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O N T A R I O July 2015 Vol. 30 No. 6
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Craving Thai menu development. Drawing on elements he likes from the fast casual segment, Wan said he wants BangTORONTO — Crave It Restaurant kok Buri to be approachable as well Group is on the road to growth both as modern and authentic. “I want it to taste fantastic. Of the in units and with Bangkok Buri, a new fast casual restaurant in devel- fast casual market, I’m not finding opment with Toronto restaurateur many that suit my palate, so I want it to be bold flavours. I want to push it a Monte Wan. The restaurant group — which little bit further and not be as timid,” launched in 2013 following the sale said Wan. Bangkok Buri will offer a short of Extreme Brandz to MTY — was co-founded by Alex Rechichi, Mark menu of set dishes including pad Rechichi and Sean Black. Through thai, red and green curries and spring strategic partnerships and brand de- rolls. It is important to Wan to offer velopment, Crave It is the operator of the dishes the way they are intended The Burger’s Priest, Stoney’s Bread to be eaten, but also allow customers Company and Via Cibo Italian Street the flexibility to make changes. There will also be some lighter fare, vegan Food. From left: Monte Wan and Alex Rechichi at Nana on Queen Street West. With a food philosophy of “slow and gluten-free options. The name — buri means city — food done fast using chef-inspired recipes,” Crave It partnered with Wan will be reflected in the design. “It’s stores before considering franchising. year and has eyes on the Montreal open up, and from there determine after visiting his restaurant Khao San going to be inspired by Thai street and Calgary markets. Burger’s Priest additional stores that will open up Road (Wan also opened Nana last stalls. It’s not going to be overly pol- Crave It adding units opened its first out-of-province loca- around it,” said Rechichi. “In Edished; we want it to feel very much monton, for example, we have sites October). Burger’s Priest recently opened tion in Edmonton in March. “This is a new concept that’s be- like Thailand when you go into the its ninth location in five years in To“We’re looking at some of the lined up for 2016 and we want to do ing incubated from the ground level restaurant, just like [Wan’s] restau- ronto’s Entertainment District with major markets across the country. We the same thing in Calgary, Ottawa — it’s all about collaboration and rants do right now,” Rechichi said. late-night hours and delivery through like starting off in the urban markets and Montreal. In Ontario, we’re bringing the right people with the The average footprint will be 2,000 Hurrier. Four to five new units are and getting the name out there — looking at some outer markets, but APPROVAL REQUIRED square feet with 40 to 50 seats. right skill sets to the table” Rechichi slated to open this year including the [Burger’s Priest] name, I think, is we’re really focusing on developing in The enclosed proof is sent for your approval. We will not proceed with the job until the proof is returned. NOT GIVE Rechichi VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS. CHECK CAREFULLY! expects to open within said. “We think there is a huge gapDO for stores in Union Station, Hamilton, pretty well recognized already across other parts of the country and hopeBeyond this point we cannot accept responsibility for any errors. Alterations (other than typographical errors) will be charged extra. Mark proof “OK” or “OK with corrections” as the case may sixthat the toproof eight months in the Ont., and near Yorkdale Mall at Duf- the country for a Toronto brand; it’s fully south of the border as well.” this type of concept.” be, signing yourthe name sonext we may know reached the proper authority. With Crave It lending its opera- Toronto area and like Crave It’s other ferin and Orfus Road. The brand will gotten a lot of press. We want to be APPROVAL will start with DATE corporate also be opening in Ottawa in the next able to go into these urban markets, tional experience, Wan will headSIGNATURE up OF concepts, Continued on page 3
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In conversation with Donna Dooher
TORONTO — Restaurants Canada president and chief executive officer Donna Dooher started off in the hospitality industry as a cocktail waitress, but discovered she wanted to be on the other side of the pass. She spent some time working in the corporate world, but her love for the industry lingered. “There is something about the restaurant business that I just became smitten with it,” said Dooher. She went to school for culinary arts at Algonquin College and got a job in an Ottawa restaurant which led to a three-decade-long career in the business. Dooher compares cooking to fashion, with trends moving in and out of style. “You always need that little black dress in your closet that you can accessorize,” said Dooher, equating the wardrobe staple to culinary skills and great ingredients. “If you’ve got those two working for you, you can pretty well accessorize your dress any way you like.” Dooher has a soft spot for Italian and Mediterranean cooking, but said she loves all kinds of food. “What I love in Canada is how we take
the diversity of the people who live in this country and we apply so much of their kitchen to our ingredients,” said Dooher. “I know we have trouble defining what Canadian cuisine is, but to me that’s what it is — it’s kind of like a quilt, a beautiful quilt … The Canadian pantry is huge and then you’ve got all these wonderful attributes coming from other kitchens, other styles of cooking and other cultures that do wonderful things with the ingredients.” Dooher is a past chair of the Restaurants Canada board, which she served on for about seven years before taking on the interim president and CEO role last year. As of June 1, she was awarded the position on a one-year contract, with the option to renew up to three years. Dooher said her role is to “help the organization get its footing back and make sure we’re more strategically aligned with our members. Being an independent operator and also having been a director on the board, it’s a great opportunity right now for the organization.” Restaurants Canada also needs to find a successor who is interested in eventually stepping into the role, said Dooher. “It’s a very big role and there is a lot to learn,” she said. A Restaurants Canada member for 20 years, Dooher has experience as an independent operator and entrepreneur, but noted her board experience helps her understand multi-unit operators as well. “When you are speaking in one voice, which is what we endeavour to do here, I think that’s important … it really is a collaborative perspective that has to come into play.” When it comes down to it, both chains and
independent operators want a healthy foodservice industry. “Sometimes the minutiae of issues can be different, but the overreaching messages are always the same,” said Dooher. When it comes to influencing change, an example of an immediate issue is the minimum wage position in Alberta, where the recently elected New Democratic Party plans to phase out liquor server wage and increase minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018. “This is a very big and serious issue for our industry and it isn’t that we are opposed to [higher] minimum wage, that’s certainly not the case, but we do feel that the government needs to hear our side of the equation in terms of aggressively going from $10.20 to $15 in a small window of time which could have very severe repercussions for the industry,” said Dooher. According to Restaurants Canada and other opposition, the higher labour costs could come with fewer available jobs and higher prices. Being a restaurateur and woman chef, Dooher also spoke to women in the kitchen and sexism in the kitchen following the recent Weslodge allegations. “I think in the workplace, in general, unfortunately, we still run into cases of harassment for women — for everybody,” said Dooher. “What concerns me is there is an assumption that this runs rampant through our industry, because I don’t believe that. I’m not going to say that we are not without incident and one incident is one too many, but I do believe there has been a great move forward and changing attitudes in general in the workplace, in our industry and in kitchens.” Having worked in kitchens for 35 years, Dooher has a unique perspective on the industry. “I’ve seen great strides being made and I think it’s important that we celebrate the positive things that are going on in our kitchens: the mentoring, the camaraderie, the learning,” she said, adding “feeling open enough to talk about it just demonstrates that we are continuing to evolve to that place that we need to be.”
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Crave It Restaurant Group plans new units Continued from cover The Stoney’s brand, which has been in Oakville, Ont., for about a decade, opened a second location on The Queensway near Islington Avenue last year. “It’s got a pretty extensive menu so we’ve been working on streamlining it.
There’s a lot of interest in the brand and a lot of people know it really well. As soon as we start to hit some of our goals around streamlining the brand and building some of the operations around it, our goal is to open up another one, hopefully in 2016.” Via Cibo, currently corporate, opened in
Toronto in 2013. There is a Calgary location and construction has started in Sherwood Park in Edmonton. A second Calgary location is slated for Coventry Hills and some sites are planned in the Ottawa area. “By same time next year, we’ll [have] probably about eight locations,” he said.
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EDITORIAL We recently featured women in foodservice in our February issue, but I couldn’t ignore the recent allegations of sexual harassment in the kitchen and the resulting attention to the issue in the media and in the industry. This subject was glossed over in our earlier coverage for likely the same reasons that it took but one person to speak up to elicit an outpouring of support and an equal amount of outrage. It may happen, but it’s not something people really want to talk about — or at least be the first to raise the subject. Whether or not the events Toronto pastry chef Kate Burnham said she endured while working at Weslodge occurred is a matter for the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal to decide. What’s on trial here is the honour of the restaurant industry. Kitchen culture has a reputation for bad behaviour and, even with the rise of many talented female chefs, the industry is still a bit of a boys club, with women often having to work harder than their male counterparts for acceptance and success. Sexual banter passes for suitable conversation and everyone is supposed to feel comfortable with it — male or female. With hours on shift
often competing with the rest of the world, a restaurant and the industry can easily become an incestuous place. The level of comfort that develops from working and partying together may result in some blurred lines, but it is no excuse for inappropriate behaviour. Toronto chef Charlotte Langley told the Globe and Mail she recognized the behaviour Burnham spoke of and referred to a “bro mentality” of being in a kitchen. “You’re with the bros, you get accepted by them and you’re kind of like one of them. Slapping on the ass, lewd comments, air humping, whatever, that’s what kitchens are like, a lot of them.” While Langley said she would punch someone out if they ever touched her crotch — one of the allegations made by Burnham — she wondered whether she should have tolerated as much as she has. No one wants to be labelled a cry baby and the fear of penalty or being ostracized for speaking up may have resulted in women in kitchens becoming tougher and feeling they have to work harder (and sometimes pretend like things aren’t offensive) to be accepted. “If a female cook makes it, if she becomes a chef, she’s often put in 10 times more effort than a male,” Eric Wood, the executive chef at Port Restaurant, in Pickering, Ont., told the Globe. “There is something so wrong about that.”
Restaurants Canada president and chief executive officer Donna Dooher has been a chef for more than 30 years In an interview (story on Page 3), Dooher said although there are issues in some kitchens, she has seen great strides in the industry. “What concerns me is there is an assumption that this runs rampant through our industry, because I don’t believe that. I’m not going to say that we are not without incident and one incident is one too many, but I do believe there has been a great move forward and changing attitudes in general in the workplace, in our industry and in kitchens,” she said. So, what now? How does the industry continue to evolve and shatter the divide between male chefs and female chefs so everyone gets the respect the title chef deserves? Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg (The Black Hoof) is spearheading a conference titled “Kitchen Bitches: Smashing the Patriarchy One Plate at a Time,” to discuss what she called “ingrained, systemic, emotional abuses (and sometimes physical)” and “a terrifying truth for so many cooks male or female.” I look forward to the panel, set to take place in September, and I hope it tackles the root of the problem and results in some solutions. Kristen Smith Associate Editor
NEWS BRIEFS Noodles & Company opens first Canadian outlet in Toronto TORONTO — Colorado-based Noodles & Company, a fast casual chain serving noodle dishes from around the world, opened its first Canadian location in Toronto’s TD Centre on June 9. Choosing the 2,900-square-foot space for its broad customer demographic and high level of foot traffic, the company is trying out another first at the Toronto outpost: breakfast. The main menu consists of more than 25 customizable dishes prepared with ingredients such as antibiotic-free, naturallyraised pork, organic tofu and 14 fresh vegetables prepped daily in the restaurant. Noodles & Company has more than 450 restaurant locations the United States. Keith Kinsey, Noodles & Company president and chief operating officer at the time of the interview, said the company will likely open about four more locations in the Greater Toronto Area the next 18 months. With only 14 per cent of the Noodles & Company system franchised, it’s important to ensure everything is in line from a company and brand perspective before moving into that territory in Canada.
Raymonds tops restaurant list TORONTO — St. John’s, N.L., restaurant Raymonds retained top spot on Vacay.ca’s Top Restaurants in Canada list for 2015. Raymonds of St. John’s earns the distinction in the fourth annual Vacay.ca Top Restaurants in Canada Rankings.
4 | Ontario Restaurant News
Toronto led with 12 entries on the list of 50. All 10 provinces were represented in the fourth annual compilation. 2015 Top 10 Restaurants in Canada, in order: Raymonds, St. John’s; Joe Beef, Montreal; Toque, Montreal; Bar Isabel, Toronto; Hawksworth, Vancouver; Splendido, Toronto; Mallard Cottage, St. John’s; Buca, Toronto; Bar Raval, Toronto; and Edulis, Toronto.
A3 opens in Little Italy TORONTO — A3 Napoli Pizzeria e Friggitoria opened its doors on June 12 serving up Neapolitan street food from the corner of Clinton and College in Toronto’s Little Italy. The menu — a collaboration between Pizzeria Libretto’s Chef Rocco Agostino and Porchetta & Co.’s Chef Nick auf der Mauer, will feature an array of fried foods and wood-fired pizzas. The quick-service style restaurant’s menu consists of pizza frittas (fried pizzas), wood-fired pizzas, and fritto misto (a selection of fried bites). The fried portion of the A3 menu is prepared using the friggitrice (fryer). Made by Stefano Ferraro, the fryer can hold 20 litres of oil. It cooks at an extremely high temperature ensuring the food’s exterior is crisp, while limiting the amount of oil seeping in.
Inaugural Durham event on tap WHITBY, Ont. — Eight municipalities are coming together this summer to highlight
the Region of Durham’s arts, culture and tourism offerings, including its restaurants, food trucks, wineries and brewers. The Durham Festival media launch on May 29 brought together local dignitaries, performers and foodservice representatives to celebrate the upcoming event, which runs Aug. 13 to 16. The four-day festival includes a number of planned activities including Taste Ajax on Aug. 15 and the Durham Harvest Picnic at Victoria Fields in Whitby, Ont., which will see a world record for the longest picnic table. “We have some incredible talent in Durham Region and it’s time to put all of that in the spotlight,” said Roger Anderson, regional chair and chief executive offer.
Gusto 54 Global launches TORONTO — To encompass the growing roster of her restaurant and hospitality ventures, Toronto-based restaurateur Janet Zuccarini established Gusto 54 Global Restaurant Group. Under its umbrella are Gusto 101 on Portland Street, Yorkville’s Trattoria Nervosa, Pai Northern Thai Kitchen (which is co-owned with Jeff and Nuit Regular) and recently launched Gusto 54 Catering and Commissary Kitchen. “Creating Gusto 54 was the natural evolution of my 20 years of experience as a restaurateur,” said Zuccarini. The name pays tribute to Zuccarini’s father, Giacomo, who founded Zuccarini Importing in 1954.
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EDITORIAL ADVISORY COUNCIL MICKEY CHEREVATY Consultant, Moyer Diebel Limited MARVIN GREENBERG Consultant JACK BATTERSBY President, Summit Food Service Distributors Inc. BARNEY STRASSBURGER JR. President, TwinCorp PAUL LECLERC Partner, Serve-Canada Food Equipment Ltd. PAUL MANCINI Director of Retail, Inventory and Wholesale, LCBO JORGE SOARES Director Food and Beverage Operations, Woodbine Entertainment Group ADAM COLQUHOUN President, Oyster Boy JOHN CRAWFORD Director of Sales-Canada, Lamb Weston TINA CHIU Chief Operating Officer, Mandarin Restaurant Franchise Corporation MARTIN KOUPRIE Chef/Owner, Pangaea Restaurant JOEL SISSON Founder and president of Crush Strategy Inc. LESLIE WILSON Vice-president of Business Excellence, Compass Group Canada CHRIS JEENS Partner, W. D. Colledge Co. Ltd.
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Café Boulud takes two with classic French focus TORONTO — More than two and a half years after Café Boulud opened in Four Seasons Hotel Toronto to mixed reviews, the restaurant is receiving a radical makeover, including an overhauled menu and $2-million redesign. On June 28, the eatery closed for renovations and will reopen in time for the Toronto International Film Festival in early September. “The menu will be based on the way my family gathered for a meal in Lyon,” said New York-based chef
Daniel Boulud in a release. “It will feature classic French dishes as well as a selection of unexpected items inspired by my curiosity and love for travel. There will be a real focus on generosity. We are really getting to the heart of the French culinary DNA.” Café Boulud’s food will be comfort-driven, “really traditional, brasserie-style,” said newly appointed chef de cuisine Sylvain Assié. That translates to a seasonal menu anchored by French standards such
Key to the new food program is a Rotisol rotisserie.
as quenelles de brochet (pike dumplings), blanquette de veau (veal ragout), niçoise salad; hand-cut tartares seasoned tableside; escargots in parsley sauce; charcuterie, such as terrines and pâté en croute, sourced from renowned Parisian supplier Gilles Verot; and Boulud favourites such as crispy calamari and the Frenchie burger. Lunch service will cater to a timestarved business clientele “who expect to eat fast,” so the menu will focus on salads and sandwiches, but also offer some main courses, said Assié. He added the breakfast menu will likely be tweaked to become “more French,” and may feature items such as croissants and savoury crêpes. Key to the new food program is a Rotisol rotisserie. Imported from France, and installed in Café Boulud’s kitchen in early June, the rotisserie features vertical and horizontal spits allowing for meat, poultry, fish and vegetables to cook simultaneously. Assié and his kitchen team have been experimenting, cooking a number of meats, including lamb and pork, on the Rotisol and have gotten
From left: Sylvain Assié and Daniel Boulud. excellent results, he said. French-born Assié, who’s 35, trained and studied in Montpellier, France, and has logged 20 years professional cooking experience. He joined Café Boulud’s Four Seasons Toronto sister concept, d|bar, as sous chef at the October 2012 launch, and now oversees the cuisine programs at both. He is collaborating closely with Daniel Boulud to develop Café Boulud’s new menu. In addition to the overhauled menu, the new Café Boulud will undergo a physical transformation
that aims for warmth and comfort, defined by a wraparound bar and intimate, low-banquette seating. Overseeing the restaurant space’s makeover is Martin Brudnizki, principal of New York- and London-based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. “There is something strong yet simple about mid-century design that creates harmony in an interior. We wanted to build on this balance with Café Boulud, to design a space that displays a modernist playfulness yet feels comfortably current,” said Brudnizki in a release.
ONroute completes five-year journey
From left: Bruce Allen, president of Canadian Tire Petroleum; Wayne Carson, president of Kilmer Infrastructure Developments Inc.; Ken Tanenbaum, chairman of ONroute and vice-chairman of Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Ltd; Neil Thompson, vice-president America Northeast and Canada at HMSHost; Amy Dunne, vice-president of business development at HMSHost. INNISFIL, Ont. — The opening of the Innisfil, Ont. ONroute on June 15 marked the completion of a five-year project to overhaul the service centres on more than 800 kilometres of 400 series highways. The 20th and last new build, the Innisfil ONroute replaces the Cookstown, Ont., location on southbound Highway 400. It features Tim Hor-
6 | Ontario Restaurant News
tons, New York Fries, Starbucks, Burger King and M Market. “Tim Hortons is an absolute icon; you couldn’t build a rest stop without one,” said HMSHost vice-president of business development Amy Dunne. As for housing two coffee chains under the same roof, Dunne noted that each brand has loyal customers. “There seems to be a bit of a
different customer.” The $300-million provincial contract was awarded to Host Kilmer Service Centres (HKSC), a joint partnership between HMSHost and Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited. HKSC celebrated the completion of the project on June 14 with a preview and trial run at the Innisfil location. New to the M Market concept,
which offers grab-and-go options and travel necessities, is a hot food counter with sandwiches, pizza flatbreads and salads designed by HMSHost executive chef John Pekka-Woods. Dunne said it’s important to provide portable, fresh, healthy options and be on trend, adding the new M Market is similar to HMSHost’s airport concepts. She noted that if the hot food offerings are successful in the Innisfil location, HMSHost may extend them to other high-traffic centres, but might alter the menu depending on the other foodservice options. “You don’t want to compete with yourself too much,” said Dunne. There are 14 quick service restaurants across the service centre network including: A&W, Brioche Doree, Taco Bell, Pizza Pizza, Teriyaki Experience, Swiss Chalet, Extreme Pita and East Side Mario’s Pronto. The Innisfil centre has a similar design to the other 19 ONroute locations, which vary in size depending on area and traffic. “I think we really saved our best work for last,” said Kilmer Infrastructure Developments president Wayne Carson. Combined, the ONroute system services more than 35 million customers a year. “It’s been quite a journey,” said
Bruce Allen, president of Canadian Tire Petroleum, which was chosen as the fuel partner for the centres. He remembers scrambling to open seven ONroutes before Canada Day in 2010. Host Kilmer chair Ken Tanenbaum describes the buildings as “light, bright and airy” as well as “timeless.” Common design elements include natural stone, a wood trellis, natural light from ground-to-roof windows and an upward sloping roof, which Tanenbaum said is reminiscent of the peaked rocks of the Canadian Shield. The service centres are designed for 50 years of continual use and are built to Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) specifications — 16 are LEED silver certified and three are LEED gold. The Innisfil location was designed to be LEED silver. The private-public partnership began with a redevelopment program set in motion by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government. When phase one was completed in 2010, Premier Kathleen Wynne was the Ontario minister of transportation. Three other service centres (Newcastle, Maple and Ingersoll, Ont.) — which saw updates in the 1990s — are slated for renovations in 2025.
Women in Food stirs things up
From left: Val Krampac, Cheryl Appleton and Maria Krampac.
Chef of the Year ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — As part of the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) 2015 National Convention, chef John Scurrey was awarded Chef of the Year. The conference took place May 26 – 31 at the Sheraton St. John’s. Following in his father’s footsteps, Scurrey began working in the cooking industry 44 years ago. He spent 28 years as a cook/ warder at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary
in St. John’s, N.L., while catering in his spare time. He became a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador association of Chefs and Cooks in 1980 and has held every executive position over the years, occasionally more than one at a time. Scurrey, the Eastern Region nominee, was joined by nominees Tony Fernandes (Central) and Anthony McCarthy (Western).
MISSISSAUGA — When Val and Maria Krampac lost their jobs (Val as an engineer and Maria as a bank manager), they decided to go into business together. In March of last year, the sisters opened The Cake Collective, a shared baking space for food entrepreneurs. Not only does it provide equipment and a certified kitchen for small operations and startups for a rental fee, the Mississauga kitchen also fosters a collaborative environment, said Maria. “Direct competition is here giving each other tips.”
Milestones brings tasty back
Jason Rosso. TORONTO — Milestones is looking to its 25-year history to celebrate the quarter-century occasion by introducing a “Bringing Tasty Back Menu.” The celebrations launched at Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas location in mid-June with a dinner designed by national executive chef Jason Rosso and a wine tasting led by Kim Crawford Wines brand ambassador Matt Deller. “Bringing featured winemakers
and special guests to our table is another way Milestones creates experiences not soon to be forgotten. This is how we bring our brands to life and share our story,” said senior marketing director Karen van Hunnik. The first Milestones opened in 1989 on Denman Street in Vancouver and now the Cara Operations chain has 54 locations across Canada primarily in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. The first Saskatchewan location
opened in Saskatoon in March and last November, Milestones made its first foray into Atlantic Canada with a St. John’s, N.L., restaurant. “So we are coast to coast officially — that’s our only location east of Ontario,” said van Hunnik, adding the company has a growth plan for Canada’s other major cities. “Great food, great service is really what’s kept us alive,” she said. “We have a chef in every kitchen, which is not necessarily the case in some other restaurants. What is great about this 25-year celebration is we have brought back some of the dishes that made us famous, that we are known for, and we let our customer base decide what those dishes would be.” A social media poll determined fan favourites — some of which were featured at the launch dinner on June 15 including: Cajun shrimp Diane (paired with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc) and roasted and carved tenderloin with truffle macaroni and brussels sprouts with bacon and pine nuts (paired with Kim Crawford Pinot Noir). Other feature items include portabello mushroom chicken, Thai noodle salad, classic meatloaf and Milestones’ signature frozen bellini.
This is the type of business Canadian Women in Food was created to support. The organization launched last November with 22 founding members to connect female food entrepreneurs. According to community manager and senior director of procurement for Aramark Canada Cheryl Appleton, the organization’s growth has exceeded expectations. The idea, said Appleton, was to “stir up” food and beverage by promoting and creating growth opportunities for women-owned businesses connected to the industry “and nour-
ish the spirit of female food entrepreneurs with meaningful connections,” she said. The goal: “To be viewed by the national food and beverage industry as the leading connector of female entrepreneurs in Canada by 2020.” The social enterprise has held six events so far in Ontario in Waterloo, Barrie, Toronto, Etobicoke, Vaughan and Mississauga (at The Cake Collective in early June.) Appleton said the group will take a short break over the summer and is looking to partner with a college to create a food entrepreneur program.
Historic Doctor’s House gets $4M reno injection
Marc and Ben Graci. KLEINBURG, Ont. — Following a $4-million renovation to the 19th-century property, The Doctor’s House, which saw upgrades to its banquet facilities, opened the doors to XXI Chophouse in late May. The steakhouse was built around the original beamwork of the building’s stable and was designed with reclaimed wood and equine accents mixed with bronze finishes and marble. The 90-seat XXI Chophouse has a large outdoor patio overlooking the grounds. Originally home to a number of doctors, the first restaurant was built
on the property in 1974 and in 1993, the building was expanded to house a chapel and six banquet rooms. The property has been owned and operated by the Graci family for 14 years. A 2012 renovation saw the addition of two large event spaces and four patios. In the kitchen, executive chef Sam Khalil, who has been with the property since 2012, serves seafood and local Paradise Farms beef aged in house. Future plans for the property include the construction of a hotel following the busy wedding season.
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Saber Chowdhury. By Don Douloff TORONTO — Toronto’s Distillery District and Corktown area restaurants will dish up food celebrating the Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games being held July 10-26 and August 7-15, respectively, throughout Ontario. As part of the Panamania festival (slated for July 10 to Aug. 15 as the arts and culture adjunct to the Games), the Distillery District will serve its menu on Trinity Street and in the courtyard adjacent to Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill. Complementing the festival’s gastronomic component will be musical performances ranging from folk and jazz to Afro-Colombian hip hop. The Panamania menu will focus on foods from the Caribbean and Latin America: Cuban sandwiches built on shaved pork shoulder; beef tenderloin skewers on rice and beans with chimichurri sauce; mojo-spiced pork shoulder on rice and beans; locally made chorizo sausages on a bun; grilled Latin-style corn on the cob; and cigar-shaped churro doughnuts filled with vanilla cream. Rounding out the menu are Chilean empanadas (braised beef with onion, black olives and raisins; grilled veggies with goat cheese; and curry coconut chicken) and adobo-spiced chicken wings. “Nothing brings people together like food, which represents people’s heritage and is something they take great pride in,” said Rik Ocvirk, director of operations at Distillery Restaurant Corp. The Panamania menu has been in development for a year, according to Timothy Miles, corporate chef at Distillery Restaurant Corp., who drew inspiration from multiple sources. He consulted
Giuseppe Pelligra. the cooks and chefs from the Distillery District’s El Catrin restaurant “for their amazing knowledge of Latin foods. I borrowed recipes from them and tweaked them myself to transpose them to a festival bulk-cookery environment. I have also leaned on my extensive travelling to put forth recipes I think are authentic. A lot of authentic Latin cuisine isn’t blowyour-head-off spicy. It’s more of a layered complexity of spices and chilies. Some of the chili flavours are more smoky and/or sweet, so the food won’t be seriously hot, but we will, of course, have a myriad of hot sauces on the side for those that like a bit of a kick.” In its quest for authenticity, the Distillery District kitchen team is following traditional cooking methods — for example, marinating the mojo pork in achiote, orange juice, vinegar and spices and braising it for three to four hours. Empanada doughs are made from a 65-year-old Chilean recipe. To meet the demands of cooking the Panamania menu for what is sure to be a well-attended festival, the Distillery District will augment its core staff of 18 chefs and 150 kitchen employees with students from George Brown College’s culinary program and will also hire additional temporary personnel, said Miles. Food prep will be carried out in the commissary kitchen attached to Pure Spirits. In addition, three 10 by 10 foot storage containers — “a kitchen in a box,” with full cooking capability and refrigeration, said Ocvirk — will be brought onsite during the festival. To accommodate famished Panamaniacs, the Distillery District will boost the capacity of Pure Spirits’ 70-seat patio by another 50 seats or so.
Also getting into the Pan Am Games spirit are Flame Shack and Fusilli eateries, on Queen Street East, in nearby Corktown. Flame Shack expanded its menu to include dishes from the countries of the Americas, such as huevos rancheros made with sautéed onions, green peppers, tomatoes and jalapeños on a flour tortilla topped with two eggs. Other highlights include Cajun chicken breast, smoky beef ribs, fajitas, and a fish taco featuring wild Atlantic cod. Beginning July 2, Flame Shack expanded its hours from 7 a.m. until midnight for the duration of the Games. “We’re located only about two blocks from the athletes’ village,” said owner/ operator Saber Chowdhury. “We know that late at night, people will be looking for a place to eat and drink, gather and watch the game highlights on our new HDTV set.” Similarly, Fusilli owner Giuseppe Pelligra hopes competitors, coaches and officials staying at the athletes’ village might drop in for a bite. “Who knows?” he said. “They all need to load up on carbs to compete and win. When our dining guests arrive, they’ll never know with whom they may be rubbing elbows. Maybe they’ll even show you their medals.” Fusilli’s athlete- and spectator-friendly carbs include pizzas such as the paesana, with hot salami, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and black olives, and pastas such as spaghettini with shrimp, scallops and basil in white wine tomato sauce. To make out-of-towners feel at home, Fusilli sports a colourful banner, hung on its front-sidewalk railing, welcoming athletes and their families to the Games.
TRENDS, CHALLENGES AND THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE FOODSERVICE. BY KRISTEN SMITH
n 2014, there were 1,519 long-term care facilities in Canada serving 149,488 residents, according to Statistics Canada. As of last May, there were 155 hospital corporations in Ontario operating on 238 sites. The number of beds under the health care banner is only expected to increase with new hospitals and senior living centres on the horizon. The health care foodservice industry has a delicate act to balance and an interesting future with aging boomers, increasing patient interest in food and limited hospital food budgets. Sysco Canada recognized health care foodservice as an important sector early on. Wendy Brancato-Neuman, regional vice-president of health care for Sysco Canada, has been in the industry for about 30 years, starting as a dietitian and joining Sysco two decades ago. During that time, she has seen quite a bit of change. As a result of the change and the growth of the market, suppliers have set up dedicated teams — Brancato-Neuman was hired to set up Sysco’s health care infrastructure — and manufacturers are following suit with arms of the business committed to the segment and resources being used on specifically-designed products. Ontario Restaurant News spoke with some of these suppliers, manufacturers and onsite culinary providers to get a pulse on the state of the health care segment and where it is headed.
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EXPECTED TO GROW Natalie Russell, national health care sales manager at Gordon Food Service, was hired to support and unify the division in Canada. “When I started in 2012, we had 17 people nationally across the country; we now have 36 people,” says Russell, noting the company sees it as a growing and important sector. “With all the baby boomers, ‘the silver tsunami,’ they call it, coming, it’s just ensuring that we are set for the future,” Russell says. Where some segments see between two and four per cent growth and others are even flat, Russell says health care foodservice is looking at eight or nine per cent growth. Denise Paul, director of Maple Leaf Foods’ Healthcare & Hospitality branch, says the protein company began focusing on the health care market about a decade ago following a market assessment that revealed the immense size of the market and its growth potential, driven by the senior living market. A large protein supplier to the Canadian health care market, Maple Leaf saw sales grow 11 per cent last year, according to Paul. ED Foods culinary specialist Jordana Rebner has a culinary background and focuses much of her time on recipe development for its products. The company markets its Luda H line of soup bases, sauces and gravies to the health care market because they are low in sodium and gluten-free. “That is definitely our growing line — it is becoming much more popular and selling a great deal,” says Rebner.
A hospital meal. Photo courtesy of Gordon Food Service.
Luda H beef gravy.
Maple Leaf Foods country sausage.
W h aT h E a lT h C a R E W a n T s
Salad with diced turkey. Courtesy of Maple Leaf Foods.
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In addition to gluten-free and low-sodium, Rebner says customers are also looking for products that are tasty, easy to use, steam table stable and can be frozen. She says it’s important to never compromise good, tasty food, since this is the basis of enjoying a meal and suggested adding protein and fresh vegetables to a soup base for a low-sodium meal. Rebner says patients aren’t going to settle — they want more options and tastier options. “They’re eating different foods, they’re being more adventurous in their daily life,” says Rebner, adding even though they are in the hospital, they still want to eat well and try new things. “Global flavours are a big trend across the food industry so that’s also coming into play in healthcare. People are looking to have a Mediterranean-style dish, [instead of] a typical pasta with tomato sauce that they were serving before,” she says. MEALsource is a non-profit program under the umbrella of St. Joseph’s Health System’s Group Purchasing Organization that handles the food contracts for 33 member health care facilities. According to contract specialist Wendy Smith, its vendors range from multinational manufacturers to a beef farmer in Simcoe County. “I’d say it’s changed a great deal since 1992, when I walked into this business. All the meals were cooked from scratch; we had bakers, we had butchers, we had cooks,” Smith says. With costs increasing for equipment and medicine, the food budget has gotten smaller. The average among MEALsource members is $7.33 a day for three meals and two snacks. Even with the scale of purchasing, says Smith, it’s challenging. Given that most member hospitals don’t cook, they need fully-prepared meals and that’s even more expensive. Paul says she expects continued use of full-prepared products in hospitals and to see transitions to new service models such as room-service style (see case study on page 12 for an example). In the past, says Paul, long-term care homes focused on ensuring seniors ate a nutritious meal that followed Canada’s Food Guide. With seniors living longer with chronic diseases, Paul says homes are asking for products with lower sodium and more natural ingredients.
Acute cAre Sandra Matheson, president of Food Systems Consulting, which focuses on institutional foodservice markets, says 70 per cent of their business is health care and it’s their job to keep up with global best practices to help clients. “Food is a more important element of the care protocol in those facilities where patients and residents stay for longer. Having said that, most of the hospitals have 30-day programs and it matters. Food always matters; that it be tasty and appetizing and appealing,” says Matheson, adding in areas with diverse cultures, sensitivity to dietary restrictions and preference comes into play as well. Matheson says while food quality is still important in hospitals, is becomes less significant in the most acute settings where the focus switches to nourishment. She notes that most facilities are providing three healthy, good-quality meals for between $7 and $9 a day. “It’s pretty impressive,” says Matheson. In terms of medicine and technology, advancements have resulted in shorter lengths of stay and continued, serious growth seems to be in long-term care beds as opposed to hospitals, according to Matheson. There are pockets that have seen large increases in population, such as Milton and the Cambridge/Woodstock corridor, which need more hospital beds, she adds. Matheson speaks of the “worried well,” those who are reasonably healthy and want to stay that way. “There is such a huge interest in being healthy and what it takes to stay that way and as a result of that, when people have something wrong with them … they are paying more attention, they know more,” she says. According to Russell, hospitals are looking for efficiencies while providing better food, which is always a focus when it comes to patient satisfaction scores. With staffing, food cost and food waste as challenges in the sector, Russell suggests asking whether the right food is being prepared. “Could we, not make less, but make the right food, the right proportions and get residents and patients to eat, with less waste at the end, with less labour?,” she asks. Sharon McDonald, president of Morrison Healthcare and Marquis Hospitality, the acute care hospital and senior living foodservice sectors of Compass Canada, has three decades of experience under her belt and worked in hospitals as a dietitian before joining the organization. She’s seen the delivery system move from scratch cooking to rethermalization technology, which many hospitals still use. In 2009, Compass introduced new technology into the market and for the 15 Canadian hospitals using Steamplicity, it has eliminated the capital cost of the retherm cart. Food is prepared, sealed with a proprietary valve and later cooked in a microwave under steam pressure. “We have been able to expand the patient menu so it’s more like a restaurant-style menu,” says McDonald. “We know that patients are expecting a lot more out of hospital foodservice. There was a time when hospital foodservice got a bad rap and our patient satisfaction scores were very poor around foodservice. We have been able to improve the patient satisfaction scores up around the 90 per cent level, which is phenomenal for patient food.” According to Paul, hospitals seek products “with a very strict nutritional profile so that one product can be served across various diet types such as healthy heart, renal and diabetic diets.” They are also looking for full-cooked, pre-portioned and already seasoned products for labour efficiencies.
Bedside ordering with Steamplicity. Courtesy of Compass Canada.
In the long term
Maple Leaf Foods fully-cooked, boneless beef riblets.
Sysco’s Brancato-Neuman says the retirement or senior living side of the business — the fastest growing portion — has seen a tremendous amount of consolidation and investment. Not only are chains buying other chains and independents, but high-end retirement chains are buying land and building new properties. “In all the years I’ve been in the business, I’ve seen it really explode in the last five to seven years,” says Brancato-Neuman. The clientele (or the clientele’s families) are more savvy and demanding. “It’s gone beyond just what’s good for them, it’s what they want now. They may not necessarily need a gluten-free diet, but they may demand that,” she says. “A lot of retirement homes are hiring corporate chefs from the hotel industry or restaurant industry. The product part of the business is really changing and is becoming much more high-end,” says Brancato-Neuman. Russell says some of Gordon Food Service’s customers have duck confit on their menus and senior living is more focused on hospitality than long-term or acute care. “That is really the way they differentiate themselves in the market and attract families and attract residents,” she says, adding some companies offer a free lunch as an opportunity to showcase the quality of food. With respect to long-term care, Brancato-Neuman says because people are living longer, “health concerns become much more paramount.” There are a number of different diets to keep straight: texture modified food for those with Dysphagia, renal diets, vegan and halal diets, low-sodium and low-fat diets. “There is demand for different types of menus and diets, which really makes things complicated,” she says. Recently, one of Sysco’s dietitians designed a vegan, renal diet. Marquis Hospitality is Compass Group’s senior living division and McDonald said cook-serve is the preferred model in long-term care and retirement homes. “This is their home so we want to prepare food as they would if they were at home,” she says. “It’s very important that they smell the aromas and they see the foods being prepared from scratch and have the availability of different selections based on their preferences,” says McDonald, noting it’s important to stimulate appetite. “The residents are very involved in the menu; we still have to really promote healthy eating because sometimes elderly people don’t eat properly and we have to make sure that we’re monitoring that,” says McDonald. According to Paul, long-term care homes are looking to provide seniors with traditional comfort foods that are familiar to seniors as well as meats with a mild flavour profile that are easy to cut and chew.
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LocaL sourcing Matheson says hospitals have tried to add more local to their product lineup with public sector facilities being encouraged by Foodland Ontario and the Greenbelt Foundation to buy more local products, but there are limitations, such as cost. She says many hospitals that started off with 15 per cent have brought that number up to 20 or 25 per cent, but it’s extremely difficult to achieve up to 45 per cent, “which is about as much as anybody thinks is likely achievable.” She points out that potatoes from P.E.I. are more affordable and consistent for use in an institutional setting than those from Ontario. “It’s partially because P.E.I. has focused on its potato business because they don’t have the mixed market we have in Ontario and as a result, they’ve got their act together as far as growing certain varieties, certain sizes, being able to wash them at the field level and have them ready to use, which is what the institutions need.” Many hospitals will source from Canada as a priority and then North America — also a matter of food safety and security, which is more important to vulnerable individuals, says Matheson. In 2011, MEALsource embarked on a project with My Sustainable Canada to look at the origin of food on contract on the request of a member in Guelph, Ont. “When we took a look at five product categories and where the products were coming from, that raised a lot of eyebrows and a lot of questions as to how we could translate our personal values when we shop at home to our professional life when we procure on a grand scale,” says Smith. She says the broader public sector procurement directive is very specific about not being able to prefer a region in the process. While some use sustainability as the factor, Smith says MEALsource doesn’t have the qualifications to evaluate whether greenhouse vegetable farming is more sustainable than shipping cucumbers from Mexico, so they don’t. “What we do is invite every vendor who produces, grows, manufactures the products that we’re looking for into our process and as vendors, there is a lot of rights under the directive as well. There is a lot of opportunity there,” she says. “Our focus, really, for the last four years has been vendor education.” In the protein category, MEALsource has gone from 8 vendors quoting on business to 23. “A lot are Ontario vendors, so odds are, some are going to win something,” she says. Since MEALsource started this work four years ago, it has more than doubled its Ontario product and of its $16 million total spend, is cresting $3 million in the province. “I think it’s paramount that the government and big players in this space continue to support the local food system. “It’s definitely within the mission and values of a public institution to support the community they’re serving,” she says. “I invite everyone who is in procurement in this space to make sure local providers are included in their process.” Chris Fry, vice-president of supply management for Sodexo Canada, says the company has committed to local sourcing as well as procuring from small and medium-sized vendors. The definition of local is client-dependent, says Fry. It could mean from a specific region, province or a set number of kilometres. In Nova Scotia it could mean Atlantic Canada. While he is seeing some interest in local food at Ontario hospitals, there is more in British Columbia “where we are seeing some pretty significant stipulations on how we improve the locally sourced product on a year-on-year basis,” says Fry, adding perhaps this trend will come east. He says the company does a good job of sourcing local, but doesn’t tell people about it — it’s bread is from Weston Bakery (local to many markets) and Coca-Cola products are bottled in Brampton, Ont. “A big company is still local to the Ontario market,” says Fry. “Part of it is about educating our staff and our clients around what is locally produced and then part of it is also looking for other options to source product locally. When we’re sourcing product locally, we still need to meet very strict standards from a quality assurance standpoint and traceability.”
Future directions According to Brancato-Neuman, the next 30 years will move at a faster pace than the past 30. The market will continue to grow, but the challenges will be found in resources. “As the health care and the seniors market grows, the labour force has shrunk,” she says. “I think what we’ll see is a lot more demand for products that appear to be homemade, but are pre-prepared because we just won’t have the people,” says Brancato-Neuman. “We already have robots serving people in nursing homes in China and Japan because they don’t have enough people to work there.” After living in a world where everything is at their fingertips, customers will become more demanding. “Today, we’re getting a little bit of that — just a little taste, but that will become bigger,” says Brancato-Neuman. Smith says while many think the segment will go back to cooking, she doesn’t see that happening. “But I think that vendors and foodservice departments are going to have to get very creative and we see that happening already. We have a couple of members who do brilliant things. They get a plain, fully cooked protein (which is what you need to meet your risk requirement) and mix it with fresh vegetables and a nice sauce and pour it over rice and what you have is fabulous. So there are lots of opportunities with product that’s precooked to put a really healthy, good meal on the table.” She says the industry is serving a generation of “thank you very much, the meal was lovely,” and “the boomers are going to demand some pretty great changes in the years to come.” Paul predicts increase in the home care market as more seniors will stay at home.
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CASE STUDY: WINDSOR REGIONAL HOSPITAL
Above: Laura Grusas, foodservice worker at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette Campus. At right: Ouellette Campus’s new line in action. The restaurant-style foodservice program has been running at the Windsor Regional Hospital’s (RWH) Metropolitan Campus for almost a decade, replacing the beltline with short order stations and changing the pre-order method and set delivery time to an ordering timeframe from an in-room menu. After taking over operations of the Ouellette Campus in October 2013, WRH rolled out the same program there last December. A recent survey at the new campus showed food satisfaction has increased from 55 per to 92 per after making the change. According to manager of guest services Monica Stanton, there is a correlation between food satisfaction and guests’ overall satisfaction with their stay. In a situation where people are not feeling well and many are anxious, Stanton notes being able to choose what and when you eat, “gives them some semblance of control, because when you’re in a hospital, you really don’t have control over anything.” It could also result in shorter lengths of stay. “When we’re happy with what we’re eating it improves our overall well-being,” she says. The acute care hospital had to change its software, patient menus and transform the kitchen into a room-service line, which includes a cold station and hot production area. Stanton explained that when the room-service style menus rolled out at the new campus, calls from both campuses’ 579 rooms started going to the same diet office at the Met Campus, which are then sent to the appropriate location. Those taking the calls are aware of dietary restrictions to ensure they are being followed and offer some guidance and education. For those who can’t call, a family member can place their order or staff will visit the patient’s room. The menu includes a number of short-order items such as grilled chicken breast, hamburger and stir-fry as well as items such as lasagna that are pre-prepared. During meal service, there are about nine people working in the kitchen and three or four people delivering trays, Stanton says. She says increased costs are offset by reduced costs in other areas. The hospital has outsourced its cafeterias: at Met Campus the contract went to a sub chain and at Ouellette, construction is underway for local Italian eatery Armando’s to take over operations. Less food is being wasted since people are ordering what and how much they want to eat. The use of floor supplies is also reduced, with patients more satisfied with their meals. According to president and chief executive officer David Musyj, the restaurantstyle foodservice is more expensive in terms of labour, costing between $6 and $7 dollars more a day per patient and at the Met Campus working out to about $400,000 more annually. However, he says the benefits outweigh the cost.
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Redline Brewhouse opening taps in July By Don Douloff BARRIE, Ont. — Redline Brewhouse plans a July opening in south-end Barrie, Ont., for its triple-threat format of onsite brewery, restaurant and retail store. “First and foremost, we are a brewery,” said Kari Williams, who co-owns the brewhouse along with her husband Doug. Indeed, since last fall, the Redline team, led by brewmaster Sebastian MacIntosh, has been creating a line of ales — three core beers (5:01, Clutch and Speedwobble, all of which will be available at launch), and five specialty brews, most of which will be ready in time for launch, said Williams. Ultimately, eight Redline beers, along with one cider and three guest-tap offerings, all from Ontario craft brewers, will be available on draught at the restaurant. Plans call for the retail store to open July 1 and the restaurant to launch mid-month. Rounding out the drink list will be eight classic cocktails made with rye, rum and vodka sourced from Ontario craft distilleries and a wine list (three reds, three whites). Handling kitchen duties will be Chris Gardiner, who’s worked at such Barrie-area eateries as Oscar’s and the Farmhouse.
Williams described a smaller-sized menu of “rustic but refined” dishes — “traditional pub fare with a unique twist.” Making up the core, printed menu will be standards such as burgers, wings and pizza, augmented by rotating chalkboard features. “There will be a lot of change” to the chalkboard menu, said Williams. Fish tacos, braised short ribs and daily sandwiches are anticipated. Service will unfold in a two-storey space. Occupying the ground floor will be the pub, with about 100 seats divided among high-top table seating, padded banquettes, low-top tables and a 15-seat bar. Seating 45, the second-floor room will be used as restaurant space and for hosting meetings and events. Influencing Redline’s decor will be an automotive theme and industrial look intended to make customers feel like they’re in a retro garage, said Williams. Reinforcing the industrial ambience will be cement-block walls of red and apple green; stainless steel accents; colourful wall paintings of vintage cars and motorcycles; and concrete floors. Providing a visual focal point will be the glass-enclosed brewery that will occupy between 8,000 and 9,000 square feet and whose stainless steel vats will be visible from the pub and second
From left: Kari, Devon, Darci and Doug Williams. floor. The 1,000-square-foot retail store, located at the front of the restaurant, will sell Redline’s canned brews and merchandise. “We want people to feel this is a home base for them,” said Williams, who added that Redline will engage with the Barrie community through involvement with charitable organizations and participation in local events.
The venture is a family affair, with Kari and Doug’s son Devon overseeing brewery operations; daughter Darci handling marketing and promotions; and Kari and Devon sharing restaurant general manager duties. Redline represents a departure for the family, which owns Darvon Sales Inc., a Barrie-based constructionequipment business.
Best Bar None awards
Corby wins Supplier of the Year at 2015 Elsie Awards.
Corby named LCBO Supplier of the Year
Best Bar None Toronto winners. TORONTO and OTTAWA — Best Bar None handed out awards to the hospitality and foodservice industry for excellence in the responsible sale and service of alcohol in Toronto and Ottawa, on June 9 and June 11, respectively. In Toronto awards went to: • Best Bar/Lounge: Real Sports Bar & Grill • Best Members Club: The Spoke Club • Best Restaurant: Turf Lounge • Best Hotel: Hyatt Regency Toronto • Best Club: Crocodile Rock • Best Venue: Air Canada Centre • Best Pub: Fionn MacCool’s (Front Street) • People’s Choice: Real Sports Bar & Grill In Byward Market the winners were: • Best Bar/Lounge: Real Sports Bar & Grill • Best Pub: Pub 101 • Best Restaurant: Fatboys Southern Smokehouse • Best Hotel: Courtyard Marriott • Best Club: Kavali • People’s Choice: The Liquor Store Party Bar/Green Room
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The establishments were selected by a judging panel comprising Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and Best Bar None (BBN) Ontario, an industry-led international accreditation and awards program that rewards responsible liquor sales licensees. “All the winners have set high standards and serve liquor responsibly in order to reduce the potential for alcohol-related issues. By developing positive relationships with neighbours, patrons, the city, law enforcement and industry partners, the winners are helping make the community safer and the experience for patrons more enjoyable,” said Tony Elenis, the president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association, which leads BBN Ontario. Best Bar None originated in 2003 in Manchester, U.K. In the U.K. and in Alberta, BBN programs have been credited with increasing levels of public safety and reducing crime in downtown entertainment districts.
TORONTO — Corby Spirit and Wine Limited won three awards at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s (LCBO) 21st annual Elsie Awards, including the 2015 Agent/Supplier of the Year award for large companies. This is Corby’s fourth time being named Supplier of the Year in the last decade. In addition, Corby was also honoured in
two other categories: Social Responsibility, for #corbysaferides, in which Corby teamed up with the Toronto Transit Commission to provide free public transportation on New Year’s Eve; and Best Special Event, for the “Cupcake Truck Tour”, where Cupcake Vineyards toured the country in food trucks offering cupcakes and samples of the cupcake-inspired wine.
Sake festival sees annual growth TORONTO — The fourth annual Kampai Toronto saw more than 175 sakes from more than 60 breweries poured for visitors to The Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s Distillery District in late May. The event started with an information session on the fermented rice beverage (pronounced “sah-kay”). In Japan, the word is used for alcohol beverages in general. “This sake festival keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Michael Tremblay, vice-president of knowledge and education for the Sake Insti-
tute of Ontario and sake sommelier at Ki Modern Japanese. Tremblay went through some highlights of sake’s 2,600-year history. He spoke of the need for quality water, as 80 per cent of a bottle is water. The majority of premium sake is made with rice known as sakamai, which has a higher starch content and often a larger grain than table rice. (There are more than 100 strains of sake-specific rice.) The grading is determined by milling rates.
D E C O D I N G T H E D ATA
Working for the weekend: weekpart trends in foodservice By Scott Stewart A case of the Mondays. Happy Friday. Putting on your Sunday best. Over time, we get used to what to expect on given days of the week. Weekdays are often much different than weekends, and behavioural changes reflect this. The foodservice market is no different — behaviour during the week and on weekends can vary greatly and trends can differ as well. According to The NPD Group, weekend and weekday foodservice traffic have been moving in two different directions in recent years. Within a total commercial market that declined by 2 per cent this year and has been flat overall since 2011, weekday traffic increased by 1 per cent this year and has increased by 1 per cent per year since 2011. Conversely, weekend traffic declined by 5 per cent this year and has decreased by an average of 1 per cent per year since 2011. Such a difference in performance indicates a shift in the market — specifically, consumers are moving from weekends to weekdays, which poses some significant concerns for the market.
FSR weekend dependence The weekend occasion is especially important to the full service restaurant (FSR) segment. Though it is only two days out of a week, the
weekend accounts for 45 per cent of FSR’s total traffic. In comparison, only 30 per cent of quick service restaurant (QSR) traffic comes through the doors on the weekend. Unlike QSR, FSR’s declines have been similar across weekdays and weekends; a loss of 2 per cent per year for both weekparts since 2011. However, the growing concern is the effect QSR’s shift to weekdays may have on the FSR market in the coming years. As consumers become more habitual in weekday foodservice visits, FSR could start to see a larger decline on weekends as a result. This begs the question: why worry about weekends if restaurants can win on weekdays instead? The concern stems from the fact that not all foodservice occasions are equal. At FSR supper, for example, consumers spend 8 per cent more on the weekend than they would on a weekday. In addition, party sizes are 8 per cent larger on weekends too, resulting in 16 per cent larger party checks. For a restaurateur in a market that has not been able to establish organic growth for several years, the opportunity to increase a party’s spend by 16 per cent is an opportunity too important to pass up. Another advantage for weekend supper at FSR is that consumers tend to order about 8 per cent more items on average. Specifically, side dishes and appetizers are 15 per cent more likely to be ordered on weekends than weekdays, and
consumers are actually 43 per cent more likely to include a dessert. Beyond the immediate increase in spend to support a restaurant’s bottom line, NPD Group’s research also shows that customer satisfaction increases as more items are included in a meal. Revisit intent is also higher among occasions that included multiple courses (appetizers, mains and desserts), meaning that bringing someone in for a weekend visit will actually result in a greater chance of getting that customer to come back than if they had visited on a weekday.
How the consumer sees it From a consumer perspective, weekend FSR occasions tend to be more exciting than the more habitual weekday visit. Among reasons for visit, FSR supper weekend occasions are 15 per cent more likely to be a special occasion, 15 per cent more likely to be driven by wanting to try a new or different place and 16 per cent more likely to be driven by someone else’s recommendation. Taken together, this starts to illustrate the weekend supper occasion as more celebratory and exploratory — people are in a more jovial mood and want to try something different. For the FSR operator, this means catering to these needs for a more exciting weekend experience. Whether it is special dishes available only on weekends, or training service staff to
encourage new trial, like appetizer or dessert suggestions and recommendations, operators should look to indulge the weekend consumer. In a declining market, it is more important than ever to win these weekend traffic occasions from the competition.
Ensuring the weekend doesn’t end As this shift away from weekends continues in the overall market, operators should be concerned about the impact to both traffic and dollars. With that in mind, it highlights the importance of bringing focus back to these weekend occasions. Consumers spend more, order more, bring more people and are more likely to return when they visit on the weekend. Targeting the celebratory and exploratory nature of these occasions will help operators resonate with these consumers and encourage more of these weekend visits. And in an FSR market that is smaller today than it was in 2011, operators need to leverage every possible advantage to drive profitable traffic. Scott Stewart is an account manager, Foodservice Canada for The NPD Group. The NPD Group has more than 25 years of experience providing reliable and comprehensive consumer-based market information to leaders in the foodservice industry. For more information, visit www.npd.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FSR SUPPER SPENDING COMPONENTS
WEEKDAYS - $18.60
WEEKENDS - $20.15
WEEKDAYS - $43.44
WEEKENDS - $50.70
AVERAGE EATER CHEQUE
AVERAGE PARTY CHEQUE
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Colabor extends supply agreement with Cara BOUCHERVILLE, QUE. — Colabor Group Inc. announced in April the early renewal and extension of its long-term distribution and supply agreement with Cara Operations Ltd. The agreement calls for Summit Food Distributors Inc., the Ontario division of Boucherville, Que.-based Colabor, to supply Cara brands in Ontario and Quebec, and extends the longstanding relationship through the end of 2022. In addition, the agreement provides Colabor with the opportunity to supply restaurants operating under any new brands that may be acquired or developed by Cara, or any of its affiliates, in Ontario and Quebec. Summit will supply Cara’s Ontario and Quebec restaurants with food across all categories, as well as non-alcoholic beverages, according to Jack Battersby, president of Summit Foods, which is based in London, Ont., and operates warehouses in London, Ottawa, Mississauga and Vaughan, Ont. In addition, the “new agreement has been broadened to include all restaurants previously owned by Prime Restaurants Inc.,” said Battersby in a memo to Summit employees. In 2013, Cara acquired Prime, whose main brands
include East Side Mario’s and Casey’s, as well as several brands of Irish pubs and Belgian-style brasseries under Prime Pubs. Beginning in November, Colabor will begin supplying these brands, which will necessitate the hiring of additional employees, according to Battersby. The agreement was concluded “after an extensive, consultative and collaborative process,” said Battersby. “We worked closely with Peter Vale (Cara’s vice-president, strategic sourcing) and Bill Gregson (Cara’s chief executive officer) to eliminate unnecessary system costs and focus on efficiencies that will provide benefits for the Cara systems.” Cara is Canada’s largest full service restaurant company and third largest restaurant operator based on 2013 sales. The company operates such brands as Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill, Harvey’s, Milestones Grill & Bar, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Kelsey’s, East Side Mario’s, Casey’s, The Landing Group, Fionn MacCool’s, D’Arcy McGee’s, Paddy Flaherty’s, Tir nan Óg and Bier Markt. As of Dec. 30, 2014, Cara had 837 restaurants across Canada, 89 per cent of which are operated by franchisees.
From Left: Stephanie Perry (Permul, president), Kevin Collis (Tabletop Plus Inc., president) Kevin Kerr (Hendrix, vice-president of sales), Matt Julien (Hendrix, contract manager), Sam Riccio (Riccio Group Inc., president).
Hendrix picks up two MAFSI awards MILTON, Ont. — Hendrix Restaurant Equipment & Supplies was presented with two notable awards from the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry (MAFSI). Dealer of the Year was presented to Kevin Kerr, vice-president of sales, and contract manager Matt Julien at the MAFSI Golf Tournament on June 1 in Milton, Ont. In addition,
Robert Drake of Hendrix was presented with the award for Dealer Sales Representative of the Year. MAFSI is a professional trade organization composed of independent sales agencies and manufacturers of commercial foodservice equipment and supplies. Award recipients are selected by manufacturers’ agents.
GBS adds ITV Ice Makers Atlantic lobster fishery achieves MSC certification OAKVILLE, Ont., — GBS Foodservice Equipment added ITV Ice Makers to its product lineup as of June 1. Founded in 1981, ITV has distribution to more than 100 countries and on every continent. The Miami, Fl., company, which has its main manufacturing facility and headquarters in Valencia, Spain, focuses on cube-style and flake ice machines, dispensers and storage bins,
filtration systems, parts and accessories. Oakville, Ont.-based GBS began in 1974 as a manufacturer of rotisserie equipment for the Ontario market. After being purchased in 2001 by Paul Douglas, the primary shareholder of the Douglas Group, the product line was expanded from four to more than 200 and distribution is Canada-wide.
Supply-managed farmers team up
From left: Egg Farmers of Canada chair Peter Clarke and Turkey Farmers of Canada chair Mark Davies. OTTAWA — Canada’s dairy, poultry and egg farmers teamed up to host a 1950s-style pop-up diner in Ottawa on June 4 to highlight food under the system of supply management.
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More than 2,000 breakfast and lunch sandwiches were made with fresh, local ingredients from supply-managed farms, which agree to follow a consistent set of rules.
TORONTO — The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified the Bay of Fundy, Scotian Shelf and Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence lobster trap fishery (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) as sustainable in May. According to MSC, this means that nearly all lobster from Atlantic Canada is eligible to bear the MSC eco-label intended to demonstrate the seafood comes from a well-managed, environmentally sustainable source. “The MSC congratulates the harvesters, live shippers, processors and buyers/dealers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for coming together to achieve this milestone,” said Jay Lugar, MSC program director, Canada. “Certification of this fishery is exciting news for both global markets that will welcome this large volume of MSC-certified lobster, and for Canada as a global top 10 fishing country. Approximately 67 per cent of all Canadian fisheries are now engaged with the MSC program, further reinforcing Canada’s position as a world leader in seafood sustainability.” In 2014, the landed value of all lobster fisheries in Canada was $853 million, the highest of any fishery in the country. Of that, $671 million, or 79 per cent, was generated by 4,152 independent licensed harvesters in the Bay of Fundy, Scotian Shelf and Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence lobster trap fishery (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), which is the economic backbone of many coastal communities across Atlantic Canada. In 2014 landings for the fishery were 63,366 tonnes, according to preliminary figures from
Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, approximately 75 per cent of the national total landings for lobster. The main commercial market for the lobster is the United States, followed by Europe (primarily Belgium, France and the United Kingdom) and Asia (primarily China, Japan and South Korea). Lobster from Canada is sold in significant quantities both in live and processed (frozen lobster tails, whole frozen and lobster meat) formats to all these markets. The Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Lobster Eco-Certification Society was formed by a collective of interested parties including harvesters, dealers/buyers, shippers and processors, for the purpose of achieving certification for the fishery. The society combines the majority of fishermen’s associations in the two provinces, most major processors and many other shippers, buyers and dealers that have supplied lobster from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to world markets for generations. “Attaining MSC certification is a tremendous accomplishment for the Canadian lobster industry,” said Eugene O’Leary, president of the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Lobster Eco-Certification Society. “It is the result of industry co-operation across provincial borders and with competitors, which is in itself an achievement within an industry known for its fierce independence. It helps ensure the long-term viability of the resource and favourably positions the largest lobster fishery in Canada in growing international markets,” O’Leary added.
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Teamwork key to channel relationships: FCSI panel TORONTO — Consultants, manufacturers, manufacturers reps and contractors must work together and communicate effectively to ensure projects proceed smoothly and deliver the right product to customers, according to a panel convened by Foodservice Consultants Society International’s (FCSI) Canadian chapter on June 11 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto. Panelists included Matt Julien, contract manager, east, Hendrix Restaurant Equipment & Supplies; Danny Collis, principal, Collis Group Inc., a sales and marketing organization representing manufacturers’ products; Larry Bishop, food equipment sales and support, Hobart Canada; and consultant Dale Burnstad, an eight-year professional member of FCSI. Handling moderating duties was Patrick Watt, who has been an FCSI professional consultant since 1998. On the communication front, Burnstad noted that consultants are hired because they’re seen as an unbiased source to place equipment into each project, but are not necessarily experts in each job’s components. “Consultants’ success is built on the education they receive from manufacturers and manufacturers reps,” he said.
According to Julien, bid tampering and “shopping after close” are a “real problem” for the industry. As a solution, he suggested “it would be better if consultants were involved in the bidding process, to ensure there’s no tampering.” Another issue, noted Burnstad, was “ignorance and inexperience during the tendering process regarding specifications.” Manufacturers reps and dealers “are not understanding drawings. If it’s not written in the specifications, they don’t know how to interpret it to scale,” he added. On the sales side, a reps’ “first task is to educate. Everyone has to work together on complex projects with complex components,” said Collis. Burnstad noted that respect among channel partners is “lacking.” Echoing his and Collis’s sentiments was Bishop, who said, “To succeed, everyone must work as a team and show respect.” He added that during a project, when consultants need information, it’s crucial that they receive it “accurately and on time.” Improperly written equipment operating and maintenance manuals, too, are a problem, and can create warranty or claims issues for service companies, said Burnstad.
Bamford supports “ugly” produce movement MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A twisted carrot is still tasty. Which is why Mississauga, Ont.-based Bamford Produce featured “ugly” fruits and vegetables for the week of June 22. Food waste in Canada amounted to $31 billion last year and a significant portion is discarded because of imperfect size, shape or colour. According to Bamford Produce, the company has been paying attention to the ugly produce movement since it started last year in France. Recently, Loblaws announced plans to start selling discounted misshapen produce to help reduce food waste and make healthy food more accessible to Ontarians.
“Bamford Produce is shining the spotlight on ugly produce this week as a first step towards engaging with our foodservice customers on this subject, in hopes of getting them to think differently about produce items that may not meet certain visual standards of perfection,” Bamford marketing manager Tanisha Dunkley said in an email. “What we hope to accomplish is to get customers thinking more about the use of produce items rather than appearances. After all, once a produce item such as apple or tomato is chopped up and mixed in with other ingredients, you don’t remember how perfectly round or even-coloured they used to be.”
From left: Ace, Blue Jays Mascot; Domenic Primucci, president of Pizza Nova; Paul Beeston, Toronto Blue Jays CEO and president, Sam Primucci, founder and CEO of Pizza Nova; Leonar-dough, Pizza Nova Mascot.
Pizza Nova commits to “better-for-you” TORONTO — Pizza Nova introduced pepperoni sourced from animals that are Canadian-raised without antibiotics or hormones and vegetable grain-fed. Company president Domenic Primucci made the announcement at a press briefing held June 18 at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto. Pepperoni is Pizza Nova’s Number 1 topping, so it made sense to start with that ingredient when seeking to create healthier offerings, said Primucci at the briefing. For almost a year, Pizza Nova worked with its supplier, Maple Leaf Foods, to produce a healthier pepperoni made from a blend of beef and pork. During the development process, Primucci tested the various pepperoni formulations with Pizza Nova call-centre employees in blind tastings. “We didn’t want to change the flavour profile of the pepperoni,” said Primucci. The revamped pepperoni follows Pizza Nova’s introduction of trans fat-free dough, glutenfree multigrain crust and, in late 2014, Daiya
mozzarella-style shreds (free of dairy, gluten, soy and lactose and non-GMO), all brought on to accommodate consumers’ changing dietary needs and meet their growing demand for healthier foods. “This is more of a shift in the market rather than a trend,” said Primucci. Looking ahead, Primucci said Pizza Nova is testing other proteins, also with the aim of making them free of hormones and antibiotics. “All meats will be looked at,” he added. In addition, the chain will “evaluate other better-for-you products entering the market and evaluate their suitability,” said Primucci. “We want to be at the forefront of the better-for-you category.” Founded in 1963 by Sam Primucci, Domenic’s father, Pizza Nova operates over 140 locations in Ontario and plans to open about 10 new locations in 2015. Each year, the chain sells more than 4 million pizzas, driving annual sales of more than $112 million, and uses 5.5 million pounds of cheese and 750,000 pounds of pepperoni.
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1. From left: Marcus Mariathas, Alan Dumonceaux and James Holehouse. 2. From left: Rick Woods, vice-president of operations for Baskin-Robbins U.S. and Canada, Manni Duong and Dominic Laskero, senior director of operations Canada and U.S. 3. Natalie Carrier receiving the Food Executive of the Year award from Thomas Holzschuher, CAFP National President. 4. From left: Franco Naccarato, Donna Barnes, Steve Croft, Christine Romano, Nancy Hewitt, Melanie Bryant, Randy Cannell, Samantha Jones, Audrius Valiulis, Penny Redmond and Steve Burns. James H. Little passed away on June 13 after a battle with leukemia. Born June 27, 1938 and a graduate of the University of Toronto for civil engineering, Little joined his father in the foodservice consulting business at Keith Little Associates in 1962. He took over the business after his father’s retirement in 1975 and made it his goal to expand the company, which resulted in a merger to create Cibi-Little International in 1985. This lead to Little and his wife Elizabeth’s move the Los Angeles two years later to head up the new company’s West Coast North America and Asia Pacific division. Little was an active member of Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) for 40 years serving as president and on many committees. John Mauro has been appointed president and chief executive officer of seafood importer and supplier Toppits Food Ltd. Mauro has served as Toppits vicepresident of sales for the past seven years and has more than 22 years of experience in the Canadian food industry. Former president and CEO Heather Gremont has taken on the role of chair of the board of directors. Gremont brought the company to Canada in 1976. Gremont’s new role will see her act as a liason between the board and Toppits’ management team and provide counsel to Mauro in his new position. “As Toppits opens this new chapter in our long history, I am confident that John will continue to evolve the company in the right direction,” said Gremont. With the retirement of Brian Rooney after eight years and Julia Valade returning to school this fall, Friends of We Care combined the roles into one.
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Khadijah Samnani joined the organization on June 9 in the new role of office and special events administrator. Samnani graduated from York University in 2012 with a degree in international studies development. Prior to joining Friends of We Care, she was an office administrator for a real estate brokerage and a social media co-ordinator for Apple Auctions. Samnani has volunteered with the fundraising and promotion of World Partnership Walk for the past 10 years. Other news at Friends of We Care includes its new office in Concord, Ont. An open house is being held on July 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 35 Adesso Dr. Baking Team Canada will compete in February in Paris, France at the prestigious World Cup of Baking, also known as the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. The six-member team secured a spot at the international competition after scoring the highest points at the Louis Lesaffre Cup earlier in June in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Four of the team’s members are from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), including manager and Viennese pastry competitor Alan Dumonceaux (chair of NAIT’s baking program), technical advisor Clayton Folkers (NAIT baking instructor), artistic showpiece competitor James Holehouse (graduate of the NAIT baking apprentice program) and Elien de Herdt (NAIT baking graduate). Coach Mario Fortin, owner of Forma-Lab baking consulting business, and ACE Bakery master baker Marcus Mariathas, round out the team. In addition to qualifying in Argentina, the award for top young hopeful baker went to de Herdt. Established in 1992, the World Cup of Baking is a competition held every three to four years. The com-
peting teams consist of three bakers. “Canada has tried four times to qualify for the World Cup of Baking. This time we succeeded. We’re part of history for Canadian baking,” said Dumonceaux. “For our students at NAIT, this is significant. All the skills we developed in training for this competition will be transferred back into our teaching and passed along directly to our students.” Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and BaskinRobbins, presented Manni and Man-Lay Duong of Toronto with the 2014 Baskin-Robbins Operator of the Year Award at the 9th annual Dunkin’ Brands Franchisee & Enterprise Awards Ceremony recently held in Boston. The pair operate the location at North York Plaza on Lawrence Avenue. “Manni and Man-Lay have only been part of the Baskin-Robbins system since 2013, but in that short time they’ve improved operational standards, increased customer traffic and boosted their cake business with creations that are truly works of art,” said Rick Woods, vice-president of operations for Baskin-Robbins U.S. and Canada. In addition, the Duongs were applauded for their community involvement, including participating in the “Cakes for Community” event to support the Toronto SickKids Foundation. “Being named the Baskin-Robbins Operators of the Year means very much to both of us and to our employees, who are like family,” said Manni Duong. The Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals/Association canadienne des professionels des services alimentaires (CAFP/ACPSA) announced Natalie Carrier as the 2015 Kraft National Food Executive of the Year at its annual confer-
ence held in Fredericton, N.B., from May 28 - 30. Carrier began her career as a foodservice supervisor at the Campbellton Regional Hospital more than 20 years ago. After she completed her master’s in food and nutrition at the Université de Moncton, she became the Moncton Facilitator for Health Canada’s Nutrition Survey. In 1997, she started her career as professor of food and nutrition at the Université de Moncton. After three years she decided to pursue her PhD in nutrition at l’Université Laval. She focused on the influence of foodservice and dining environment on nutritional risk and quality of life of long term care (LTC) residents. She was promoted to associate professor in 2011. That same year she took on the role of director of the school of food sciences, nutrition and family studies. Over the course of her career she has published in collaboration with other researchers, dozens of research papers and book chapters, has presented at more than 20 conferences and workshops, and has obtained more than $1.3 million in research grants. Carrier is currently conducting a research project related to mealtimes in LTC in collaboration with three other universities in Canada. Carrier has been a member of the New Brunswick Branch of CAFP since 2002 and obtained her credentialed food executive (CFE) in 2007. The 2015 conference was held at the Delta Fredericton with the theme “come and hear the buzz.” Coinciding with the national conference, the association also launched a new website in late May: www.cafp. ca. The Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals Toronto branch introduced its 2015/2016 president and board of vice-presidents at its annual general meeting at Summit Distribution Centre in Mis-
sissauga, Ont., on June 18. Steve Croft, president for the past two years, and the existing board presented highlights of the last year. “Time often flies by; however, the past two years has seemed more like three years. I built a small army, the largest board in the history of the CAFP. New people and roles were introduced including students in social media. I asked that they all put their fingerprints on the association. Change it. Grow it. Take risks ... And that’s exactly what we did,” said Croft. The newly appointed CAFP Toronto board, led by president Nancy Hewitt, foodservice market specialist for Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, consists of: • Christine Romano, treasurer; • Melanie Bryant, vice-president programs; • Randy Cannell, vice-president marketing; • Franco Naccarato, vice-president industry liaison; • Penny Redmond, vice-president membership; • Philip Sanders, vice-president student development – Centennial College; • Michelle Alcia-Popplewell, vice-president student development – High School; • Donna Barnes, vice-president student development – Ryerson University; • Peter Rick, vice-president student development – Humber College; • Samantha Jones, vice-president student development – University of Guelph; • Doris Miculan-Bradley, vicepresident student development – George Brown College; • Steve Burns, vice-president business development; and • Audrius Valiulis, vice-president Senior Management Advisory Council [SMAC].
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