A Sneak Peek into the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report

A Sneak Peek into the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report

The Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report identifies the emerging sandwich concepts that are dominating the segment and reveals some interesting trends in menus and consumer interest.

Although we’ve seen a downward trend of 6.8 percent, year over year, in overall restaurant traffic based on social media mentions, the 300 sandwich innovator brands have seen a traffic increase of 3.4 percent, according to Foodable Labs.

The report, which is slated to release sometime in July, will provide an analysis exploring the sandwich segment and trends. The segment has seen an upward trend as far as traffic in social media mentions is concerned, which is a great statement for the newcomers that are dominating the market.

It may have something to do with the move towards brand transparency and the use of higher-quality ingredients. In fact, Food Quality is one of the highest ranked sentiment scores at 78.9 points for the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator concepts since the younger demographics are gravitating more towards higher quality and convenient food options. This research also points to the increased popularity of higher-quality ingredient sides, like chips. Snack brands, like Miss Vickie’s, are leading the way in this segment, further advancing the high-quality ingredients trend.

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Celebrity Chef John Tesar's Knife Burger to Open at New Food Hall in Texas

Celebrity Chef John Tesar's Knife Burger to Open at New Food Hall in Texas

Food halls, in general, are becoming wildly popular.

Earlier this year, Foodable reported on how this new dining category may become the next big thing with more fast casual restaurants joining forces to form part of a diverse collection of food offerings housed close together in one go-to destination for customer convenience.

The appeal for consumers, who want to eat healthier, support local farmers and fisheries while having different cuisines available to satisfy every craving, is there.

Our industry expert, Donald Burns, went out on a limb late last year predicting the rise of food halls, as he shared his favorite spots found around the U.S.

"Today, people, they want to mix it up… they want to try out new things. Nothing is better than going to a food hall with your friends and having lots and lots of different options available... There are [great] ones out there in the market. There’s one in Houston, Tex., called Conservatory… There’s another one: Avanti in Denver… also the Revival Food Hall in Chicago. Another great concept!,” said Burns.

Well, Fort Worth, Tex. is the next lucky city with development plans in place to create an exciting food hall in Crockett Row at West 7th.

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Everything Is Bigger In Texas, Including Vegan Dining

Everything Is Bigger In Texas, Including Vegan Dining

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

In a destination that’s known for sticky ribs and juicy ribeye steaks, it’s hard to believe that anything can compete with good old fashioned Texas barbecue. But thanks to the growing number of health-conscious consumers in cities like Austin and Forth Worth, vegan dining is booming, giving restaurateurs an opportunity to stand out in the meat-centric Texas culinary scene. 

Serving up everything from veggie burgers to vegan donuts, vegan restaurants throughout the Lone Lone Star State are getting creative with their plant-based menus, and it’s definitely paying off. Okay, so while we don’t think meat is going anywhere in Texas, here are just a few spots that are giving the traditional Texas steakhouse a healthy dose of competition: 

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Texas Chef Rory Schepisi Chimes In On GMO and Cloned Meat

Earlier last year, headlines began appearing reporting on the emergence of genetically modified meat and seafood. The modification process entails species having DNA material manipulated in order to speed up their maturation process, thereby lessening the time needed to raise each animal before slaughter. The theory is that this quicker raising time period would have less of an environmental impact as well as a more immediate economic return for the farmer.

In addition to the introduction of genetically modified meat, news also broke that China was establishing a government sponsored “cloning park” set to open early this year with the lofty goal of eventually creating over a million cow embryos to be harvested for eventual meat production. These cloned animals can be selected based on beneficial features, making them attractive to farmers seeking a higher level of security and reliability. The ethics of this move have naturally been hotly debated.

Rory Schepisi, Chef of Boot Hill Saloon and Grill, Texas

“Being a steakhouse owner and chef, you would think I would have a biased opinion about cloned and genetically engineered meat. To be honest, if I could guarantee the exact same quality, texture, marbling, and flavor of my cuts of beef, I would hands down be an advocate for it.  Till then CAB [Certified Angus Beef] is the closest I can achieve to those expectations. 

When it comes to chicken anything would be better than the ‘roid injected, Godzilla breasts that are being produced today. Only organic chicken is up to par for quality.”

So how do other chefs feel about these future possibilities? Read More

Falling Gas Prices Hurting Texas Restaurants

While falling gas prices in any other state may equate to a rise in restaurant sales due to the fact that diners now have more disposable income available to them, in Texas, one of the oil capitals of the US, falling oil prices are hurting Texan businesses and families - and local restaurants are feeling the effects.

Executives at Del Frisco's Restaurant Group reported its third quarter private dining numbers were lower in oil-rich regions, including Texas. Additionally, Dallas based Brinker International which operates franchises such as Chili's Grill and Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy, reported its sales were also lower than expected in areas heavy in oil production. 

This trend of lowering sales correlating with falling gas prices does not extend throughout the country, however, and is limited only to oil producing regions. The NRA reports that lowering gas prices have actually had a positive effect for most restaurants nationwide. Read More