Underutilized Fish Species: Collaboration and Education Create Balance

Today, consumers across the globe are relying on seafood as a primary source of protein. This has sparked an educational movement to limit overfishing in an effort to promote seafood sustainability. The idea is to use less of an overused species like Salmon, and substitute it with a less familiar and potentially more abundant species, like Pollock.

On this Foodable.io talk, brought to you by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, our Host Daniela Klimsova, and panelists Warner Lew, Taho Kakutani, Taichi Kitamura - explore how we define an underutilized species. They also discuss the need to not only market to chefs and restaurants but to the consumer, who has a significant role to play in a more sustainable future.

Taho Kakutani, a fishmonger at Pike Place Fish Market, leads by saying discussions about sustainability started to stand out about five years ago, which lead the fish market to prioritize seafood sustainability and advocation of the practice.

“There is a need for story...the seafood industry is particularly compelling,” said Kakutani. “From the sea to the table is this amazing journey that’s happening. So when we have these touch points like sustainability...there’s this opportunity to create this really interesting story that I think consumers are really looking for.”

Taichi Kitamura, executive chef and co-owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura, agrees that as chefs, they are responsible for educating consumers on underutilized species being included on their menus.

“I have to be very careful about what I say to my customers, and actually what I practice in terms of what to put on the menus,” said Kitamura. “You really have to be on top of this issue...it wasn’t the news then, but now it’s the news.”

Bristol Bay’s Fleet Manager, Warner Lew, got his start in the 1970s as a deckhand for local fisheries. He now is known as a crusader for getting Americans to eat canned, smoked Alaskan herring. With a nod to chef Taichi Kitamura’s herring sushi dish from a chef’s seminar, he speaks about how a species could become underutilized.

“The herring, it’s...underutilized in this country because few people know how to handle it… [or] how to enjoy it. That’s the trick [when] utilizing the fish, is how do you make it enjoyable and easy,” said Lew.

Mainstream seafood is often overfished and over marketed. Experts all agree that to create a significant change in reducing overfishing of certain species, industry leaders such as fishermen and chefs need to collaborate, educate and expose the underutilized species market to the masses.

Building the Right Marketing Plan for 2019

Listen on: iTunes | Google Play | tunein | iHeartRADIO | Spotify

Marketing for 2019 is beginning to morph into a new face of digital, in person and one to one marketing that involves a variety of strategies that are improving the overall performance of restaurant operators across the country. The four P’s have been a cornerstone of measuring and developing a plan in the past around Product, Price, Place, and Promotion and today is no different.

I get a chance to sit down with The Restaurant Coach, Donald Burns and explore some of 2019’s key marketing tips to employee for your restaurant as we discuss the issue around Price and why it is much more than what is on your menu, all the way to Promotion and what new tactics are working and what is not.

We also discuss the falling engagement on Facebook for restaurant operators and the potential of new platforms and tactics that might be more effective including creating content for your business as a new strategy for 2019. Even email is coming back with today's operators and the potential of a new club strategy vs loyalty. As you can see this podcast is packed with ideas and discussion on ways to improve your marketing position for 2019.

Stay tuned for my breakdown of the Top Loyalty programs for 2019 and why I think they work and what they need to do to improve.


Off-Premise Insights with The Catering Council for Multi-Unit Restaurant Operators

On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, our host, Valerie Killifer, interviews Courtney Smith, VP of Off-Premise at Newk’s Eatery, Ed Keller, Director of Off-Premise Development at Corner Bakery, and James Clark, Director of Food and Beverage at Mama Fu’s.  

These executives are part of the Catering Council for Multi-Unit Restaurant Operators (CCMURO), whose mission is to advocate and bring together foodservice industry thought leaders, experts, and practitioners to discuss challenges, shared concerns, legislative, and regulatory issues related to takeout, delivery, and catering. 

One of the most significant issues has been: narrowing in on industry-wide best practices. 

An excellent place to start is to "make sure that everyone is aligned on your senior team...," says Keller.  

As we have covered in previous episodes, you must make sure you have the infrastructure set up and that your teams understand what it takes to accomplish your goals, otherwise you are setting yourself up for hardships. 

Keeping up with the technology is also a challenge for operators. Tech is continuously evolving. Third-party technology puts pressure on the operators to maintain a consistent experience, adjust operations, and to stay in direct communication with their customers. 

"... it's key that you have somebody in place that is taking the time to work the relationship with these third-party vendors... because there are negotiations that have to be there, again that's your food and your product that they are taking out...," says Smith.

There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to the off-premise paradigm, but that does not mean it cannot be a successful part of your business. 

Listen to this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show for more insights from some of the best off-premise executives in the restaurant business!


22:33 - Free the data!
29:37 - Strategies for the franchise model. 
38:56 - What are the top challenges of off-premise?
45:21 - How can the CCMURO help operators? 

1:01 - Introductions
2:09 - How did you develop your off-premise channels? 
5:49 - What is the off-premise strategy for multi-unit v. independents? 
10:20 - How can people manage these technology shifts and still focus on the experience that we want our customers to have? 


This episode brought to you by:


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