Industry News Roundup - June 20, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
New regulation on salt proposed by FDA, labels on soda dies out in California, and restaurant security is discussed; Each week we will share with you a recap of important topics in the press. Stay tuned to stay informed.
California’s Plan to Put Obesity Warning Labels on Soda Fizzles Out
"Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay," is what a proposed label affixed to all sugary sodas would have stated under California Bill SB1000, which was shot down on Tuesday.
Top Chefs Kick Off James Beard Foundation’s ‘Taste America’ Tour
It was a rare night off from cooking duties for chef April Bloomfield last night at the James Beard House in Manhattan, where top chefs kicked off “Taste America,” a culinary tour across ten U.S. cities this fall.
10 Big Lessons From New York’s First Hospitality Conference
The conference's topics included the humility of service, creating heart and soul inside a neighborhood restaurant, and using technology without losing sight of human interaction.
Restaurant Shames Thieves by Posting Photos on Facebook
Like many victims before them, an Arizona restaurant took to Facebook to publicly shame a customer who stole a $500 piece of artwork off its walls — this time, with a twist.
FDA to issue salt guidelines for the food industry to reduce sodium consumption
NY Daily News 6/17
Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says the government can make big impact by working with the food industry to lower sodium levels. The FDA has no time frame on when the new voluntary guidelines will be rolled out.
FDA Says Enough With All That Salt Already
For years, stubborn Americans have consistently thwarted government requests to curb high-sodium diets — we continually average a third more than the daily 2,300 milligrams it recommends, which isn't much: only about a teaspoon of salt or a couple tablespoons of soy sauce.
Hackers Blackmail Domino's Pizza
Business Insider 6/16
A hacker group called Rex Mundi blackmailed the French and Belgian operations of Domino's Pizza for €30,000 (around $40,600 USD), threatening to release stolen account information of over 600,000 Domino's customers, reports ITNews.
4,000 Pounds of Beef Recalled in Mad Cow Disease Scare
The Daily Meal 6/13
More than 4,000 pounds of beef products have been recalled under suspicion of “contaminated materials linked to mad cow disease,” reports CNN.
P.F. Chang's Confirms Credit Card Breach, Switches to Carbon Copies
P.F. Chang's has confirmed that earlier reports of a data breach involving stolen credit and debit card information are indeed accurate. According to a statement from CEO Rick Federico, the chain is currently investigating the issue with the United States Secret Service and a "team of third-party forensic experts to understand the nature and scope of the incident."
NEW YORK STATE
New York State Senate Passes Bill to Ban Powdered Alcohol
Chuck Schumer must be happy: Last week, the New York State Senate voted to ban Palcohol, a kind of alcohol in powdered form, outright.
NEW YORK CITY
NYCWFF Tickets Go on Sale Monday
Though MasterCard holders got an early crack at it, tickets for October's seventh annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Fest officially go on sale at midnight on Monday morning.
Fire Dept., Not Utility, Is Responding to All Gas-Odor Calls
NY Times 6/18
Under the new protocol, calls to the city’s 311 information line from people who think they smell gas will be transferred to 911 and result in a response by the Fire Department. Traditionally, a utility company used to respond first to most calls. The new procedures were detailed in a report issued on Wednesday by a task force on the city’s underground infrastructure.
Who needs Manhattan? Queens hotels boom
Most visitors to New York City think of Queens as the place where they arrive and leave via the airports—but it turns out that the borough is increasingly where travelers rest their heads at night.
7 ways to protect your restaurant's customer data
Nation’s Restaurant News 6/19
Restaurant operators who think they are vigilant about the security of their customers’ credit cards may want to do some double-checking in the wake of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc.’s reported data breach.
5 ways to ramp up your restaurant's customer service
Fast Casual 6/18
Customer satisfaction in the foodservice industry is the name of the game, so staying competitive is critical. Here are five ways to keep your restaurant's customer service at a high level.
TRENDS / TECHNOLOGY
How Restaurant Pros Are Handling the Surge of Food Allergies
More restaurants — including Odd Duck — are recognizing there are advantages to accommodating allergies and other dietary restrictions. Here's a look at the landscape through the eyes of Odd Duck.
New Domino's App Uses Voice Recognition to Let You Order Pizza
Domino's has added a Siri-like system to its mobile app that aims to be your new pizza-ordering best friend. According to the press release (below), customers will now be able to place orders on the pizza chain's mobile app by talking to "an intelligent virtual assistant" named Dom.
Gluten-Free Eating Appears to Be Here to Stay
NY Times 6/16
More than a quarter of Americans say they are cutting down on gluten or eliminating it entirely. Optimistic researchers predict the market for gluten-free products will hit $15.6 billion by 2016.
Is Uber's Co-Founder Launching an Online Restaurant Reservations Service?
It looks like yet another company, this time from Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, will soon enter the online restaurant reservations arena.
Starbucks to Subsidize Workers' College Degrees
Starbucks Corp. is planning to foot part of the bill for an online degree for U.S. employees who work at least 20 hours a week in its cafes, corporate offices and roasting plants.
Ben and Jerry's says goodbye to GMOs
USA Today 6/15
As Vermont's new law requiring labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms shows, interest in GMOs, or the lack of them, is hot. A growing number of image-conscious companies are looking to go non-GMO.
Green Means Go: 3 Ways We Should Hack the Hospitality Industry to Improve Sustainability
Edible Manhattan 6/13
What would it look like for diners, and those who feed diners, to dwell in the green?
Getting a Good Table by Flicking an App, Not Greasing a Palm
NY Times 6/13
Nowhere is the competition for tables more cutthroat than in New York City, where a black market in restaurant reservations already exists online. But since February, several new apps have taken the fight to the streets: Zurvu, Shout, Killer Rezzy and, starting Monday, Resy are all striving to become the favored portal for people willing to pay a premium to get into the best restaurants, at the last minute, via a few taps on their mobile devices.