This edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features US Foods, AMEX and Eleven Madison Park, Grubhub, Punchh, MAiNGREDIENT®, Bloom Intelligence, The French Pastry School, Uber Canada, FoodLogiQ and Testo, Inc. and Bite Squad.
Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at email@example.com.
Spring into Sustainable Menu Options
Diners today care more than ever about the stories behind how their food is grown and raised. In fact, 67 percent of consumers state that they would have a better impression of a restaurant that offered sustainable foods and at least 80 percent of diners say they want to know more about their food sourcei. As part of the company’s commitment to helping independent restaurants meet the growing demand for responsible menu options, all Serve Good products meet rigorous criteria for responsible sourcing or waste reduction. Additionally, all products are delivered in packaging developed according to strict packaging standards that help reduce waste and prioritize the use of recycled material.
Since launching with 24 products in 2016, the company’s Serve Good program now boasts more than 300 versatile products that fall into one of several categories including sustainable seafood, organic, non-GMO, animal care, responsible disposables or waste reduction, and many come with third-party certifications.
The portfolio is also supported with a pipeline of select seafood products within the company’s Progress Check™ initiative. Progress Check is a program that is designed specifically for the seafood category and highlights vendors that are on the path toward achieving the sustainable certifications required to be a part of the Serve Good program.
“Sustainable menu options are more than a trend, they’re a movement that’s here to stay. With Serve Good, we are committed to delivering a responsible approach to foodservice while equipping independent restaurants with high quality products diners will pay a premium for,” said Stacie Sopinka, vice president of product development and innovation, US Foods. “As we continue to deliver on our Great Food. Made Easy. strategy, our Serve Good portfolio empowers foodservice operators to source a wide variety of food and non-food items that have been carefully developed to help them succeed.”
Sustainable Seafood on the Menu
The term ‘sustainable’ has increased more than 300 percent on seafood menus in the past decadei. As the global demand for seafood continues to grow, responsibly sourced seafood is a key area of interest for diners and operators. Spring Scoop highlights several seafood offerings that meet leading third-party certifications, such as Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC):
- Harbor Banks® Coho Salmon: Four-star BAP-certified, this salmon is fed fish protein combined with nutrient dense algae, so it produces more fish protein than it uses while retaining top-quality flavor, texture and nutrition.
- Harbor Banks® Yellowfin Tuna Loin: MSC-certified, sashimi grade, ready to cut and serve with minimal prep required.
Continued Demand for Transparency
Increasingly, diners want to know more about how their food is made, and where it comes from. Over the past decade, the growth of non-GMO, organic and products that are raised without antibiotics have surged, and today, consumers are less willing to compromise these preferences when they dine out. For example, more than half of consumers are concerned about GMOs within their food and beveragesi while the term ‘organic’ has grown on menus by 130 percent over the last 10 yearsi. Spring Scoop highlights include:
- Monarch® Non-GMO Ripened Sliced Sweet Plantains: Non-GMO Project Verified plantains imported from Ecuador that can be fried, pan-seared or baked.
- Metro Deli® All Natural* Prosciutto Raised Without Antibiotics: An artisanal prosciutto made with only pork and Nova Scotian coarse salt and aged for nine months according to centuries-old Italian techniques. Perfect for charcuterie boards, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas.
- Cross Valley Farms® Organic Fingerling Potato Blend: This first-to-market, versatile Fingerling Potato Blend is USDA-Certified Organic and includes colorful yellow, red and purple potatoes.
Beyond the Center-of-the-Plate
Responsibility comes in many forms beyond the center-of-the-plate, including beverages, disposables and desserts. Spring Scoop highlights several products that promote fair treatment of producers and the planet. Highlights include:
- Devonshire® Premium Banana Chocolate Swirl Cake Made with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Bananas and Fair Trade Certified™ Chocolate: Inspired by a Minnesota State Fair award-winning recipe, this cake is made with Fair Trade Certified semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder from Callebaut, Fair Trade Certified granulated and powdered sugar and Rainforest Alliance Certified banana purée.
- Rituals® Moroccan Mint Iced Tea with Rainforest Alliance Certified Green Tea: No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Made from mint grown in Oregon, the tea is infused with spearmint, lemongrass and peppermint.
- Monogram® Sustainable Cutlery Kit: A kit featuring a napkin and cutlery that are Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)-certified compostable. The napkin and band are also Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) Certified. This is a time-saving product that is ideal for to-go orders, catering, delivery and outdoor dining occasions.
Spring Scoop also features a new partnership with BentoBox, which is designed to help independent restaurants attract new customers with more functional mobile-ready restaurant websites. US Foods customers can now receive exclusive discounts and support from BentoBox.
Summer in the Hamptons, Winter in Aspen
American Express and Eleven Madison Park are joining forces again this year to bring back the successful pop-up restaurant, EMP Summer House in partnership with American Express to East Hampton, NY. In addition, the two brands will collaborate to bring the first-ever EMP Winter House to Aspen, CO, later this year.
EMP Summer House and EMP Winter House will offer more casual dining experiences inspired by Eleven Madison Park’s iconic cuisines, while also taking inspiration and ingredients from the Hamptons and Aspen locations. EMP Summer House will again be located at 341 Pantigo Road in East Hampton, and will be open May 25 through Labor Day. EMP Winter House will be open December 2018 through March 2019. The location and exact dates for EMP Winter House will be revealed later this year.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with American Express once again to bring EMP Summer House back to the Hamptons as well as introduce EMP Winter House to Aspen,” said restaurateur Will Guidara. “We had originally planned the pop-up for one season, but had such an incredible experience with our guests and our staff last summer that we, along with our partners at American Express, realized there was no choice but to create a sequel. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the beach and introducing the new Winter House soon!”
As a key partner of EMP Summer House and EMP Winter House, and through its ongoing partnership with Chef Humm through the Global Dining Collection, American Express will again be collaborating with the Eleven Madison Park team to bring the pop-up restaurants to life and offer exclusive benefits for its Card Members. American Express Card Members will get exclusive access to reservations to EMP Summer House and EMP Winter House. Guests will only be able to make a reservation with an American Express Card, and American Express will be the only form of card payment accepted at the restaurants. American Express and Eleven Madison Park will also be working together to curate a number of unique experiences and events for Card Members at EMP Summer House and EMP Winter House. More details on these events will be shared closer to the restaurants’ openings.
“We are excited to continue our successful partnership with Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara to bring the popular EMP Summer House back to the Hamptons and open the first EMP Winter House in Aspen – both top travel destinations for our Card Members,” said Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and general manager of Global Premium Products, Benefits and Services at American Express. “EMP Summer House quickly became the top requested reservation in the U.S. last summer through Platinum Concierge, so we are looking forward to heading out east again with the Eleven Madison Park team and then later heading to the mountains of Aspen.”
EMP Summer House will offer a seasonal a la carte menu featuring plenty of seafood including grilled fish and raw options, pastas, steaks, and dishes cooked in the wood-burning oven. The indoor dining room will be slightly more formal, with the covered patio and backyard offering a more casual setting.
Select dishes on the menu at EMP Summer House will include:
- Lobster tempura with bibb lettuce, pickled radish and chile-lime aioli
- Tomato salad with strawberries and almonds
- Corn flatbread with parmesan and truffle
- Ribeye for two, wood-fired with shallot, parmesan and potato
Reservations for EMP Summer House will be made available exclusively to American Express Card Members at empsummerhouse.com on the following dates:
- Starting May 1st reservations will be available through June 30th
- Starting June 1st reservations will be available through July 31st
- Starting July 1st reservations will be available through September
There will be a $50 per person deposit required for all reservations, which will be applied to the final dining bill. Large format reservations will also be available for pre-purchase.
Grubhub launched RestaurantHER, an initiative dedicated to supporting women-led restaurants nationwide, and committing $1 million to support this and other causes benefiting our communities. Grubhub will contribute $1 up to $1 million for every person who pledges at RestaurantHER.com to dine in or order delivery from women-led restaurants now through the end of Women’s History Month in March. The first $100,000 of this pledge will be contributed to WCR — Women Chefs & Restaurateurs to help advance female leadership in restaurants by providing resources for women seeking to advance culinary education and gain recognition in the food industry.
Grubhub’s contribution to WCR will sponsor:
- WCR’s scholarship program, which supports and connects women in the culinary industry through formal apprenticeships
- Development of a digital toolkit with resources to help restaurant operators build culinary leadership by running equitable kitchens and addressing gender issues in kitchen culture
“We are honored to unveil RestaurantHER to support women in leadership roles across the restaurant community,” said Matt Maloney, chief executive officer of Grubhub. “Closing the gender gap that leaves women occupying fewer than 20 percent of chef positions in the U.S. will ultimately introduce new creativity and expertise into our restaurants and no doubt elevate the entire culinary industry. We believe Grubhub has a duty to support women-run restaurants and promote more diversity, in the industry and on our platform, which will begin with RestaurantHER.”
“We’ve always believed it doesn’t have to be hard to run a fair and equitable kitchen,” said Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of Dirt Candy and treasurer of WCR Board of Directors. “This partnership puts us in a position where we can provide the tools, not just to women, but to all chefs and owners who have long wanted to do things differently but didn’t know where to start.”
To help diners locate and support restaurants run by women, Grubhub is unveiling a map on RestaurantHER.com of woman-led restaurant locations nationwide. This map — the first of its kind — encompasses restaurants owned or co-owned by a woman or a kitchen led by a woman head or executive chef. Diners can also help expand the reach of the map by submitting a woman-led restaurant. To highlight the inspiration for the initiative, Grubhub is featuring stories from chef ambassadors, including the head of woman-led restaurant Thaimee Table.
“Being a chef is a responsibility and an honor, as we get a chance to feed someone’s soul and make someone’s day,” said Hong Thaimee, chef and owner of Thaimee Table. “I give Grubhub credit for developing the RestaurantHER initiative. It’s nice to have a platform to empower women and I know a lot of my customers feel the same way.”
Punchh Adds Nine Brands
Punchh said nine new Restaurant Brands have launched customer loyalty programs using the Punchh Restaurant Marketing Cloud ™ including Fazoli’s, NORMS Restaurants, LLC/CapitalSpring, Pieology, Slim Chickens and Vitality Bowls. This expands Punchh’s network of restaurant partners to more than 100 brands across the globe, representing more than $10B in annual spend by 20 million consumers.
“Our mission at Punchh is to roll back the clock on retail by about 100 years, and create the kind of ‘corner store’ relationship between shopkeepers and customers that existed in the past,” said Shyam Rao, CEO and co-founder of Punchh. “By using our platform to invest in their customers, our clients see massive return in the form of deeper engagement, increased orders, higher average spend, and more frequent visits, providing a universally better experience.”
There are three pillars to the Punchh Marketing Cloud:
- Engage to deliver the value customers want in the way they want it. Whether it’s a loyalty program, seamless ordering and payment, referral and review campaigns, or via social media.
- Predict consumer behavior so restaurants can deliver what they need right when they need it. Through Punchh’s in-depth data analytics platform, restaurants can understand what their customers need and want and engage with them at exactly the right moment.
- Execute and manage marketing programs to customers, across any channels, easily and with full performance tracking capabilities. Even run automated, targeted campaigns presented to guests without requiring any manual action to be taken by the marketing team or store manager.
“Slim Chickens focuses on creating satisfying and meaningful relationships with our customers, said Greg Smart, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Office for Slim Chickens, Inc. As an engagement platform Punchh delivers a wider array of opportunities to not only advertise to our customer, but actually customize the experience for each individual, delivering the kind of vital and real relationships we strive for each day.”
MAiNGREDIENT’s Meat & Seafood Concept
MAiNGREDIENT® is set to launch another new concept in Iowa City – creating a sit-down dining area that has been merged with a meat and fish market concept. The new Meat & Seafood Company® business will open in Iowa City’s Northside Marketplace in the second quarter of 2018. This latest portfolio addition intends to mix up the dining scene, bringing a breath of fresh air with a new idea.
Though it may be based around the concept of a meat and/or fish market, there is nothing old-fashioned about the Meat & Seafood Company®. It will offer an approachable social setting, perfect for meeting up with friends and sharing lunch or dinner. It is hoped that both the layout and the atmosphere will create a social vibe, which encourages sharing and conversation. This can be a new place to hang out and have fun, communicating face to face over a meal.
A partnership with Stock Yards® makes the Meat & Seafood Company® dining experience even more appealing. With center-of-the-plate perfection, Stock Yards® Meat Packing Company has set the standard for gourmet beef in the Midwest including exquisite, hand-trimmed steaks and mouthwatering roasts since 1893. All the meat selections can be counted on to offer the very best in taste and quality. Stock Yards® are favored by plenty of diners who look out for the brand, knowing its dedication to quality.
Visitors who do not wish to dine in can purchase meat and fish at the counter, just like at the other stalls in the marketplace. The fish served in the premises will be the freshest in Iowa City, with the MAiNGREDIENTS®partner Boston Fish Market® warehoused minutes from O’Hare International Airport to process fresh fish every morning. A full fleet of refrigerated vehicles, including vans and semi-trailers, are shipped daily by professional drivers, so every catch is in the best possible hands.
“The deal to pull together the logistics between all partners was monumental in making this work. It was extremely important to me that all MAiNGREDIENT® brands continue to offer the highest level of employee pay and compensation as we have been committed to since day one,” said John B. Burchert, Founder and CEO.
With many restaurants offering just the federal minimum wage, this makes things challenging in comparison for MAiNGREDIENT®. Therefore, being able to put together massive deals with Fortune 500 companies, creating operational efficiency and leveraging marketing and technology is key.
“John will be the first to tell you he is not a restaurateur. He is truly an entrepreneur and businessman with a completely different outlook and vision for this industry. MAiNGREDIENT® is poised for growth and we are happy to be their exclusive partner into the future,” said Adela Hunter, Vice President, Local Sales, U.S. Foods.
“I am impressed with what our team has put together and excited in the build-up that has taken place in the Northside Marketplace. We are truly excited to bring to life a new MAiNGREDIENT® concept and creation of another 50 jobs. Our concept was designed for a Work. Live. Play. setting and this could not be more fitting,” said Burchert.
Bloom Intelligence’s Ratings Trigger
Bloom Intelligence released two new features to support its innovative Wi-Fi analytics and automated marketing platform. With the launch of its new ratings trigger and data-rich customer cards, Bloom Intelligence is increasing the ROI of its offerings for the hospitality and retail industries.
The ratings trigger capability addresses the escalating issue of negative customer reviews. While 25 percent of online reviewers are driven by a desire to share positive information about a good experience, 13% have equally strong feelings that they need to warn others about a bad one. With nearly 80 percent of Americans using reviews as their go-to information resource, a negative review can cause irreparable harm to the reputation of a business.
The Bloom Intelligence ratings trigger was developed to triage negative reviews. The trigger automatically generates an email to the reviewer inviting them back for a second try and the option to add a deal as an added incentive, as well as a means for the business to track the second visit. Once the customer has returned to the location, a second communication is triggered that invites the guest to re-rate the business. The business has the option to set a threshold for the ratings level for which they wish to send a response and time period in which they prefer to do so.
“The new Bloom Intelligence ratings trigger tells the guest that they’ve been heard and that the business wants to do something to improve the experience for everyone,” said William R. Wilson V, CEO of Bloom Intelligence. “With more consumers using reviews to make informed choices, the ability to respond to negative feedback is essential.”
An additional benefit from the proprietor’s perspective is the ability to measure service recovery. The Bloom Intelligence platform shows the difference in ratings by percent of customer improvement, both guest-by-guest and globally.
The new Customer Card feature is designed to collect more customer profile data and allow more highly targeted automated marketing campaigns. In addition to name and email, the new digital customer card will offer a full screen of information, including birth date, gender, photos and social media on which they’ve shared deals and information about the business. It will also include a history of what emails have been sent to the customer, deals delivered and those utilized.
“Think of Customer Cards as a digital rolodex, with all their information gathered in one place, that can be used to better target automated marketing efforts,” said Wilson. “This new level of data collection makes Wi-Fi analytics even more powerful and confirms presence analytics that enhance efforts to make a more personal connection with consumers.”
Master Demonstrations at French Pastry School
The French Pastry School, of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago, has added new master demonstrations from world-renowned chefs to its full-time Pastry and Baking (L’Art de la Pâtisserie) and Cake (L’Art du Gâteau) programs for 2018. Students will now also learn from visiting expert chefs who normally only teach Professional Continuing Education classes. They include Stephane Leroux, M.O.F. (French Master), Maggie Austin, Luc Baudin, Andres Lara, Christophe Morel, and Xavier Sterke.
“The mission of The French Pastry School has always been to promote excellence. We do this by ensuring our students learn from the best including world champions, master bakers, and certified master sugar artists,” says Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of the school.
For the current term, students will learn from Chef Austin and Chef Sterke. Chef Austin, a graduate of FPS’ Cake program, is an internationally renowned cake artist who counts the White House, celebrities, and royalty as her clients. Chef Sterke is a master pastry chef, chocolatier, cookbook author, and a former French palace chef who has baked gluten- and lactose-free for over 20 years.
For the Fall term, students will learn from five additional world-renowned chefs. Chef Leroux, M.O.F., is considered the one of best pastry chefs and chocolatiers in the world. Chef Baudin studied at Les Compagnons du Devoir and opened La Mutinerie Patisserie. Chef Lara, a graduate of FPS, is a master pastry chef known for his innovative techniques from around the world. Chef Morel is a master chocolatier who took first place in chocolate at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in 2005.
“With small classes and an 18-1 student-faculty ratio, students receive invaluable learning opportunities and personal interactions with world-class instructors,” said Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., co-founder.
Uber Eats Expands in Canada
Uber Canada is announcing the arrival of Uber Eats in 13 communities across Canada, including 10 in Ontario. As part of Uber Eats’ Canada’s biggest single-day launch, more Canadian communities will have the opportunity to get the food they love, delivered. Uber Eats will now begin servicing the following Ontario communities:
“Launching Uber Eats in 13 new markets means that even more Canadians can get the food they want delivered to them at Uber speed,” said Dan Park, General Manager, Uber Eats Canada. “With a selection of local and national favourites, Uber Eats offers a fun and easy way to access a wide array of food options. Your favourite sushi roll, bacon cheeseburger, kale salad and more are all conveniently available in one place and delivered fast and fresh.”
Starting at 9am ET, Ontario food lovers will be able to enjoy eats from some of the top restaurants in the province, including The Windmills Restaurant and Catering in Kingston.
“Windmills is pleased to partner with Uber Eats to bring high quality meals to Kingstonians front door,” said Windmills owner Ed Smith.
Uber Eats is an app that helps bring millions of hungry people in more than 200 cities to order the foods they’re craving from the local restaurants they love with just a tap, and have them delivered right to their doors.
Partnering restaurants can tap into the Uber delivery network to expand their businesses and reach a new network of potential customers. The launch of Uber Eats in these communities also presents flexible earning opportunities for delivery partners.
FoodLogiQ and Testo Form Partnership
FoodLogiQ, LLC, and Testo, Inc. are partnering on portable HACCP and IoT capabilities with the food industry’s leading supplier management, traceability and recall management SaaS platform, raising the bar for food safety and quality around the world. The partnership paves the way for an integration between Testo’s Saveris Quality Management capabilities and the FoodLogiQ Connect platform.
“Imagine a day when you could be notified electronically when a food product goes out of temperature range anywhere in your supply chain or connect bluetooth data loggers directly into a traceability platform. That day is today,” said FoodLogiQ CEO Dean Wiltse. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Testo, a global giant in automated quality management, and look forward to enabling our customers to take full advantage of this partnership.”
“It is a truly remarkable time to be at the cross-section of food safety and technology,” said Bill Pezza, President of Testo North America. “Testo, together with FoodLogiQ, is innovating the food industry and working to create a safer, more efficient food supply chain around the world. This joint partnership will completely change the way food companies manage their quality and food safety programs.”
Industry benefits of the partnership between FoodLogiQ and Testo include:
Fully Connected Digital HACCP Capabilities: The food industry has been plagued by the inefficiency of paper-based processes and highly reactive safety procedures. The FoodLogiQ-Testo partnership will connect a HACCP-certified measurement data monitoring system with the industry’s leading food safety SaaS platform.
Temperature Monitoring and Quality Notifications: The global food chain is expanding and food is covering a greater distance between supplier and consumer. Using Testo temperature probes, food companies can easily measure temperatures and set predetermined limits for different types of products or locations. When those products go outside those limits, anywhere from the loading dock to the freezer case, FoodLogiQ’s platform will automatically push quality incident notifications to anyone who needs to be informed.
Proactive Product Movement Monitoring: With consumer demand and regulatory requirements looming, the need for a better understanding of product movement across the supply chain is driving traceability initiatives to the forefront for leading food companies. Pairing mobile temperature sensors with traceability data will allow food companies to pinpoint exactly where and when in the chain of custody if product goes out of temperature range.
Bite Squad’s New Loyalty Program
Bite Squad is launching a new loyalty program, Bite Club, that offers customers recognition and rewards for using the online and mobile food ordering and delivery service. The completely customized loyalty program gives customers the opportunity to earn virtual badges, discounts, sweepstakes and more with every order they place. Bite Club membership will be available to eligible Bite Squad customers, in all markets where the service operates, beginning March 1.
“Our business has grown because of of the loyalty of an amazing customer base,” said Craig Key, VP of Marketing for Bite Squad. “So we created Bite Club to be a really unique rewards program that allows users to earn fun badges and unlock rewards as they reach certain milestones with us, like ordering on the app multiple times. Or ordering outside of normal lunch and dinner hours.”
The Bite Club loyalty program is tailored to each customers’ individual journey with the food delivery service. Designed to show appreciation to loyal customers in an entertaining and engaging way, it offers members the opportunity to earn badges and rewards that relate to their personal user experience. Badge categories range from ‘Frequent Foodie Badges’ that are based on the number of orders placed, to ‘Adventure Badges’ that are awarded for trying a variety of restaurants. Each order placed brings members closer to new badges, and helps them level up to uncover discounts and special prizes. Badges earned are featured on a customized, dynamic Badge Board, which is visible on the member’s personal Bite Club web page.
To join Bite Club, customers need to place a minimum of three orders through the Bite Squad website or app, and the company will unlock their first badge. Customers already eligible (those who have previously placed three or more orders), can place another order in March, or after, to unlock access to the loyalty program. All new Bite Club members will receive a welcome email with their first badge and access to their personal badge board.