Food Tech and Incubators Are All The Rage

Food Tech and Incubators Are All The Rage
  • Food technology is creating a space for more brands and restaurants to become innovative in how they meet consumer demand.

  • Being innovative means being able to understand your consumers’ needs and providing a unique solution.

Food technology has had one of the largest impacts on the foodservice industry since social media.

In this episode, Host Bill Bender unpacks with the panelists what exactly innovation in the foodservice industry means and how it can either improve or hamper the growth of the industry.

Is this a fad or a complete shift in the model of how food innovation will occur in the future? Take a listen for more insights on how technology is innovating how we meet consumers’ needs.

Read More

Building the Next Generation Brand

Building the Next Generation Brand
  • Freshii, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, and Kabbage discuss what makes a successful restaurant brand

  • session dissects emerging brands and what guiding pinciples matter like people, environment, and profitability

On this Session, FCSI Consultant and Foodable Host Bill Bender gathers some growing companies to discuss top-performing food brands and what is responsible for their growth. While we often explore new advances in technology and innovation in menu development and design, these brands bring it back to the basics.

In this episode, we talk about how treating your employees well impacts your productivity and thus profits, and how your profits come full circle to pay your employees well. We explore meeting your customers where they are and scaling without losing a winning culture. Tune into this episode for all that and more. And be sure to check out the rest of Foodable’s .io content on our On-Demand Page and on Foodable+.

Read More

Pick the Brain of Billy Kim of BellyQ

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, we talk to Chef Bill Kim of bellyQ, an Asian barbeque restaurant in Chicago that takes guests on a flavorful journey. Flavor always comes first for Chef Kim. When discussing  flavor trends he’s seeing, Chef Kim mentions that trendy doesn't always mean new.

“I love Kimchi,” Chef Kim says. “And it’s not top secret, I think the secrets out, but I think it’s going to go beyond that. The thing that people talk about is Kimchi is only spicy and it doesn't need to be.” Chef Kim also talks about Gochujang, a savory, sweet and spicy red chili paste that Kim calls “essence of Korea in a bottle.”

But flavor is not the only goal at bellyQ. Chef Kim places high importance on using the finest seasonal and local ingredients. As he’s aged, he’s placed higher importance on his health and that focus is mirrored the food he serves at his restaurant as well. “If we could either braised it or marinate it overnight, that really imparts flavor and keeps things a little bit healthier. We cut out dairy in our restaurant so we replace it with coconut milk or we like to use, instead of using cream cheese, we use tofu cream cheese.”

In addition to his dedication to flavor, Chef Kim is dedicated to giving back. In the past Kim worked with the great Charlie Trotter and mentions Trotter as a major influence on his charity work. His involvement with the Trotter Project helps provide scholarship funds to kids in under-served neighborhoods who want to get into cooking.

Watch the full episode to learn more about Chef Kim and the flavors of the future!

Tech Apps That Make an Operator's Job Easier

For years now, the National Restaurant Association has been showcasing the top technologies for the foodservice industry at their annual NRA Show in Chicago.

There is an entire pavilion dedicated to introducing show-goers to the newest and most innovative technology hardware and software for the industry.

Bill Bender, Foodable’s resident operations expert and show host, scoured the aisles to find some tech companies that are really changing the game. Watch the video above to learn about them!


We all know repeat customers are one of the greatest points of profit. But how do you successfully increase loyalty with your customers? Loyaltyplant is making it easy for even small businesses to create an app for their restaurant and begin a rewards program. Aimed at improving customer experience, Loyaltyplant is using polished platforms to impress your users and give them incentives to keep coming back.


Andres Ramirez, a sales development representative from ReviewTrackers shared a little anecdote about how their company is improving their customer service by stepping into their shoes.

“One of the quick exercises they had us do when they hired us was to have us track 30 locations for two weeks. It took me 17 hours for those 2 weeks. It was an awful, awful, awful 2 weeks,” said Ramirez.

In an effort to make online customer interaction easier for companies, ReviewTrackers built their dashboard. It pulls all reviews from all sorts of different platforms and puts them all in one place, allowing operators to respond quickly and efficiently. 


For those looking for another big time saver, Orderly helps to make tendious task of data-entry much easier.

With the multitudes of inventory shipments a restaurant takes in every week, it can be easy to lose track of some things. Orderly is a mobile and desktop application that allows restaurants to simply take a picture of the receipts that come with their shipments and it instantly adds it into their inventory tracking systems. It is easily updated as inventory checks are completed.

The software can also track how much you pay for certain items, month to month. Orderly is introducing a new feature in which restaurants can track how much they are paying for certain items in comparison to other restaurants in the area, helping you get an idea if you are really getting the best price.

Making the TotalView Work for You: Breaking Down The Best Practices Audit


Watch this episode and more!

All six episodes are available to Foodable+ members. Membership is an all-in-one package of the game-changing trends, expert analysis, reports and insights driving the industry for the entire year!

On the last episode, we introduced the TotalView Best Practices Audit and why you should use it in your business. But what exactly is this audit? Essentially, the TotalView is a survey used to determine how well your business is running. Separated into seven core competencies, the TotalView touches on every facet of your operation from team members, to design, to management of finances.

Normally conducted by a consultant, the Rockers want to share this auditing process with operators like you to help you get started self-auditing.

When going down the list, you will find questions organized by segments of the business: Leadership and Management, Brand and Marketing, Guest Service, Menu and Culinary, Operations and Training, Human Resources and Internal Communication, and Financial Performance.  

So, what do you get with the TotalView Best Practices Audit? The Rockers set you up for success with a set methodology and objectives, an executive summary, the "Best Practices 7 Core Competency Findings and Recommendations," a SWOT chart, a set of conclusions, recommended next steps, and resources and exhibits to help you along the way.

Bill and Eric remind us that it’s important that you are honest when implementing this process. It only works if you use it the way a third-party auditor would. Once you have your findings, you can implement changes that will start to improve your operation.

"You or this process really becomes the change agent for the organization. If you've got some problems and you start implementing this process, I think you'll find those problems out and be able to change. You're really going to be able to shift where you are and try to make it better," Eric said.

And don’t hesitate to turn to a FCSI Consultant if you want a little help from an expert with fresh eyes! They can help customize your audit to your particular operation.