Start the week off with MRM's Daily Bite for restaurant and hospitality news including global growth for non-GMO, organic and insect-based products and the perfect present for pasta lovers.
Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at email@example.com.
A Global Pipeline
Pipeline Foods LLC, the first supply chain solutions company focused on non-GMO and organic food and feed, launched its global operations to accelerate the availability of healthy and regeneratively grown food and feed. The company is making investments in assets to support growth in organic and non-GMO grains, provide expertise to farmers and food companies, and partner with like-minded individuals and organizations.
"Pipeline Foods is eager to invest in supply chain solutions that bring value to the organic and non-GMO grain and oilseed industry," said Eric Jackson, CEO of Pipeline Foods. "We will put more profits back into the hands of the farmers, create dependability and transparency for food companies, and offer unique investment opportunities for financial partners."
In support of the broader team in Minneapolis and as part of its commitment to establish a local presence in all markets in which it operates, Pipeline Foods has also established regional headquarters in Winnipeg, Canada; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Collectively the global team currently numbers over 40 employees. According to Jackson, they plan to invest $300-500MM in this sector over the next three to five years.
xtraCHEF Staffs Up
xtraCHEF, whose automated invoice processing and restaurant cost management platform enables restaurants to streamline accounting and reduce cost of goods sold (COGS), added several key hires in sales and marketing roles to support their national expansion. The new hires add restaurant industry experience as well as software sales, business development, and marketing expertise to the growing SaaS-based business.
The restaurant technology startup added three Account Executives who will take over account management for existing accounts as well as develop new business in their respective geographies. Dano Rogers, who will be based in San Francisco, CA and will manage the West Coast expansion joins xtraCHEF from Sourcery, a San Francisco-based Accounts Payable (AP) automation solution. Jeff Steinberg, who will be based in New York City and will support the company’s continued growth on the East Coast, brings to his role a breadth of experience in food service management, business development, and venture capital. Josh Whitcomb, who will be based in Austin, TX and will drive growth in Texas and the Mid-West, most recently worked at HotSchedules, an online workforce management solution for the restaurant industry.
The firm also named John Enny as the Director of Marketing to drive demand and continue to build the xtraCHEF brand. John joins the xtraCHEF team having previously served as the VP of Marketing for MTS Software Solutions, the enterprise software firm where xtraCHEF co-founders, Andy Schwartz and Bhavik Patel, previously worked together.
“As a relatively new technology to be introduced to the restaurant industry, it’s critical to put the right people in place to represent our product and articulate its value to the marketplace,” said Andy Schwartz, Co-founder and CEO of xtraCHEF. “I'm confident that each of our new team members are individually and collectively a great fit to accelerate our growth and to increase our marketshare.”
Since its inception, the platform has processed over $300MM in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV). And, since this time last year, the company has grown the number of users by 1,239 percent and increased Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) by nearly 1,300 percent.
Smith & Wollensky's Custom Steak Knives
The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc. (SWRG), kicked off a new knife partnership with ZWILLING J.A. Henckels to design custom steak knives.
“After an extensive search for the finest steak knives that align with our commitment to quality, we partnered with the team at ZWILLING J.A. Henckels due to their long-standing reputation for producing premium cutlery around the world,” said Corporate Executive Chef Matt King. “At Smith & Wollensky, we strive to provide the highest quality steaks, service, and dining atmosphere for our guests. From our in-house dry aging and hand-butchering process, to our selection and care of steak knives, we pride ourselves in going the extra mile to deliver an extraordinary steakhouse experience for our guests.”
This fall, as Smith & Wollensky gears up to celebrate their 40th anniversary in October, all Smith & Wollensky locations in the United States have upgraded their cutlery to these customized, non-serrated ZWILLING J.A. Henckels steak knives. With this custom design, the straight edge blades will offer a cleaner cut that guarantees extreme tenderness and an elevated overall dining experience for guests, as they will be able to smoothly slice into their dry-aged steaks.
Smith & Wollensky’s partnership with ZWILLING J.A. Henckels comes after the restaurant group announced last spring with Double R Ranch, their exclusive premium beef vendor. Smith & Wollensky’s USDA prime steaks and signature filets are sourced from a network of small family farms and sustainably produced by Double R Ranch and Snake River Farms in the Pacific Northwest, and further enhanced through in-house dry aging for 28 days.
Display Your Love of Pasta
Delicacies Jewelry, a jewelry line for foodies by foodies with a charitable twist, introduced a new pasta-related line. Delicacies’ unique pieces allow the wearer to showcase their signature ingredient, be it through a leather and sterling silver bracelet all the way up to a diamond pave pendant. Additionally, every piece donates to charity.
Delicacies’ newest line, the al Dente collection, features a wide variety of pastas, such as penne rigate, rotini, farfalle, cellentani, bucatini and orrechiette.
Andrew Zimmern is a partner in Delicacies, and they are working with Chefs April Bloomfield, Stephanie Izard, Alex Guarnaschelli and Gail Simmons this year on their Chef's Table, Delicacies’ give back program.
Protix Acquires Fair Insects
Following the 45M€ funding in June 2017, Protix has acquired Fair Insects. Fair insects is a consortium breeders experienced in growing mealworm, cricket and locust. Through this acquisition, Protix will be more able to serve customers within the whole spectrum from B2B to food markets with products like protein rich foods, meat replacements and health beverages.
Since 2009, Protix has developed technologies and sustainable insect based products such as black soldier fly larvae, which is especially good at recovering proteins from food scraps.
Kees Aarts, CEO Protix; "We are very excited with this new Protix company. With the diversification to additional species we can offer the broader range of exciting products our customers have requested over the years. Together with our black soldier fly based ingredients we can further work towards healthy nutrition for all living creatures on this planet and enable a low-footprint society."