Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 4, 2013 11:38 AM
Spaniard Ferran Adria has been considered one of the world’s top chefs for decades, but it wasn’t clear what would happen with his famed gastronomic skills once his famed restaurant elBulli closed its doors in 2011.
Now all those hungry for such information have got the scoop: Adria has founded “the nonprofit elBulli Foundation, a culinary think tank and visitor center,” which is scheduled to open in 2015, according to Bloomberg.
"We want to promote innovation using food as our channel," said Adria—who's a consultant on food innovation to PepsiCo, which calls him "the world's greatest chef" and put his face on a limited-edition Pepsi can, below—to Bloomberg.
“We have two missions," he added. "One is to keep the elBulli legacy and the knowhow and the buildings. The second is to create the creators. I hope one or two of the 30 creative people we get each year will be the next generation of leaders of the culinary revolution.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2013 11:16 AM
It may not make your salad taste better, reduce your wait for a table or remove any calories from the creme brulee, but American restaurant patrons can rest assured that Big Data is on the way to make their experience of eating away from home a better one.
With alliances like IBM with the Cheesecake Factory, the providers and purveyors of overwhelming numbers are helping restaurant operators marry their traditional huge volumes of transactional data—such as sales receipts from customers and information about purchase orders to suppliers—with "unstructured" data to help them automate decisions that will improve food safety and quality, labor productivity and other aspects of their operations. The end result is supposed to be more-satisfied customers, greater revenues and fatter profit margins.
"It's about enriching the more structured data with unstructured data in order to gain business insight," Paul Chang, global leader for consumer-products strategy for IBM, told brandchannel. "If you can do that then you can automate these processes."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2013 02:02 PM
With American consumers still hesitant to spend on restaurant meals, the biggest QSR chains keep trying new tactics in what has become a bruising battle for shares of a stagnant U.S. market.
No. 3 Wendy's has just rolled out a new campaign that will spread its new logo and brand design to everything from product packaging to its stores to crew uniforms. No. 2 Burger King has switched ad agencies (after the plastic-faced King creeped everyone out) and is debuting a set of light-hearted new TV commercials that also emphasize new products. Last but not least, No. 1 McDonald's is attempting to reinvigorate a new-product pipeline that generated mostly disappointments last year.
Wendy's said its new logo will begin appearing on Monday in advertising, on product packaging and crew uniforms, in new restaurant signage and menu boards and in digital assets. "Wendy's brand transformation is re-energizing all of our touch points with consumers," said Emil Brolick, CEO, in a press release. "We're transforming our brand — from bold restaurant designs to innovative food that consumers want, to improved customer service."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2013 09:58 AM
In their on-again, off-again love affair with spending, the American consumer may just have hit the "off" switch again. Both Walmart and America's National Restaurant Association are warning about remarkable dropoffs in the trend for consumer spending over the last few weeks, with few prospects for improvement anytime soon.
And on Thursday morning, Walmart reaffirmed its alarm in a financial report that predicts flat same-store sales in the U.S. for the first quarter.
The latest revelation was that U.S. restaurant same-store sales rose much less in January than in December due to a pullback by consumers, according to a restaurant operator survey authorized by the NRA. The trend was worse for full-service restaurants than for quick-serve businesses, but the overall 1.1 percent rise for the month (versus a year earlier) compared with a 2.4 percent increase for December prompted alarm bells to go off.
"Operators are unsure of what the cause of the slowdown was," said Larry Miller, restaurant securities analyst at RBC Capital Markets and creator of the NRA's monthly survey, according to NRN.com. "They cited a laundry list of reasons, including weather, holiday shifts, gas prices and tax-refund delays."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2013 04:55 PM
Kraft is moving to prevent Cracker Barrel restaurants from extending its store brand into American supermarkets, where Kraft's Cracker Barrel cheese brand has been a major player since 1954.
There was seemingly no big threat to Kraft or to its Cracker Barrel cheese trademark when Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store sold merely a few grocery items under the Cracker Barrel name at small general stores attached to most of its 600-some U.S. restaurants.
But now that Cracker Barrel has struck a major licensing agreement with the John Morrell Food Group to sell Cracker Barrel-branded food products through grocers and mass merchandisers, Kraft says it is concerned that the restaurant chain's brand expansion could create confusion among consumers — and thereby damage the Kraft line.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2013 10:31 AM
It's like staying up too late, watching Jerry Springer or not being nice to your mother: Many Americans don’t exactly feel good about visiting McDonald’s after they’ve done so, but they’re more than likely to do it again.
That’s one interesting conclusion from the latest survey by Consumer Edge Insight of Americans’ ratings of the biggest fast-food brands and the various attributes of their visits to the QSR chains.
McDonald’s placed No. 1 in the firm's latest poll in the category of "good value," with 57 percent. Subway earned 53 percent, and Taco Bell posted 48 percent.
David Decker, president of the research firm, commented on what factors made the grade:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2013 03:38 PM
Hooters isn’t exactly known for the look of its interior decor. The brand is largely connected to its young, attractive waitresses serving hot wings and beer.
However, Hooters has been in business for 30 years now — and some of the locations have been getting a little long in the tooth. The chain announced a physical revamp Thursday in an effort to remake itself into a slightly more upmarket brand. The changes were first introduced at a Houston, Texas, location.
“The high exposed ceiling, painted ductwork and cypress wood walls give a more open and brighter appearance, and materials such as light colored face brick provide texture throughout the space,” according to a press release. “Guests will also benefit from a more centrally located and prominently placed bar, complemented with swiveled bar stools for ease and comfort.”Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2012 12:21 PM
In-N-Out Burger caused a "frenzy" last month when it popped up with a stealth five-hour pop-up in London. Now Five Guys, the US burger chain so-named in honor of the male half of the founding couple and their four sons, is about to make its first foray out of North America and into the UK, and it's planning to stick around a little longer.
The word from UK's Marketing magazine is that Five Guys, which has a thousand locations in the U.S. and Canada, is expanding to the UK thanks to a deal that Five Guys has made with Sir Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse.
The plan is for Dunstone to open a few Five Guys in the UK next year with the first of them being a flagship store in London. And no, Barack Obama's beloved Five Guys won't rebrand as "Five Chaps" for its UK arrival, and we doubt they'll start calling their menu's mainstay "burgers and chips."Continue reading...