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Entrepreneurial f The Premier Magazine For Food Entrepreneurs


May 2018 Issue 23



What You Need to Know About Money

Keep Money in Your Pocket This Year



The Do’s & Don’ts for Lasting Success


Don’t Overpay for Your Brick & Mortar

Andrew Zimmern

Don’t Be The Best, Be The Only

Entrepreneurial f Che


May 2018 Volume 3 / Issue #23

Publisher Rennew Media, LLC Editor Shawn Wenner Contributing Editor Katharine Rankin Staff Writers Jenna Rimensnyder, Jay Michael, Marie Reynolds, Chloe Friedman Graphic Designer Rusdi Saleh Cover Andrew Zimmern Cover Photographer David Hogsholt Contributors Sue Reninger, Jeff Grandfield & Dale Willerton, Yvonne Tsui, Ira M. Gostin, Steve Moskowitz Special Thanks Andrew Zimmern, David Choi, Sheila G. Mains, Kristina Quintos at The Brooks Group, Natalie Rose Hilvert at Wagstaff Worldwide, Susan Timm at Knife & Fork Media Group


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Contact Us Entrepreneurial Chef 151 N. Maitland Ave #947511 Maitland, FL 32751

The opinions of columnists and contributors are their own. Publication of their writing does not imply endorsement by Entrepreneurial Chef and/or Rennew Media, LLC. Sources are considered reliable and information is verified as much as possible, however, inaccuracies may occur and readers should use the information at their own risk. Links embedded within the publication may be affiliate links, which means Entrepreneurial Chef will earn a commission at no additional cost to our readers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any fashion without the expressed consent of Rennew Media, LLC. For advertising information, letters to the editor, or submission inquiries, please email: Contact@EntrepreneurialChef.Com. Entrepreneurial Chef donates a portion of advertising & editorial space to C-CAP, CORE, NRAEF & Share Our Strength: No Kid Hungry. All Rights Reserved Š 2018 Entrepreneurial Chef Published by Rennew Media, LLC


The point of sale that serves your business.

Bakery • Café • Restaurant • Food Truck


Contents Features



Sheila G. Mains An Empire Built On Brownies


Andrew Zimmern Don’t Be The Best, Be The Only


entrepreneurial chef

David Choi

“I sold my car, cleared my accounts & took the leap”

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Contents Advice

10 Investment 101 for Restaurateurs

50 Tools of the Trade with Alicia Wolding

72 The Do’s & Don’ts of Franchising 6

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16 Why Your Menu Should Be Supported by ThirdParty Accreditation

64 Chef Tenants: Beware of Landlords with 13-Inch Rulers

76 “Plate It Like You Mean It” Contest Winners

30 Six Ways to Refresh Your Tabletop this Spring

68 Maximizing Tax Deductions Under the New Tax Law

82 National Restaurant Association Special


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Editor’s Note


hen launching the Entrepreneurial Chef platform and magazine, there was a “dream list” I created of people I’d love to interview. Among the list was one Andrew Zimmern. With his media domination and his practice of teaching entrepreneurship to the next generation, I knew he’d be a great feature. When the opportunity arose to speak with Zimmern, you better believe I was like a kid in a candy story – and I barely slept the night before. After crafting the questions and jumping on a call, we were in the throes of a discussion centered around his journey and food entrepreneurship. The primary lesson I walk away with, and hope you do the same, was all about being the “only” as opposed to the “best.” With his examples of Christina Tosi and Dominique Ansel, who both did something so unique they became the “only” in their niche, Zimmern illustrated the value of finding your “thing,” and not worrying about the competition because you’re the only one – a brilliant strategy. It was a bucket list conversation indeed and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading. As always, I hope you enjoy the latest issue and snag some fresh ideas, inspiration, and actionable advice.


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Investment 101 for Restaurateurs By: Ira M. Gostin, MBA


entrepreneurial chef


ou have a great concept idea for a restaurant. You have the drive, the passion, and the kitchen expertise, but last you looked, the bank account was

missing a few zeroes you need to pull this off. So, you decide to go after investors. There are different kinds of investors in

business: friends and family, early-stage investors, venture capitalists, silent partners and majority partners to name a few. And of course, the ever-popular “max out the credit cards.� For the purposes of this article, I am

You have Mr. or Ms. Investor who

going to discuss how to prepare for

wants to finance your dreams and

an outside investor. This is a person

bring your new concept to reality.

that came to you by some means

Here are seven tips to ensure that

other than your Aunt Doris, who

you have the business chops to

thinks you are an amazing cook

go with those kitchen chops while

(you are, but let’s get past that).

putting a deal together. entrepreneurial chef


Know Your Sh*t! You need to know your business concept inside and out. When someone asks you how many turns you estimate a night, you need to have that number – and by each day of the week. You need to know food costs across the board. You need to know your proposed labor costs. This is all in addition to knowing how to put a great meal on the table. Saying “I’ll get back to you with that information” doesn’t usually fly when investors are asking questions.

Bleed Your Business This is your life, at least for the time being. Telling an investor that you are going to hire an executive chef isn’t usually an answer unless your last name is Puck or Flay, but we are assuming that it isn’t. You will be expected to be the CEO and head chef while leading a team of professionals to cover all aspects of running the business.

The Numbers Speak You have to know the numbers forwards, backward, sideways and every way. You must be able to communicate the return on investment. Can you give an IRR (Internal rate of return is the measurement of the investment cash flow)? Are you able to show key performance indicators that an investor wants to see? If not, find a graduate student at the closest business school to help you with your pro formas. You should never utter the words “trust me, this is going to be epic” to an investor. When they review the numbers, they will tell you how successful it will be. 12

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Create an Executive Summary Your executive summary should be no more than two pages. It should feature these sections: Introduction of your concept, a brief SWOT analysis, a basic pro forma financials table, a brief introduction with your qualifications, brief marketing, and “the Ask.” The Ask is what you are proposing from the investor. What you want and what they get. You must be specific.

Create a Pitch Deck A “pitch deck” is still the preferred communications tool for investors. It’s a brief PowerPoint presentation that is either presented electronically or as a PDF document. It expands upon the executive summary, which often accompanies the deck. It’s a corporate level presentation that outlines all aspects of the deal, the potential return, the investment and what makes you unique. It should also feature an expanded SWOT analysis, this is the “drill down” from other information presented in the executive summary. Do not get carried away and post your menu on five slides, or bios of your team across several slides. You should present the concept, a picture or two, highlights from your team and a timeline with milestones. Getting help is a great idea if this is out of your comfort zone. Presenting a poorly constructed presentation is just as bad as not presenting one at all.

Create Your Tribe Pick your team to take advantage of the strengths. You need to schedule time for being the CEO – you can’t successfully run a restaurant only in the kitchen. Creating an advisory board is one way to build a team. One dinner a month for a handful of advisors is cheap for a group that can help you move your dream forward. In business, 1+1=3 when you utilize experts in fields other than your own.

Communications Leads to Success Your work with your investors doesn’t end when you cash the check and open the restaurant. It’s just the starting point. Create a small newsletter with your investor group to inform them of your progress and milestone achievement. This can be something you email every month. Present quarterly reports from your bookkeeper or accountant as quickly as you can. They will want to see your progress, and if you are able to get this to them before it is asked for, even better. Encourage your investors to eat at the restaurant and solicit their feedback. Ask for referrals. This is not the time to be shy about asking for business. Marketing needs to be done all week long, not just when it’s slow. I recommend hiring a front of the house person who can run the reservations, greet customers and is qualified to do your marketing. Of course, you can always hire an agency to handle your marketing! One more note on marketing: create campaigns with multiple tactics that integrate the messaging, not scattered focus buying ads all over town.

Whatever you do, harness your strengths, build a team to support your weaknesses and turn your passions, dreams and work ethic into a successful business! Photo Credits: Sergey Nivens

Ira M. Gostin is the president and founder of 120 West Strategic Communications. He is accredited in public relations, has an MBA with an emphasis in marketing and has graduated from the advanced leadership program at Columbia University and the financial analysis program at NYU. In 2017 he was named Top Chief Marketing Officer in the Western U.S. by Corporate Vision Magazine. 120 West specializes in client business growth fueled by strategy, marketing and communications. More information is available at

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Why Your Menu Should Be Supported by Third-Party

Accreditation By: Sue Reninger


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The food industry is independently unique, and today, consumers are more educated and thinking more critically than ever. In fact, many have begun asking whether the industry and the food businesses it encapsulates are doing their part to maintain the integrity guests so desperately desire. Are we doing our part to lead guests to better, more healthful and more sustainable choices? Are we offering guests the food from our menus because we truly believe in its inherent good?

To best serve guests, today’s chefs and their menus need to reflect the business as a brand, but also its mission and values, overall. For many, that means turning to the power of third-party certifications. Top certifications in the food world include, but are not limited to, a handful of the select elite:

USDA Organic This relevant certification regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced. Why this certification is important: A 2016 poll from the Pew Research Center found that 55 percent of Americans believe that organic food is healthier than conventional. This is particularly true of organically grown fruits and vegetables. The market reached $43 billion in 2016, and a 2017 survey found that 82 percent of American homes stock organic food. In considering certified organic ingredients versus foods simply labeled as ‘organic,’ consider the fact that a certification requires that farmers and handlers document their processes and get inspected every year. This ultimately allows you to make an educated and informed choice for your restaurant. entrepreneurial chef


Non-GMO Project Verified

Certified Gluten-Free The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is dedicated to

The Non-GMO Project is an

providing certification services to

independent verifier of products

producers of gluten-free products

made according to best practices

using quality assessment and control

for avoiding genetically modified

measures throughout production, in

organisms in the U.S. and Canada.

order to provide consumer assurance

Why this certification is im-

of the safety of their foods.

portant: A non-GMO market in-

Why this certification is important:

sight report released by Mintel in

With rigorous standards ensuring no

February 2017 states 34 percent

cross contamination, a Gluten-Free

of Baby Boomers and 29 percent

Certification oftentimes means you

of Millennials surveyed avoid ge-

can cater to a still growing communi-

netically modified foods in their

ty of foodies. For guests not partici-

diet, which supports the fact that

pating in an exclusively gluten-free

this mindset spans generations.

diet, your commitment will help them

Research demonstrates today’s

perceive your restaurant as one that is

restaurant guests are actively

both tolerant of these special dietary

seeking out non-GMO foods, and

needs and inclusive of their friends

the ingredients on your menu can

and family who rely on a gluten-free

mirror their concern.



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Certified Humane Administered by independent nonprofit Humane Farm Animal Care, this program ensures that animals raised for dairy, lamb, poultry or beef products are treated humanely and with their welfare in mind. Why this certification is important: Packaged Facts survey data from February through March 2017 show that 58 percent of U.S. consumers are more concerned about animal welfare than they were just a few years ago. This certification shows them you are listening, and even more, doing your part to support a sustainable food system.

Certified Vegan Products Certified Vegan speak most prominently to a population of food lovers interested in vegan products. The certification ultimately aims to help vegans shop and eat with confidence. It also helps companies and restaurants recognize a growing vegan market and brings the word Vegan—and the lifestyle it represents—into the mainstream. Why this certification is important: While your restaurant does not need a certification to wear a vegan label, ensuring the ingredients you use on your menu have integrity behind them is important to restaurant-goers. Show them you align with their values and respect their need for complete transparency. Above all, the certifications and conversations surrounding food should demonstrate to food-

service leaders the way guests view nutritional information is vastly different from what it once was, and what it will be in the years to come. In reflecting upon whether your menu should showcase the trends and certifications that have frequently spotted the food industry, consider the business’ authenticity through the guest’s eyes. If your menu no longer speaks to your core guest or aligns with their values, it won’t be long before your brand lags behind your competitive counterparts. Today, third-party certifications can help affirm your establishment is committed to transparency and authenticity. Furthermore, third-party certifier scan act as strong partners in bringing a menu and dining experience that match what you envision for your brand to reality. For brands especially focused on the up and coming generations of guests, certifications can help shape your image, convey the values your company stands for and, as a result, build loyalty. This outward reflection of your establishment’s internally stated morals is one avenue by which you can show shoppers you are committed to their wellbeing, while still boasting an impressive menu. Photo Credits: Freshidea

Sue Reninger is a Brand Strategist & Managing Partner at RMD Advertising, an integrated public relations, social media, digital, brand strategy, & crisis management agency in Columbus, Ohio that serves global & national category leaders in the food industry. Connect with her at

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Sheila G. Mains:

An Empire Built On Brownies By: Chloe Friedman


entrepreneurial chef

Sheila G. Mains Signature Brownies have been featured at Disney’s theme parks, bakeries, and catered events. Her Cookie Dough Brownie was the best-selling dessert three years straight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney MGM Studios). In 1992, forty-something Mains was laid off from her CFO position at an industrial advertising agency. Finding herself at a crossroads, she took stock of her strengths. Her training was in finance. Her passion, though, was baking. Her fudgy, rich brownies always received two thumbs up from friends and co-workers. So she thought, why not trade bean counting for baking?   Brownie Brittle went from  having 200,000 bags on store shelves in 2011 to having an estimated 40 million bags on stores shelves today. Here are insights from her journey and advice for those looking to follow suit. entrepreneurial entrepreneurial chefchef 23



After conceiving the idea for Brownie Brittle, how did you get started?

First, I handed out samples to friends and family members who I knew would be brutally honest with me. When the response was a unanimous thumbs-up, I knew I had something special. They didn’t just like Brownie Brittle; they loved it. And that was very motivating. Next, came the challenge of finding a facility that could produce Brownie Brittle. It was no easy task since it is a very labor-intensive product to produce. I had to walk away from more than one facility due to either pricing or quality control issues. Once production was in place, the next project was packaging and label design.

When bringing a product to market, you have to take the emotion out of it and run it like the business it is.


entrepreneurial chef


What was entailed to create and package the first round of product?

The first generation of packaging was a plastic clamshell container with a label on top and a label on the bottom. It was the least expensive option, but it didn’t protect the flavor and aroma of the product. That’s when we moved to standup pouches. Even the stand-up pouches went through their own metamorphosis. At first, it was a label applied to the front and back of stock pouches. It required the least upfront costs, but the actual unit cost was outrageous. It took outside investors to finally move to the pre-printed stand-up pouches we have today. As for the process of initially producing Brownie Brittle, I spent countless hours working on the production floor making sure the batter was being spread evenly, the toppings were plentiful, the bake times were just right, and the bags were all properly sealed.

4 you grew?

Social media was another marketing tool we pulled out of our toolbox. It’s amazing how it can level the playing field when you’re up against brands with huge budgets.


What was the hardest part about bringing your product to market?

It was all hard. Owning your own business is about problem-solving every single day. But if you love what you, and you believe in your product it becomes a labor of love. Given your experience, for someone with an idea for a specialty food product, what’s your advice for them? It’s very simple; believe in yourself and your product and never give up. And be sure you are ready to commit yourself fully to this journey because there will be countless sleepless nights, unending hours of work, financial strain, difficult decisions and plenty of opportunities for learning. In the end, you’ll be stronger and so will your business

What was the original sales and marketing strategy, and how has it evolved as

Three words; demo, demo, and demo. When you’ve created a product that no one has ever heard of before, it’s a must. And whatever the cost, it was always well worth it. Demoing the product worked every time. We sampled the product at numerous consumer events and handed out coupons attached to a list of retailers who carried Brownie Brittle. Social media was another marketing tool we pulled out of our toolbox. It’s amazing how it can level the playing field when you’re up against brands with huge budgets. We were able to engage with our consumers and build a strong fan base. And we continue to build that base and strengthen those relationships.


Was there a point when your business began to “takeoff” so to speak?

It was July 2012. I was in NYC for an editor’s event when I received a call from our head of sales. We had just shipped two trailer loads of Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle to Costco’s Texas region a couple weeks before, and he was calling to tell me that they had just placed an order for another two trailer loads. I knew that was it, the tipping point. Soon, the other Costco regions saw the movement, and they started ordering our Brownie Brittle. Costco customers then began calling and emailing us asking what other flavors we had and where they could find them. We all but drove them to their local grocery stores. entrepreneurial chef


I spent countless hours working on the production floor making sure the batter was being spread evenly, the toppings were plentiful, the bake times were just right, and the bags were all properly sealed.


entrepreneurial chef

Be sure you are ready to commit yourself fully to this journey because there will be countless sleepless nights, unending hours of work, financial strain, difficult decisions and plenty of opportunities for learning.


What’s one business mistake you made along the way and the lesson you learned?

Photo Credits: Tina Rupp

In the words of the late great Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I had the misfortune of working with some unscrupulous individuals who almost cost me my entire business. The signs were there, all the bells and whistles were going off, and I ignored them. I had to overcome those experiences emotionally and financially. When bringing a product to market, you have to take the emotion out of it and run it like the business it is.


Knowing what you know today, if you were to start another specialty food business from scratch, what would you do differently? That’s a tough question since I would have an advantage that I didn’t have when launching Brownie Brittle – the capital to do things right the first time. Many of the decisions I made in launching Brownie Brittle were based on what I could afford to do, and not what I needed to do. I would definitely base my decisions on the needs of the business. entrepreneurial entrepreneurial chefchef 27


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Six Ways

to Refresh Your Tabletop this Spring Sponsored by: Libbey® Foodservice Whether breaking the rules entirely, or reinventing tradition with a new twist, spring is a great time to shake up what you’re serving guests – keeping them coming back for more. Here are six fresh ideas to bring something new to your tabletop. 30

entrepreneurial chef


MIX IT UP Adding in just a few new elements to your existing tableware collection could introduce a dramatically different look. Appetizers, shared plates, desserts and chef’s specials are all great opportunities to mix in some trend-forward stunners to your standard tableware lineup. Libbey’s extensive and growing dinnerware selection provides vibrant new colors, shapes and textures that are made to mix and match for virtually endless combinations.

Add authenticity and depth to your presentations with expressive dinnerware from Libbey, with a range of colors, shapes and materials.

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TAP INTO THE TACTILE Enticing guests through all the senses, including the tactile, is another way to add something new to the experience. More people are open to trying food and drink with unusual textures, according to Mintel’s 2018 Global Food & Drink Trends. You can also put guests in touch with a richer sensory experience with your flatware. It might not register consciously for guests, but its feel, weight and design is one of their first impressions at your table.

Deliver a higher gauge of style and substance with distinctive flatware, such as World® Tableware Equity from Libbey – plus a bold new 18/10 selection being unveiled later this month. 32

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Constellation™ dinnerware in Eos™, Libbey’s brightest-ever white porcelain, makes an ideal backdrop for this macaron with raspberry puree swipe and decadent brownie.

3 SERVE A BRIGHT TAKE ON FRESHNESS According to a Nielsen Global Health and Wellness Survey, 32% of Millennials and 21% of Boomers said they’d pay a premium for “healthier” products like natural and minimally processed foods. At the same time, they want a balance of health and indulgence. The right tableware – especially clean, minimalist designs – helps show off the vibrant colors of your healthy ingredients, even when used in more decadent choices. Make them the star on Libbey’s brightest-ever white porcelain, Constellation™ dinnerware. With endless mix-and-match potential, Universal Accessories and versatility for any occasion, it’s the brightest choice in white dinnerware. It’s also the only dinnerware featuring Microban® technology that inhibits odor- and stain-causing bacteria. Simply put, the freshest experience. entrepreneurial chef



QUENCH THE IMAGINATION WITH A WATER SERVICE UPGRADE The standard water service is an often-overlooked opportunity to stand out and impress. Show guests you care about every detail by selecting upscale glassware alternatives to elevate the experience. Stemless glasses, goblets or even smaller stemmed wine glasses are a great way to add a new level of sophistication. 34

entrepreneurial chef

You can add color and energy to your water service with fresh infusions that are as healthy as they are vibrant, shown here in the Libbey Kinetix water bottle with metal lid.


INFUSE NEW PROFIT OPPORTUNITY With a booming demand for high-quality tea, the timeless drink is a rising star of the tabletop. It’s also a hot moneymaker. A premium selection allows operators to easily charge $10 to $15 per cup, and some chefs say they’ve seen it create up to a 400% increase in tea sales. Accompanying your quality loose-leaf teas with elevated table-side presentations further enhances perceived value. Libbey’s extensive collections of hot beverage products let you create a dramatic presentation that will sell itself from across the room.

Libbey’s new Syracuse® Smoke pairs with World® Driftstone and Pebblebrook for a dramatically contrasted look, ideal for a stunning stand-alone tea experience. entrepreneurial chef



Guests are looking for more flexibility on when, where and how they dine. Serve guests wherever they want to go with durable, beautiful new go-anywhere products. Offering al fresco dining can increase your restaurant’s total revenue by up to 30 percent, according to a study from the Simons Advisory Group. New melamine, premium plastic and aluminum serveware options from Libbey give the superior durability needed for outdoor or high-volume environments, along with lighter weight that makes them easier for staff to carry. The best part? They look like real porcelain and glass, letting you mix it in as needed and still have a consistent look. 36

entrepreneurial chef

Infinium® premium plastic serveware and drinkware are great options for the patio, rooftop and other outdoor settings.


To explore more ways that Libbey’s fresh tabletop solutions help you turn today’s trends into amazing guest experiences and big profits, visit Libbey at NRA booth #3101 South Hall, May 19–22, McCormick Place, Chicago. You can also ask your Libbey sales representative after May 22 for a copy of our new 2018 product introduction LookBook for more inspiration, or visit entrepreneurial chef


Andrew Zimmern:

Don’t Be The Best, Be The Only By: Shawn Wenner


entrepreneurial chef

entrepreneurial chef



four-time James Beard Award winning TV personality, chef, writer

and teacher, Andrew Zimmern is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator,

executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel, Zimmern has explored cultures around the world promoting impactful ways to think about, create, and live with food. Zimmern knew early on he was destined for a career in food. After fast-tracking through restaurants, he eventually crashed and burned, lost everything, and began roaming the streets as an addict. Incredibly, Zimmern’s internal fortitude and a newfound commitment to sobriety transformed his life and pushed him to redefine his career in food. 40

entrepreneurial chef

With a new way of living, Zimmern’s quickly realized the four walls of the kitchen didn’t jive with his sobriety, and he sold his restaurant partnership and volunteered at a local glossy monthly magazine, TV and radio station. Within months he became a featured reporter doing live local news, became Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s dining critic and restaurant columnist, and hosted a drive-time radio show. By 2003, Zimmern created a test pilot for the show that ultimately became Bizarre Foods and launched his media empire. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Zimmern continued to expand his brand with things like Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen, a quick service concept, Passport Hospitality, a restaurant concept and design company, Intuitive Content, a full-service production company, KZ ProVisioning, a meal-service company for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and a partnership with Robert Montwaid to develop an experiential food hall concept. Amazingly, Zimmern attributes his high levels of productivity by “trying to do less and less” each day. A counter-intuitive approach to expanding one’s footprint, but no doubt a recipe for success. Along the way, Zimmern has racked up nominations for 11 prestigious James Beard Awards, and won awards for “Outstanding Food Personality/Host,” “Best TV program on location,” and “Outstanding Personality/Host.” Zimmern was also named one of “America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food” by The Daily Meal, one of the “30 Most Influential People in Food” by Adweek and as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.” Through it all, Zimmern finds time to foster the next generation by teaching entrepreneurship and offering insights on food issues to students at The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation at Babson College. In our interview, we explore the beginning of Zimmern’s career, the attributes he credits for his start in television, what most entrepreneurs get wrong in business, and his reason for being the “only” versus the “best.”

& QA The



Andrew Zimmern

When looking back, what was your entrepreneurial path like?

All my life, I’ve sort of been an independent contractor in the restaurant business. As my career grew, and I became a partner in restaurants, I realized my natural affinity for business development. I had a bit of a superpower in terms of knowing what people were thinking, feeling, wanting, and talking about. It got me to start a couple of businesses – some successful, some not – [but] I crashed and burned and wound up working in kitchens again. After six or seven years, I realized my spiritual development was not jiving with a continued career inside the four walls of the kitchen, and I saw a huge hole in the food media space. A food revolution was happening, but on television and in magazines chefs were talking about

techniques and flavors from around the world without context. [At that time], I saw we increasingly defined ourselves by our differences in the world – religion, sexuality, skin color, language – and not by our commonalities. So, I merged those two ideas to tell stories about culture through food that were predicated on increasing our patience, tolerance, and understanding with one another. I left restaurants to work at a radio station, TV station, and magazine. I felt the doors were going to close very quickly and I had to create a syllabus to achieve my goal of having a TV show that preached my mantra of exploring culture through food. With goal in hand, and not taking no for an answer, I kept plugging away doing any TV or writing gig I could, and drive time radio. One thing led to another, and eventually, the Travel Channel said, “Yes, we like your idea.” entrepreneurial chef



While venturing on your own, what was this period like and how long until you felt comfortable? You keep faking it to make it. When I left restaurants 20 years ago, I started a company called Food Works, so from an operational stand point, I could take checks as a contractor. Paying myself through Food Works was more affordable as a young entrepreneur to make ends meet. As far as feeling comfortable? I still don’t feel comfortable; I think that speaks to the entrepreneurial fire.

It’s the most democratic time in our lives for creating content, and the models for success have such variety.


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What do you believe helped you get started in television?

My determination and grit. The TV space is crowded. For every real job on air, there are a thousand people a month trying to crack into the space. At the very beginning, it’s being able to muscle your way in the room and differentiate yourself from everybody else who’s been in the room before you. One of my business partners has a great line, and we use this in our business, “You don’t need to be the best, you need to be the only.”

I’m the most competitive person I know, but I’m not playing the game against other people, I’m playing the game against myself not to lose. It’s the most democratic time in our lives for creating content, and the models for success have such variety. The case studies are there for anyone who does the research, and doing the research and understanding the competitive environment is really important. There’s no better time in the world for someone to be making content than right now.

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For those looking to break into television, what’s your advice for them?

Today, it’s different; it’s much easier. I tell [people] all the time, go out and do it. Why work for giant media companies when their world is changing every day? The media world is splitting so quickly it’s hard for people like me to compete. Everything is tilting toward digital, and it’s so easy – a hundred dollars and a laptop, and you’re a media company. You can build your own website, shoot content on the phone, use an app to edit your material, and load it onto your site.

Do you think there’s a formula for someone to be a successful food entrepreneur?

There are two ways to go about it; solve a problem that exists or create something so unique that it’s the only, and not necessarily the best. When it comes to food entrepreneurship, I look at [people] like Christina Tosi who built Milk Bar into a massive business, and Dominique Ansel who invented the cronut. Both Christina and Dominic are extremely talented and would have made a lot of money and had great careers as pastry chefs, but as entrepreneurs, they began to make a difference when they came up with something that was the only as opposed to the best. There’s a much better chance of succeeding being the only than being the best. Now, after you create that thing you have to manage it, and managing success and staying relevant is often harder than actually getting there. entrepreneurial chef


There are two ways to go about it; solve a problem that exists or create something so unique that it’s the only, and not necessarily the best.


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What’s your process for generating new business ideas?

I’m constantly ripping pages out of magazines and putting them on the wall in my office. I’m up till one in the morning every night, and the last hour and a half of my night is surfing the internet for inspiration – you never know where it comes from. I get ideas, thoughts, and feelings, and we start banging them around. It’s really an obsessive-compulsive mind that creates it all.


After generating ideas, how do you evaluate they will be worth the time, energy, and money? We worked for years to formulate a deal filter. [At one point], we spent six months to get

aggregated values attached to everyone’s time and effort on every deal we had at all three companies. The reason was to take an average that we could apply very quickly, with real numbers and values, to a new opportunity so we could immediately decide whether or not it was worth doing. The deal filters are multiple stage processes with roles and responsibilities by job position. Whether [a potential deal] comes externally, or it’s from our biz dev team, it can be touched by all the people that need to touch it way in advance of ever signing a piece of paper. A big problem companies have, especially entrepreneurs, is the deal becomes so sexy and so impossible to put down that they forget it has to be operationalized and executed. Enrolling team members before you sign the deal is crucial. My role as a company owner and entrepreneur isn’t to force people into thinking that I’m right. My job is to enroll my employees in the same vision I have so they’re as desperate to do the things that I want to do as I am. entrepreneurial chef



From a productivity standpoint, how do you get it all done?

I do it all by trying to do less and less. Every day I remind myself that my job is to work on my business, not in my business. The more I let go and let others do things, and the more I remain doing what my superpower is as a visionary and creative entity, the better off my businesses are.


How about staff productivity, any specifics to keep their energy flowing? One thing we instituted is a policy of two emails, and then you pick up the phone. Because people rely on email too much. Everyone who works for me, if they’re on an issue or something requiring more than two emails, they pick up the phone. [Also], I eliminated half of the meetings we have. Meetings are very helpful for certain things, but we get so wrapped up in meetings there’s no time for anyone to actually get the work done.


abide by?

From a leadership standpoint, any philosophies you

I’m a big Simon Sinek guy, and I loved his book Leaders Eat Last – tremendous value. I’m growing three businesses with very serious goals attached, and the people who work [for me] know the sacrifices and things I do to help 46

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A big problem companies have, especially entrepreneurs, is the deal becomes so sexy and so impossible to put down that they forget it has to be operationalized and executed. us all build something together, and that’s been a valuable thing. When I’m in town, I’m the first one here and the last one to leave – people see that. And I treat people with dignity and respect, both privately and publicly. People want to be appreciated and know their voice is heard. The other thing is we promote disagreements. It’s great to disagree because we come up with something better in the end.

Every day I remind myself that my job is to work on my business, not in my business.

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How do you personally define success?

I avoid trying to define it; I’m just trying to enjoy my life. But I do think I’m the most competitive person I know, but I’m not playing the game against other people, I’m playing the game against myself not to lose.


When looking back, any profound lessons learned that help guide you today?

There’s a great saying I learned in recovery, “I’d rather be happy than be right.” I’d rather have peace of mind then to prove I’m correct about 48

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The biggest thing in the whole world is that goals and dreams are completely different. something, and there’s a business application as well. One of my mentors, Danny Meyer, said being right gets in the way of us being generous. For Meyer, being right is completely irrelevant. In the course of the day, you have to do the things that are the most generous and that serve our communities. If you keep those two totems up, and you combine that with excellence and uniqueness, it’s a recipe that can’t fail.


To the aspiring food entrepreneurs out there, what’s your advice for them?

The biggest thing in the whole world is that goals and dreams are completely different. You take a dream, operationalize it, put some dates and names against it, and then you have a goal. Once you have a goal, you can actually create a sequencing chart, step by step, to get there. Then, every day you try to cross something off that list. Photo Credits: Adrian Danciu, Cambria Harkey, Steve Henke, Travel Channel

My role as a company owner and entrepreneur isn’t to force people into thinking that I’m right. My job is to enroll my employees in the same vision I have so they’re as desperate to do the things that I want to do as I am. entrepreneurial chef


Tools of the Trade with Alicia Wolding By: Jenna Rimensnyder Alicia Wolding, otherwise known as “The Girl with The Whisk Tattoo,” is one of Datz’s star pastry chefs. A reoccurring guest on Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend talk show, Wolding is the local expert on all things pastry. We asked Wolding what tools she couldn’t go without using in the kitchen, and she delivered with spunk. 50

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Vollrath Piano Whisk

I’m not “The Girl with the Whisk Tattoo” for nothing. It’s a vital tool for incorporating air and emulsifying ingredients.

Ateco Pastry Bags

Disposable ones are my favorite. I love the texture when I pipe leaves with a plastic bag that I’ve cut a “leaf tip” out of.

Tablecraft Bench Scraper

I use this for everything from scraping the bench, to decorating cakes. I love how smooth it makes the sides of my cakes and how it assists in creating sharp edges.

Ateco Pastry Bags

Disposable ones are my favorite. I love the texture when I pipe leaves with a plastic bag that I’ve cut a “leaf tip” out of. entrepreneurial chef


Vollrath Rubber Spatula

It’s heatproof, It’s firm but flexible, and it’s perfect for mixing frostings.

Taylor Digital Scale

I measure everything by weight, grams to be specific. Baking is a science, and accuracy is key! 52

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Ticonderoga Pencil The amount of notes I make is about equivalent to the amount of mistakes I make. Easy for editing any recipe on the spot.

Ateco Revolving Cake Stand

I’ve seen old-school chefs decorate cakes by spinning them on their hands and it’s not pretty. These stands make decorating much easier.

My iPhone

Whether it’s looking at pictures or taking pictures, my iPhone is always by my side. The timer and calculator apps are in constant use. Music is also streaming to ensure an ideal baking environment.

Hobart Stand Mixer

I couldn’t imagine making buttercream without a machine powered mixer. I also use it to make large batches of various doughs and batters every single day.

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David Choi:

“I sold my car, cleared my accounts & took the leap” By: Marie Reynolds


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perating a popular food truck-turned fastcasual restaurant, Seoul Taco founder David Choi has always valued the sense of community that a restaurant or food vendor can create as much as making great, authentic food.

Since launching his Korean-Mexican fusion truck in 2011, Choi has opened brick-and-mortar Seoul Taco locations in St. Louis, Chicago, Columbia, Mo., Champaign, Ill., and most recently Chesterfield, Mo. With a focus on neighborhoods with large student and young-professional populations, he hopes the affordable, fun menu of fusion tacos, burritos, nachos and gogi bowls will resonate.

and a valet attendant. All of which would lay the foundation for his entrepreneurial success.

Having the tie with young professionals and students alike, they’re looking for something fast and affordable, and we do both,” he says. “I know I’m not the first one to bring a Korean BBQ taco anywhere, but I really take pride in my recipes, and my family’s Korean barbecue, and I think we do it really well.”

“I incorporated certain elements I like from my grandma and flavor profiles from my mom into my marinades, but the interpretation you get at Seoul Taco is really my own,” Choi says, adding with a laugh: “We each think ours is the best though.”

Seoul Taco is Choi’s first foray into the restaurant business, but he’s always had a passion for food. Before rolling out the food truck, he worked a series of odd jobs—up to three at a time—at pizza shops and fast food restaurants, as a barista at Starbucks, car wash manager, 56

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Though he didn’t attend culinary school, Choi grew up in a home where food and cooking were at the epicenter. There, three generations of Korean-Americans would battle it out over whose Korean BBQ beef was superior. But Choi also learned a lot in that highly competitive kitchen.

In our interview, we learn the backstory behind his one-way ticket to D.C. with $18,000 to his name and eagerness to invest in his dream. Choi also recalls his greatest mistakes early on, the value of empowering staff, why staying true to form is critical, and the commitment required to make it on your own.

The biggest hurdle for me was feeling physically and mentally drained from the sheer hours of work, but it was all necessary for us to succeed.


What prompted you to venture into food entrepreneurship?

In the beginning, it wasn’t even on the radar. I worked odd jobs, two and three at a time, and I was sick of working just to make ends meet. At that time, Korean tacos were starting to pop off and with knowing how to cook Korean food – something I learned from my mom and grandma – I had the idea of a food truck. So, I sold my car, cleared my accounts, and took the leap to start a food truck.


How did you get started after wanting a food truck?

After looking on Craigslist and eBay, I found trucks on the east coast and got a one-way ticket to Washington D.C. Nothing [panned out] in D.C., so I traveled to Philadelphia and found the perfect truck for $30,000, but all I had was $18,000. The guy wouldn’t [drop the price], so I left. About 30 minutes after leaving, the [seller] called and said his wife told him he’d be a dead man if the truck wasn’t gone [laughs]. I turned around and picked up the truck and drove it back to St. Louis. A few months of getting licenses and permits, and I was on the streets. entrepreneurial chef


3 It was a big commitment of working 90-100 hours a week for a sustained amount of time with only one employee.

What was your initial plan of attack to begin getting customers?

It was a food truck festival called Food Truck Friday – a gathering of trucks sponsored by Sauce Magazine. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I decided to go for it because at that point I was a hundred percent all-in. I kept my menu simple – tacos and quesadillas. Before the event, Sauce Magazine blasted us out on social media, so before we opened the window, there were about 40 people in line. They were intrigued about Korean Barbecue Tacos. And luckily people liked it, so everything took off from there.


What was the first year like as you were building the truck’s presence?

It was a big commitment of working 90-100 hours a week for a sustained amount of time with only one employee. I would reach out to different business owners – breweries, bars, nightclubs – where it’d be synergistic to have a food truck. We teamed up with some microbreweries that were booming in St. Louis, and it brought droves of people. On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we would message friends and sort of guerrilla market with social media. I recouped the initial investment within four months, but it took working a lot of hours – physical hours. I’d stay up all night prepping and cleaning the truck. Some nights, while at nightclubs, I wouldn’t be home until four or five in the morning, and then I’d be up around 11 to serve again. It was very tiring. The biggest hurdle for me was feeling physically and mentally drained from the sheer hours of work, but it was all necessary for us to succeed. 58

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I recouped the initial investment within four months, but it took working a lot of hours – physical hours.

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How long until you felt like you were on solid ground, and perhaps able to bring on help?

After recouping the investment, I started hiring more employees, and that alleviated a lot. [However], at first you have to master the craft before hiring people. Otherwise, it will be really disorganized. All those hours of working, in the beginning, helped create a [system] for us.


When did you begin thinking of opening your first brick and mortar spot?

Honestly, we ran out of refrigerator space in my parent’s kitchen [laughs]. We needed a commissary to work out of and found a spot, but after signing the lease and opening, I decided to make it our first brick and mortar. It was a very minimal [financial] commitment because I used my network to find [and buy] equipment for pennies on the dollar. [Overall], all equipment and furnishings were around $30,000, which is unheard of.


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What helped you operate two successful legs of the business, food truck and store?

First and foremost, you have to replicate what you do. Not just work-wise, but also from a leadership aspect. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to grow or be able to leave whatever position you’re at. Also, you have to entrust the systems and leaders you put in place. Your leaders have to be empowered, so they take ownership.

You can’t just replicate what other people are doing because that’s their brand and you have to respect that.

You have to master the craft before hiring people. Otherwise, it will be really disorganized.


In a short time you scaled to 5 places, what’s been the lesson(s) when looking back? It’s almost humorous looking back at how much we stressed in the beginning from not knowing what to do. But when you’re trying to run a business, you have to go through that and learn those things. Now, we’re in a good place with systems – they’re important. When you have more than one place, you need systems in place to sustain them. And then, having strong leadership. It’s something I’m focused now on – building even stronger leadership.


What’s been the strategy from a marketing, branding, or even advertising standpoint?

First, you can’t just replicate what other people are doing because that’s their brand and you have to respect that. People can see right through if you’re copying and pasting other people. It’s all about being authentic. That is one of the differentiating factors between us and other brands. Our brand is really cultivated from my personality, interests, and likes. People see that, and it’s authentic. We don’t really have paid marketing – campaigns, editorial, etc. We are mostly socially or word of mouth driven. Sometimes we do print coupons or run a deal on social media, but it’s never been a part of our business. For me, it’s about staying true to the game and having a good product. entrepreneurial chef



How do you manage the financials of the business at this point?

People don’t realize you need a strong financial base when you grow. Every entrepreneur or business owner already have so much on their plate that [financials] could easily get out of control. When I transitioned from the food truck to brick and mortar, I sat with an accountant, and it was an eye-opener. There’s so much you need to be in compliance. I hired the accountant to do the bookkeeping because I knew I couldn’t really grow if that wasn’t organized.


What’s your final advice to our food entrepreneur audience?

If you believe in it, go for it full force. My mentality is you could always go back to doing whatever you did before. And you can’t be afraid a failure. Whether it’s a small or big failure, it’s not going to define who you are. Photo Credits: Tim Bottchen

I sold my car, cleared my accounts, and took the leap to start a food truck.


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Chef Tenants:

Beware of Landlords with 13-Inch Rulers

By: Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton


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As The Lease Coach, representing commercial tenants with leasing matters since 1993, we have found that some landlords are over-charging tenants for more square footage than the tenant actually has. Are you paying too much?

his is a common oversight in the commercial leasing industry. Entrepreneurial chef tenants frequently trust the reported square footage of their leased premises. However, whether this figure was recorded incorrectly by the landlord or not properly measured by the owner when they bought or built the property, the amount of reported square footage can be wrong. The end result is that entrepreneurial chef tenants needlessly pay an increased rent, based on their incorrect square footage – isn’t it better to keep this money in your own pocket than pay it to your landlord? To explain further, Dale was having dinner one evening with the Chief Operating Officer of a large franchise store organization (100+ stores). She shared that her company had recently moved into a new 4,400 square foot office. She went on to explain how spacious, beautiful and comfortable the new head office was. When Dale asked her if she had ever verified the square footage, she said “no.” Why was this necessary? After all, this was the total area stated in her Lease Agreement. It took us several weeks to convince her to measure the space to determine if she was actually getting the 4,400 square feet that the landlord was charging her for.

Finally, she agreed. When we completed measuring the premises, the measured space was 800 square feet short. In the real estate industry, we refer to this as “phantom space” where the tenant is paying more than is required. And, in this case, this Chief Operating Officer was paying over $50,000 more (for her entire lease term) than she needed to for space she didn’t have. We approached the landlord and corrected the problem – both for the past and the future. The tenant was reimbursed for her previous overpayments and continued to pay an adjusted rate even into the renewal term. Yet another issue for entrepreneurial chef tenants to consider is how phantom space can repeatedly affect them. Understand that every tenant pays two rents – the base rent (which is negotiable) as well as the Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges. CAM costs cover charges for property upkeep which benefits all tenants (e.g., trash removal, property taxes, and building maintenance) and are charged proportionately. Therefore, if a tenant occupies 1800 square feet, then he/she is responsible for the CAM charges on that area as well. If that tenant has been wrongfully paying for phantom space, he/she will also wrongfully pay too much for CAM charges. entrepreneurial chef


Even the smallest amount of phantom space can grow to be quite large as rental rates, and Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges increase over time. As an example, we found that one previous client had a discrepancy of only 27 square feet. While this doesn’t sound like much, this specific unit was located in a prime downtown shopping mall with high rent. When this came to our attention, it was seven years into the tenant’s lease term, and the landlord had collected $20,000 more than was rightfully due. Again, this came to a satisfactory conclusion with the tenant being reimbursed. Such square footage discrepancies are very common for business-owners. In our experience, many discrepancies are negligent, not necessarily fraudulent. This is a small consolation as the tenant remains overcharged.

It’s never too soon or too late to have your space professionally measured. Nearly all lease agreements will state what measurement standard that the landlord has used to determine the area of your premises. Entrepreneurial chef tenants should note that there are several different industry standards for measuring commercial space. If you have been taking the landlord’s word for the measurement of your business premises, you may be overpaying substantially on one, or more, of your locations. You may be presented with a “measurement certification.” Don’t be fooled. Many of the locations where we have found discrepancies on were “verified” as accurate, but, in fact, were measured incorrectly. Sometimes, the discrepancies are only 30 – 40 square feet; however, these can also be hundreds of square feet off – especially if the leased space is significant in size. 66

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As you can see, phantom space is a simple concept and can be simply avoided. No one can ascertain the exact size of an area by naked eye alone. Nor, should an entrepreneurial chef tenant always trust what is stated on his/her Lease Agreement. Space measurement can provide peace-of-mind and can save you thousands of dollars – as a tenant, isn’t this worth looking into? For a free copy of our CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail Photo Credits: Gennadiy Guchek

Dale Willerton and Jeff Grandfield — The Lease Coach – are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Dale and Jeff are professional speakers and co-authors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, 2013). Got a leasing question? Need help with your new lease or renewal? Call 1-800-738-9202, e-mail DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach. com / JeffGrandfield@TheLeaseCoach. com or visit



Are you in?

To get your company involved, visit

T Maximizing Tax Deductions Under the New Tax Law By: Steve Moskowitz


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he new tax law is great news for the foodservice industry. Chefs who own pass-through entities may deduct up to 20 percent of their business income, subject to certain

limits. Also, there are increased deductions for capital expenditures will shield income for food business owners who make capital investments and improvements in properties.

The new pass-through deduction will benefit food business owners holding title through partnerships, LLCs, and S-Corps generating “qualified business income.” Businesses will receive a 20 percent deduction on net income. While the passthrough provision is complex, there are many tax saving opportunities available to owners who plan carefully.

For example, if you own a restaurant, which grosses $5 million and operates as an S-corporation, with wages of $2 million and other expenses of $1 million, your business income eligible for the deduction is $2 million. The deduction is $400,000, which is the lesser of 20% of the “qualified business income” or $1 million, which is 50% of the wages. If instead, you used contract labor of $1.5 million and paid wages of $500,00 your deduction would be limited to $250,000 (50% of wages). entrepreneurial chef


The new tax law will allow many owners to fully expense qualified new and used property, with a recovery period of 20 years or less. This is a major tax benefit for the restaurant industry. Under the previous tax rules, the bonus depreciation deduction was limited to 50% of the eligible new property. The new tax law allows bonus depreciation and immediate deduction of 100% of eligible property placed-in-service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023. The inclusion of used property is a significant change from previous bonus depreciation rules. These amounts are indexed for inflation for taxable years beginning after 2018. The old category of “qualified restaurant property” has been eliminated. Instead, depreciable restaurant improvements are now in the more general category of “qualified improvement property.” Although left out of the first draft of the new law because of a drafting error, it is anticipated that all qualified improvement property will be eligible for bonus depreciation treatment as long as the property has a life of 20 years or less.


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The depreciation rules have expanded to include in the definition of section 179 property depreciable tangible personal property improvements made to the nonresidential real property, as long as the improvements are placed in service after the date the building was first placed in service. The deductible amount that can be expensed has doubled, from $500 thousand to $1million. Owners can take advantage of Section 179 for fire systems, security systems, roofs, and HVACs, when 100% first-year bonus depreciation isn’t available. Cost segregation remains very important for restaurants and food businesses, especially for assets placed in service before the new bonus depreciation rules became effective in September 2017. Cost segregation allows for recharacterization of certain property, such as counters, booths, and electrical wiring as having a short recovery period property, typically 5 years. Photo Credits: : Designer491

Steve Moskowitz is a top tax attorney with 30 years of helping businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals navigate complex tax code. Steve founded Moskowitz LLP, a tax law firm offering clients a full suite of services. Having taught law, tax, and accounting, Steve takes confusion and anxiety out of tax planning, preparation and resolution.

Co-chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a national non-profit that promotes and provides career opportunities for underserved youth through culinary arts education and employment. WHO DOES C-CAP SERVE?


17,500+ students 211 public high school teachers 168 schools 5,000+ industry partners

Mentor or hire a student Donate products or equipment Support our programs and scholarships Host a fundraising event

@CCAPInc For information or to get involved: contact us at, (212) 974-1711, or visit Founded in 1990 by Richard Grausman

entrepreneurial chef


A Robert Ancill:

The Do’s & Don’ts of Franchising By: Yvonne Tsui


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fter entrepreneurial chefs and restaurateurs launch their dream business and scale it up, the question is what’s next? Enter Franchising. As the CEO of the Next Idea Group, Robert Ancill is regarded as one of America’s leading global restaurant consultants. He is currently the interim CEO of East Coast Foods LLC which oversees 4 of the Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles locations, an L.A.-based soul food chain restaurant and a TouchBistro customer. Throughout his career, Robert has worked for a range of well-known franchises including Aroma Café Group, Planet Hollywood, and Panera Bread. Here’s his advice based on years of experience on the do’s and don’ts of franchising.

When is the right time to franchise and perhaps things to consider? From a business standpoint, you need to be in a stable state. Meaning, financially viable – a good EBITDA. If someone was to franchise the business they would be able to generate the same kind of profit as you’re doing as the primary business, maybe net of royalties. 20% or more EBITDA generally speaking to be in the position to franchise. The higher the net cash flow, the better. You need to have a concept that is something that is easy to duplicate. Not necessarily simple, but needs to be clear and straightforward. It needs to have a lot of components that jive together to make something that is viable and attractive to the consumer in multiple locations. No point in having something that works in a particular demographic but fails in another demographic. You have to be able to invest in your business. A lot of people look to franchising as free money – it’s far from that. You need to set up all of your manuals [and have] clarity of your brand so when someone comes along; they know how to market (what’s been tried and tested), the modular approach to interior design, how to recruit staff, the operating systems, and POS to use. The whole documentation and clarity piece is essential. We did come across entrepreneurs who franchise because it’s a nice concept and they don’t support the franchisees which is time-consuming and financially draining. It becomes a fight.

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What are some keys to success? Brand clarity. The clients need to know what the brand is. We sometimes talk to franchisees who are disgruntled because they’ll say “they don’t really know what they’re doing, how do we know what we’re doing?” That clarity piece is really important. Documentation. The franchisors that we work with who work with us to do documentation or have already in place are much more successful. They are more successful than those franchisees who haven’t taken the time or spent the money to do that. Training. The franchisors who succeed are betting at training. They pass on the grand message better, and therefore the brand message is being passed on by its franchisees better. Business model. The more that you work with your franchisees as a partner vs. your employee, the better it is. A good quality POS. A POS presents the electronic heartbeat of any restaurant. The control point, customer management portal, and business management all rolled into one. Inventory tracking, operational management, employee management and reporting all attribute to having a sound infrastructure. The franchisor can track franchisee performance, and understand the differences in demands at a local and regional level. The franchisee benefits from a robust system that tracks business results and thus aggregate results and their next development phase with their franchise.


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What’s the investment look like to get a franchise up and running? It varies; depends what you already have. Assume you’re starting from scratch – $25-$35K depending on the type of concept, size and so on. Anywhere there’s cooking, it’ll start at $25K for graphic design, operating manual, etc., and it really can go up [quickly].

What’s your advice for those looking to franchise? Primarily, you really need to take advice. If you don’t have franchising experience, you need to bring on the expertise – be it a consultant or an employee. There’s a lot of legal procedures – licenses from the state. You have to make sure your contract is watertight with your franchisees. Knowing what you’re doing is really important and critical. Taking on advice is important and making sure that you have a very sound strategy and steps forward in how to get there. There’s the infrastructure piece, and then you have to go and sell it. A lot of new brands get a lot of franchising inquiries because there’s a lot of hype and everybody wants a piece of it, but they might not be the right people you want. Be selective with your franchisees as ultimately they are an extension of your brand. Look for franchisees who are experienced and have had successes, because they’ll bring on some experience into your own brand which will be helpful. Don’t get seduced by the money. That money goes really fast when you have a problem franchisee. Photo Credits: Polymanu

What are some pitfalls that are common in franchising? They misrepresent their numbers or do not tell the full story. Insufficient infrastructure and training for their franchisees and then franchisees end up doing their own thing. [It causes] a clash because [franchisees] are not within the guidelines and so on. The biggest mistake we see is not having the support infrastructure in place and seeing franchising as free money. That’s the last thing franchising is. You really have to invest to make it successful.

Yvonne Tsui lives to eat. She’s known to her friends as the “Ask Alexa” for the best restaurants in cities all over North America. When she’s not doing on-the-ground, scrappy PR for TouchBistro, she’s a freelance food and drink writer and tells the origin stories, struggles, and successes of restaurateurs – veteran and new. entrepreneurial chef


“Plate It Like You Mean It”

Contest Winners

Out of all who participated in the “Plate It Like You Mean It” Contest, where Oneida Foodservice gave amazing support and prize packages, it boiled down to one grand prize winner, two runners-up, and a voters choice award winner.

In Collaboration Designing the dining experience.



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Grand Prize Winner:

Jenna & Joseph Cuccia

The brother and sister duo own and operate 17 Summer Restaurant in Lodi, New Jersey. At one of the oldest buildings in Lodi, the two originally opened Joseph Cuccia Catering in 2012 and hosted countless Chef Tables, prepared for large catered events, and put private dining on the map in Lodi. In 2015, they opened 17 Summer Restaurant exactly where they started. The reason for entering the contest was due to them “constantly looking to elevate the dining

experience at 17 Summer Restaurant.” And without having investors they “tended to be incredibly frugal, and tableware reflects that.” With the support of Oneida Foodservice, the duo see’s winning as “an incredible opportunity to be able to tell our story in an elegant and new way.”

Jenna & Joseph Cuccia Entry: Foie Gras Torchon, Brioche, and Cherry What does “Plate it like you mean it” mean to you?

Intention is the pinnacle of plating. Joseph plates with transparency to invite the guests into his soul. His approach to plating is meant to be thoughtful and simple with the goal of paying homage to the ingredients as they are carefully paired to create a composed dish. entrepreneurial chef


First Runner-Up:

Ryne Harwick

As the Executive Chef of Hunt Club Steakhouse, a fine dining restaurant in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with plenty of accolades, Ryne Harwick entered the competition to “upgrade the kitchen and give the staff some fun equipment to work with.” Ryne also felt it would “spark some inspiration for more fun food.” With his beautifully plated Ahi below, he no doubt earned his spot on the podium.

Ryne’s Entry: Lightly Seared Ahi w/Fried Rice & Stir Fry Spring Vegetables w/Wasabi Emulsion & Orange and Soy Glaze 78

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What does “Plate it like you mean it” mean to you? Plate it like you mean it means to allow your food to express you in every way, from the techniques we use to the colors or even the simplicity in a dish. To me, if you’re passionate about something you want those that will see your work to be able to tell something about you from it. To me, I stick true to my roots and use lots of classic French technique accompanied by new styles of cooking as well to help elevate familiar foods for our guests.

Second Runner-Up:

Ron Letwinski

As the Chef de Cuisine of Meadowbrook Country Club in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Ron Letwinski is currently working on bringing his own concept to life. Ron’s restaurant is poised to give opportunities to special needs individuals who find difficulties in securing employment. With his prize package from Oneida, he’ll be able to take some of the funds slotted for dinnerware and plans to use the money toward his future employees. The story alone makes Ron worthy of his spot on the podium.

Ron’s Entry: Ahi Tuna Salad What does “Plate it like you mean it” mean to you? It means to me that if you are going to put in the time, manhours and inspiration into the preparation in creating a dish, you should plate that dish like it is going to be the last dish you plate. The first thing you eat with is your eyes so I want all of our guests to feel that I have done everything I could to put the best product that I had in-house on that plate especially just for them. Without our guests, we have no one to plate for in the first place, so I try to make every one of them feel special. entrepreneurial chef


Voters Choice Award:

Barbara Pollastrini

Based out of Los Angeles, California, Barbara Pollastrini is the owner of Kitchen 90210. She believes, “A great meal is like a work of art. It should be pleasing to the eye, as well as the nose and palate.” With the anticipation of her upcoming restaurant Heroic in 2018, Barbara will now have a little financial relief from Oneida by way of the Voters Choice Award Prize Package – and she couldn’t be more thrilled! 80

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Barbara’s Entry: Tuna Tartare What does “Plate it like you mean it” mean to you? A great meal is like a work of art. It should be pleasing to the eye, as well as the nose and palate. I come from the Mediterranean world, where eating is the highlight of the day, to be looked forward to and enjoyed as in performing a sacred ritual.

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“It’s Show Time” May 19-22, 2018 McCormick Place | Chicago IL

There’s no other place to reach the entire foodservice industry ecosystem and capitalize on a $799 billion industry, make new connections, sharpen your skills, and have a blast all-in-one. With the “who’s who” in foodservice all under one roof – people and companies alike – it’s impossible to meet every attendee or exhibitor. As such, we’ve decided to curate some people, places, and things that an entrepreneurial chef or food entrepreneur should see.


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NRA Show Take advantage of the largest annual food service event in the world: Products & Services From

2,300+ 900+

Exhibitors Representing

Product Categories Network with

66,000+ Industry Professionals From

100+ Countries Emerging Technologies, Trending Products & New Ideas See what’s shaping the foodservice landscape in specially curated areas and pavilions. From technology to new products and innovative ingredients, it’s showcased for all to see what’s new.

Culinary Inspiration, Industry Education & Expert Insights Learn new techniques at hands-on workshops and demonstrations by world-renowned chefs. Plus, gain insight at the first-ever Restaurant Revenue Growth Conference. entrepreneurial chef


Restaurant Revenue Growth Conference New this year, the National Restaurant Association introduces its Restaurant Revenue Growth Conference where top-level foodservice professionals will discover unique and inspiring ways to grow their businesses. At the two-day event from May 20-21, conference participants will learn strategies for business success, discover tools and resources critical to revenue growth, and collaborate with peers and industry experts.

Expert-Led Sessions The conference takes an innovative approach to learning, combining a variety of experiences including expert-led sessions that provide insights, resources and ideas to develop business strategies. Conference speakers Billy Beane and Jon Taffer, who have garnered awards and earned distinction, address their approaches to innovation and growth as inspirational business leaders. Billy Beane: As Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Oakland A’s, Beane’s “Moneyball” philosophy, named for the best-selling book and Oscar-nominated film, has been adopted by organizations of all sizes, across all industries, as a way to more effectively, efficiently and profitably manage their assets, talent and resources. Jon Taffer: Recognized internationally as an award-winning restaurant business entrepreneur and concept developer, Taffer brings three decades of hands-on experience to his action-oriented management methodology.

Areas of Focus The conference addresses topics critical to success in today’s economic climate: engaging new guests, increasing spend, and driving frequency. Participants immerse in hands-on learning working directly with expert speakers to turn concepts into business plans.


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Engaging New Guests Learn about how tools like big data, attracting untapped audiences and incorporating leading technologies can help you be smarter about targeting and engaging new guests.

Delivering Your Offers to the Right Hands: Key Mobile Marketing Strategies

Marketing Strategies to Win with Today’s Modern Consumer

Monetizing Social Media into Guest Visits

Forecasting Revenue Strategies

Turning Big Data into Big Opportunities

Increasing Spend Once your guests are seated, boosting their spend is your most bankable path to increased revenue. Discover how kiosks, promotions, and product placement can enhance your bottom line.

The Key Elements of Building an Off-Premise Operation

Build in Profitability with Menu Analysis and Engineering

Turn Your Staff into Sales Superstars

Evaluating Opportunities in Restaurant Retail and Product Placement

Meal Kits: The $5 Billion Opportunity

Digital Disruptions: The Evolution of the Traditional Path-To-Purchase in a Connected World

Driving Frequency Guests who feel valued come back. And loyal regulars speed up business growth. Brainstorm how loyalty programs, emails, and data can convert first-time diners into regulars.

Gen Z: Driving the Future of Guest Experience

Industry Best Practices That Drive Revenue Growth Through Loyalty Program Strategies

Simple Internet-Based Frequency Programs That Work

The Kiosk Never Forgets to Ask if You Want Fries

Leveraging Store Design to Increase Frequency

Yes, Beverage/Alcohol Programs Can Keep Guests Coming Back

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Education Sessions to Fill Your Bucket Stay ahead of the curve with learning opportunities that reflect today’s business challenges and forward-thinking trends.

Business Operations Get informed by the experts on topics critical to smoothly running your business operations, including legal and compliance matters, gender equality, and tax reform. Sessions include:


Big Brands Aren’t Dead, Mediocre Performance IS Gender Equity Immigration Compliance Updates Under the Trump Administration Key Trends Shaping the Future of Foodservice Pay Practices and the Law Sanitation Certification for Automated Foodservice Equipment Tax Reform The Power of Food service at Retail

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TECH Talks Discover how the cloud, apps, and software can change the way you do business. Sessions include:

A Couple of Apps for the Table: How Technology Reshapes the Restaurant Industry Science of Scheduling: A New Approach to Workforce Planning Simplify for Growth: Choosing the Right Accounting and Back-Office Platform The Impact of Cloud Technology on Multi-Unit Operators Transforming the Restaurant Experience for Diners and Wait Staff Alike

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KI Fireside Chats Equipment Innovations Shaping the Future of Foodservice Sessions include: Consultants’ Take on Foodservice Equipment Innovation How Equipment Innovation Can Provide the Rx for Healthcare Foodservice Innovations in Equipment: Today and Tomorrow Engineering Innovation in Foodservice Equipment Innovative by Design: How Equipment Helps Drive Efficiency Among Commercial Foodservice Operators Back to School: How College and University Foodservice Operators Leverage Equipment to Become More Innovative Seeking Solutions: Innovative Answers to Today’s Pressing Foodservice Challenges


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Workforce Development You’re in the hospitality business and that means customer service is critical. You need a motivated team to deliver a top-notch customer experience. Sessions include:  Hire, Train, Reward, Retain: Building a Team of Top Performers  How to Develop and Maintain Rock Star Employees  Impact Business Performance: Elevate Your Workforce  Maximum Bang, Minimum Buck: Getting the Most Out of Your Training Dollars  ServSuccess: Stronger Workforce, Stronger Industry  Successful Businesses Are Embracing Turnover, Know Why You Should Too  Team-Building Techniques for Ever-Changing Teams  Video Killed the Radio Star; And It’s Killing the Training Binder, Too  Winning the Workforce

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Food & Nutrition At the end of the day, your business is about diners and food. These sessions keep you up-to-date on the issues that matter to today’s consumer—sustainability, children’s nutrition, foodborne illness, and more. Sessions include:  Cannabis Policy  Designing Healthy Menus for Children: A Culinary Nutrition Approach  Getting What You Paid for: How to Sustainably Source Your Restaurant Food Supply  Modern Technology – Friend or Foe to Sustainability on Farms?  Menu Trends 2018: Turning Trends into Money Makers  Sourcing Sustainable Seafood Is Easier Than You Think  Using Social Media to Track/Prevent Foodborne Illness  Wearable Learning-The Smart Training Modality of the Future for Restaurants


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New 3D Tool Helps Operators Set Their Vision on the Table How many hours have you spent flipping through tabletop catalogs, looking for that spoon with just the right curve or a bread-and-butter plate that conjures fond memories of grandma’s kitchen? You know the right piece when you see it. But imagine skipping the hunting process, and going straight to seeing a 3D visualization of your perfect tabletop. entrepreneurial chef


That’s the idea behind Plate Envy, a new digital tool from Oneida. “We’ve talked to a lot of operators, and we understand how much blood, sweat, and tears go into the unique guest experiences they’re creating,” says Jeff Jarrett, CMO of The Oneida Group.

“The tabletop is a crucial finishing touch in delivering the one-of-a-kind dining experience that will keep guests coming back,” says Jarrett. “But the traditional tabletop selection process can be time-consuming, and potentially disappointing.” “Operators told us they need an easier way to find products that match their vision. So we put a lot of research and time into creating a quick, easy way to get that vision out of their heads and onto their tables.” The tool works by walking users through a three-step process. It starts by asking a handful of questions to discover your restaurant’s style, setting, and cuisine. The tool responds with recommended place settings to match your restaurant’s aesthetic and your personal vision. Unifying your dining concept with the tabletop design helps to define the guest’s experience to create a lasting memory,” says Paul Gebhardt, SVP of Design & Creative Director of The Oneida Group. “The meal is a true multi-sensory experience, and we want to leverage tabletop design to help the visual, tactile and emotional elements of the meal combine to create a truly enviable tabletop.”


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Place settings come to life in 3D on a virtual table, so you can visualize and swap dinnerware, flatware, and glassware to see how various combinations look together. Unlike flat photography, the 3D imagery puts contours in perspective, so you can tell how deep a soup bowl is or whether the lip of a dinner plate flares the way you want it to. That makes it easier to narrow down your top choices, so you can request physical samples to try out—and have a high degree of confidence those products are likely to meet your needs.

“We created Plate Envy to recommend dinnerware, glassware, and flatware combinations tailored to each operator’s unique vision,” Oneida’s Jarrett says. “As a leading manufacturer, innovation is front and center for us. We’re really excited about this new way to partner with operators in driving successful, memorable guest experiences.”




Discover. Visualize. Sample.

A new way to turn your vision into reality. Booth #7207

Startup Alley The following 14 companies were selected by the committee of restaurant operators to be showcased in the 2018 Startup Alley pavilion because they epitomize how digital innovation and foodservice meet. Stop by booth 5675 in the North Hall outside the Innovation Hub to check out the newest startups in the industry.



BillBoss is a free mobile payment app that allows consumers to view, split, and pay for restaurant meals from their phones.

Eatabit streamlines the operations of restaurants and their online food ordering partners by standardizing the way food orders get to restaurants.


Kiosko Mobile

InKind’s technology creates a unique experience for a restaurant’s best guest: she walks into her favorite restaurant and the host instantly recognizes her, the server knows her purchase history and preferences, and the manager is prompted with details to customize her experience. At the end of her experience, she simply gets up and walks out without a bill even needing to be presented.

Kiosko Mobile is the future of digital ordering. Built with ultimate ease of use, and a networked app environment, Kiosko enables customer adoption and viral growth potential.

TransX Systems

Sponsiv Digital

TransX Systems is a technology company providing cost-effective, turnkey omni-channel marketing and in-store consumer engagement solutions that increase revenues, acquire new customers, and increase repeat business, all while reducing labor costs for global brands, along with national, regional, and local restaurant chains.

Sponsiv’s customized, professionally designed iPad-based platforms bring restaurant beverage menus to life. Sell more wine, beer, spirits and cocktails by enhancing the guest experience and ensuring servers have consistent information to share.


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Bear Robotics

Big Zpoon

Bear Robotics, Inc. offers AI-driven robots that are optimized for running and bussing in a restaurant and poised to create value for restaurant operators via increased profit margins and enrich dining service.

BigZpoon is dedicated to reducing global food waste and helping the environment by creating a new, profitable channel for restaurants to instantly connect with value-seeking customers and sell their surplus or unsold food.


Glance Technologies, Inc.

At Fisherman, we generate complete, intuitive, and one-of-a-kind websites for restaurants and the broader food service industry—all by using your answers to a few simple questions on

Glance Pay is the fastest growing mobile payment solution for restaurants and has revolutionized how smartphone users pay their restaurant bill, earn digital rewards, and promotions, and discover new locations within their communities.

Piik Insights


The pattern-recognition and business intelligence software brings together data from multiple sources, provides interactive analyses and trends, and generates automated insights and recommendations to help restaurants grow sales, optimize costs, and increase profitability.

Sirved, the menu-based search engine that lets you see every menu from every restaurant, filtered by dish or craving.



Spokin App is the easiest and most personalized way to connect consumers with food allergies to restaurants.

Spiffy is a free restaurant training app which educates staff on beer, wine, spirits, and other important topics like sexual harassment in the hospitality sector. Restaurants who want to boost average ticket and reduce labor costs can also use Spiffy to deliver their menu and process training to the mobile phones of their team! entrepreneurial chef


Products to Transform Menus Honored with

2018 Food and Beverage (FABI)


Plant-based proteins, authentic ethnic sauces and more among groundbreaking food and beverage products at National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. FABI Awards recognize food and beverage products that stand out for taste, creativity and profit potential and will make a substantial impact in the restaurant industry. In addition to visiting FABI Award recipient booths, NRA Show attendees will be able to sample the products at FABI Awardee Tasting events held in Foodamental Studio on Monday, May 21. New this year, the tasting events will feature several companies at a time to give maximum exposure to each recipient and greater opportunities for attendees to taste the award-worthy products. Here are a few that Entrepreneurial Chef recommends you check out:


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Atalanta Corporation MENU Shakshuka

Brooklyn Delhi

Roasted Garlic Achaar

Atalanta’s Shakshuka sauce gives restaurants the flexibility to capitalize on the Mediterranean food craze with a balanced sauce that can be used to make shakshuka, the traditional Israeli egg dish, or to invent your own entrées.

This versatile and addictive condiment boasts a complex and unique flavor profile enhanced by the nuttiness of roasted garlic, Indian spices, lemon and sugar.

Beyond Meat

Grecian Delight Foods

Beyond SausageTM satisfies carnivores’ craving for a great tasting, better-for-you protein option while meeting the needs of vegetarians and vegans alike.

Grecian Delight’s new Falafel Fritters provide operators a trendy and versatile authentic Mediterranean street food and plant-based protein that’s quick and easy to prepare.

Beyond Sausage™


Simply Baguette

Made with traditional high-quality ingredients, including a levain developed by artisan bakers, this new baguette is slightly tangy and demonstrates excellent craftsmanship of plain ingredients – only flour, water, yeast, levain, salt and malt.

Falafel Fritters

Impossible Foods Impossible™ Burger

This plant-based burger is made from simple, natural ingredients including water, wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein and the “magic” ingredient, heme.

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Kronos Foods Corp.

KronoBROIL Gyros Slices ®

Slices are created by a revolutionary manufacturing process that flame-broils and carves a colossal gyros cone replicating the taste, texture and hand-carved appearance of old world gyros.

Love Beets Beet Salsa

Love Beets’ Beet Salsa creates this versatile, ready-to-eat product that’s combined with fresh green peppers, onion, jalapeño and cilantro for a light, spicy salsa with a unique balance of sweetness

Nona Lim

Shiitake Beef Bone Broth

Nona Lim Shiitake Beef Bone Broth is a delicious clean label bone broth packaged in a 10 oz. heatand-sip cup. Simmered for more than 30 hours, the grass-fed, organic beef bone stock is spiced perfectly with shiitake mushrooms and ginger.

Pete’s Living Greens Salicornia or “Sea Beans”

Pete’s Living Greens has developed hydroponically greenhouse grown sea beans with roots attached for extended freshness and quality, bringing this coastal farmer’s market delicacy to restaurants everywhere.

Weston Foods Foodservice Mama La’s Kitchen

Beef & Chicken Pho Concentrates

Add water, noodles, vegetables and meat to make authentic Pho and capitalize on the health and wellness trend. 98

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ACE Bakery® Mini Schiacciatas

One-inch thick and pre-sliced, they can become operators’ new sandwich workhorse, and are versatile enough to double as the foundation for an authentic flatbread, an open-face sandwich or even a folded taco.

Smart Flour FoodsTM Gluten Free Hoagie Roll

Smart Flour Foods™ offers a sandwich roll made with Smart Flour, delivering a high quality, premium eating experience intended for both hot and cold applications – pre-sliced, shipped frozen, and have a seven-day ambient shelf life.

Sabatino Tartufi Truffle Soy Sauce


Pepper Spread

This delicious pepper spread stands out for its 100% clean label ingredients and bright, homemade taste. Its smooth, colorful and addictive blend of roasted red peppers and Mediterranean spices will add distinction to many dishes, from soups, sauces, dips and spreads.

Venice Bakery

Gluten-Free Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust

This slightly chewy, fluffy ready-to-cook pizza crust is a healthy alternative base for the ever-popular pizza. One 10” crust packs 26g of protein and only 3g of net carbs per serving, appealing to consumer demand for high protein foods without sacrificing flavor.

This truly unique take on traditional soy sauce adds the luxurious taste of truffles for a heightened umami experience and can transform a traditional dish into something a bit more interesting, creating new flavor profiles for rice, sushi, dumplings, edamame, marinades and more.

Wild Flour Bakery

Gourmet Gluten-Free Cookie Dough

This gluten-free frozen cookie dough can be baked into cookies and desserts that are softbaked or crisp. By altering the add-ins, spices or technique, chefs can easily make dozens of homemade desserts whose taste and texture diners will love. entrepreneurial chef


2018 Kitchen ÂŽ Innovations (KI) Award

Recipients to Review This prestigious foodservice industry award recognizes innovative new equipment that increases efficiencies and productivity for back-of-thehouse operations and benefits operators. Each recipient and their product will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Showroom at the 2018 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel ShowÂŽ, to be held May 19-22 in Chicago at McCormick Place. The 2018 KI Award recipients reflect the trends and topics most important to foodservice operators today. The 22 selected innovations address operator concerns from labor, energy and water efficiency to food safety, sanitation, cross-functionality and space-saving. New software and new materials continue to make new solutions possible. Here are a few that Entrepreneurial Chef recommends you check out:


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Alto-Shaam, Inc., in conjunction with Appliance Innovation Vector™ F Series Multi-Cook Oven

The new F Series builds on last year’s H Series with larger chambers to accept full size sheet or hotel pans and a new, patent-pending innovation that adds the flexibility to combine two cooking chambers into one for larger items without disrupting the structured airflow design.

Evo, Inc.

MultiZoneTM Plancha

Evo takes cooking-zone temperature control to the next level: Unlike anything else in the griddle or plancha category, the MultiZoneTM features three independent cooking zones, each separated with IsoBar™ technology.

FLAT® Tech Inc. FLAT® Equalizers


GST-1H Flatbread-Toaster

The new Flatbread-Toaster brings innovative capabilities to the flatbread-pita-tortilla category with wide-mouth loading and dual platens located inside dual conveyor belts to heat a variety of products consistently – up to 200°F – providing quicker throughput.

Wobbly tables plague the industry. Unlike other solutions, Equalizers replace a table’s existing screw-in feet with an adjusting, hydraulic compression and spring system; they also feature an ingenious locking mechanism (with patents pending) to create a rock-solid stance without any springiness.

Garland, A Welbilt Brand

Instinct™ Induction Countertop Line

Astra Shunsuke Peeling Machine

Fresh from Japan, this new machine automates labor-intensive fruit and vegetable peeling. Programmable for apples, kiwis, oranges, potatoes and more – nine different fruits and vegetables in all (and suitable for similarly sized items) – the unit allows different thicknesses of peeling.

Instinct is the first multi-sensor induction countertop line to incorporate cook and hold functions under one unit, measuring temperatures across the entire surface for increased accuracy. Duel-zone Instinct can adjust frequency on each cook zone to match pan requirements, adjusting for elements like ferrous content and pan quality; boosting performance and mitigating against temperature overshoots. entrepreneurial chef


Genius Pan, LLC Genius Pan

How much time do operators spend freshening customer-visible prep lines and salad bars? The Genius Pan uses an ingenious, patented threaded system that allows the bottom of the pan to adjust up or down in the well, keeping everything looking fresh, topped off and inviting, cutting waste and saving labor.


Level RF Oven

Building on autonomous-vehicles technologies, the ventless Level RF Oven “learns” to recognize food items and direct RF energy to cook them to prescribed standards for internal temperature, surface doneness, etc.

Prince Castle

Modular Holding Bin

True modularity is easier said than done, but Prince Castle has done it with its Modular Holding Bins. This holding innovation features a master base, allowing the system to expand horizontally and vertically, distributing power and communications to set and maintain desired serving temperatures.

Structural Concepts Corporation

Foodscaping Wells

Foodscaping Wells offer an imaginative modular system based on a refrigerated cabinet featuring a food well housing with multiple height-adjustable display platforms. The adjustability lets staff set food serving vessels at various heights for an eye-catching, inviting display.

Sealed Air Corporation

Cryovac® FlexPrep™ EZ Dispensing

Marra Forni

Electric Brick Oven with Open Mouth

This powerful electric brick oven, while not the only Italian brick oven on the market, creates a new category for itself with cooking temps up to 1000°F with an open mouth. Efficiency and heat retention come from Sorrento refractory brick walls and deck that retain the heat, a low dome and balanced heat from all directions.


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How much time and effort do staff members spend on BOH condiment systems? Sealed Air’s new system uses prefilled Cryovac pouches with frangible seals specially fitted to load into the operation’s dispensing equipment. Just pull the trigger.

For the forward-thinking passion-driven food entrepreneur (and anyone else who loves reading about them)

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Profile for Rennew Media

Entrepreneurial Chef #23 - May 2018  

What will you learn from our featured guests? + Andrew Zimmern: Don’t Be the Best, Be the Only + Shelia G Main: An Empire Built on Brownies...

Entrepreneurial Chef #23 - May 2018  

What will you learn from our featured guests? + Andrew Zimmern: Don’t Be the Best, Be the Only + Shelia G Main: An Empire Built on Brownies...