Summer Fancy Food Show Highlights Plant-Based The Little Beet

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) annually hosts the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. The largest specialty food and beverage event in North America, the Summer Fancy Food Show features a growing number of restaurants and organizations focused on providing innovative menus and products.

This year, host Paul Barron interviewed a number of leaders in the industry. Becky Mulligan, a former Starbucks executive and the new CEO of The Little Beet, offered her perspective on the growing consumer demand for plant-based products.

After spending sixteen years overseeing thousands of Starbucks units, Becky Mulligan switched gears in 2018 and joined The Little Beet team.

The fast casual veggie restaurant chain just seemed like a perfect fit. “It was perfect for my lifestyle,” says Mulligan. “I was drawn to the concept immediately.”

The Little Beet recently expanded its offerings to a full service gluten-free restaurant: The Little Beet Table. According to Mulligan, the two branches work in tandem: customers continue to go to The Little Beet for a quick, healthy breakfasts and lunches, and they go to The Little Beet Table for dinner, drinks, and special occasions.

“People are becoming more educated about what they consume,” notes Mulligan. “It’s helped us to have a broader platform to talk about why it’s good to have a plant-based diet.” While she emphasizes that plant-based foods should make up the bulk of your diet, balance rather than guilt is ultimately the goal. “We want consumers to have accessible food that is good for you—and that you want to eat.”

All food at both The Little Beet and The Little Beet Table is made fresh everyday. All vegetables and ingredients are prepared from scratch, and the company avoids added sugars and non-blended oils. These prerequisites can be challenging for staff in terms of ensuring everyone is served in a timely fashion, but rewarding for the brand and customers alike.

The Little Beet currently consists of ten units, and there are four The Little Beet Table locations. Mulligan says the company hopes to double those numbers by next year. The chain is also developing a beverage platform.

Check out the video above to learn more about the future of The Little Beet and the company’s plant-based mission.

How Hot Are These Hot Concepts?

How Hot Are These Hot Concepts?

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Foodable Labs is tracking the restaurant industry on social 24/7.

If you are not familiar with the Restaurant Social Media Index, it tracks consumer social data through five tracking categories- Sentiment, Influence, Engagement, Social Restaurant Visits, and Mobile Engagement.

Social Restaurant Visits (SRVs) are particularly important because it’s an excellent way to measure Social ROI.

SRVs include a variety of data points for direct social visits, intent to visit or a return & refer mention. This can be when a customer mentions, takes a picture, or performs a "check in" on social media referencing a restaurant’s location either in the post or it's recorded in the geo-metadata.

The RSMI’s proprietary methodology for SRVs digs into as many as five levels deep in a conversation to harvest the Social Restaurant Visits.

To put it simply, if a restaurant brand is seeing an increase in SRVs, the stores are evidently seeing an increase in foot traffic.

In July, Nation’s Restaurant News released the 2016 Hot Concept award winners. Five emerging restaurant concepts are editorially selected to be featured. We decided to take a closer look at these concepts in relation to their SRVs.

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A Fast Casual With No Fear: The Little Beet [VIDEO]

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They say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.

So you could say it’s more than a little risky for a fast-casual restaurant to open one of its first locations in the belly of the beast that is Midtown Manhattan. But that’s exactly what The Little Beet did, and it continues to keep on truckin’. In fact, the concept also has a unit on Park Avenue, another in Long Island, and a soon-to-be expansion to Washington, D.C., where competition like Sweetgreen and Cava call their home base.

In this episode of “Fast Casual Nation,” brought to you by the Foodable WebTV Network, we are taking you into the good-for-you fast casual to get a firsthand look at the atmosphere and decor, and especially some of the top menu items. 

The Little Beet Brings Farm-to-Table to the Big Apple

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We’re back with another episode of Fast Casual Nation, and today we’re in the Big Apple! In this episode, brought to you by the Foodable Network, host Paul Barron explores The Little Beet, a good-for-you, fast farm-to-table concept located in Midtown Manhattan. We are joined by Operating Partner Andy Duddleston, who fills us in on how the concept got started and where he sees the future of fast casual going, and lays out some of the concept’s most popular dishes for us. Watch the full episode to get a taste of how this fast casual is thriving in the dog-eat-dog world of New York City.