Industry News Roundup - October 10, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
Veggies burgers that bleed are created, an activist report is released, and tips for identifying food allergies are shared; Each week we will share with you a recap of important topics in the press. Stay tuned to stay informed.
McDonald's, Chipotle, Arby's and 63 Other Chains Are Cutting Calories
According to NPR, a new study shows that on average, American chain restaurants have shaved around 60 calories off of "new menu items in 2013."
Food at Chain Restaurants Finally Won’t Be So Terrible for You
Following Monday's alarming news that gimmicky fast-food novelties are slowing down drive-throughs and depriving Americans of their precious breakfast waffle tacos, today we find out that the overall calorie count at chain restaurants is finally trending downward.
A Start-up Has Invented Veggie Burgers That ‘Bleed’
A biochemist named Patrick Brown has come up with yet another alternative strategy to produce entirely meatless hamburgers that look and taste very much like meat.
FDA Admits Use of Antibiotics on Animals is at All-Time High
The Daily Meal 10/7
The Food and Drug Administration has reported that the amount of antibiotics being given to farm animals in the United States is at an all-time high, increasing by 16 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to The Atlantic.
The Secret of These New Veggie Burgers: Plant Blood
Startup Impossible Foods Seeks to Replicate the Taste of Red Meat Using Plant Matter
More Than a Dozen California Restaurants Have Instituted Mandatory Health-Insurance Surcharges
The restaurateur-fueled movement to pass along the increased business costs associated with affordable care onto the annoyed dining public never really took off, but a few prominent restaurants on the West Coast — Lucques, AOC, Son of a Gun, and Animal among them — are adopting the practice, the L.A. Times points out, simply because their owners want to give employees insurance but fear they can't afford to otherwise.
Sexual Harassment In Restaurants Is Allegedly Rampant
AOL Jobs 10/7
According to a new report from an advocacy group, survey data shows that sexual harassment in the restaurant industry is widespread, with 60 percent of female and transgender and 46 percent of male workers saying "sexual harassment was an uncomfortable aspect of work life."
This Restaurant Owner Lets Customers Ask God How Much They Should Pay
After going nuts all summer trying to bring customers into her North Carolina diner Just Cookin, Dana Parris finally threw up her hands and just "let go."
Q&A: National Restaurant Association CEO Dawn Sweeney on leadership in the restaurant industry
SmartBrief talked to NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney about how restaurants help employees rise through the ranks and what it takes to be a leader in the industry.
Minimum Wage, Maximum Politics
A mandated 40% increase in labor costs will put people out of work. But, hey, anything to help get out the vote.
Infographic: This way to the American dream
The restaurant industry offers many paths to career success, no matter a person's age or position. New research from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation shows how a solid majority of restaurant industry employees have advanced to higher paying jobs, and they believe there is opportunity to advance further.
Hearing held on wage increase for service workers
The New York State Wage Board got an earful on Friday in Syracuse. The board members heard from restaurant owners from across the state as well as wait staff about their views on the potential increase of the wage for tipped workers.
Starbucks Urged to Stop Using Milk from GMO-Fed Cows
Daily Meal 10/2
Starbucks is being urged to stop sourcing its milk from GMO-fed cows in a campaign to CEO Howard Schultz, with a social media push to follow
NEW YORK STATE / CITY
De Blasio administration reduces business summonses
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has steadily reduced the number of summonses it has issued in the past year, according to 12 months of data obtained by Capital through the Freedom of Information Law.
New York State Cracks Down on Its Top Wine Merchants
Wine Spectator 10/9
Retailers and wholesalers are alarmed by new State Liquor Authority rules and more than $3 million in fines; chairman insists he is ensuring a fair industry
City Restaurants Multiply, Despite High-Profile Closures
Rent, Regulations Are Challenges, but Industry Is in Decade-Long Upswing
New .nyc domain name goes on sale
USA Today 10/8
The highly anticipated, top-level domain .nyc, which has been available only to a select group of non-profits and business owners, went on sale Wednesday to all residents of New York City.
Council forces TransitChek on small businesses
The New York City Council passed a bill Tuesday afternoon to require businesses with 20 or more full-time employees to provide access to a transit tax benefit. The heretofore optional program enables employees to pay for monthly train and bus fares with pretax earnings, potentially saving them hundreds of dollars on annual payroll and income taxes.
Living-wage hike offers limited payoff, big risks
Some 4,100 workers will earn more, but creating new jobs may get harder.
Bill’s biggest job - The limits of de Blasio's living-wage executive order
NY Daily News 10/6
Last week, the mayor ordered an expansion to the city’s living wage mandate. Previously, companies that received at least $1 million in city subsidies had to pay wages of at least $11.90 an hour. Now, de Blasio is upping the rate to $13.13 and imposing the mandate on businesses that rent space in subsidized projects.
City agency tickets surged in summer, despite de Blasio’s pledge
NY Post 10/5
Tickets issued by city agencies surged this summer, despite Mayor de Blasio’s election pledge to give small businesses a break.
RESOURCES & GUIDES
The Art of Restaurant Hiring & Recruiting (PodCast)
Why do some restaurants get great employees while others struggle? The hiring process has far-reaching impacts on service, turnover and overall finances.
Reducing food waste can improve the bottom line and the environment
Reducing food waste can help restaurants improve the bottom line by identifying wasteful purchasing, identifying opportunities to sell waste for recycling, realizing tax benefits for charitable contributions, and avoiding penalties for violating laws aimed at reducing the amount of organic material that ends up in landfills.
The Most Common Food Allergies (And Their Warning Signs)
Daily Meal 10/2
he main symptoms of a food allergy include hives or red, itchy skin; a stuffy or itchy nose; itchy, teary eyes; vomiting, stomach cramps, or diarrhea; and swelling. In extreme cases the allergic reaction can induce anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that can cause chest tightness and impair breathing.
TRENDS & TECHNOLOGY
Instagram Wannabe for Chefs and 'Foodies,' Morsel Raises $800K
Venture Beat describes the app as a "social community for food enthusiasts and chefs who can create and share information on dishes, preparations, and where to find it," — in other words, things food enthusiasts can already do on social media.
Google Integrates OpenTable Into Mobile App
If a customer has the OpenTable app, they can simply ask the Google app, using voice commands, to find a specific restaurant.
Square Just Streamlined Your Morning Coffee Run
According to Gizmodo, Square — which recently announced an additional $150 million in funding — has added new features to its app Square Order, allowing users to skip morning coffee shop lines forever.
New Delivery Service Lets the Indecisive Order Lunch from More than One Restaurant
Served By Stadium just launched a couple weeks ago, and is currently offering a free lifetime membership to registrants, but it will eventually move to a $19 per month subscription fee.
Forget Siri, Domino's Wants You to Meet Dom
Ad Age 10.5
The pizza player touts its voice-ordering capability as the first such app in the restaurant industry. Domino's began beta testing the app in June, but the advertising hails its full operation. Domino's created the capability with Nuance Communications, a voice-assisted ordering specialist.
Sourcery App, Bringing Food Sourcing into the 21st Century, Raises $2.5 Million
TechCrunch confirms that Sourcery, which has heretofore served only select customers in San Francisco (including 'wichcraft and Hops & Hominy), hopes to begin servicing restaurants and purveyors in Portland, Los Angeles, and New York City as of January 2015.
New App May Revolutionize the Online Recipe Landscape
Chicory is merging the concept of grocery delivery with online recipes. Online recipe editors that partner with the app can display a "Get Ingredients" button at the bottom of each recipe.