Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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EDITOR'S LETTER Four Foodservice Insights and Innovations SPRING 2019 1 SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION MEMBERS: Discuss this topic in the Solution Center on specialtyfood.com T he foodservice channel is changing rapidly, from fast casual's dominance, to menu overhauls at former culinary wastelands like hospitals, to advances in tech and food delivery that are revolutionizing not only operations but how people consume a restaurant meal. Denise Purcell Editor, Specialty Food Magazine dpurcell@specialtyfood.com You can read about many of these developments in this issue where we look at opportunities with meal kit companies (p. 70), senior living communities becoming dining destinations (p. 34), and tech advances like robots in the kitchen (p. 26). We gathered even more examples at the recent Winter Fancy Food Show, particularly through industry interviews on our SFA News Live platform. Here are just a few insights and innovations we heard about throughout the three days of talks with foodservice leaders from global delivery apps, national hotel chains, and up-and-coming local restaurants. Uber Eats' Data-Driven Virtual Restaurant Concept. When data showed that a specific Brooklyn neighborhood was searching for a cuisine type that was in short supply, Uber Eats approached area restaurants about creating a special menu offered for delivery only. In addition to a tech-savvy ap- proach to fulfilling an immediate consumer demand, Bowie Cheung, director of operations, explained that in some cases the virtual restaurant concept was so successful, existing res- taurants pivoted their whole menus in a new direction. Kimpton Hotels' Grooming of Chefs. Sourcing new chef talent can be laborious so Kimpton Hotels emphasizes home-growing chefs, explained George Morrone, director of culinary development. The chain commits to "grooming the number-twos" and promoting from within people who already understand the business' philosophies. The effort has helped Kimpton rise to the challenge of rapid expansion. In addition to allowing the growth of its chefs, Kimpton uses their expertise, and that of its bartenders, to produce an an- nual Culinary and Cocktail Trend Forecast. Piri Pica: Fast Casual as a Global Gateway. Fine dining has faded as the only way to enjoy an interesting meal. Fast casual restaurants with global menus are finding ways to provide a world of cuisine without a budget-busting price tag. "The way people go out and enjoy food is changing. It's not about six courses and an aperitif," contends Khalid Mushasha, founder of Piri Pica, a San Francisco-based fast casual concept in which piri piri is the star ingredient in a Portuguese-Mediterranean menu. "Food transports people," he said, "People want to be transported without a $375 15-course dinner." Souvla's Diligent Delivery Approach. Meal delivery has moved beyond an afterthought to traditional operations. As it takes over the way in which diners consume restaurant meals, its execution needs to be front of mind. When Souvla, a four-location Greek-focused fast casual restaurant in San Francisco, saw the mobile delivery trend skyrocket, it ap- proached it diligently, carefully seeking out a delivery partner and engineering the restaurant to make delivery efficient and effective. Today, the chain serves 150 to 225 delivered meals per day, said Charles Bililies, founder and CEO. You can learn more about these concepts by viewing the SFA News Live video series on specialtyfood.com/news/ section/videos.

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