Food Service Promos Blog
Courtesy of The Chicago Sun-Times
Despite a long-standing rivalry among Chicago's top dining spots, local restaurateurs can agree to come to the table on one issue: rising food costs.
A major cause of higher prices for a wide variety of our menu items? An outdated federal energy policy called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which since 2005 has required that annually increasing amounts of corn-based ethanol be blended into U.S. gasoline.
The massive price increases we have faced for a myriad of restaurant staples since this policy's inception demand awareness and action.
As it stands, the RFS pits food growth against fuel production and it's clear who the winner has been. With more than 40 percent of our nation's corn crop now earmarked for ethanol production, food producers are struggling to secure adequate and affordable supplies of the corn, which accounts for up to 70 percent of the grains fed to animals. Corn prices have spiked 275 percent since the RFS was implemented, a crippling consequence that has forced more than 60,000 pork, poultry and beef operations to shut down since 2007. Feed represents the largest single cost in raising chickens, turkeys, cows and hogs and when the price of raising livestock and poultry grows, restaurants and shoppers alike pay more for poultry, meat and dairy.
As the price for a wide variety of basic proteins and other staples increase, restaurants — most often operated by small business owners — struggle to affordably secure the products their menus rely on. Since the implementation of the RFS, wholesale prices for beef have risen 47 percent, dairy by 23 percent, and eggs a walloping 70 percent. In turn, this has increased total costs for full-service restaurants by
While at NRA, I came across a solution to wine spoilage that is so brilliant, I have to share it with you because it aligns so well with our mission at foodservicepromos.com: Helping to improve your bottom line!
I recorded a smartphone video of David Hall, Founder of "Vineyard Fresh", which is a wine preservation system for restaurants. You really should check these guys out if you serve wine by the glass...it is not expensive and will save your restaurant a ton of money!
BONUS: Interact with the video by hovering your mouse over the video player.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this solution to stopping wine spoilage.
[SCROLL DOWN FOR INTERACTIVE VIDEO]
Though this is a 2013 report, this is a GREAT resource for everything you need to know to begin forming strategies for surviving the government red tape threatening your business.
- Health care
- Looming Affordable Care Act insurance mandate still raising questions for operators, employees
- Menu labeling
- Experts advise taking preliminary steps as chains await final FDA rules
- Minimum wage
- Renewed federal focus, striking workers place new emphasis on pay rates
- Foodservice associations, restaurateurs voice support for comprehensive reform
- Paid sick leave
- Opponents say it will cut into already thin margins; proponents say it builds loyalty
- Social issues
- Experts advise brands to weigh pros and cons before taking a stand
- PLUS INFO ON:
- NRN_Regulation_Nation.pdf (859 Downloads)
In today's Bullet Blog© we 'Cut to the Chase' on lime prices and where they go from here:
- Many restaurants have been paying $160 or more per carton
- This is due to heavy rains in Mexico, bacterial infections in the lime groves and Mexican drug cartels
- Relief is in sight as summer approaches and limes in the Mexican state of Veracruz are ripening
- As of Monday, prices had fallen to about $125/case, according to Jim Mills with Sacramento's Produce Fresh.
- "We probably could conceivably be $60 by next week," Mills said
- Prices could drop to $15-$20/case by mid summer
This Bullet Blog Post credits News10/KXTV for much of the information in this post
The producers of Shark Tank and The Voice are searching the nation for CHEFS for a NEW Cooking Show! Do you have what it takes?
(Further Instructions on Next Page)
- On_The_Menu_-_Casting_Call.pdf (1226 Downloads)
Looking to shake up your menu a little?
Do you know what the number one culinary trend is? What about the fastest growing food preparation methods?
The National Restaurant Association's surveyed professional chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation, on which food, cuisines, beverages and culinary themes will be hot trends on restaurant menus in 2014.
The categories are:
- Starches/side items
- Main Dishes/Center of the Plate
- Kids' meals
- Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors
- Preparation Methods
- Culinary Themes
- Non-Alcoholic Beverages
- Cocktails/cocktail ingredients
- Alcoholic beverages
- What-s-Hot-2014.pdf (788 Downloads)
One of the keys to boosting sales is to find ways to set yourself apart from your competitors. This brief article offers a few things to consider as you look to grab market share away from your competition this year.
Separate yourself from your competition. To increase foot traffic, you need to create loyal customers who will stop by your store specifically, rather than the store one mile down the road. It could be incredible coffee (find a regional coffee roaster), exemplary customer service or fantastic pastries from a local bakery. Brainstorm ways to set your store apart from all the others with similar floor plans that are selling the same products.
Constantly seek to get better and more innovative. What special or regional products or services can you offer to entice customers to shop at your establishment? For example, you could offer video game rentals, offer that fantastic frozen pizza that you can normally only get on the other side of the state. Seek input from your employees...they hear from customers every day and will likely have some great ideas to share.
It's no secret that Foodservice is where the largest ROI is --- and this is not going to change any time soon. If you have not been focusing your energy on your foodservice strategy, a good place to start is on building a successful breakfast program.
Here are a few tips that will help give your breakfast program a boost:
Start with your Coffee
"Breakfast is the only daypart where beverage choice drives a lot of the purchase decision on where to get the food," said Dennis Lombardi, executive vice president of foodservice strategies for retail and foodservice consultancy WD Partners, which counts Wawa and Circle K among its clients. "You have to have an outstanding coffee program; if not, you're nothing more than second class."
Is that old oven, steamer or grill driving you nuts? If you are in a position to look into replacing some of your aging foodservice equipment, you may find some serious rebates as an incentive to upgrade to more energy efficient equipment.
Many utility companies across the U.S. have rebate programs and/or finance programs to help you replace inefficient and worn-out equipment.
For more information on what programs are available in your area, visit the ENERGY STAR Commercial Food Service Equipment Incentive Finder at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=cfsrebate.cfsrebate_locator
If you have any success stories with a program in your area, we'd love to hear about it! Tell us about it in the comment box below!