-in-House Dips to Brickell

The team that brought My Ceviche, a south American fusion seafood-focused fast casual concept with six stores in the Miami area, decided to introduce a new fast casual to the Miami market. Enter Zuuk Mediterranean. The first store in Brickell opened in April and serves Mediterranean-inspired items. This style of food appeals to today’s diners (millennials, in particular) because it offers an array of flavorful healthy choices.

The Main Dish: How to Maximize Your Beverage Program, Swap Meat for Sustainable Fish 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 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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Before You Franchise or Expand Your Restaurant, Read These Tips

Whether you’re an aspiring restaurateur or an experienced operator, it has likely crossed your mind to open at least a “few locations,” or to begin “franchising” a winning concept. It’s in our nature to grow and always look for more, right?When the timing is right, expanding with multiple locations can make a lot of sense for a brand, but only if it is truly, the right time.

Are You Maximizing Your Beverage Program?

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, Foodable Network's CEO and Host, Paul Barron, sits with restaurant owner and bar expert Vaughan Dugan to discuss the ever shifting beverage segment. Craft beer, craft soda, and craft cocktails have all become hot topics in the beverage business. "It's really kind of exploded over the last several years; bar owners obviously see the opportunity to kind of elevate and enhance their business model," says Dugan. 

The Votes Are In, America’s Favorite Donut Shop in 2017 is…

They’re hot, doughy, glazed and sprinkled. Whether you like a brioche or yummy yeast, no one can deny the appeal of a quality donut. But are some donuts better than others? According to Foodable Labs data, there are some clear leaders of the pack; some of which you may have heard of before. The winner is District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew! According to data from January through July of this year, District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew has a 95.6 consumer sentiment rating out of 100! Previously featured on Foodable’s Fast Casual Nation, this spot is a must-stop.

Your Brand Should Be a Who, Not a What

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, host Paul Barron sits down with Nicole Aylward, the director of Marketing at Rockit Ranch to talk about how restaurants are using technology to improve their their digital presence. Rockit Ranch is a restaurant group with a number of different venues, based in Chicago. Aylward thinks it's important to have the brand's voice match up on different platforms.

Join Top Chef Alum Chef Sylva Senat at C-CAP's Swap Meat

“I actually came to America when I was about 8 years old and one of the reasons was my mom passed away, but when I was really young, you know, I used to go to the market with my mom. So... I think I was always gravitated to ending up in the kitchen,” said Haitian-born Sylva Senat, chef and partner of Philadelphia restaurant Maison 208. “At this point in my life, as a chef, I want to start giving back.” It has been a long journey for Chef Senat. 

Chef Q&A With Star-Studded Marc Forgione

The airing of Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef: Season 3 finale, where Chef Marc Forgione was declared winner, is coming up on its seven year anniversary, in November. “I came and I conquered,” said Chef Forgione (like a boss!) after winning the Thanksgiving Feast challenge against Chef Marco Canora. Since then, Marc Forgione continues to man the kitchen at his Reade Street restaurant, by the same name, which he opened in New York City two years before competing on the show. He is keeping busy as the chef/owner of American Cut and Lobster Press, as well. He is also a partner/co-owner of Khe-yo, a unique restaurant serving up Lao cuisine in Tribeca.