Amazon Discontinues Its Restaurant Delivery Service

By the end of this month, Amazon Restaurants will be no more. First developed in 2015 as an Amazon Prime perk, the food delivery service was designed to compete with the likes of Uber Eats, Seamless, Postmates, and DoorDash. Current Amazon Restaurant employees have been moved to other roles within the company or will be supported in the process of securing employment elsewhere.

Analysts have been quick to note Amazon’s recent $575 million investment in the British food delivery service Deliveroo in May. During its four year run, Amazon Restaurants expanded from its hometown Seattle to more than 20 U.S. cities and briefly entered the U.K. market before closing the latter development in 2018. Deliveroo has successfully expanded to a number of countries including France, Germany, Spain, Australia, and Hong Kong.

With over 91 million monthly active users, Uber Eats is poised to take the lead in on-demand delivery. Like Amazon Restaurants, Uber Eats was established in 2015 — unlike Amazon Restaurants, it has continuously grown since its launch. Uber Eats currently services over 20 countries, in part thanks to its lucrative partnership with McDonald’s.

And the delivery platform will continue to be a threat to Amazon: Uber Eats intends to add grocery delivery options, putting AmazonFresh on the defense. AmazonFresh has been around since 2007, but its growth has been slow. In recent years, the company has abruptly dropped service in multiple U.S. states. The Uber grocery development team is already in the works, and will likely be based out of Toronto.

Despite its success, Uber Eats has struggled to establish a consumer-friendly fee structure. The structure was recently updated in March to address these concerns, but the update appears to be more confusing than the original design. Fees now vary depending on your location and courier availability, and a 15 percent service fee is applied to the subtotal of all orders. In The Barron Report episode below, host Paul Barron unpacks the new Uber Eats fee structure and predicts what may be ahead for the growing company.

Tyson Foods Launches New Content Network in Partnership with Foodable Network

In today's rapidly moving digital climate, restaurant brands are trying to stay ahead of the game to catch the attention of the ever so restless consumer. 

Devices are now inundated with ads from brands. While these touchpoints will likely remain part of marketing strategies, a smart marketer realizes that quality trumps quantity. 

With that in mind, content marketing is king. 

Creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to a restaurant consumer makes much more of an ever-lasting connection. It's not about pushing a brand logo or inserting ads, instead, it's about sharing compelling stories and information that connects with your customers, while also entertaining and educating them on topics of interest. 

According to a recent "Content Marketing Institute" report, 91 percent of B2B marketers reach customers by utilizing this type of strategy. 

But this should be done carefully. As "Thrive Global" says it's okay to break the rules. Rule #1 for example, "create content that is aligned with your product or service." It's okay to branch out and cover other unique topics too. Would your audience find this interesting? This doesn't mean you should be covering a recap of the latest Game of Thrones episode. But if you can spin the topic to be more relevant to your business it’s the type content that will attract clicks. 

Since customers are so tired of ads, it's time to get creative with your content marketing. 

"A report by "PageFair" and "Adobe" shows that more than 198 million people around the world use ad blockers. You need to use educational messages along with promotional ones and approach your consumers tactfully," writes "Thrive Global." "You can strategically place your propositions in your content. For example, if you don’t include a CTA (Call to Action), some consumers will never make a move."

So which brands are ahead of the curve when it comes to this marketing strategy? 

Tyson Foods is taking content marketing to the next level. In partnership with Foodable Network, the brand is launching The Modern Chef Network. 

The Modern Chef Network will offer tools operators need to compete. The platform will be dedicated to delivering ideas, innovations, research, and insights designed specifically for the foodservice operator across a multitude of business sectors.

"B2B content marketing is the most effective way to deliver a message in today's crowded digital space, it used to be a simple social media post, but today operators are seeking more video, podcast, and research and expect their partners to deliver more than just a product. A handful of companies are moving fast to create new direct to operator communication and education platforms like The Modern Chef Network from Tyson Foods. The Modern Chef is an advanced "on-demand" platform that features video, podcasts, research, product demos as well as original stories," said Paul Barron, editor-in-chief and executive producer of Foodable Network. "We are betting on a whole new breed of food suppliers and operators alike to move to more efficient ways to reach and influence those that matter to their business. I expect B2B Content marketing to consume more than 50% of marketing budgets by 2020."

Check out The Modern Chef Network.

This Butter-Poached Alaska Flounder Recipe Dazzles Guests in Oklahoma City

As both a chef and consumer, you can make a positive impact on the environment by what protein you pick for your meals.

Seafood, for example, is often more sustainable than other protein sources. But making a socially responsible decision about what fish to source involves doing your research and finding the right suppliers.

In the second season of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen & Bar, in partnership with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, chefs with a passion for sustainable seafood sourcing visit our kitchen to demonstrate some of their most popular fish-focused dishes. These chefs have developed a love and understanding of seafood. In this Seafood Season, prepare to learn new innovative recipes to ramp up your menu, while also being educated about the best sustainable seafood sourcing practices.

This season will also be available on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On-Demand.

In the video above, you get a taste of Chef Chris McCabe in action as he walks us through how to cook his signature Butter Poached Alaska Flounder recipe with champagne sabayon, charred cauliflower, and a fried cod croquette.

As the culinary director of A Good Egg Dining Group in Oklahoma City, McCabe oversees five of the 12 restaurants in the group's portfolio. Seafood plays a major role on McCabe's menus and since he relies on this protein so heavily, he makes sure that the seafood he sources comes from responsibly managed fisheries and is sustainably caught, especially because this is so important to his guests.

Watch the full episode now on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On-Demand.

French Master Chef Transforms Alaska Sablefish to This Perfectly Executed Dish

The future generation’s fish supply depends on the eco-friendly efforts we make today.

With that in mind, operators across the country are making an effort to make socially responsible decisions when it comes to sourcing seafood– whether it be by serving abundant fish populations or by buying fish that has been harvested in a way that supports healthy ecosystems.

In the second season of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen & Bar, in partnership with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, chefs with a passion for seafood visit our kitchen to demonstrate their most popular fish-focused dishes. These chefs have developed a love and understanding of seafood. Seafood can be more sustainable than other protein sources, but it's important to research and know the origin of a seafood species. In this Seafood Season, prepare to learn new recipes, while also learning about the sustainable seafood movement.

This season will also be available on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On-Demand.

In the teaser episode above, you get a taste of French-bred Chef Olivier Desaintmartin's culinary mastery as he prepares one of his signature recipes with a sustainable Alaska sablefish (also known as black cod) as the centerpiece.

Desaintmartin, the owner of Caribou Café in Philadelphia, has made a name for himself with his simple, yet delicious approach to serving seafood. He has always had a special connection to seafood due to his roots as a fisherman. Watch the episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On-Demand to see how he transforms a full sablefish to a perfectly executed autumn dish.

Why Restaurant Operators Should Pay Attention to Instagram's New "Order" Sticker

As noted by Mashable, Instagram is experimenting with features that will upgrade its advertising efforts. In doing so, the company has added a new "order" sticker in addition to other sales-focused features that influencer Matt Navarra shared with users on Twitter.

Navarra recently shared a screenshot of the "order" icon which appears in the Instagram Stories along with the other interactive features such as location and GIFs. The "order" icon includes a green dollar sign suggesting it will somehow play a role in sales. In the past, Navarra has shared snapshots of unreleased features, including the "product" sticker in as seen in Instagram Stories.

While Instagram has yet to release more details on the purpose of the order sticker, a spokesperson clarified that the company is not testing this feature and it should not be considered as a method of in-app purchasing. Although Instagram regularly experiments with different features, not all of them end up launching.

However, the company has made it clear that it is a priority to monetize Instagram Stories to boost its advertising efforts. Mark Zuckerberg stated that advertising will be a primary source of revenue for Instagram and that commerce and shopping look promising. Thus expanding the social app's features will be pivotal to Instagram's success.

Instagram recently introduced an additional feature playing a part in sales. The "checkout" option allows users to make a purchase from the Instagram app, instantaneously. Previously, users were redirected to the retailer's site upon completing a purchase, where users are more likely to abandon their shopping carts.

These additions demonstrate Instagram's growth and commitment to providing new applications that will optimize sale efforts. How the new order sticker will play out for restaurant owners is uncertain, but given Instagram's considerable influence over consumer decisions, restaurant operators should take notice of these additions.