MILLENNIALS DRIVING SPICY FAST FOOD TREND
If you want to know why fast food menus are being overloaded with hot flavors and extra spicy sauces, look no further than millennials and their “adventurous” tastes. Walk into almost any chain restaurant in America and you’re sure to encounter spicy new menu items that’ll put a little sweat on your brow, writes Brad Tuttle.
WHY THE SIMPLE BREAKFAST SANDWICH’S POPULARITY ENDURES
Via The New York Times
A new eatery called BEC that’s set to open in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood will offer ethnic takes on the traditional egg, cheese and meat breakfast sandwich, including a Greek version with lamb sausage and feta cheese. The simple breakfast sandwich remains a staple in the city, where the pace of life demands a fast, foil-wrapped meal that can be eaten on the go, writes Pete Wells.
OYSTER ORDERS ON THE RISE
Via Nation’s Restaurant News
Chef Jeremy Sewall, owner of Boston restaurants Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34, says demand for oysters continues to increase as the previously over-harvested seafood makes a population comeback. Oysters clean water systems and boast a high protein content, benefiting the environment and diners alike.
FOOD BRANDS RESPOND TO CONSUMER DEMAND FOR SIMPLER INGREDIENTS
Nestle, Kraft Foods, General Mills and other top food companies are altering product formulations to include simpler ingredients and less sugar. In a shopper survey, 62% of consumers said they seek out minimally processed foods, and 53% prefer foods and beverages with a short list of recognizable ingredients, according to the Natural Marketing Institute. Nestle recently reduced the amount of sugar in its Nesquik powdered milk, and General Mills removed the artificial sweetener aspartame from its Yoplait Light yogurts.
KIND BARS GET WARNING FROM FDA ABOUT HEALTH CLAIMS
Via ABC News
The FDA sent a warning letter to KIND Healthy Snacks, saying labels on its snack bars make health claims that the products do not meet “healthy” criteria. My favorite response to this was from registered dietitian Cynthia Sass for Health.
SOMMELIERS TAKE WINE SERVICE TO A NEW, MORE PERSONAL LEVEL
Via Wine Enthusiast Magazine online
Sommeliers are elevating the traditional restaurant wine service to a more personal level, working with patrons to determine their wine preferences before they even arrive at their table. The practice helps deepen the sommelier-consumer relationship and makes wine more approachable, said Farmhouse Inn Estate Wine Director Allyson Gorsuch.
OLIVE GARDEN TO PUT TABLETS IN EVERY RESTAURANT
Via Orlando Sentinel
Olive Garden has been testing tabletop tablets at a handful of Florida eateries for more than a year, and next month it will put the gadgets in all 845 of its U.S. restaurants. The 7-inch touchscreen tablets from Ziosk let guests play games, split bills and pay from the table using a credit-card reader.
MARCUS SAMUELSSON TALKS MOBILE APPS AND PAYING FOR RESERVATIONS
Via NBC News
Chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson’s fast-casual eatery Streetbird will go live with a free mobile ordering and payment application this week that will speed ordering and cut wait times, he said. His full-service Red Rooster restaurant works with reservation service OpenTable, but he is against a new generation of apps that charge extra to snag in-demand tables.
HOMARO CANTU LEAVES A LEGACY TO CHICAGO’S RESTAURANT SCENE
Via Chicago Tribune
Chef Homaro Cantu, who died Wednesday, was one of three Chicago chefs credited with raising awareness about the city’s creative culinary scene, writes Phil Vettel. “Cantu, a visionary and idealist with the ability to delight and inspire, is gone, a singular career cut short way too soon,” he writes.