Rethinking Food Safety In the Era of Food Delivery

On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, podcast host Valerie Killifer chats with Anthony Russo and Betsy Craig to discuss food safety concerns in the restaurant industry.

Anthony Russo is the Director of International Sales and the Domestic Regulatory Affairs Officer for Lava Gel Technologies. Lava Gel is a non-toxic solution made from natural minerals that, when activated by water, is able to create a long-lasting heat in food products. Betsy Craig is a national professional speaker and the founder and CEO of MenuTrinfo. MenuTrinfo provides certified, FDA-compliant menu labeling services.

As food safety experts, both Russo and Craig are committed to helping restaurants and caterers recognize and better address food safety concerns. Russo helps foodservice operators find solutions to temperature and quality control issues, and molds Lava Gel technology to the needs of the chef or caterer. Craig offers a food handler program to interested restaurants for training employees regarding best food safety practices and handling the pitfalls of third party delivery.

As Craig notes, “bacteria doubles every 20 minutes,” so packaging is vital. “The time from the grill to the gut—it’s imperative for people to have that nailed,” she says. “From loading dock to the table top of someone’s home, keeping it safe all the way to a person’s table is paramount.”

Listen to the episode above to learn more about the simple ways restaurants can tweak their current operations to better protect their customers and avert a food safety doomsday scenario.

This episode brought to you by:

 

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita

Producer

Training Sales Employees For The Modern Catering Landscape

On this episode of Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, our podcast hosts, Valerie Killifer and Erle Dardick, sit down with Tracy Avolio, Vice President of The Catering Institute.

Avolio has been with The Catering Institute for eight years and with her, she brought her restaurant industry experience of 25 years to help multi-unit restaurant concepts develop, implement and grow their catering channels. The Catering Institute, which was founded by our show host, Erle Dardick, focuses on the Five Pillars of Successful Restaurant Catering: leadership, centralized services, sales and marketing, operations, and delivery.

On this episode, we will discuss how to train sales employees for the modern catering landscape, but the conversation will touch on how the five pillars are necessary for ultimate success.

“One thing I would add about leadership... the catering is really a business onto itself. It’s different than the retail part of the business...the consumers are sometimes different, their needs and expectations are different, menu is different, packaging is different, delivery is different, you name it,” says Tracy Avolio. “So, it really warrants having somebody that is leading that division and that part of the concept…”

Listen to the episode above to take a deep dive into catering sales and what’s necessary for success!

This episode brought to you by:

 

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita

Producer


Why Having An Advanced On-Demand Restaurant Strategy Can Set Your Brand Apart

Ever wondered how a great on-demand strategy can differentiate your concept from the rest?

On this episode of Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, our host Valerie Killifer sits down with Mark Toth, Founder and CEO of Urban Wok, founded in 2018 in Minneapolis, to figure out just that.

Urban Wok focuses technology to make the customer experience as efficient, seamless and enjoyable as possible.

One example of that is the fact that Urban Wok is completely cashless.

“The main advantage which I did not think of when I opened up Urban Wok is the ability for our employees, and our managers and myself to interact with customers, since we’re not operating with a transaction having to punch and order in or give cash back or change or things like that,” says Mark Toth.  

“We actually can make a meal, talk to the customer, talk about sauces, talk about clean ingredients, help them through the computer system if they need help, although it happens very rarely. So the ability to interact with customers has been nothing but a great thing without having cash to deal with.”

Urban Wok has become a favorite amongst Millennials and Gen Z patrons because of their modern approach to foodservice. Learn more by listening to the podcast above!

 

This episode brought to you by:

 

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita

Producer


CEO Frank Paci Shares Why Corner Bakery is Considered a Catering Powerhouse

Having a proven strategy for your catering channel can take your restaurant from just making the margins to expanding your concept. The variables for creating a profitable catering channel are rapidly evolving, so best to learn from the best.

On this episode of The Takeout, Catering and Delivery Show, we sit down with Frank Paci, CEO of Corner Bakery Cafe. Corner Bakery Cafe is known as one of the top performing fast casual operations in the off-premise space with nearly 200 locations in North America. Catering makes up over 25 percent of its business.

We discuss how Paci views the concept’s off-premise business strategy, what his vision for off-premises is moving forward, and how the brand was able to build up its reputation as a catering powerhouse.

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Why the Food Scene in “Forgotten Cities” Is As Important As Those in New York, Chicago, and L.A.

On this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with Chef Derek Stevens— a Steel City “burning star,” as he calls him, for shining bright in the local food scene. Stevens is the co-owner and executive chef of Pittsburgh’s Union Standard. Both gentlemen are Pittsburgh-natives and they focus their conversation around those cites that seem “forgotten” in the food world.

The two agree that as chefs they are always on the hunt for honest food. Chef Stevens is candid about his favorite Pittsburgh food spots, highlighting establishments like LeoGretta located in the Carnegie neighborhood and ran by Chef Greg Alauzen; as well as, DiAnoia’s Eatery in the Strip District and ran by Chef Dave DiAnoia.

“When I talk about those chefs… when I eat their food, I think ‘Damn, I wish I could cook like this guy’ you know?,” says Chef Stevens. “It’s really heartwarming in a way, you know? They really got it figured out. And sometimes they’re thinking the same thing [about other chefs].”

Listen to the podcast above to hear the full conversation, Chef Steven’s thoughts on the resurgence of downtown areas in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee, and how to cultivate interest for a local food scene in a “forgotten city.”


Show Notes:

  • 1:55 - Chef Derek Stevens’ Background

  • 4:07 - Favorite Pittsburgh food spots

  • 7:37 - Comfort Food vs. Fine-Dining

  • 12:47 - Cultivating Interest for local food scene

  • 17:19 - Incubators and the food scene

  • 23:13 - Labor Shortage

Hosted by:

Jim Berman

JIM BERMAN

Expert Columnist / Show Host


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