Food Service Promos Blog
Good news from the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, held in Las Vegas last week. A number of industry experts and insiders expressed optimism for a strong year for the restaurant industry.
Among the driving factors:
An increase in consumer disposable income due to lower gas prices. That, coupled with lower operator prices for commodities could be the best pairing since peanut butter and jelly...equating to a strong year for restaurateurs!
Lower gas prices "put extra income directly into the hands of lower and middle income consumers. Lower gas prices are like an instant tax cut. If gas prices stay low, 2015 could be the happiest year since 2007", according to John Barone, president of Market Vision Inc.
There’s no question that the holidays bring out more people, and Darren Tristano, Technomic executive vice president, says that higher foot traffic for shopping means a likely increase of sales for restaurants.
“If shoppers are going in and out of stores, they’ll stop at a restaurant. For many, it’s a part of the holiday shopping tradition,” said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant analyst, NPD Group.
And while some look to traditional favorites, many consumers see the holidays as a time to celebrate with something special...
The forces that shape the dessert landscape---sharing, individual sizing, artisan, bar desserts, new flavor combos---enter the market, make an impact and evolve or move on. But one market trend seems to always be there to hang its halo on favorite desserts-nostalgia.
The favorites that people grew up with are selected over and over again. Flavor & The Menu says consumers equate classics with comfort and that familiarity builds trust. It is one of the reasons you cannot go wrong with dessert options like that include classics like OREO®. In fact, according to Datassential Menu Trends, OREO® is the #1 brand on dessert menus* and has roughly 3 times the menu penetration of the next most popular brands. (Read more)...
"The government should stay out of things. [...] Pretty soon, they’re going to wipe a lot of the middle restaurateurs and restaurant cooks. [...] If it continues, then watch: you’re going to have high-end, and you’re going to have fast food, and you’re going to have chain restaurants.”
Lagasse shared his thoughts on TNT’s On the Menu. Slated to premiere October 3rd, TNT's On the Menu is the first cooking competition show ever to give viewers at home the chance to taste the dishes they see on screen. In each episode, a group of passionate home cooks will be challenged to create a the next signature dish for that week's selected restaurant chain, stadium concession stand, or other American food business. These amateur cooks will work in conjunction with professional chefs to create their dishes, from concept to execution. A panel of judges will then determine which dish not only tastes the best, but also fits with the restaurant's current menu offerings. The winning dish will immediately go on the business' menu, giving viewers at home the chance to go try the dish the very next day. Read more...
Restaurant owner James Chu was fed up! Last week when a patron refused to pay for their meal, James decided to put an end to picky clients and took action. His response was to essentially tell fussy eaters 'You don't like it - go elsewhere!' ...it is a thought any chef has had in their career...but this guy did it! He certainly has gained a lot of publicity and has created quite a firestorm on social media, with people chiming in favor or against Chu's action.
This has created quite a buzz on Yelp...click here to read more from some entertaining Yelp posts!
As the weather begins to hint at autumn, your customers start to hunger for comforting, hearthside flavors reminiscent of reunions and feast tables.
In fact, says QSR magazine, fall flavors are showing earlier than normal. “They’re popping up across the industry, even before the season has officially begun.“
Fall food and beverage flavors lean heavily on pumpkin, caramel apple and apple. According to Lizzy Freier, editor at foodservice consulting firm Technomic, “Pumpkin is clearly dominating"...
Well I'll be doggone!
California, known for being pet-friendly has taken it to another level. Dogs will soon be right next to you when you go out to eat.
Last week Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill permitting pet dogs at restaurants with outdoor spaces starting in 2015. It does not force restaurants to allow dogs, but rather implements guidelines for how they can accommodate pets.
While some local public health departments have allowed dogs in outdoor dining areas for years, the state has banned the practice. Local jurisdictions can still ban it if they choose.
A recent article in SmartBrief examines how locally sourced ingredients are not just for fine dining establishments anymore. It also examines the benefits and challenges of a locally sourced program.
Here is the summary:
A key trend driving the growth of locally sourced is the rising demand for fresh ingredients, and the willingness to pay a premium for them. If the food is locally sourced and comes with a backstory, so much the better - you can incorporate the back stories with your social media marketing.
Some industry experts think local sourcing is a more important trend than organic --- however, costs and profit margins are a major challenge when using local...
Courtesy of the National Restaurant Association, this quick informative video regarding restaurant trends is full of powerful data that will help you make the right decisions, and satisfy your customers to keep them coming back.
So, is this whole Gluten-Free thing just a fad? Here is a link to a great article from the Washington Post, where they discuss how there is a growing number of people who have had it with Gluten-Free
The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney. And then requesting that the baloney be sandwiched between two pieces of white bread. Served with a cookie for dessert.
Here is how one restrauteur draws a line in the sand..
Although many restaurants are catering to gluten-free diners, some are putting limits on how far they’ll go to accommodate them. Peter Pastan, owner of Etto, Obelisk and 2Amys, draws the line at gluten-free pizza. Not that people don’t ask for it. They do — almost nightly.
“It’s hard enough to make a good pizza,” Pastan says. So he has given his servers a standard response to the gluten-free inquiries: “They say: ‘You’re absolutely right. I totally understand what you’re saying, but my boss is crazy and there’s nothing I can do about it.’ ”
What about you? Are your patrons clamoring for Gluten-Free? We'd love to hear your 'Gluten' experiences!
In the meantime, check out this hilarious clip from ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, as he sent a camera crew out to a popular exercise spot in LA and asked people who are gluten-free a simple question: "What is gluten"