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Author Archive | Molly Patterson

NAFEM Scavenger Hunt

What is NAFEM

The NAFEM Show (North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers) in Orlando, Florida is the largest food service equipment and supplies solutions trade show in the country with over 500 exhibitors on display – that’s 760,000 square feet of exhibits!  Dealers and distributors, end users, food service manufacturers, consultants, designers, specialists, service technicians and business services will all be in attendance to see what’s hot and what’s not, what’s new and what’s old, and what’s to come in the food service industry.

Tundra has approximately 10 Tundraroos (i.e. Representatives) traveling from Colorado to Florida to explore NAFEM’s offerings, chat with new and existing vendors, seek new products and consume industry knowledge.

NAFEM Scavenger Hunt

Game Details

To liven things up, I’ve created a scavenger hunt for those who plan on attending the NAFEM trade show. The first  to complete the scavenger hunt will receive a 2 week promotion on Tundra’s website!

The web promotion will include:

  • 705 x 80 homepage banner (website generates 190,000 monthly visits on average)
  • 1 Dedicated email to 12,000+ contacts
  • 1 Blog post (blog generates 14,000 monthly visits on average)
  • Social media shout out through Twitter (1,000+ followers) & Facebook (2,500+ fans)

Here’s What You Have to do

To be a contestant in our NAFEM scavenger hunt you are required to take a series of photos with our Tundraroos and tweet them with hash tag #TundraNAFEM included.

Pick any 5 of the following photos to tweet. Take a picture with a Tundraroo ______________.

The winner will be announced on February 11th, 2013 following the NAFEM show on Tundra’s twitter page (@eTundra).

Good luck, have fun and tweet away NAFEM attendees! Can’t wait to see your amazing Twitpics with Tundra’s Tundraroos!

 

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Dreamstaurant Winner Interview

Interview with Chef Adam Hegsted

Dreamstaurant Winner Interview

Dreamstaurant Winner: Chef Adam Hegsted

 

Q: Where were you born?
A: Spokane, WA

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: Unfortunately my nickname is Andy Cane. I had an employee who couldn’t remember my name and kept calling me Andy. It eventually turned into Andy Cane.

Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I have won over 20 local, national, and international food competitions in the last 6 years.

Q: Do you have any hobbies – what do you like to do when you’re not at work?
A: I try to spend as much time with my family as possible and I love to cook. Cooking is not only my profession, but is my hobby as well. So hand in hand with that is eating, traveling and trying new places. It’s what I do, and when I’m not doing that, I’m reading about cooking.

Q: Do you have a favorite food? If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: That would be tough. I love so many different aspects of other cultures foods. I guess if I had to choose one type it would probably be Japanese. It has a natural subtleness to it that I think would rarely get boring.

Q: How did you get into the cooking profession?
A: I have always had a love for cooking and food but washing dishes is where my career started. As a dishwasher, you always look up to the cooks and aspire to be one. Then when I was a cook, I just kept wanting something more. I kept moving up, trying new positions and learning as much as possible. There is such a vast amount of knowledge out there making it hard to stop. That’s why I love it!

Q: How long have you been a chef and where have you worked?
A: 11 years – I started at Marie Callenders where I learned ways to teach corporate scratch cooking. I cooked at the Space Needle, Ridpath Hotel in Spokane, Black Rock Club, Cedar’s Floating Restaurant, apprenticed at the Los Angeles City Club, Brix Restaurant in Coeur d’ Alene, and then to the Coeur d’ Alene Casino, running 8 different concepts.

Q: How did you find out about the Dreamstaurant contest?
A: I read it on a restaurant social media site. I thought, why not, who wouldn’t want to open their dream restaurant?

Q: What did you think when you made it to the final 5?
A: I was definitely excited. After entering, I kind of forgot about it to an extent, so finding out I was a finalist was a wonderful surprise.

Q: What avenues did you take to get people to vote for you through the Dreamstaurant Facebook app?
A: I did everything I could. I voted, family and friends voted and I put it on my blog. Then the newspaper picked it up, two news stations, and a local magazine. It just kept growing from there. It was really nice to see how much support I received.

Q: How did you find out you were the Dreamstaurant winner?
A: My phone actually died and I was the last one to know! I plugged my phone in and had 7 voice mails and 18 text messages. I figured out after that.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you won the contest?
A: I thought wow, this is really happening and I am going to have a great team to work with. I actually felt very lucky and felt really blessed having so much support for my idea.

Q: What are the next steps – when do you plan on breaking ground for your new restaurant, Wood Smoke?
A: The next step is to start planning with the Etundra team, then talk to the architect and get the restaurant design down on paper. We will be breaking ground in late spring.

Q: Do you have an open date in mind?
A: If everything goes right we hope to be open in September. You never really know how things are going to go, but that’s the timeline.

Q: We see you’re getting married. What’s the date? (We’re just being nosey!)
A: We don’t have a date set, but probably in Late Spring. We want to work out getting married in Italy.

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Servers & Customers Unite: Your Biggest Restaurant Frustrations

It’s inevitable, people love to complain. They love to complain about the weather, their hair, their weight, etc. Well, let me be your punching bag! In fact, I would love to hear your complaints.

  • If you work in a restaurant, what makes you unhappy?
  • If you’re a restaurant customer, what didn’t you like about your dining experience?

I am going to do my best to inform restaurateurs how to create a better atmosphere for everyone in the FOH.

Servers’ Top Workplace Frustrations

  1. Crappy TippersServers & Customers Unite: Your Biggest Restaurant Frustrations
  2. Side Work (e.g. Roll flatware, set tables, etc. – pre/post shift while getting paid $4.76/hour to avoid hiring an employee who gets paid minimum wage)
  3. When customers lay out their cell phone, iPod, sunglasses, etc., on the table and don’t move them when the server is trying to deliver food
  4. “Please wait to be seated” (e.g. Don’t walk into a restaurant and sit wherever you please unless there’s a sign that says “Please seat yourself”. The workload needs to be balanced among all servers and tables are often reserved.)
  5. Lazy Managers (Note to all managers – when you see your staff is busy, lend them a hand! Help run food, deliver drinks, bus tables and show your support!)
  6. “The customer is always right” – B.S. (Here’s a video to show that the customer is, in fact, not always right http://youtu.be/KMGWnKfGsDM)
  7. Double Standards (e.g. Servers don’t get a free meal but bussers and kitchen workers do… What the heck!)
  8. Paying for walkout customers (It’s not always the server’s fault when a customer walks out on an unpaid bill. What if the server was going above and beyond by bussing or running food to another server’s table?)
  9. Campers AKA the diners who never leave
  10. Coworkers (e.g. Suck-ups, brown-nosers, lazy workers, those who don’t return favors – not working for you when you picked up a shift for them)

Customers’ Top Server Frustrations

  1. Introduce themselves by name/nicknameServers & Customers Unite: Your Biggest Restaurant Frustrations
  2. Touch you and think they are doing a friendly gesture
  3. Say everything that you ask about on the menu is “really amazing!”
  4. Talk about specials without mentioning the price
  5. Take your plate or drink away before you’re finished
  6. Tell you to wait for “your waiter” when you need something
  7. Squat, take a knee or sit down at your table
  8. Try to upsell you on everything
  9. Make you feel like a criminal because you just ordered drinks, or just dinner, instead of seven courses and four bottles of wine
  10. Ask if you need change

Now that I’ve highlighted each audiences frustrations, lets see what they agree on

  1. Cleanliness of the establishment (sitting area, dining room, bar and bathrooms)
  2. Food cooked to perfection (customers don’t like telling the wait staff to bring back a meal because it’s under cooked as much as servers don’t like bringing food back to the kitchen staff)
  3. Chip-free dinnerware and glassware
  4. Politeness (smile, be thankful and create a positive atmosphere)
  5. Food and drink presentation (food should make servers proud and customers excited)
  6. Determining if the bill needs to be split before ordering menu items
  7. Comfortable room temperature
  8. Mood lighting and music
  9. Readily available children’s seating
  10. Boucebacks (Allow servers to offer customers an incentive to come back again to create repeat business)

Let the vent session begin!  What’s your biggest restaurant gripe?

Also see: The 20 most annoying things servers do at restaurants

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100 Ways to Use Cambro Food Storage Containers

Many of the products from eTundra.com are multipurpose for both restaurants and homeowners alike! Below is an example of how you can use some of our best selling products, Cambro food storage containers, 100 different ways!

100 Uses for Cambro Food Storage Containers:

100 Ways to Use Cambro Food Storage Containers

Cambro Food Storage Containers

  1. Food storage container (obviously)
  2. Trash can
  3. Flower pot
  4. Lego collection storage
  5. Board game storage
  6. Sock / underwear storage
  7. Ice bucket
  8. Sand bucket
  9. Pitcher
  10. Magazine rack/holder
  11. Recycling bin
  12. Pet food storage
  13. Compost bin (e.g. coffee grounds, food scraps)
  14. Pet toy storage
  15. Kitty Litter storage
  16. Gift wrapping supplies storage
  17. Tool box
  18. Minnow bucket
  19. Punch bowl
  20. Cleaning supplies storage
  21. Mop bucket
  22. Holiday décor storage
  23. Art supply storage
  24. Top hat
  25. Change jar
  26. Catching drips from a leaky roof
  27. Foot bath container
  28. VHS/DVD storage
  29. Giant cereal bowl
  30. Coffee table
  31. Drums
  32. Door stop
  33. Drink cooler
  34. Port-a-potty
  35. Kid’s entertainment
  36. Floor hockey goal
  37. Dog bowl
  38. Fishbowl
  39. Serving bowl
  40. Hazardous material container
  41. Measuring container
  42. Paint bucket
  43. Raffle ticket box
  44. Wine decanter
  45. Igloo block mold for snow forts
  46. Giant Jell-O mold
  47. Dioramas/science fair projects
  48. Kitchen utensil holder
  49. Halloween candy pail
  50. Lunch box
  51. First aid kit
  52. Step stool
  53. Gift box
  54. Drawer organizer
  55. Baseball/hockey puck storage
  56. Dough box
  57. Card holder
  58. Scrapbooking supplies storage
  59. Giant building blocks
  60. Spittoon
  61. Car oil collector
  62. Pet treats container
  63. Diaper pail
  64. Paper file box
  65. Car CD holder
  66. Waterproof container for boating/sailing
  67. Fishing live well
  68. Napkin holder
  69. Giant flip cup
  70. Laundry basket
  71. Buffalo wing shaking container
  72. Seafood shell collector
  73. Sidewalk chalk holder
  74. Cleaner mixing pail
  75. Old electronics coffin
  76. Baby bath
  77. Bird bath
  78. Gardening tool storage
  79. Wine/champagne bucket
  80. Games (e.g. “Kick the can”, catcher’s mitt)
  81. Chair
  82. Foot rest
  83. Lamp shade
  84. Water fight weapon (e.g. dunk bucket)
  85. Beauty product storage
  86. Sod box for puppy training
  87. Fabric dye bath
  88. Horse trough
  89. Urn
  90. Yarn ball holder
  91. Hat Box
  92. Marijuana storage (only in Colorado & Washington, of course!)
  93. Ant farm
  94. Popcorn bowl
  95. Puke bucket
  96. Baby snow sled
  97. Ashtray/trash
  98. Recipe box
  99. Cookie jar
  100. Bottle cap catcher

Have another creative way to use a Cambro container? Leave a comment below!

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Dreamstaurant: 72 Hours Till Finalist Announced!

Below are the characteristics our judges are looking for in our Dreamstaurant winner. They could walk away with $20,000 on Monday, January 21st!

Determination

Responsible

Enthusiasm

Aware

Motivation

Successful

Trust

Ambition

Unique

Reliable

Alert

Noble

Talent

Only 72 hours left to vote. Help your favorite… They could be the winner of a $20,000 grand prize package.

2012 Dreamstaurant contest closed.

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Dreamstaurant: We Have Our Finalists

After three months of sifting through hundreds of new restaurant concepts and remodels we have selected a group of 5 finalists. These contestants not only have what it takes to win the $20,000 grand prize package, but they have the drive, personality and ambition to be successful in the food service world.

Adam Hegsted

Dreamstaurant: We Have Our Finalists“My dream restaurant is really a four headed beast. Winning this contest would really help me put my vision together and be a part of making my dreamstaurant a reality. The idea behind it has different avenues for revenue coming off the same centralized cost of rent and kitchen labor.

  • So the main part of the business would be a flavor boutique…basically tapas with an American spin. We would base most of the cuisine on products no further than 500 miles away using primarily local farmers and producers. Of course we want to lean a little on tapas, so we will probably import some Spanish products for depth as well. How could anyone resist Iberico ham! We would bake our own breads and offer gluten free. The tapas would be grilled or roasted over apple wood from an orchard nearby. I think selling “why” this restaurant is so good and “why” you have to buy it will be some of my key marketing. We will use a lot of low key “guerilla” marketing.
  • The next part of business would be a supper club of sorts. Currently I run an underground dinner club once a month and it books out three months in advance, so I sort of have a following there. It would run 3 days a week and be in a banquet room inside the restaurant. The other days it would be filled by catering and special events for small parties.
  • The third part, we would be able to cross utilize the kitchen and do some catering which would add to the bottom line.
  • The last part would be the bar. This would feature house made tonics, juices, bitters and barrel aged cocktails. It would be definitely high on the trends for this area and we could really put out some unique cocktails that would be fun for us and our clientele.


The interior vision of the restaurant would look like it had been there for a hundred years with lots of stone and wood. The tables would be simple, maybe a thick urethane on plain wood. That kind of an idea…

This concept is really a win and would be a good profitable venture. I have been in the business for 16 years and an executive chef for 10. Currently, I am chef at a large casino (5 years) and know this business and know how to budget and run a business. Before the casino I ran fine dining restaurants. I realize that to be successful, you have to live by the budget, work hard and be nice to people. Food is my passion and is what I live for (and my wonderful family). Here is a video PBS shot of our traveling supper club the Wandering Table.”

Christine Ruch

Dreamstaurant: We Have Our Finalists“I am the brains and bowls (and spoons and forks too) behind Fresh Thymes Eatery.  I’ve spent more than a quarter century in the food and beverage industry, and hope that number does more to boost my credibility than it does reveal my age. *Wink*

Today, I specialize in teaching whole food nutrition and food allergy awareness with a signature emphasis on high flavor and high quality.  Inspired by my own experiences living with food allergies and autoimmune disease, I know all about the healing power of real, nourishing food.

I’ve mastered the crafts of food and flavor through a range of diverse roles spanning from General Manager at Paradise Bakery’s, most successful franchise with sales over $2.5M, and Ritz-Carlton leadership, to head chef instructor of Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado.

My latest brainchild is Fresh Thymes Eatery, redefining the paradigm for healthy eating.

Ok, I know what you are thinking. With a name like Fresh Thymes Eatery, you’re wondering if this is just another health food joint trying to edge its way into the crowded Boulder foodie landscape.  Fresh Thymes Eatery isn’t just a highly profitable restaurant concept that’s already proven its worth in other urban communities; it’s also a fresh take on food as a whole.  One that trades flavorless fare for chef-inspired and chef prepared cuisine that’s fast, convenient and tastes so good you’ll swear it has to be at least a little bad for you.  Note: it’s totally not, but don’t tell the kids!

Fresh Thymes is poised to win big in Boulder.  Come on – people are asking for this!

Americans are craving and demanding new food options.  They’re bored. They’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  And they are getting all kinds of allergic to the crazy chemical-laden foods making their way onto their plates.  The answer to this food quandary is Fresh Thymes Eatery.

We’re an eclectic café’-slash-to-go-market that serves up creative, contemporary food with no hidden agenda.

We’re talking locally sourced, organic meals, snacks and quick bites that contain no gluten or other common allergens, no GMO’s and no artificial ingredients of any kind.  AND, it’s fast, convenient and awesome for everyone with taste buds!

As part of our community focus and commitment to quality food (we’re very kumbaya) we plan to raise funds to open the Eatery through a Community Supported Restaurant model – sound familiar?  It’s the same funding model that farms use called a CSA – you can purchase a “subscription” for a specified amount of money – we use those funds to open Fresh Thymes and you get re-paid in free food, cool perks, private founder’s dinners and undying Fresh Thymes love!  Fresh food doesn’t get any better than this! Your friends will be so jealous when you flash your FTE subscription card at the counter!

To make things even cooler, Fresh Thymes was “adopted” by the guru’s of social media – Room214!  Their first project is to make our Community Funded Restaurant model a success!  As part of Room 214’s commitment to re-invest in the local community and economy, they are “adopting” an emerging business that they are excited about and apply all their skills and expertise to make that business a success. We are honored to be the first business chosen and excited about our partnership and know the people who will benefit the most are you – our customers who need this food the most!

We would love to win this contest!  Fresh Thymes would make most excellent use of the design and architecture services to give our space a make-over!  It is currently a Thai restaurant – so we need to go from looking Thai to looking like a Cool, Hip, Fresh Marketplace.

We would also need to purchase kitchen equipment – we don’t need the wok cook stations that are currently in the kitchen but we do need a walk-in refrigerator to store all the abundant fresh vegetables we will use, an oven to bake our insanely delicious green chili enchilada’s, turkey meatloaf and veggie lasagna, a grill for our amazing citrus brined organic chicken, killer grass fed burgers with bacon jam, our grilled vegetable salads and wraps as well as some dehydrators and vita-mixes to make our ridiculously indulgent but oh-so-healthy raw power brownies, lemon shortbread bars, chocolate tarts and raw coconut macadamia macaroons.

Finally, if we win, we would love to use this opportunity to spread the word about our exciting new restaurant concept and gather supporters and those excited by the prospect of purchasing a subscription and making Fresh Thymes Eatery a reality!

For more information about this emerging culinary concept – and to salivate over our sample menu jump over to our website: www.freshthymeseatery.com and keep on the lookout for our community funding Facebook page – we of course will provide a link on our website when we are ready to reveal the details of our funding model which we expect to be in January 2013. We will take-over the space and remodel in March and April with a Fresh Thymes opening projected for May 2013 – just in time for the abundance of spring!”

Dreamstaurant: We Have Our Finalists

 

Robert Schoene

Dreamstaurant: We Have Our Finalists“The winner of Dreamstaurant is presented with the perfect balance of challenge and fortune.  The B&B Café is an epic opportunity (Can I say “epitunity?”) to showcase design expertise with knowledge of historical value!

The restaurant dates back more than 70 years, and it has been 30 years since the last occasion to remodel it.  Though the seating doubled since its original opening, the kitchen of the B&B has remained the same throughout its entire history.

As of the beginning of this month, the previous owner of 30 years has moved, leaving behind this historical café.  It is a mainstay eatery for breakfast and lunch, but is in need of much TLC and renewal due to its long storied past – gunfights included http://goo.gl/gj2xT! The new owners are set to double the size of the kitchen while restoring the front of the house to preserve historic value that the restaurant represents to a Colorado community.

My hope is to preserve the B&B’s history as a gathering place while also ensuring its future to continue.  The remodel would impact the community not only because the historic restaurant sits in the heart of downtown Castle Rock, but it would create an inviting environment for younger and older generations.

The B&B Café may be the longest running café in Colorado.  Follow these links for a brief lesson in the B&B’s unique history:

Historical Tribute: http://goo.gl/HEv9J

Leticia Gardea

Dreamstaurant: We Have Our Finalists“Born in Mexico City, Mexico, I immigrated in 1964 to Las Vegas, where I raised two beautiful and amazing children, and am now blessed with five granddaughters.

My experience in the Las Vegas community in affordable housing development and education extends over 25 years: from creating small organizations, to executive director positions for local and national non-profit organizations representing underserved minorities, to the first Community Outreach Diversity Director for a major hotel and Casino – The Venetian. Although my achievements span, I have built and illustrated extensive skills and abilities in a combination of team leadership, strategic planning, and business development skills that I have leveraged to meet and exceed expectations, and most importantly, I have been graced to have created a large base of community partners and friends.

You ask yourself, how is it that I am a Chef with no former training, an owner of a new community Mexican restaurant and voted Best of Las Vegas by the Review Journal within a year and half; Best Tacos in Las Vegas, Best Margaritas in Las Vegas, Heart Association Flavors of the Heart People’s Choice award?  Because of the drive and love for the art of food that I have carried within me that has culminated to a strong passion and goal in the past 30 years of my life.

I began my years of real training in my mother’s kitchen, as a growing young woman, and continued my hands on training once I was with my own family, and continued to nurture the passion of owning a restaurant with my teacher and inspiration. Throughout the years in this community, working hard to build the voices of the underserved, I worked hard to also create opportunities to cater many families, community friends, associations, organizations and private parties to help fulfill my love and fervent dream, hence myself taught experience of providing the real taste of the Mexican cuisine.

My hearts intention is to bring to my community the real taste and flavors of a passionate country that has shown such pride for its extensive different flavors of many regional foods, importantly without ANY premade, frozen, canned foods or yellow cheese, just the real home fresh cooking mom would make.

We are in our third year of a successful growth of community embracing and continue to exceed and call the attention of many local food critics reviews.

Because of my commitment to cooking everything fresh with fresh ingredients this is our biggest challenge because our current location was not set up for major prepping or cooking, the challenge we are also faced is with equipment that we purchased used and is not productive and efficient to provide the best service. With the correct equipment and layout we can be much more efficient in prepping, cooking and servicing our guest. Purchasing used equipment and a building that was vacant was our only way in 2009 to be able to obtain my dream financially.

The equipment that we do have is run down and we have had to repair many times. Please select us to assist us with maintaining my dream for a long term success. I have included our website, awards and YouTube video for your review.

Mi Casa Es Su Casa! Muchas Gracias!”

Tom Sola

Dreamstaurant: We Have Our Finalists“We are a local’s favorite and the seasonal tourists always enjoy visiting. Our 7,500 square foot restaurant has been a “Best of the Beach” winner for 5 years and counting. We have a large menu highlighting environmentally friendly seafood choices, as well as steaks, pastas, burgers, and more! Our award winning “She Crab” soup is made fresh every day. Lucky Oyster opens Sundays for brunch featuring several types of eggs benedicts, seafood omelets, and a fabulous Bloody Mary bar.

Our décor is a mixture of vintage fishing equipment, signage, lobster traps, and very large fish replicas hanging overhead. We even provide seating made to look like the back of a boat! Our raw bar is equipped with crushed ice falling from the ceiling onto the fresh seafood being cooked in the steamers for all to see.

Lucky Oyster just celebrated our 5th anniversary with a Beer, BBQ, and Bivalve party! We had local vendors participate with samplings of their oysters. They were able to let all our guests know about the raising and harvesting of the local oysters. The Save the Bay Foundation also had their information available. We save our oyster shells to be recycled back into the bay. The locals have always supported us and we wanted to show our appreciation for them. We do community work and fund raiser nights for schools and businesses along with supporting several local soccer and softball leagues. Our off site catering for military functions, weddings, and family reunions is always popular and clambakes on the beach are a favorite with our out of town guests!

Over the last 5 years with marketing, word of mouth and great customer service, we have increased our sales. The kitchen set up and equipment is not productive for our volume anymore. We have the space, but it is not being utilized for optimal efficiency. The cooks have to cross over and dance around each other to get the job done. We are looking to streamline the cooks line with new workable equipment and placement. We took over the restaurant and have been using outdated equipment and some that does not lend itself to seafood restaurant cooking. The goal would be to make the kitchen a better functioning, workable area that can handle our ever increasing business.

Please check our website www.luckyoystervb.com for great pictures and information about the Local’s Favorite Hangout here in Virginia Beach! If you are ever in the area please come in and enjoy the casual atmosphere and great service while eating the best seafood around!”

Who is your favorite?

Tell us who you think should win the $20,000 prize! The contestant with the highest number of votes could persuade the judges opinion when they declare the Dreamstaurant winner.

Winner Announcement

The winner will be announced on January 21st, 2013. Our panel of judges, including Chef Kelly Liken, Chef Ian Kleinman and VP of Tundra Design, Jeff Katz, will put their minds together and select the contestant they feel has what it takes for the food service world.

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What’s Hot: Drink Trends for 2013

What’s Hot?

In addition to surveying chef’s about hot food trends for the New Year, The National Restaurant Association (NRA) surveyed 195 professional bartenders to uncover hot drink trends for 2013. It wasn’t surprising that producing and buying local is a top trend for drinks, similar to food, including onsite barrel-aged drinks which top the charts. Other top drinks include food-liquor/cocktail parings and micro distilled/artisan liquor.

Here Are The Top 20 Drink Trends For 2013:What’s Hot: Drink Trends for 2013

  1. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
  2. Food-liquor/cocktail pairings
  3. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
  4. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
  5. Locally produced spirits
  6. Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce
  7. Beer sommeliers/Cicerones
  8. Regional signature cocktails
  9. Beer-based cocktails
  10. Locally produced beer
  11. Food-beer pairings/beer dinners
  12. Salt (e.g. flavored, smoked, regional)
  13. House-made lemonade/soft drinks/tonics
  14. Cask beer/ale
  15. Wine on tap/draft wine
  16. Organic cocktails
  17. Cocktails on tap
  18. Craft beer
  19. Signature cocktails
  20. Shrubs

Hot Trends by Category

And here are top alcohol trends by category…

Spirits

  1. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
  2. Locally produced spirits
  3. Bitters
  4. “New Make” whiskey
  5. Mezcal

Cocktails

What’s Hot: Drink Trends for 2013

  1. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
  2. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
  3. Regional signature cocktails
  4. Beer-based cocktails
  5. Organic cocktails

Beer

  1. Locally produced beer
  2. Cask beer/ale
  3. Craft beer
  4. House-brewed beer
  5. Gluten-free beer

Wine

  1. Wine on tap/draft wine
  2. Locally produced wine
  3. Non-traditional/less popular wine varietals
  4. Organic wine
  5. Argentinian wine

Ingredients/Garnish

  1. Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce
  2. Salt (e.g. flavored, smoked, regional)
  3. House-made lemonade/soft drinks/tonics
  4. Flower syrup/essence
  5. Spices

Mixology Themes

What’s Hot: Drink Trends for 2013

  1. Food-liquor/cocktail pairings
  2. Beer sommeliers/Cicerones
  3. Food-beer pairings/beer dinners
  4. Molecular gastronomy/mixology
  5. Food-wine pairings

Additional Trends

1. When the bartenders were asked to segment customers into categories it was surprising how equally split the groups were:

  • 36% of customers are traditional – always order simple drinks, like draft beer and house wine
  • 32% of customers are adventurous – always try new and trendy drinks
  • 31% are cautious explorers – generally order standbys, but sometimes try trendy items

2. Because over 30% of customers were categorized as adventurous, it was great to see how the bartenders felt about specialty/culinary cocktails:

  • 67% said that it’s a good way to build business and attract new customers
  • 26% said they are fun to make because they have to be more creative
  • 1% said they are a challenge because they take longer
  • 1% said customers rarely order specialty cocktails

3. In addition, more than half (51%) said they are seeing more guests dining at the bar, rather than being seated at a table (compared to two years ago).

4. The last question bartenders were asked was “What’s the hottest technology trend in bars/restaurants for 2013.” The same question was asked to more than 1,800 professional chefs in the top food trends survey, and the outcome of each survey was remarkably different:

The chef’s response:

  • 27% said tablet computers (e.g. iPad) for menus and wine lists
  • 25% said smartphone apps for consumers (e.g. ordering, menus)
  • 19% said mobile/wireless/at-the-table payment options
  • 13% said social media for marketing/loyalty programs
  • 11% said smartphone apps for chefs/restaurateurs (e.g. recipes, measurement converters)
  • 4% said QR codes on menus, marketing, etc
  • 1% said other

The bartender’s response:

  • 40% said social media for marketing/loyalty programs
  • What’s Hot: Drink Trends for 201329% said tablet computers (e.g. iPad) for menus and wine lists
  • 14% said smartphone apps for consumers (e.g. ordering, menus)
  • 6% said smartphone apps for chefs/restaurateurs (e.g. recipes, measurement converters)
  • 5% said other
  • 4% said mobile/wireless/at-the-table payment options
  • 2% said QR codes on menus, marketing, etc

What’s Not Hot

Of the 123 drink items ranked by bartenders, these received the highest scores for waning trends:

  1. Hard lemonade
  2. Non-alcoholic wine
  3. “Skinny”/lower-calorie cocktails
  4. Dessert/candy-flavored cocktails
  5. White sangria
  6. Frozen cocktails
  7. Light/reduced calorie beer
  8. Kosher wine
  9. Boxed wine
  10. Bacon

2013 Food Trends

Now that you’re caught up with the hottest drink trends for 2013, take a gander at what’s hot in the food world for the New Year.

What’s Hot in 2013 Video

For more information from NRA on hot trends for 2013, check out this video!

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What’s Hot: Food Trends for 2013

What’s Hot?

The National Restaurant Association surveyed over 1,800 professional chefs to uncover hot food trends for 2013. By a long shot, locally sourced/grown foods top the charts with healthful kids’ meals not far behind. Other hot trends include new cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major), ethnic breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes) and food trucks (which continue to pop up and thrive in all corners of the nation).

 

Here Are The Top 20 Food Trends For 2013:

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafoodWhat’s Hot: Food Trends for 2013
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Healthful kids’ meals
  4. Environmental sustainability
  5. Children’s nutrition
  6. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)
  7. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
  8. Gluten-free cuisine
  9. Sustainable seafood
  10. Whole grain items in kids’ meals
  11. Farm/estate branded items
  12. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  13. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)
  14. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
  15. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items
  16. Health/nutrition
  17. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price
  18. House-made/artisan ice cream
  19. Black/forbidden rice
  20. Food trucks

 

Hot Trends by Category

The top 20 give you a great, broad overview of the New Year’s trends, but there are also top trends by categories that represent sections of a traditional restaurant menu.

Appetizers

  1. House-cured meats/charcuterieWhat’s Hot: Food Trends for 2013
  2. Vegetarian appetizers
  3. Ethnic/street food inspired appetizers (tempura, taquitos, kabobs, hummus)
  4. Amuse-bouche/bite-size hors d’oeuvre
  5. Flatbread appetizers

Sides/Starches

  1. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  2. Black/forbidden rice
  3. Quinoa
  4. Red rice
  5. Pickled vegetables

Main Dishes

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. New cuts of meat (Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)
  3. Sustainable seafood
  4. Non-traditional fish (branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)
  5. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

Desserts

  1. House-made/artisan ice cream
  2. Bite-size/mini desserts
  3. Savory desserts
  4. Deconstructed classic desserts
  5. Dessert flights/combos

Breakfast/Brunch

  1. Ethnic inspired breakfast items (Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
  2. Traditional ethnic breakfast items (huevos rancheros, shakshuka, ashta, Japanese)
  3. Fresh fruit breakfast
  4. Prix fixe breakfastWhat’s Hot: Food Trends for 2013
  5. Chicken and waffles

Kid’s Meals

  1. Healthful kids’ meals
  2. Whole grain items in kid’s meals
  3. Fruit/vegetable children’s’ side items
  4. Oven-bakes items in kids’ meals (baked chicken fingers, oven baked fries)
  5. Children’s portions of adult menu items

Produce

  1. Locally grown produce
  2. Organic produce
  3. Superfruit (acai, goji berry, mangosteen)
  4. Heirloom apples
  5. Exotic fruits (rambutan, dragon fruit, paw paw, guava)

Ethnic Cuisines

  1. Peruvian cuisine
  2. Regional ethnic cuisine
  3. Ethnic fusion cuisine
  4. Korean cuisine
  5. Southeast Asian cuisine (e.g. Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian)

Ingredients/Other food ItemsWhat’s Hot: Food Trends for 2013

  1. Farm/estate branded items
  2. Artisan cheeses
  3. Ethnic cheeses (e.g. queso fresco, paneer, lebneh, halloumi)
  4. Non-wheat flour (e.g. peanut, millet, barley, rice)
  5. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)

Preparation Methods

  1. Fermenting
  2. Pickeling
  3. Sous Vide
  4. Liquid nitrogen
  5. Smoking

Culinary themes

  1. Environmental sustainability
  2. Children’s nutrition
  3. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
  4. Gluten-free cuisine
  5. Health/nutrition

Beverages

  1.  House-made soft drinks/soda/pop
  2.  Gourmet lemonade (e.g. house-made, freshly muddled)
  3. Organic coffee
  4. Specialty iced tea (e.g. Thai-style, southern/sweet, flavored)
  5. Coconut water

 

Additional Trends

1. Technology touches almost every aspect of our lives, which is increasingly true even in the food service industry. Between the arrival of mobile devices at the table, online reservations, social media and mobile payment methods, technology has infiltrated the food and restaurant industry like never before. That’s why NRA asked “What is the hottest technology trend in restaurants for 2013?

What’s Hot: Food Trends for 2013

  • 27% said tablet computers (e.g. iPad) for menus and wine lists
  • 25% said smartphone apps for consumers (e.g. ordering, menus)
  • 19% said mobile/wireless/at-the-table payment options
  • 13% said social media for marketing/loyalty programs
  • 11% said smartphone apps for chefs/restaurateurs (e.g. recipes, measurement converters)
  • 4% said QR codes on menus, marketing, etc
  • 1% said other

2. Scorching heat and drought in the US, Russia and Europe constricted agricultural production and pushed up prices of key ingredients including corn and soybeans to record highs. The survey asked chefs “How do you best handle the challenge of elevated food costs?”

  • 32% said they would change and update the menu to include different dishes
  • 25% said adjusting plate composition (e.g. increasing amounts of lower priced items while reducing amounts of higher priced items)
  • 24% said they would explore new sourcing options and suppliers
  • 11% said managing food costs in other operational areas
  • 4% said they would raise menu prices
  • 4% said other

3. Healthy eating has been a hot topic for a few years now, and chefs continue to find new ways to integrate healthier ingredients into their dishes. So when the survey asked “Are you making efforts to adjust dishes/recipes to be more healthful, for example, by using more fruit and vegetables or reduced sodium?” the results were not a surprise.

  • 55%, said yes, always
  • 37% said they try but not all recipes are easily adjusted
  • 7% said no and
  • 2% said they don’t know

4. It was also interesting to see where chefs see the dining public trending in the year to come.

What’s Hot: Food Trends for 2013

  • 46% said consumers will be more adventurous, dining out to seek new tastes and foods they can’t make at home
  • 44% said consumers will generally order their favorite food when dining out, but sometimes try trendy menu items
  • 7% said consumers will be more traditional when dining out, only ordering food that they know
  • 4% didn’t know

 

What’s Not Hot

Of the 198 food items ranked by chefs, these received the highest scores for waning trends (and I must add that I agree with all of these).

  1. Froth/foam/air
  2. Ramen
  3. Gazpacho
  4. Fun-shaped children’s food
  5. Mini-burgers/sliders
  6. Flavored/enhanced water
  7. Bacon-flavored chocolate
  8. Flavored popcorn
  9. Fish collars
  10. Desserts with bacon

 

What’s Hot in 2013 Video

For more information from NRA on hot food trends for 2013, check out this video!

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Advice for Young Chefs by Marc Vetri

Advice for Young Chefs by Marc VetriThe Huffington Post – Taste  asked the head chef/owner of Vetri, Osteria, Amis and Alla Spina – Marc Vetri, to give advice to young chefs regarding how to aspire in the food service industry. His advice is not only great for those in the back of the house but any profession, really.

Please take your time to read this, I think you will really enjoy!

“When I was young, my house seemed to be the place where all of my high school friends came for advice. My parents just had a way of handling problems that most parents didn’t seem to be able to control. I remember when my friends came over they would always end up asking my parents to weigh in on something. The advice they got was straight talk and usually pretty harsh, but always honest. It wasn’t always what my friends wanted to hear, but it was always what they needed to hear.

It’s funny how life works out since I now find myself in my parents’ role of being an advisor of sorts. I’m at a point in my career–two decades spent in a professional kitchen–where so many young chefs come to me, email me and write letters to me, all seeking advice.

“How do I break into the business?”

“How did you start, and how do you think I should start?”

“What’s a good road to take?”

“How much money should I make?”

While they all want advice, the fact of the matter is that they usually don’t like what they hear. I can usually tell if someone is going to make it in the industry after a couple of minutes with them. So, in order to speed up the process, I thought I would jot down a couple of tidbits that can help a young chef navigate the decision-making process. If you still want to open a restaurant after reading this, I believe that you’ll have a good shot at making it. Here goes!

1.) No one cares about your resume.

I’m not all that interested in knowing that you spent two months picking herbs at Noma, and three months scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush at Alinea. I would prefer to hear that you cooked at a bar for the last three years and can make a medium-rare hamburger like nobody’s business. That’s something I can work with! Nowadays, I never hire anyone without having them spend a couple days with us to see what they’re really all about. So, if you write on your resume that you worked with a butcher for a year, you better be able to butcher an animal!

2.) Don’t worry about what you get paid.

Whatever you think you should make, you’re probably wrong. Go to places where you want to work and wait for an opportunity there. Those are the places that are going to mold you into the chef that you will become. I waited outside Wolfgang Puck’s Granita every day for two weeks until they let me stage there. Then I staged for six weeks until they hired me…for peanuts. But that was my cooking school. It’s where I learned all the basics about cooking and working in a professional kitchen. I went in early without punching in so I could learn to butcher, make stocks and learn ordering. Without that experience, I would not have been able to do any of the things that followed. Going somewhere for the money is ALWAYS a mistake.

3.) Work ethic and attitude is everything.

It’s the only thing that matters. I would take a less knowledgeable cook with a great attitude and work ethic over a talented prodigy with pissy attitude any day of the week. It will always make for a better team at the restaurant. I can’t tell you how many amazing cooks have been through my kitchens and simply have not made the cut because of their attitude. And guess what? Three, four, five years later those cooks are still line cooks. They still complain about how much everybody else sucks around them. If you’re a line cook at 25 and still one at 35, it’s time to look in the mirror. I can guarantee that YOU are the problem not anyone else.

4.) Learn the basics.

I once had a young cook who used to bring in modern Spanish cookbooks because he wanted to make things like mango caviar eggs and chocolate soil. I told him, “Hey, how about you learn how to blanch a goddamn carrot first, cook meat to a correct temperature, clarify a broth and truss a chicken? Once you can do these things then, and only then, should you try to learn these other techniques.” Trust me when I tell you that José Andrés is a master of the basics. You should strive to be one too.

5.) Don’t ever think you’re above learning from anyone.

I learn from my staff as much as they learn from me. And I am inspired by my staff probably more than they are inspired by me. You can never stop learning, and if you think you can’t listen to a busboy or dishwasher in order to learn how to do something better, you’re dead wrong.

6.) If you’re getting into cooking and the restaurant business for the sole reason of just wanting to be on TV, do us all a favor…stop…turn around…and just go away.
TV has done some great things for me and everyone in the business. What I want you to understand is that the successful chefs who are on TV are still chefs first and foremost. It’s in their blood. If TV somehow went away, these guys would still be in their kitchens. They’ve spent years learning our craft, worked their butts off, sacrificed and studied. They deserve to be showing people what eggplant to choose at the supermarket or how to fondle a tomato because they’ve earned that knowledge. In order to make it in this industry you need to LOVE to cook — period. It just won’t work otherwise. It needs to be your life passion and you need to be willing to make many sacrifices for it. If you go into professional cooking because you think it’ll be a fast track to fame and a TV deal, you’re probably not going to make it past your first prep job of peeling four cases of fava beans and cleaning 30 pounds of baby squid.

7.) Don’t get involved in kitchen drama.

There is and will always be talk.

“This guy is making more than this guy.”

“Did you see how much the servers made?”

“That kid just doesn’t pull his/her weight.”

“He made that wrong, but I’m not sayin’ anything.”

“Back of the house is better than front of the house.”

It is all cancerous nonsense. Don’t fall into the trap. Yes, servers make more than you. Yes, a cook who is not as talented as you will make more than you. And yes, people will mess things up and you will notice. Be the person with the good work ethic who can look beyond that and see the big picture. Help others if you realize they’re making something incorrect. Come in early, leave late and be the person that the chef can rely on. You’re in this for your own reasons, stick to them and you will shine.

8.) The best cooks develop their own styles.

You can learn from many people, but the greats take all they have learned and they create dishes that inspire them. Like musicians learn licks from other artists, the great ones develop their own lines. Get inspired by other chefs and other restaurants, but let that be a catalyst for you to create that which inspires you and reflects who you are. Be your authentic self and let your personality come through in your food. It will show in your plates and it will be recognized.

9.) If you follow all of the advice here, then this last one will likely be relevant for you.

People ask me all the time, “Who are the chefs that you most admire?” The most important thing a successful chef can do is teach and give back. Be philanthropic. The chefs who excite me the most are the ones who run solid restaurant organizations and give back to the community. Chefs like Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Bobby Flay, Tom Colicchio, John Besh, Suzanne Goin, Paul Kahan and so many others, these chefs spend as much time on charitable work as they do running their restaurants. Support a foundation. Give your time to young people trying to learn. Latch onto a cause that you believe in. It’s not only going to make your life more fulfilled and rich, but it will also make you cook better. I promise you that! I was inspired the most by a little girl named Alex whom I had never met. She inspired me to help her foundation, which inspired me to start my own foundation, which has brought smiles to thousands of children. YOU can make a difference, and in order to be great chef, that’s what you have to do.” – 

Marc Vetri

Marc’s advice has success written all over it. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article as much as me!

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Share Your Story of Restaurant Mayhem

The United States has faced devastating disasters in the last 10 years that have not only affected families, but businesses too.

  • In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest hurricanes in recent history, hit the Gulf Coast.  In a 90,000 square mile area,  thousands of local residents were left Share Your Story of Restaurant Mayhemunemployed and homeless while the death toll rose to more than 1,800 people and the total cost of damage was estimated at $125 billion.
  • Midsummer of 2012 ignited another catastrophic disaster – the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado. This fire was named the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history: killing 2 people, burning 346 homes, forcing an evacuation of 32,000 people and smoldering 18,247 acres.
  • Most recently, Hurricane Sandy aka ‘Frankenstorm’ ripped across the east coast. The death toll has risen to approximately 109 people while 17,500,000 people were affected and an estimated $60 billion in damages (see this compelling Katrina vs. Sandy comparison by the Huffington Post).

Now more than ever, restaurant owners are learning what it means to prepare for a natural disaster – like those aforementioned, as well as the numerous earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other catastrophic  weather patterns that have devastated our nation. Precautionary steps need to be made for before, during and after an event: building and food care, evacuation plans, support needs, etc. Unfortunately, the lack of available resources to learn more about what this means is few and far between.

Share Your Story

Share Your Story of Restaurant MayhemShare Your Story of Restaurant Mayhem
That is why we need you! Your story can be extremely valuable to other restaurant owners, not only in the US, but around the globe…
  • What is it like to live through a natural disaster?
  • What did you do to protect your business?
  • What didn’t you do that you wish you would have done to prevent damage?

We would love the opportunity to hear your story, and in return, your story could be published in our next flyer publication! We send our quarterly flyer to 250K independent restaurant owners nationwide and, of course, you would get the opportunity view the article before it goes to print.

If you are interested please share your restaurant’s mayhem story; we can’t wait to hear your story!

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