How The World's First OatMeals Cafe Has Reimagined The Use of The Traditional Grain

“I really believe that if you start your day with oatmeal you normally make better decisions throughout the rest of your day… So, this brand has a lot of legs in today’s world,” says Stephens.


On this episode of Emerging Brands, Samantha Stephens, chef and founder of OatMeals shares with Foodable the origins of her single-ingredient fast casual concept and how she built it from the ground up.

OatMeals is the world’s first oatmeal cafe located in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in New York known for its brownstones buildings. Stephens believes her brand in very on-trend right now especially with the rise of the health movement and all the benefits and versatility that oats have to offer.

What sets this concept apart is the fact that not only it is a business concept that revolves around oats, but also the fact that it aims to evaluate the way traditional breakfast meals involving oats have been regarded for decades.

“So, it’s a build-your-own toppings bar. We’re sort of putting a non-traditional twist on old-fashioned oatmeals...,” says Stephens. “The more and more I ate oatmeal the more I realized it’s very similar to risotto or rice… You could really think about it as like a savory side dish. It’s so versatile! It sort of adapts well to any kind of topping you put on it…”

Stephens went on to explain how she experimented with the grain by adding parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, truffle oil, goat cheese, eggs, and bacon. She offers savory oatmeals as well as the traditional breakfast and sweet oatmeal offerings.

Listen to the podcast above to learn about how Samantha Stephens gained the confidence to build this business, the challenges she faces when figuring out a reasonable price point for her menu items, and how her concept aims to stay relevant in the food world in terms of trends.

To learn more about the Shark Tank-backed concept—OatMeals— check out the The Barron Report Live video interview below!

Culinary Cannabis with The Herb Somm, Jamie Evans

Cannabis is introducing a whole new aspect of the restaurant industry. With the emergence of some of the most renowned chefs beginning the process of developing menu items related to CBD and Cannabis, to CBD taking the lead currently in the approval process via the recently approved $867 billion Farm Bill which allows for use of CDB in food-related items. What we are seeing is a massive early adoption to integrated food and menu concepts by restaurants and experts around the US. I get a chance to explore the idea of tasting and pairing Cannabis related items with food and wine with Jamie Evans, the Herb Somm as we discover new aspects to the integration and new age of unique ingredients.

I continue to be surprised in the advancements of ingredients, flavors and culinary techniques that chefs are integrating every year, but 2019 seems to be the year of Cannabis and will surely be a major campaign topic in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. A small or possibly huge setback is the recent banning of CBD products by restaurants in NYC. However, this action is not without a fight when you consider Andrea Drummer. Drummer, a former drug counselor turned definitive expert on edibles and cannabis is pushing back on the bizarre circumstances that have led to CBD being banned as a food additive, even as its legality has been firmly established. It appears that this new form of creativity in food will face a bit more in the way of challenges this year.

Stay tuned as I continue to explore this critical time in the evolution of culinary creativity to understand where we are really going with the future of Cannabis. Will this be a new era in similarity to when alcohol products began showing up in menu items at restaurants around the world or is it a fight that will be forthcoming for years to come?

Video Produced by:

Nathan Mikita

Nathan Mikita

Director of New Media/Producer


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Uber Eats Tests Native Ads, Will This be a Powerful Tool for Operators or a Hassle That Will Cut into Profits?

The food delivery platform Uber Eats has been quietly testing a new feature on its app in India.

Uber Eats has been experimenting with native ads where restaurants that offer promotions like a bundle of a few food items for a discount gets the restaurant promoted placement in the app.

With a new section called "Specials," Uber Eats is even paying some of the restaurants to offer these discounts.

"We’re always experimenting with ways to make it easier to find your favorite foods on Uber Eats," said an Uber spokesperson in a statement.

"The feature allows restaurants to create a bundled meal at a certain price point, such as a chicken sandwich, french fries and a drink at a price that’s less than the sum of its parts," writes "Tech Crunch."Attracting more customers that have plenty of other options could offset the discount. Businesses could also use it to bundle high-margin items, like soft drinks, with meals, or to get rid of overstock."

Learn more about the impact of Uber Eats' promoted placements on restaurants in the recent episode of The Barron Report above. Host Paul Barron argues that Uber Eats has become a pricy partnership for operators and these specials will only allow Uber Eats to make even more profit from restaurants.

Uber Eats has emerged as one of the most popular delivery services out there. This company has quickly conquered the market and is currently offering food delivery for 50 percent of the U.S. population and has the lofty goal of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by the end of this year.

But as the platform becomes more saturated with restaurant options, it has become more difficult for restaurants to be seen on the delivery app. So restaurants have tried to reach more eyeballs with quicker delivery times since the delivery times are featured as specific categories on the app.

But now will restaurants be forced to compete by offering better specials?

"Users often come to Uber Eats and its competitors without a specific restaurant in mind. Uber can then point those customers to whichever food supplier it prefers. The suppliers in turn will increasingly compete for the favor of the aggregators — not just in terms of food quality, speed and review scores, but also in terms of discounts," writes "Tech Crunch."The aggregators will win users if they offer the best deals; creating a network effect makes restaurants more keen to play ball."

Not to mention, partnering with Uber Eats has become much more expensive.

Will operators be open to offering native ads on the platform to get more delivery orders? Or is this function just adding to the hassle of partnering with Uber Eats?

Read more about the ad test at "Tech Crunch" now.