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!

How Will These Business Trends Impact the Restaurant Industry?

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

2018 was a good year for the economy, which is always a great thing for the restaurant industry.

But what will 2019 bring?

The U.S. Federal Reserve predicts that the gross domestic product will grow by 2.5 percent. The unemployment rate is expected to continue to drop too.

But when it comes to labor, this means the labor pool will only be more shallow. However, this is a good thing for restaurants in the sense that more consumers will have a deposable income to spend.

That just means it’s time to take your business to the next level. In a recent “Entrepreneur” report, it outlined five business trends expected to reign in 2019. One of which is that there will be more personalized experiences because these resonate with customers.  

“Next year, take a page from Dunkin’ Donuts. The breakfast brand recently reported a 3.6 percent redemption rate for a mobile coupon campaign aimed at a competitor’s customers in Rhode Island. What’s more, ten times the number of redeemers took a secondary action, such as mentioning it on social media,” writes “Entrepreneur.” 

In 2018, data privacy became a hot topic, especially after the Facebook data breach.

In a recent episode of The Barron Report, host Paul Barron breaks out the Cambridge Analytica scandal and how it may be affecting your restaurant. Listen below to see how users are engaging with your Facebook content and how this data debacle has been impacting your restaurant sales.

With a series of data breaches being revealed in 2018, customers have become much more weary to share their information and for good reason.  

“In the coming year, avoid purchasing data or otherwise acquiring it without consumers’ consent. Not only is regulatory pressure increasing on companies that do so, but Deloitte reports that 71 percent of purchased data is inaccurate,” writes “Entrepreneur.” 

Instead, interactive content is a great way to collect guest data. Whether it be offering free Wi-Fi, collecting guest info for a waitlist, etc. With these methods, guests are willing to share their data for convenience.  

Although meal-kit subscription services struggled in 2018, “Entrepreneur” predicts that other subscription-based companies will continue to flourish.

See what the other business trends are that are going gain momentum come 2019 at “Entrepreneur” now.

Facebook Makes Quick Rebuttal to the Latest Accusatory NYT Article

Mark Zuckerberg |   Shuttershock

Mark Zuckerberg | Shuttershock

At the end of March, Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal hit the media.

Soon the hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending on Twitter.

“According to Facebook, data from about 300,000 users was originally collected by a Cambridge lecturer named Aleksandr Kogan in 2013 for a personality quiz app. But given the way Facebook worked at the time, Kogan was able to access data from "tens of millions" of friends of those users, Zuckerberg said. While Kogan collected the data legitimately, he then violated Facebook's terms by passing the information to Cambridge Analytica,” writes "CNET."

Facebook tried to keep the error hidden from the public because it eventually was revealed that the social network was aware of the infraction in 2015. Facebook, instead, demanded that Cambridge Analytica destroy the information immediately. As reported by "The Guardian" and "The New York Times," not all data had been deleted, according to information provided by the former data scientist for the firm and whistleblower, Chris Wylie.

Listen to the podcast below to learn more about the Facebook data debacle and it’s impact on restaurants.

While the social network was dealing with this backlash, another scandal was getting media attention– its lack of response to the Russian interference during the 2016 election.

In October of 2017, the "NYT" reported that at least 126 million American Facebook users were reached by Russian propaganda.

Late last week, the "NYT" released an in-depth article about how poorly Facebook handled the crisis. A day later, Facebook released a rebuttal via blog post to point out some of the inaccuracies.

Facebook defended how to reacted to the Russian activity and included a quote from Mark Zuckerberg's, Facebook CEO and founder, hearing to Congress.

“Leading up to Election Day in November 2016, we detected and dealt with several threats with ties to Russia … [including] a group called APT28 … we also saw some new behavior when APT28-related accounts, under the banner of DC Leaks, created fake personas that were used to seed stolen information to journalists. We shut these accounts down for violating our policies," said Zuckerberg.

Besides Facebook issuing a quick response to the "NYT's" claims, the social network had a press call to cover how the community is being enforced. This report will now be released quarterly. The company will be reporting on specifically how many cases of bullying and harassment and child exploitation were found and the number of fake accounts deleted by moderators.

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook is ramping up its content moderation to reduce sensationalist content and will “train AI systems to detect borderline content so we can distribute that content less.”

But will this be enough to win users back?

According to Foodable Labs data, there has been a 70 percent decrease in food influencers using Facebook over the past year. 40 percent of restaurants aren't using the platform currently.

Read more about the Facebook scandal at "The Verge" now.

How Rich's Helps Define Clean Label and Sustainability

Consumers are demanding authenticity.

Authenticity in their products, foods, brands, you name it.

On this episode of The Barron Report, Jen VanDewater, Vice President of Health and Authenticity at Rich Products Corporation, sits down with our host Paul Barron to discuss how a large company like Rich’s is addressing consumer concerns over clean labeling and authenticity when it boils down to the products they offer.

Listen above to learn more about this company’s sustainability and social efforts!


Show Notes:

  • 03:57 - Driving Factor Pushing Companies To Make Changes

  • 04:32 - Defining Clean Label

  • 06:47 - How Rich's Monitors The Market

  • 08:29 - Social Trends Monitoring

  • 10:47 - Trends In The Marketplace

  • 11:38 - Customer Portfolio Analysis

  • 13:06 - Verifying If Products have a Clean Label

  • 14:16 - How Rich's Looks at Data around Clean Label

  • 18:31 - Trends in Consumer Demand

  • 22:52 - Real Meaning of Sustainability

  • 26:08 - Rich's Sustainability Efforts

  • 28:22 - Operators Attitudes Towards Sustainability

 
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Female-Led Funding Startup, AccelFoods Helps Other Food-Focused Startups like Soozy's Thrive

Ever wondered how grocery stores will look like five years from now?

This is something Jordan Gaspar, co-founder of AccelFoods, thinks about daily.

AccelFoods is a funding startup that invests in other startups that have the potential of disrupting food categories in the grocery aisles and beyond through their innovative products.

On this episode of The Barron Report, our host Paul Barron speaks with Gaspar and Susan Chen, CEO of Soozy’s, a frozen, gluten-free baked good product company that has partnered with AccelFoods in order to grow its business. The three discuss how the relationship has been between the venture capitalist group and the investee, Soozy’s role in its snacking category, what types of companies AccelFoods seeks to invest on, and trends in the marketplace among other topics.

Listen above to learn more about these trailblazing companies!


Show Notes:

  • 01:43 - Purpose of AccelFoods

  • 03:48 - Soozy’s Role in the Frozen Food Segment

  • 05:47 - AccelFoods’ Investment in Soozy’s

  • 09:26 - Types of Companies AccelFoods Invests In

  • 10:47 - Trends In The Marketplace

  • 14:38 - Soozy’s Differentiator in Snacking Category

  • 17:52 - Product Packaging

  • 23:16 - Size of Companies AccelFoods Invests In

  • 26:09 - Macro Understanding of Food Industry

  • 28:00 - Impact of Social Media for Soozy’s

  • 29:58 - Future Growth Plans for Soozy’s

  • 31:52 - Challenges in Male-Dominated Venture Capitalist World

 
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