Give Customers What They Want With These Clean-Label Dessert Recipes

Give Customers What They Want With These Clean-Label Dessert Recipes

Welcome to Foodable’s Smart Kitchen where chefs share innovative ideas around the challenges you work with every day. In this episode, Agnes and Chef Adrianne are cleaning up your customers' favorite desserts.

Customers are demanding clean ingredients and transparency in everything they eat from entrees to indulgent desserts. Many concepts are taking, cheesecake, a classic customer favorite, and adding fruit flavors to take the traditional plate to the next level. But while apple and cheesecake are a winning pair, ensuring consistent quality and flavor can be a strife for multi-unit operators. In this episode, see how Chef Adrianne makes adding fresh and clean fruit flavors to your dessert menu easy and cost-efficient.

Read More

12-Year Local Brand Urbane Cafe Thinks There's Room for Growth in Fast Casual

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, host Paul Barron talks to Tom Holt of Urbane Cafe about why he decided to take on a full made-from-scratch menu in Ventura, California 12 years ago.

In 2003, Holt was a professional motocross racer and couldn’t find a healthy fast casual in Ventura. He took that as inspiration to create his own. And thus, Urbane Cafe was born. Everything at Urbane is made from scratch from the bread and the sauces to the dressings. The ingredients they use are as fresh and local as possible.

Barron asks Holt about his thoughts on how the fast casual sector is starting to get crowded. Of course, some concepts are going to succeed and other are going to fail, but being a “winner” isn’t the end goal for Holt. For him, there is a greater purpose to his menu.

“I don’t want to see any losers. I want to make sure that we’re able to really feed the general population with good healthy food,” he says.

Find out more about Urbane Cafe and their mission by watching the episode!

 
logo2.png
 

The Urban Farmhouse: Bringing the Farm to the City

Coming from a number of fast food chains, Kathleen Richardson knew a thing or two about the business, but she wanted to do something a little different. So she dove back into her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and opened a fast casual of her own, The Urban Farmhouse Market & Café. Founded in 2010, the mission behind The Urban Farmhouse is to bring the farm to the city and suburbs while providing customers with local, wholesome food. Though their menu is not outrageously unique, the way each menu item is made is what makes them stand out.

“For almost all of our salads, salad dressings, sandwich ingredients, we either prepare or cut here on the premises. That to me is a difference that I feel is important in defining fast casual.”

Redefining fast casual seems to be a theme here. Coming from McDonald's, Richardson knew a lot about limited time offers (LTO’s) but at The Urban Farmhouse Market & Café, LTO’s don’t exist. Instead, Urban Farmhouse changes their menus seven times a year, in accordance with the Virginia growing calendar.

In addition to using local farmers and producers as their purveyors, The Urban Farmhouse expands on its dedication to local by showcasing local artisanal products like beer, chocolates, and almonds. As Kathleen explains, they don’t do anything the easy way. “You’re working with this local for this one product, this local… Doing that for 20 different products versus being able to call up one distributor and getting all of that there. It’s time-consuming, it’s a lot of paperwork but it’s kind of who we are. We can’t be any different.”

Learn more about The Urban Farmhouse Market & Café on this episode of Fast Casual Nation.

Only Organic and Clean Ingredients at green2Go in California

green2Go is a fast-casual concept started by two moms who were having a hard time finding healthy fast food that they felt was good enough to feed their children. After discussing their frustrations, Joulia Hantas-Kalah and Anita Allison decided they would open their own restaurant. Serving only clean, healthy ingredients, green2Go has created a loyal following in California.

What exactly is "clean" food? Anita explained what it means to them in just a few words: “Basically, it’s all natural.” Joulia added, "It’s real food! At the end of the day, we feel someone at some point has to draw that line, and that’s what we chose to do and how we opened in 2012.”

Joulia said some restaurants have tried to provide clean food, but they are often hindered by how difficult it can be to keep clean ingredients fresh because of their lack of preservatives. This leads those restaurants creating modified menus serving only the clean ingredients they are able to control. However, the green2Go duo didn’t want to change what people were eating. They simply wanted to make those dishes cleaner. So they took dishes like burgers, tacos, and rice bowls, and served them — just with better ingredients.

What do they use? Ingredients like antibiotic-free chicken, bread without high-fructose corn syrup, organic tomatoes, non-GMO corn tortillas, locally sourced blue cheese, and cage-free eggs. To keep their ingredients fresh, Joulia and Anita decided to invest in better storage.

“We’ve tried different things from getting lids that are always cracking, or plastic wrapping things as tight as you can get it, but still, it’s an imperfect world that we’ve created. But now we’ve saved about a 1.5 percent reduction in food costs just by being able to extend the shelf life of produce and not have as much waste,” Joulia said.

As restaurants start to turn towards serving better-for-you menus, Joulia and Anita are looking forward to the future.

“It makes us feel good because it makes our bottom line. It helps us afford our ingredients a little better now because the more people — supply and demand!” Joulia said.

Watch how this clean fast casual makes it all possible on this episode of "Fast Casual Nation."

Wendy’s Promotes Freshness with New Video Series

Wendy’s Promotes Freshness with New Video Series

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

The quick-serve chain, Wendy’s has had a lot of different slogans since it was founded in 1969, including ­– “Quality Is Our Recipe” (the slogan and current that also remains on Wendy’s logo today,) “Choose Fresh, choose Wendy's,” It's way better than fast food... It's Wendy's,” “You know when it's real,” and “It's not just fast food; it's fresh food, made fast.”

When the brand isn’t promoting their juicy hamburgers, they are emphasizing their fresh ingredients.

Fresh ingredients have always been included in their mission statement: “Our promise is to only use the freshest ingredients to create the best-tasting food for you. Quality is our promise and our recipe,” according to the brand’s website.

How the Brand is Using Content Marketing to Represent Freshness

Now the fast food chain is taking it a step further with the video series, “Profiles in Quality” the first video Lettuce... From Start to Fresh takes the viewers on a tour of Wendy’s lettuce supply chain.

Suppliers of the fast food restaurant, Tom and Steve Church of Church Brothers Farms discuss the values and standards of their farm. This family-owned farm supplies Wendy’s with salad ingredients, including spring mix, romaine and iceberg lettuce.

The video tells the endearing story of the Church Brothers Farm, but also boasts about Wendy’s food safety procedures.

Read More