The Sylvester Brings a Non-Alcoholic Buzz to Miami

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In today’s overcrowded food and beverage market, bar owners often struggle to make their bar unique. And in South Florida, competition is fierce. New bars and restaurants open and close every day, and the only way to stay afloat is to offer high quality products that are truly different.

The Sylvester, located in the heart of Miami, aims to do exactly that. This season of REACH explores the unique stories behind the making of emerging and successful food and beverage businesses in South Florida. The Sylvester was just established this year, and is already making a name for itself in the city.

Ben Potts, the bar director for The Sylvester, co-founded the joint with Chef Brian Nasajon after quitting a “miserable” job in investment banking.

“I quit my job without having a plan,” says Potts. His goal was to craft drinks that were truly innovative. “Non-alcoholic beverages are what we’re trying to push and highlight.”

In addition to typical alcoholic drinks, The Sylvester offers kombucha, an extensive coffee list, tea, and wellness water and cocktails infused with CBD. There are even a few mushroom elixirs on the menu.

“We’re trying to push the envelope from a cocktail perspective,” adds Potts. The goal, for him, is to allow customers to “reap the benefits of a medicinal product in a food and beverage setting.”

The bar is designed to look nostalgic and “very distinctly” Miami. With vintage wallpaper, retro stylings, and a wide selection of board games, the place immediately feels welcoming and familial.

Check out the full episode to learn more about the bar and some of the recipes behind the unique drinks available at The Sylvester!

Denver Chef Infuses Classic Seared Alaska Halibut with Thai Flavors

Throughout the world, people rely on the ocean for sustenance and survival. Sustainability practices in harvesting are essential for ensuring the future quality and continuity of seafood. And rapidly evolving technology possibilities are making sustainability a much simpler and more attainable goal.

For its second season, Foodable’s Smart Kitchen & Bar has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to feature chefs who are passionate about sustainable seafood sourcing practices. These chefs share why they love seafood, explain how they select responsible seafood purveyors, and showcase innovative, fish-focused recipes.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On-Demand.

The largest type of flatfish, Alaska Halibut is equal parts simple and elegant with a unique, flaky texture and a mild, sweet flavor. Alaska is the largest provider of domestic halibut in the United States, and all wild Alaska fisheries harvest responsibly and sustainably.

In the clip above, Chef Jennifer Jasinski shares her Thai-infused mango Alaska dungeness crab salad and seared Alaska halibut recipe with host Paul Barron. Jasinski's unique recipe pairs halibut and dungeness crab with coconut crusted risotto. As you can see in the video, the dungeness crab that was used is classified as "ugly crab," which simply means it has a less attractive shell (barnacles, discoloration, war wounds), but it is just as safe and delicious to eat as a crab with an attractive-looking shell.

Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Chef Jasinski has always loved the ocean and the diversity of fish it offers. After traveling for over a decade with Wolfgang Puck Food Company, she put down roots in Denver and currently owns five acclaimed restaurants in the city under the group name Crafted Concepts. One of her latest restaurants, Stoic & Genuine, opened in 2014 and features fresh-from-the-water seafood.

Check out the full episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On-Demand to learn more about sustainable seafood practices and Jasinski’s philosophy on leaving no scraps behind.

Sous Vide Alaska Pollock Cooked to Perfection

Originally kept to the domain of professional chefs, sous vide is becoming an increasingly popular cooking method in the average American home. The sous vide cooking method typically consists of vacuum-sealing your choice of food in a bag, cooking it in a bath of water in a glass container, and potentially broiling or searing the food further for a crispier flavor.

For the second season of Smart Kitchen & Bar, Foodable has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to spotlight chefs who actively practice sustainable seafood sourcing. These chefs share why they love seafood, explain how they select responsible seafood vendors, and showcase cutting-edge, fish-focused recipes.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On Demand.

Wild Alaska pollock makes for a versatile, flaky, and delicious dish. Alaska pollock is the largest sustainable fishery in the world and is caught in its natural habitat and processed at-sea or on shore. It has a mild cod-like taste and delicate texture prized by chefs from around the world.

In the clip above, Chef Jennifer Booker shares her sous vide Alaska pollock recipe with host Paul Barron. The delicious recipe features a variety of flavorful ingredients including saffron rice, sautéed spinach, garlic, and tomato.

Booker is a personal chef, cookbook author, culinary educator, and business owner based in Atlanta. She also currently serves as an Executive Chef for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Her culinary company, Your Resident Gourmet, provides in-house cooking, catering, party planning, menu development, and cooking classes. Booker loves seafood, and encourages her clients to rethink the unhealthy stereotypes of southern cuisine.

Check out the full episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On Demand to learn more about southern agriculture and finding fresh, healthy, sustainable seafood.

Three Ways to Keep Your Restaurant From Failing

The economic forecast for the restaurant industry is discouraging—restaurant markets have become oversaturated, labor and food costs are rising, overall sales look weak, consumers are constantly searching for something new and maintain unpredictable loyalties, and banks and investors are not eager to invest.

For current and aspiring restaurant operators, having a game plan is key. As Paul Barron discusses in the above video, there are three key strategies for ensuring that your restaurant succeeds: Cross Competitive Marketing, Multi-Platform Retargeting, and Content Marketing & Execution.

Cross competitive analysis is all about covertly acquiring your competitors’ customers. Tools like Sprout Social are essential for the survival of opening or struggling restaurants. Sprout Social uses digital customer relationship management (CRM) to build lists of the types of customers and influencers your competition is catering to—all to ultimately determine what those customers are looking for in a restaurant.

According to Barron, operators tend to make the same mistake. “They do blanket advertising on digital and think they’ve checked the box,” says Barron. “That’s not how you do digital marketing.” List building and targeting, social conquesting, and studying browser behavior is paramount.

Another helpful tip? Geo seeking. Cell phones are constantly sending data from the apps consumers use to a data provider—and that data provider subsequently sells the data to companies trying to target those consumers.

Operators who choose to acquire that data can target their marketing by geo location, competitors, lookalikes, or influence. Advertisements can even be dependent on a customer’s browser behavior.

“Don’t think about your competition as just competition,” adds Barron. “Think about your competition as their customers.”

To learn more about the value of bounce back cards, training a SEAL team of employees, and the importance of having a story, check out the video above!

Produced by:

Paul Barron

Paul Barron

Editor-in-Chief/Executive Producer


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Top Financial Tools For Your Restaurant - Bench Accounting Software

Successful restaurant operators recognize that tracking expenses is absolutely essential. However, orchestrating the process can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming.

There are a number of different expense trackers on the market that can make the tracking process simple and straightforward for businesses. Excel, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Expensify, Mint, Bench Accounting, and SAP Concur are just a few of the most popular trackers available today.

Bench is the expense tracker we use and highly recommend here at Foodable. Composed of a passionate team of small business bookkeepers, Bench is best for businesses looking for a hands-off approach: all of your bookkeeping and expense importing, reviewing, and categorizing is managed by Bench.

Bench can be used in both a more “robust” form on your desktop and in an intuitive, streamlined app. “If you are a very mobile app user,” adds Barron, “this is the product to use.”

Thoughtfully organized financial reports are delivered to you monthly, and there are no storage limits for business receipts. A helpful search tool allows you to easily locate any of your checks and expenditures. Bench bookkeepers are also happy to work with your accountant during tax season.

For companies that do not yet have a CFO, apps like Bench can be a lifesaver. “Every small business—whether you’re a restaurant operator or a big brand or emerging—you need that kind of support,” says Barron. “These will be your new CFOs.”

For restaurant businesses, the pricing program with Bench depends upon your annual revenue. A restaurant that enjoys a higher revenue will pay more than a smaller or emerging business.

This post is brought to you by Bench Accounting Software. Learn more about their bookkeeping services and enjoy 20 percent off.