The National Restaurant Association is putting September in the spotlight with National Food Safety Month (NFSM). This year’s theme is “The Future of Food Safety.” See the announcement below for more information and find additional resources during four weeks of active training and informational sessions presented by ServSafe. Each week has its own food safety theme.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has expanded its partnership with DoorDash to enable national delivery in 70 markets and at over 1,800 Chipotle locations. Chipotle’s customers will be able to order delivery using the website or the Chipotle mobile app. For a limited time, between August 27 and September 12, 2018, guests will get free delivery on orders of $10 or more (not including tip or tax).
Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent of Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical, announced that Jackie Swift-Kurkjian has joined the company as senior director of Off-Premise Consumption. In this role, she will lead the efforts to build the catering, online and delivery sales channels at Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana. Her role will help the brands leverage new information systems, resources and people as part of Fiesta’s Strategic Renewal Plan.
Aramark has released its 30 Hottest New Menu items Across the NFL list. To show off its culinary team’s talents, Aramark has released NFL favorites across the sports facilities it services through its food contracting programs... Elote Chicken Tacos (Arrowhead Stadium), Mojo Pork Tacos (Lincoln Financial Field), Pimento Cheese Melt (Raymond James Stadium), and Tennessee Hot Chicken Mac & Cheese (Arrowhead Stadium) are some of hot, new menu items.
Panda Express is returning the Honey Sesame Chicken Breast, a fan favorite, as a limited-time offer. The entree fill feature crispy chicken breast strips, string beans and yellow peppers, prepared in a sweet sesame sauce that is now made with organic honey... now returns with a mobile app and the slogan, “Honey, it’s back!” The Panda Express mobile app is also expected to be a guest favorite, allowing for interactive ordering process, group ordering, and multiple user selections from different phones
Popeyes will be entering the Philippines via a new master franchising agreement. The quick-service brand, owned by Restaurant Brands International (RBI), announced reaching a deal with Kuya J Holdings Group, which already operates 100 Kuya J Restaurant locations in the Philippines. The Kuya J Restaurant chain is best known for its crispy pata, kare-kare, caldereta, and halo-halo.
ezCater announced a new Human Resources executive to support the growth of the rapidly-rising business catering marketplace on the heels of its acquisition of Paris-based Go Cater, a corporate catering ordering and spend-management platform. Janine Allo has been named Chief People and Culture Officer. She comes to ezCater with 25 years of experience helping organizations grow in a changing environment. Allo was recently VP of Global Talent at Flex International, and there she helped the company grow amid a transformation and rebranding initiatives.
Ruth’s Hospitality Group, the operator of the fine-dining Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain, reported Q2 2018 results, posting total revenue of $103.5 million, up 9.6 percent from last year. Company-operated stores posted comparable sales growth of 1.3 percent from last year, comprising a 0,1 percent decrease in traffic, offset by a 1.4 percent increase in average check. Net income rose to $9.6M, compared to $7.8M in the same period last year. .. The three buckets for the 2.0 remodel initiative are brand, capacity and bar changes. Those remodels that have addressed capacity are the most opportunistic remodels and have played a role in sales performance, noted Haak.
Bacardi Limited announced that Lee Applbaum, Patrón Spirits chief marketing officer, has been tapped to also be the global head of Grey Goose vodka. With the added responsibilities, and as the chief architect of global marketing for Grey Goose, he will be adding brand equity, architecture, positioning, advertising, creative, brand communications, experiential, packaging and strategic direction of innovation and product creation. Applbaum is now CMO for both Patrón Spirits and the Grey Goose brand portfolio.
hake Shack reported its financial results for Q2 2018 in a company release and held an investor conference call August 2. Its total revenues, including licensing fees, increased to $116.3M, representing a 27.3 percent increase over the same quarter last year. Total operating store sales, including the impact of new stores, increased to $112.9M, a 28.3-percent increase from last year. Comparable store sales (“same-shack sales”) in Q2 increased 1.1 percent, compared to 1.8 percent decrease reported in the same period last year.
Off-premise food popularity was a top dining trend identified this year. As consumers look for more convenience, there is no shortage of chains wanting to bring the food to where the consumers are. For IHOP, the sales momentum it gained in its Q2 2018 quarter was not exclusively due to the initial lift... but also due to a focus on off-premise sales and operational execution. Through the Starbucks-Alibaba partnership, delivery will be launched in Beijing and Shanghai in September, expanding the program to 30 cities and more than 2,000 stores... enables the creation of “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” within Hema supermarkets.
Experimental diners don’t have to look too far to be inspired. Grain and Bakery Innovation, a culinary research report from Packaged Facts, a well-respected research firm, is spotlighting several takes on foods that are emerging or still developing. These creative insights look promising for foodservice application, including south-of-the-border foods in the form of globally-inspired tacos, chilaquiles and migas.