NYC Council Investigates Third Party Delivery Companies

This past June, the Small Business Committee within the City Council of New York conducted a hearing regarding third party delivery business practices. The investigation, entitled “The Changing Market for Food Delivery,” is arguably the first of its kind. The hearing endeavored to address the growing tensions between restaurant operators and third party delivery companies.

“New York continues to be a trailblazer,” said Committee Chairman Mark Gjonaj. “I’m proud to be part of this historic moment.”

Restaurant operators hope that the hearing will kindle new government regulations that better protect the needs of the industry. According to Robert Bookman, counsel for the local industry trade group New York City Hospitality Alliance, “We’re calling for both the federal government and the state attorney general to look into this matter.”

The Small Business Committee called on restaurant operators, third party delivery companies, and various trade groups to share their practices, concerns, and complaints. The hearing was open to the public. Discussion ran long, and largely focused on rate structures, questionable fees, and the future plans of third party delivery companies.

The difference in perspective between the restaurant operators and the third party deliverers was considerable. Operators like Robert Guarino, the co-founder of 5 Napkin Burger, argued that delivery companies have every intention of moving toward discarding restaurants and offering their own meals for delivery. Third party representatives emphatically denied this claim.

Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the Hospitality Alliance, provided the council with an extensive list of questions for third party deliverers. Some of the questions addressed:

  • If financial factors don’t determine where a restaurant is listed on a third party’s app, what variables do? How can restaurants be safeguarded against erroneous fees?

  • Who owns the information on a restaurant’s customers who order through a third party, and what happens to the data if the establishment pulls out of the arrangement?

  • Does the prominence and penetration of the big third-party delivery services constitute a restraint of trade?

Restaurant operators appear to universally agree that third party delivery companies need to interact with restaurants in a clearer and more transparent fashion, and third party representatives at the council pledged to provide that. Next steps for both sides of the industry, however, remain unclear.

Whether You’re a Foodie or an Aspiring Chef, These Are the Miami Food Halls You Don’t Want to Miss

In the past few of years, there has been a powerful surge of food hall concepts popping up across the country and in late 2017 the wave finally arrived in Miami, Florida. Since then, many food hall concepts have been opening in the area especially in the first half of this year.

On this episode of On Foodable Side Dish, we meet three food hall operations featuring three very different concepts. First, we get the chance to meet Alex Cuevas, founder of Vshops—the world’s first 100 percent vegan food hall. Then, we sit down with Ruben Paredes, the Director of Operations of Miami’s first food hall—1-800-Lucky—serving up Asian cuisine. Finally, we get to hear from Kenzie Motai, Assistant General Manager of St. Roche Market, Miami —a contemporary food hall serving as a platform for up and coming chefs.

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Vshops

Alex Cuevas, Founder and CEO of Vshops is a former senior technology executive who gave up his prominent tech career in New York to pursue his true passion for sustainable food, health, and animal welfare. At 10 years old, Cuevas had decided to go vegan after he found out how animals were being treated in factory farms.

“...the way the animals were treated and then the way they were “dispatched” or put down, it was incredibly disturbing to me,” said Cuevas. “... and when I realized that my favorite foods were tied to the suffering I said I don’t want anything to do with it at all.”

Cuevas decided to open up his first Miami vegan concept, Choices Cafe, in 2011 after a frustrating trip to South Florida, where he had a hard time finding a place to eat that would cater to the vegan lifestyle he was accustomed to. Now with the Vshops food hall, Cuevas not only aims to cater to vegans, but his hope is to really impress non-vegans in order to inspire consciousness.

Check out the episode above to learn about all the different vegan concepts that reside within the Vshops food hall located in the Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove!

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1-800-Lucky

Ruben Paredes takes time out of his day to break down for us all of the concepts within Miami’s first food hall—1-800-Lucky. Paredes, who was recruited by Sven Vogtland (one of the people behind Wynwood’s Coyo Taco), has been working in the hospitality/restaurant industry for two decades, but this is the first time he has dedicated himself to working for a concept like this one.

“I personally think that after all my years in this industry… for me, this format is the best,” said Paredes. In his words, 1-800-Lucky is a concept that provides a combination of “great food, great offerings... it’s simple, casual, it’s fast.”

Whatever Asian culinary craving a person may have, 1-800-Lucky is bound to have it for its guests. The Asian food hall provides Chinese barbecue (Lotus + Cleaver), dim sum (YIP), Vietnamese sandwiches (Les Banh Amis), traditional ramen (Hayato Miami), poke (PokeOG), ice cream (Taiyaki), and handmade sushi rolls (Myumi). It’s important to note that each food stand derives from a larger restaurant brand from across the globe.

Check out the episode above to see the food and drinks being featured at 1-800-Lucky!

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St. Roch Market

Kenzie Motai, who joined the St. Roch family in December of 2017, sat down with us to explain the concept of this food hall hailing all the way from New Orleans. St. Roch Market first opened in Miami in late February of this year and it boasts 11 unique food vendors while providing 1 central bar for its guests.

“Each vendor is a small business owner and entrepreneur,” says Motai. “We’re kind of the place you come to, to see the next up-and-coming chef in Miami before they blow up and open their own restaurant.”

As Motai explains, St. Roch Market is a historic market from New Orleans that has been around since 1875. It was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina to be made into a food hall and now serves as a great platform for chefs to start their business.

Check out the episode above to hear about the experience from a chef working at St. Roch Market food hall!


If you’d like to learn more about other concepts by Sven Vogtland, like Wynwood’s Coyo Taco, check out the video below!

Food Delivery Discount Service Increases Sales During Restaurant Off-Peak Hours

Food Delivery Discount Service Increases Sales During Restaurant Off-Peak Hours

hough delivery has proven to be a huge market with the likes of UberEats and Grubhub snatching up restaurant dollars, it has also proven to be extremely expensive for operators and, consequently, for consumers.

According to Forbes, Restaurants could pay anywhere between 11% and 45% commission on each order if they sign up for a delivery service. And while restaurants admit that adding these services improve order numbers and total revenue, these rates are huge. And the delivery fees on the consumer side aren’t tiny either.

Two entrepreneurial brothers based in NYC noticed this issue while scouring for promo codes and coupons to lower their delivery order prices. Wondering, ‘why isn’t there some sort of food delivery happy hour’ Mohamed and Sidi Ahmed Merzouk set out to create this type of app.

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How a Restaurateur and New Jersey Lawmaker Pay Tribute to Late Anthony Bourdain

How a Restaurateur and New Jersey Lawmaker Pay Tribute to Late Anthony Bourdain
  • How Anthony Bourdain helped a family business achieve the American Dream.

  • Pending approval, there may be an “Anthony Bourdain Food Trail” in New Jersey, thanks to a local lawmaker.

Earlier this month, restaurant industry icon, Anthony Bourdain, committed suicide in France.

The late chef, who was born in New York but grew up in the New Jersey suburb of Leonia, touched many lives in the industry at both a national and international level. Bourdain’s death was a shock to his family, friends, peers, colleagues, and fans everywhere. Those who mourned him made a memorial at the restaurant he served as executive chef for eight years— Brasserie Les Halles.

This week, a resolution was introduced by Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Moriarty to establish the “Anthony Bourdain Food Trail” in his honor, as reported by The Associated Press.

In New York, Bourdain’s death inspired Xi’an Famous Foods’ CEO, Jason Wang, to donate earnings from June 8 to a Suicide Hotline as announced in the company's Facebook page.

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Daniela Soto-Innes on Being a Young Boss

Daniela Soto-Innes on Being a Young Boss

James Beard winning chef Daniela Soto-Innes is known for heading the kitchen at famed restaurant Cosme. Named ‘Restaurant of the Year’ by Eater and receiving 3 stars from the New York Times, the restaurant has proven itself to be one of the best.

But one thing you may not know about this award-winning chef is that she is only 27... and she won her James Beard at 25.

Her secret: Daniela began working in kitchens at 14– lying about her age until she helped open Cosme at 23.

So what does the life of a millennial success story look like? The Cut reports:

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