WITH CHEF ERIN WADE
F&B EVERYONE HAS A STORY. TELL US HOW YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO BECOME PART OF THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY…WHAT WAS YOUR “LIGHT BULB” MOMENT? EW The idea and menu items for Vinaigrette had been marinating for a while, but then one day I drove past a small vacant sort of broke down building and said “that could be my little salad shack.” And then I formed an LLC called The Salad Shack and wrote a business plan and so on and so forth. Took another three years to get open! F&B IN ONE WORD DESCRIBE YOUR RESTAURANT. EW Nourishing Can I have a second word? Joyful. F&B WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF TODAYS FOOD APPS? EW Pros—for a restaurant, they can allow restaurants of many kinds to cater to convenience. They allow restaurants to advertise to and influence customers in a very sniper-like way. Both of these factors make it possible that this could increase volume in sales for certain restaurants. EW Cons—Restaurants lose their direct relationship with their customer, which is very dangerous in my opinion. It is part of our brand equity and important to our autonomy. The price structure is not sustainable for restaurants and it will ultimately put a downward pressure on food quality. Restaurants work incredibly hard to create a whole experience for guests. That work depends on a lot of people who earn a livelihood through our industry. Dining is about more than just eating food, it is about the whole experience that supports it. I worry that our obsession with convenience, which is encouraged and expanded greatly by food apps, erodes the experience and quality of dining. F&B WHAT SHOULD TODAYS RESTAURATEUR CONSIDER WHEN MOVING TOWARDS THIS TECHNOLOGY? The long term. What the real cost is. How important owning our relationship to our customers is. Apps want to encourage loyalty first and foremost to their networks, not to the restaurants. Also, digital networks are very powerful, and their value depends on scale. So ultimately they aren’t just fulfilling the to-go demand. They want to be involved in as many restaurant transactions as they can. PAGE 50 Food & Beverage Magazine Food & Beverage Magazine |January 2017
Published on Dec 30, 2016
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