Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News |Fall 2017

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& Restaurant Canadian

Fall 2017

Foodservice News Official Magazine of the Canadian Culinary Federation



DIVIDE Publication Agreement #40033126




See page 45 for trends and innovation on lunchtime menus



Canadian Trailblazer Phoebe Fung | Spanning the Globe | Let’s Do Lunch | Packed with Power | Augmented Loyalty

contents Fall 2017 VOL. 8 NO. 3




16 The Digital Divide How does your marketing strategy measure up

10 Business Operations Creating Change

14 Augmented Loyalty A different recipe for success

By Kamron Karington

12 Social Media Going Social


By Matt Rolfe

By Steven Chester

8 Chef Q&A Michael Allemeier, SAIT 62 Crunching Numbers Institutional Foodservice

24 Honing Your Craft The art and science of making cheese By Martin Kouprie

4 Editor's Note The New Age of Marketing 6 Canadian Trailblazer Phoebe Fung, Vin Room

By Patrick Watson

27 Spanning the Globe The evolving demand for fish and seafood By Laura McGuire

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTS 45-55 Lunchtime Evolution Creating the modern lunch daypart 33-44 The Canadian Culinary Federation’s À LA MINUTE

56 Digital Solutions The latest POS trends for restaurants By Alex Barrotti

59 Packed with Power Small kitchen appliances that pack a lot of punch






Restaurant Foodservice News The official publication of the Canadian Culinary Federation,, RestoBizBYTES and RestoBizGuide. PUBLISHER: Chuck Nervick ADVERTISING SALES: Stephanie Philbin Nick Nervick MANAGING EDITOR: Sean Moon DIGITAL MEDIA DIRECTOR: Steven Chester ONLINE EDITOR: Kavita Sabharwal


f you are a person of a “certain age” in Canada you will remember a time when most marketing and advertising was done through traditional means such as newspapers and magazines or TV and radio commercials. While those methods still exist and can be highly effective when fused with so-called “new media” channels, today’s marketing world is a vastly different landscape from even a decade ago. As most of us in the foodservice industry know, word-of-mouth marketing in this business is rarely enough to make the cut for extending your brand message to the masses. Unless you are an established celebrity chef who can rely on a devout Food Network following to promote your business or a corporate juggernaut with gazillions of marketing dollars at your disposal, most foodservice operators are turning to modern (and less expensive) social media and content marketing strategies to get the word out about their business. In many cases, “word of mouth” has been largely supplanted by “word of mouse.” But as you will discover in this issue of CRFN, there is an increasingly large digital divide when it comes marketing strategies that focus on one demographic segment or another. Although savvy marketers would be ignoring older demographics (such as Baby Boomers and GenXers) at their peril, today’s operators are, more than ever, finding themselves targeting that most-prized of potential customer: The Millennial. As author and marketing expert Kamron Karington discusses in this issue’s cover story, setting up your business to succeed through strategic marketing automation is all about knowing what channels are most effective to reach that target demographic. In addition to the above, this issue of CRFN also takes a deep dive into a number of other marketing and business-building topics from our slate of industry insiders and enlightening columnists including: • A look at the challenges and rewards of loyalty programs and how you can better engage your target audience; • How to take cultural change from concept to reality in your business operations; • The art and science of learning how to make your own cheese; • The evolution of and latest developments in restaurant POS systems; • How to get your employees involved in your restaurant’s social media program; and • The changing trends that are spurring demand for fish and seafood.

ART DIRECTOR: Annette Carlucci

WEB DESIGNER: Rick Evangelista


CIRCULATION INQUIRIES: Aashish Sharma 416.512.8186 ext. 234

Magazine Editorial Advisory Board Jason Bangerter

John Lettieri

Executive Chef, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa

President and CEO Hero Certified Burgers

Donna Bottrell, RD

Ryan Marquis

Owner, Donna Bottrell Food Consulting

Corporate Chef, CW Shasky

Andrea Carlson

Gary McBlain

Chef/Owner, Burdock and Co.

Regional Director of Culinary, Baybridge Senior Living

Steve Chase Executive Director, Food and Beverage Fallsview Casino Resort/Casino Niagara

Roger Mittag

Connie DeSousa and John Jackson

Brent Poulton

Co-owners/chefs, Charcut/Charbar

Matt Rolfe

Jeff Dover

CEO and Hospitality Leadership Coach/Speaker, Results Hospitality

Principal, fsSTRATEGY

Owner/Consultant, Thirst for Knowledge CEO, St. Louis Bar and Grill

PRESIDENT: Kevin Brown


Chuck Nervick

Published by: MediaEdge Communications Inc.

Plus, if you’re a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation (or even if you’re not) you will want to check out the latest edition of À LA MINUTE magazine to get an inside look at what it’s like to journey down the road to becoming a Master Chef, along with stories and photos from all of the exciting CCFCC community events that have been taking place across the country in recent months. Until next time, we hope you enjoy everything this issue has to offer to help keep your business growing. Cheers for now Sean Moon Managing Editor 4 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

5255 Yonge Street, Suite 1000 Toronto, Ontario M2N 6P4 Tel: 1-866-216-0860 Fax: 416-512-8344 E-mail: • Website: Copyright 2017 Subscription Rates: Canada: 1 year, $50*, 2 years, $90*, US $75, International $100 Single Copy Sales: Canada: $12* * Plus applicable taxes Publications Mail Agreement No: 40033126 PAP Registration No. 10983 ISSN 1494-7625. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Publications Assistance Program towards our mailing costs. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News or the editorial staff. Although every care will be taken of material submitted for publication, Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News, its servants or agents accept no responsibility for their loss, damage or destruction arising while in its offices, in transit or otherwise.

WE DON’T BREW OUR BEER FOR THE AWARDS. BUT HE DOES! Our brewmaster, Andrew Kohnen, threw away a successful career in logistics to pursue his dream of reconnecting with the brewing roots of his family. This carried him to the UK’s prestigious Brewlab in Sunderland, England, where he procured the alchemy that would drive his signature brewing style. He took what he could from there and ventured to Scotland, Cornwall, and ultimately to Krefeld, Germany, working in the same brewery that had belonged to his ancestors. He came home to Canada for Hockley. You could call it dumb, but we call it destiny.

Andrew Kohnen Brewmaster


The Accidental Restaurateur


6 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


She calls herself an “accidental restaurateur,” but Phoebe Fung’s business acumen comes from anything but chance. Born in Fort McMurray, Alberta (Fung has lived in Calgary for the better part of 25 years), the graduate of the University of Alberta and Queen’s University spent over a decade successfully carving out a career in the oil and gas sector before changing her focus to fine food and wine. While on sabbatical from her job in the energy sector, Fung decided to turn her passion for culinary arts into a business. “My formal education (Bachelor of Commerce and MBA) afforded me the opportunity to work and grow in a large corporation and get first-hand experience in systems, processes, culture and management,” says Fung. “These skills were invaluable in starting my own business and helping me through the hurdles of growing my business.” FOLLOWS PASSION FOR WINE

Fung’s initial foray into the foodservice world began in 2008, when she founded Vin Room’s first location in the Mission district of Calgary. Having travelled the world — visiting many a wine cellar along the way — Fung has a clear passion for wine and she longed for a local refuge to sample world-class grapes by the glass. “My brother and I were in a little wine bar in Houston, and we loved the idea that we could share small plates and find new wines to explore,” recalls Fung. “After a bottle of wine, we were going to open up a wine bar in Calgary and five months later, Vin Room Mission was open. We really liked the concept of exploring, so we offered all of our wines by the 2-oz taste so you didn’t have to commit to a glass or a bottle. Vin Room Mission opened with an offering of 64 wines by the taste, which has now grown to over 100 wines by the taste.” For Fung, food and drink are about relationships and people. Through every sip and sup she hopes the heart she has put into Vin Room comes across to each guest she welcomes. “There is nothing more rewarding than spending time on the floor visiting with my guests,” says Fung. “To see familiar faces, enjoying their time over a glass of wine or a small bite, is like seeing old friends visit. For me, the vibe and energy of the laughter is like no other.”


Fung believes that Vin Room’s staff is their greatest asset and encourages her team of local chefs, sommeliers and servers to innovate, experiment and try new approaches while creating personal connections and relationships with patrons. She believes in hiring passionate, innovative culinary pros and allows them to bring their wisdom to the table (metaphorically and literally). “Hire for attitude and train for everything else,” Fung explains. “Find individuals who share the same values as you and who are willing to challenge you. You’re in the business of people and your team has to share the same values as you and have a little fun in their job while they’re doing it. Sometimes, we entrepreneurs take

culinary connoisseurs towards the perfect dining experience,” says Fung. “I like locally and regionally sourced ingredients and I’m always interested in infusing global flavors that reflect the unique culinary areas of the world.” VIN ROOM IN THE COMMUNITY

There’s no doubt Vin Room’s success is due to a vision set by Fung, but a passion for animals fuels Vin Room’s commitment to the community. Vin Room’s charity of choice, the Calgary Humane Society, is top of mind, from an annual Pups-and-Pinot calendar featuring pets belonging to Vin Room staffers and long-time patrons to flipping flapjacks on Stampede parade day. Funds raised are allocated to four-legged friends.

“Surround yourself with individuals who have different skills than yourself and align yourself with businesses you admire. It’s so important to surround yourself with people you trust, who can challenge you and collectively, you can build your business and your brand.” — Phoebe Fung ourselves a little too seriously and forget the whole reason we built a business was to follow our passion.” Fung has built Vin Room into a business that spans multiple locations across Calgary and has plans to bring Canada’s largest wine bar to locations across the nation (and possibly the globe) in years to come. “The opening of our Vin Room YYC Airport location was largely rewarding to me in two aspects: I opened it with a core group of managers who have been with me since the beginning of Vin Room and to see them develop to opening a new restaurant together was a proud moment for me. Secondly, to be one of the few independent restaurants in a major Canadian airport was personally fulfilling. “Through careful blending of food, wine, and ambiance, we pride ourselves on a passion for guiding wine enthusiasts and

In June 2017, Vin Room announced patios at their two SW Calgary locations would welcome dogs and their owners (now seven days a week), all summer long. Fung was inspired to approach the City of Calgary for permits after visits to cities across North America with Dom, her sixyear-old Pomeranian, in tow. It was clear dog-friendly dining establishments are on the rise. “Cities like Portland, Seattle and San Francisco have amazing culinary scenes that welcome dogs to be part of their social landscape.” says Fung. “Drinking and dining al fresco as a whole family, including Dom - is really special. It's been a joy for me to find a way to make that after-work cocktail or dinner out on the town completely guilt-free by allowing our valued guests to bring their fur-babies along.” | Fall 2017 7

MICHAEL ALLEMEIER Instructor, Culinary Arts, SAIT Polytechnic

Education: Red Seal Journeyman 1989, CCC 2001, CMC 2017 Years of experience as a chef: Started Culinary Apprenticeship October 1986

What are your earliest memories of cooking?


Being born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa and watching my father cook over charcoal (called a braai) are some of my earliest memories. We left South Africa in 1978 to move to Hong Kong. For me that’s where the food hook was struck. I have vivid memories of all the markets and the wonderful food displayed. The food culture is so strong and respectful it made a marked impression on me. The respect for fresh, wholesome and local food was impressed upon me over those years. Why do you think you were drawn to a culinary career?

Being raised on three continents I loved the idea of traveling, eating new foods and seeing new places. Traveling is such an advantage to this career. I finished high school during a bad recession with high unemployment and crazy interest rates. Since I knew we all need to eat, cooking seemed to be an industry that could ride out such times and create secure employment. Also, and the most important, cooking came very naturally to me. It’s something that has always made sense. It’s always been effortless and a natural thing to do. I love the order kitchens can bring and the problem solving that it needs. It’s never been work for me. I still love going into the kitchen every day.

8 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

What is your current role in the foodservice industry?

In 2009, I had the chance to join the SAIT teaching team. After 25 years of industry experience this evolution of my career made a lot of sense to me. My career was predominately spent in fine dining with my highlights being able to run the following kitchens: Bishops (Vancouver), Teatro (Calgary) and Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (Okanagan). In all these kitchens, I was able to pursue the fresh, regional and seasonal style of cooking that I love and respect the most. If you knew you were eating your last meal, what would you have?

Tough question as it would depend on many factors. I am very indecisive with food choices — that’s why I always love letting the seasons pick my food. But for sure, I would want good naturally fermented bread with the best butter and touch of good sea salt. I have always loved that combination and find a lot of comfort in it. What is your philosophy about food?

Good cooking begins with good ingredients. It’s that simple! Sourcing and finding the best ingredient that is grown as close to one’s kitchen in an environmentally and sustainable manner has been a driving force for me over the last 30 years. There is simply nothing that tastes better.

Where do you go to dine out?

What are the essential ingredients for success in the foodservice industry today?

I love going for simple ethnic food, food I may not do professionally — like a good bowl of ramen, Indian food or dim sum. I love to travel as well and try to visit places with strong food cultures.

One needs a sense of humour and patience for this business. There are days that you need to be able to laugh it all off. Success is not an overnight phenomenon — it takes one showing up everyday, all day!

What is your favourite ingredient?

I’m a sucker for duck fat. It’s very versatile and brings such huge flavour to the plate.

Which cooking technique or tool is a favourite of yours right now, and why?

I’ve always been a lover of cooking over wood. Controlling the fire and one’s coal base is as much of a challenge as bringing flavour and technique to the food. The flavour is an old one that is buried deep in our past. I recently came back from Spain. While spending a week in Costa Brava, our house had a wood fired forno/grill. We would visit the market daily to search for the best ingredients and cook them every night over fire. Highlights of that were grilled octopus, razor clams, quails, milk fed lamb, whole chickens and whole fish.

Who were your biggest influences for becoming a chef?

I have had a lot of great mentors over my career. I would be nothing without John Bishop and all he instilled in me while at his restaurant in Vancouver. His values with regards to quality, flavour and the art of hospitality are the cornerstone to my values. If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island, what three ingredients or food items would take with you? What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now?

What do you think is the most underrated food trend?

Fresh vegetables. It’s a trend trying to gain some traction. We need to eat a greater variety of vegetables and feature them more prominently. Plus, smaller portions. We are simply eating too much and it’s not sustainable, as well as a burden on our health.

Poutine. In particular a poutine made with real cheese curds, with rich gravy, hot enough to thoroughly melt the cheese. The addition of lamb meatballs or shredded smoked BBQ pork or duck confit also goes a long way to making poutine a real guilty pleasure. What are some of the most interesting or unique challenges of being a chef?

One will never have the same day twice. This is a fast-moving industry with lots of moving parts. It keeps one engaged and keeps one thinking. I love the chaos that is generated, but I prefer to control it verses it controlling me. Problem solving is a huge prerequisite for this business. What advice would you have for aspiring new chefs as they enter the industry?

Be patient with yourself. This is an industry based on experience. Get the experience you need to be successful and What is your favourite food combination enjoy the journey. Be kind to yourself as right now? you grow and make mistakes. Learn from Third-page Ad_Layout_Final.pdf 4/27/17 6:27:43 PMalways look ahead, never Anything grilled with fresh lemon (or the mistakes and other acidity) and salt. behind!

Salt, butter, good quality vinegar

Gluten Free. If you are a celiac, I fully understand and respect how gluten can’t be consumed. But, gluten has been the cornerstone of our diet for over 3,000 years; the pyramids and Stonehenge were built on barley and now gluten is considered the death of our society. There are a large number of processed food companies looking to take advantage of that perception by providing a range of gluten-free foods that use, in some cases, some questionable ingredients to replace gluten.

Do you have any culinary guilty pleasures?









Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment more with?

One never has enough Indian flavours. I love the complexity and wonderful flavours this culture has. India has a deep, long history and food is the cornerstone to its complexity of regions. | Fall 2017 9


CREATING CHANGE From concept to cultural reality By Matt Rolfe


Have you or your leadership team ever come up with a concept that you passionately agreed was the best idea or direction forward for your team or business, yet the idea failed or did not get implemented? This is commonplace for so many businesses and it is the difference between average and high-performing teams — and remember, “average” in our industry goes bankrupt in three to five years!

This magazine is filled with amazing concepts and ideas that, if implemented, will make your business stronger. This article is focused on how you create the space, time and focus to take action and create positive change in your operation. As a hospitality leadership coach, I have had the chance to see behind the curtain of hundreds of operations and have worked directly with dozens of amazing leaders and leadership teams. When it comes to implementing operational strategy, I have found that teams will fail no matter how committed or well-intentioned they are if they don’t execute on the following three concepts. 1. Start With Why

So many of us have watched Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “Start With Why” and if you haven’t I suggest you stop reading this article and go to the site and watch it now. This simple and powerful concept ensures that we communicate why we do what we do, not just simply what or how we do what we do. People often think that getting their “why” statement right will attract more guests or customers to their business. That is true, but I strongly encourage you to start with why

with your managers and staff when it comes to any operational initiative that your business is implementing. Consider your audience and how this strategy positively impacts your staff, managers and ultimately your guests. If we start to communicate from the inside out, if you start with why, you will significantly increase your chances for success. 2. Time Allocation Must Match Your Priorities

The biggest mistake I see is when a company launches a new strategy or makes change in the business without considering the operational impact. As the old saying goes: “When you say yes to something, you say no to something else.” If you are launching change for a new POS system, new staff training or a new hiring process, then first you need to decide:

• Who will own this process? • How much time will be needed to properly implement it? • Are we allowing them the time to do it? • What can we allow them to delegate in order for them to do the job right? 3. Support the Middle

When speaking with hospitality entrepreneurs or senior leaders, I find they often feel that their managers and staff have more hours in the week to do more work. The truth is, in most cases, managers are currently maxed out and adding more work to their to-do list decreases their engagement and increases manager and employee turnover. If we want our managers, supervisors and staff to properly execute on existing or new priorities, we need to support them with proper coaching, training, support and recognition. Missing any of these elements will limit your chance of successful change in your business. These concepts may seem simple but they do take time, commitment and focus to ensure they become part of your company culture. These strategies can also be the most impactful commitment you can make for yourself, your team and your guests in the coming years.

As the CEO for Results Hospitality and Westshore Hospitality Group, Matt Rolfe is a coach, speaker and hospitality industry thought leader. His company Westshore Hospitality Group focuses on helping leaders and leadership teams in our industry gain the clarity, focus and action needed to run healthy operations. The team at Results Hospitality supports their clients in achieving their desired results when it comes to their people, profits and processes. To learn more about how Matt and his team can assist you and your team please contact him at

10 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


Visit to discover the top trends and ingredients shaping the future of flavour. 1-888-595-1520 ®Reg. TM McCormick & Co., Inc. Used under licence.



Getting your employees involved in your restaurant’s social media strategy By Steven Chester


Your servers, back-of-house staff and hosts are often your restaurant’s biggest supporters, so keeping your staff encouraged and motivated is paramount. One key way to keep your employees engaged is through an effective social media strategy.

The first step to bringing your restaurant employees into the social media fold is encouragement. While some of your staff may be already happily snapping away and posting photos to their personal social media feeds, many may have some trepidation in crossing the personal/professional boundary. Some may not even understand how to tap into your community. Be sure to encourage your restaurant staff to not only post, but tag themselves and others within photos, and share great guest experiences where applicable. Tagging other users will send them notifications that they’ve been mentioned, which buttresses that sense of community that helps a good social network thrive. Ensure that your restaurant has a strong presence beforehand, and don’t hesitate to use local food-related hashtags so that more users jump in and join the conversation. This also casts the net wider to local foodies who may wish to visit your establishment. Make sure your staff knows where to find you — ensure they’ve liked your Facebook page, and are following you on Twitter, Instagram, etc.

but some simple guidelines as to what is and what is not acceptable will be in order. Consider having fun with it and showcasing some extremes of what not to do. Be sure that management are the only team members who are responding to customer comments. Have a Social Media Point Person Remember, while young staff may be wellIf you have a manager at your office who is versed and not even know a world without well-versed in social media, make them the social media, their business acumen may be point person. Across all platforms, a strong lacking. You may need to set guidelines for majority of users tend to sit back and watch use on their personal accounts as well, as any the conversations rather than be vocal. With negativity that could be traced back to your a little bit of reassurance and guidance, you business may potentially be damaging. may quickly turn a novice, passive user into a social media powerhouse. Acknowledge the Effort Give your staff something fun to do. Now that your restaurant staff are involved, Encourage them to take selfies at events or don’t forget about your own role. Part of on any special promo nights, or develop a your encouragement will be keeping on top gamification strategy where they’re of your own restaurant’s notifications on competing for the most outrageous shot via each channel so that you’re sharing, a hashtag competition. Let them show their congratulating and monitoring your staff ’s personalities; showcasing their interests and efforts. Your endorsement goes a long way. skillsets will add a human touch to your Your restaurant staff aren’t typical social brand. media followers. They could, however, be your future leaders. By putting in some effort, Set a Social Media Policy a plugged-in restaurant staff will not only Be sure to set some guidelines of what can boost your social media reach and attract new and cannot be posted. Rules and bureaucracy customers but could also be your most may in turn siphon away some of that fun, effective marketing vehicle.

Steven Chester is the Digital Media Director of MediaEdge Communications. With 15 years’ experience in cross-platform communications, Steven helps companies expand their reach through social media and other digital initiatives. To contact him directly, email

12 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

FALL IN LOVE WITH SEAFOOD LOVE AT FIRST BITE What does it take to get a Like from today’s consumer? Try innovative dishes, international flavours and outstanding quality. That’s why we’re no longer just your trusted partner for quality seafood from around the globe. Now, we’re your culinary companion—your go-to source for all things seafood. We’re High Liner Culinary, and we’re on a mission to make seafood the hottest thing on your menu.


© 2017 High Liner Foods. All rights reserved.


y t l a y o L

A different recipe for success By Patrick Watson

Loyalty programs have existed for decades. Initially created within the airline industry to encourage brand loyalty, they typically provide benefits for money spent and value through progressive elite status. Research shows that we all belong to between four and eight. Unfortunately, research also shows that their ubiquity has created challenges leading to less participation and engagement than ever before. A r e c e n t s t u dy by A c c e n t u r e demonstrated that only one in five of us actively participate in our programs of choice. As restaurant and foodservice establishments continue to compete for the elusive share of the consumer dollar, there is no better time than now to examine what it means to create true loyalty with consumers.

The Challenge of Simply Rewarding Purchase

Patrons hopefully walk through the door, enjoy their dining experience and leave, happy and satisfied. However, once they have left, that positive experience is but a fleeting memory. How does a restaurant continue to maintain a place in the consumer’s mind after they have left? Why will they choose to

14 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

return to that brand’s establishment the next time? Traditional loyalty programs reward the actions of spending time and money with an organization but this has been shown to be only one piece of the loyalty puzzle, and is simply no longer enough. In most cases, the paradigm is still largely based on a causal relationship: Spend money with us and get benefits. Isn’t there more to loyalty than a carrot at the end of a stick? Developing a Loyalty Relationship

Given vastly shifting consumer habits due in large part to the evolution of technology, the causal approach is simply no longer sufficient. Consumers are now accustomed

LOYALTY PROGRAMS to being engaged regularly and consistently in order to develop a true allegiance to a brand; loyalty is no longer an outcome, but rather an ongoing objective before, during and after the spend. Brands that excel at capturing their consumers’ fleeting attention focus on engaging those consumers as often as they can. An Augmented Loyalty Relationship (ALR) must be developed, one that benefits consumers regularly and as often as possible, not just after they have paid. Fortunately, the same technological tools that have resulted in a change in expectations by consumers offer brands the ability to foster an ALR like never before. Engaging consumers all of the time has become well within reach of any organization. The main challenge that remains, however, is shifting the paradigm from “wanting” to generate loyalty just through causal means to “fostering” the relationship actively. Always Engaging Consumers – Creating a Sustainable Cycle

Imagine a consumer who has left the restaurant, satisfied and happy. Now imagine encouraging that same consumer to continue the branded experience of the restaurant through an engaging online/mobile environment that continues to extoll the virtues of the brand through games, activities, innovative promotional benefits and other activities. Key to redefining the relationship with consumers is generating a cycle of engagement that keeps them immersed in the brand on a regular basis and for as long as possible. This online-to-offline (O2O) cycle relies on integration with all forms of marketing/advertising, social media initiatives, and offline marketing. Five clear objectives help food and beverage brands develop this Augmented Loyalty Relationship: 1. Treat prospects as clients who just haven’t spent yet

Create a prospect strategy that leverages most of the same tools that would be used to keep your existing consumers engaged, and offer the prospects real value for their loyalty. By getting to know them, converting them becomes much easier. 2. Provide feature-rich, online/mobile loyalty portal of the same quality calibre as the rest of your brand experience

Restaurants provide a form of engagement – the food, décor and associated elements

all ideally convince the patron that spending money there is an investment in their happiness that provides a better return than elsewhere. As such, an online/ mobile environment should be a natural extension of that brand, rather than simply a place to get point totals, coupons or location information. As well, the experience should be aligned with the level of quality that consumers expect when they walk through the door. A subpar online/mobile experience will detract from the brand as would dated décor, average food or worn flooring. 3. Offer beneficial, brand-specific content within the portal

Contests, sweepstakes, surveys and other valuable tactics can all play a significant role in engaging consumers and making them feel that the value they derive from their ALR is second to none. Creating a coordinated schedule of content and activities is mandatory in order to keep engagement at an all-time high. As more activities are offered more opportunities for active communication will be generated with consumers who aren’t spending as much as they could. This is the single most important objective to transforming a loyalty program from causal to active. 4. Provide offers to encourage consumers to “visit” before they leave the restaurant

Patrons only spend a tiny fraction of their time inside a restaurant. Although successful food and beverage organizations are adept at offering consumers benefits that encourage them to walk through the doors, equally valuable are offers that encourage consumers to continue their experience after they have left. These can take the form of coupons to redeem online, mobile offers that ensure consumers keep the restaurant brand top of mind, or enticements that are redeemable from the comfort of their home within the ALR portal. A successful Augmented Loyalty Relationship makes the most of the rest of a consumer’s time to ensure that the brand remains top of mind like no other.

5. Personalize each experience

Once requiring massive manual analysis, personalization is now as simple as amassing consumer practices, preferences and metadata and using these to make eve r y e x p e r i e n c e r e l eva n t t o consumers. Each communication should use data amassed through actual purchases and online activity to provide information that is truly pertinent to the consumers. Examples can include complementing favourite menu items with similar offerings through couponing, leveraging special occasions for the patron or using data obtained through online information acquisition activities (e.g. psychographic profile building) to drive action. Using data to home in on what is important to a consumer helps make every interaction a personal one, resulting in quicker action and continuous engagement. Engage the Masses to Drive Individual Covers

How does a food and beverage establishment differentiate itself from the thousands of others around them? Quality of food, ambiance, specials and brand equity are key. So too, however, is the experience that patrons obtain after they have dined. Rather than rewarding consumers just for spending money, encouraging them to interact with the restaurant as often as possible at other times allows food and beverage organizations to foster higher level, higher value relationships. Analysis has shown that returns on investment of well over 15-20 times on an annual basis are not out of reach. Encouraging after the fact loyalty is no longer enough. The most successful companies are leveraging the loyalty tools currently available to them and turning each relationship into both a transactional one and a loyalty-generating one as often as they can. Augmented loyalty is key to fulfilling consumer appetites for personalized and relevant value available not just at the table, but anywhere at anytime in a fun and engaging package that drives them back for more.

Splashdot – Always EngagingTM. Splashdot helps organizations keep their clients and prospects engaged by offering unique loyalty strategies and solutions that encourage them to come back and experience the brand way more often. Patrick Watson, Splashdot’s CEO, has been immersed within the loyalty industry for well over a decade. He has worked with consumer goods companies, food and beverage organizations, casinos, lotteries and others to craft unique strategies that have resulted in significant paradigm shifts in the loyalty realm. For more information, visit | Fall 2017 15


THE DIGITAL DIVIDE How does your marketing strategy measure up? By Kamron Karington

Millennials — the largest spending demographic the planet has ever seen is coming your way. Maybe. Shunning big houses and fancy cars, they’re flush with disposable income and spend more money in restaurants than any previous generation. They seek out fresh ingredients, organic and local. They value community, authenticity, and prefer the mom-and-pop dining experience.

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COVER STORY | Fall 2017 17

COVER STORY But here’s the ugly truth. Millennials are stampeding like wild horses to large chains, franchises and multi-units at breathtaking velocity. Case in point: Independent pizzerias in the United States controlled 52 per cent of pizza sales in 2010. By the end of 2015 they were clinging to 39 per cent. WHAT HAPPENED?

Patrick Doyle happened. In 2010, the newly minted Domino’s Pizza CEO, boldly and decisively bet the farm on... the future. His initiative? Harness the fast-approaching wave and unprecedented purchasing power of 80 million Millennials. How? Tech infrastructure focused on loyalty, digital marketing, mobile and online ordering. Components would come together. Talk to each other. Work together. In the blink of an eye, digital marketing became very smart. Indeed, Domino’s market cap has rocketed from $300 million to over $8 billion today, outperforming every publicly traded restaurant on Wall Street. Domino’s didn’t just shake the pizza industry to its core. It opened a lead so wide, Doyle says, “small chains and independents may have fallen too far behind to ever catch up...” The other big players have taken note, and the scramble to go “smart” is at a fever pitch. Meanwhile, frozen in time, too many restaurant owners sputter along with a spaghetti of disjointed, outdated marketing complication that trains customers to wait for deals and spend less.


As early adopters gain momentum from the shift to smart digital, others, hoping to lift sagging sales will double down on what they know best: Cheap, easy e-mail blasts and digital discount gimmicks. This is not the answer. The batch-and-blast marketing that powered restaurant sales just a few short years ago is already in a death-spiral. A blizzard of Groupons, coupons and discounts, the crack cocaine of restaurant marketing, simply fuels the descent. The digital divide is here. There will be winners. There will be losers. RISE OF THE MACHINES

Never in history has restaurant marketing been more effective, automated, or affordable. Platforms that create a max-profit scenario every single day — based on customer behavior patterns — and then deliver the marketing to make that happen are yours for the taking. Predictive analytics that detects and reactivates slowing or inactive customers before they wander off for good is here now. The power to attract an endless stream of first-time guests, at the very moment they’re searching for a new restaurant is available to even the smallest neighbourhood operation. We start there... ATTRACTING MILLENNIALS

You don’t find Millennials. They find you. They actively seek information and crowd validation before making decisions. Now, hold your nose if you need to, but stay with me for a minute here. Yelp, and similar online review sites, are widely despised by restaurant owners of every stripe. Nothing will send a hardworking restaurateur into a demonic rage faster than a vicious, one-star review. Nothing! I get it. But here’s the deal. Yelp is the top restaurant search engine on the planet. It’s where Millennials go when they’re looking for a new place to try. Even smaller markets see thousands of searches every month. These spend-ready consumers are looking for a new restaurant to try, right now. Turn a blind eye, and you simply surrender this traffic to your competitors. Here’s where you start: • Claim your profile • Upload appealing photos • Respond to every review Now let's talk about that last one. You cannot win an argument with a customer so don’t even try. Respond in a cool-headed manner, acknowledge the issue and ask the reviewer to give you another chance. Done. 18 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

COVER STORY Don’t offer free food to every hothead. That invites others to complain in order to scam a free meal. And here’s a secret. You actually need a few bad reviews. Searchers are skeptical when eyeballing an endless list of raving, five-star reviews. Nobody’s perfect, and they know that. They’ll see the ridiculous reviews for what they are. But they want to see how you handle the heat on a legitimate beef. Tripadvisor, Google+ and maybe Zomato also need your attention. Keep your profile current, add photos, videos, and respond to reviews.


Reputation equals revenue. We’ve seen clients appearing

FACT in Yelp search results increase by over 1000 per cent along

with verifiable traffic surges by taking control of their most important asset — their reputation. It’s no longer buyer beware. It’s now seller beware. Guard your reputation like a pitbull guards its yard. MARKETING TO MILLENNIALS

Millennials expect a “me” experience. It’s all they’ve ever known. And they’ll give you direct access to the smartphone resting in their hand to get it. They will also block, delete, uninstall or unfollow you the instant you abuse that privilege with a spam blast. So, forget what your marketing used to do. Here’s what it does now. Fueled by data, which I’ll cover in just a minute, smart marketing unleashes three untapped revenue generators that yesterday’s marketing didn’t even know existed.

1. CUSTOMER BUYING CYCLE: People are creatures of habit.

They don’t buy when you feel like advertising. They buy when the timing is right for them. So, a batch-and-blast e-mail pushed out on “Wednesday” is awkwardly out of step with most of your customers’ natural

buying cycles. That’s because you’re late with Bob, he’s a Tuesday buyer. And you’re early with Sally, she orders on the weekends. Out of sight, out of mind. Over-messaging is a top reason guests opt out of loyalty or e-mail programs. Smart marketing keeps the timing right, reducing opt-out and increasing visits. A twice-a-month customer making just one more visit a

FACT month is a 50-per-cent increase right there.

Being top of mind when customers are ready to spend turns many of your irregular guests into high-profit repeaters.

2. CUSTOMER SPENDING POTENTIAL: Everyone has a certain price they’re comfortable paying for something. And while they won’t hesitate to spend less, they will rarely spend more. Bob is happy to spend $25 when he’s hungry. Sally’s more frugal - $15 is her limit. Cookie-cutter marketing is completely dumb to this. It treats all customers the same. And here’s the problem: A $20 offer has Bob spending $5 less than he would have. And Sally ends up going somewhere else because you’re $5 higher than her comfort zone. So, you end up with $20 instead of $40. Worse, you’re conditioning Bob to spend less, and you may never see Sally again. So, instead of over-discounting Bob he gets a $25 deal. And instead of losing Sally’s business she gets a $15 deal, on terms favorable to you. Now you have $40 in your pocket instead of $20. With thousands of Bobs and Sally's, this adds up fast. FACT One of our clients saw a group of 262 customers spend

an additional $1,065 the very first month smart offers were implemented. People will spend more - if you let them.


CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUE: You can’t fill a bathtub without a stopper in the drain, and you can’t grow sales while losing as many customers as you gain. For instance, a typical restaurant can experience around 18-percent customer turnover each year. Yet, most do absolutely nothing about it. And the longer a customer stays away, the less likely you are to ever see them again. | Fall 2017 19

COVER STORY Third-party marketing providers that bundle loyalty, analytics, e-mail, mobile, surveys, automation, etc. into a cohesive platform is where the money is. Each piece talks to the other, and everything works together. Brilliant! You cannot win the digital race wearing cement boots. Choose a POS that integrates with, or allows third-party digital marketing solutions. Digital moves fast. You need freedom not shackles.



Since smart marketing platforms continually study each customer’s activity, they also detect inactivity. Better yet, some will identify customers at risk of defecting and re-engage them before they do. Many of our high-volume restaurant clients, see upwards

FACT of $100,000 a year in recaptured revenue from this alone.

While nothing will eliminate customer churn, predictive analytics and automated retention greatly reduce it. And that keeps you growing. From now on, as your competitors carpet-bomb customers with ill-timed e-mails and irrelevant offers (yawn), you’ll be building an unstoppable business with smart technology powered by science. If your pulse isn’t racing by now, slap yourself. Hard. HOW YOU GET STARTED

This smart rocket ride requires one thing: Data. And the simplest, most efficient way to collect it is through a loyalty program. That’s because loyalty programs collect a mind-bending amount of customer data that when properly analyzed and acted upon, puts you in a position to print money. Besides that, loyalty flips the marketing model to something that makes sense for you. Instead of bribing customers with discounts to get them in the door, you reward them for spending more money with you, and only after they do. HOW SMART BECOMES BRILLIANT

The promise of smart marketing evades many restaurant owners because they’re chained to an outdated or inadequate POS platform. They want the cool new stuff, but their POS becomes a chokepoint. Smart marketing technology can become rather stupid under the wrong conditions. Loyalty only collects the data that feeds your smart marketing engine. Sure, most POS platforms offer a loyalty program. They collect transaction data, but you have to decipher it, run reports, segment lists, create and send e-mails, and track results. I can promise you, complex data analysis is not a do-ityourself project. And most restaurant owners I chat with are looking for less work, not more.

There are many good, solid providers out there, but you’ll also come across some half-baked “coded-yesterday” upstarts. Here’s what you need to look for: Platform: Fragmentation is digital marketing’s enemy. If you have loyalty over here, e-mail over there, surveys, mobile, and data somewhere else, you have complexity. And if nothing’s talking to each other you multiply inefficiencies — the exact opposite of what technology should be doing for you. Nobody buys parts and assembles a car in their garage. Likewise, duct-taping five or six different providers together, is a project you don’t want. Customer Experience: Millennials experience the world through a smartphone. Your website, mobile app, and online ordering must load fast, look great and navigate easily. If not, click. You’re gone. Research and carefully evaluate solutions. Choose a turnkey solution that includes the marketing channels you need, in one spot, optimized for mobile. Automation: If a provider pitches “actionable data” so you can make better marketing decisions, or e-mail integration so you can send e-mails, you better run. Fast. Data, stuck on your POS somewhere, waiting for you to act on it, is already old. Its ability to deliver a max-profit outcome for you today has passed. No human can match the data-driven, machine-learning, marketing automation technologies designed to maximize wallet-share from each customer. Do-it-yourself doesn’t stand a chance against a competitor with a cohesive auto-pilot program that acts immediately, when the opportunity is there. You need complete, hands-off automation. Pricing: Newbies have no frame of reference on this, but grizzled veterans remember the high cost, hard work, and heartbreaking results of yesterday’s mass marketing. Direct mail campaigns that cost thousands, delivered almost nothing. Today, life-altering, done-for-you, competition-crushing digital marketing is available to any restaurant owner for less than what a small Yellow Page ad cost just a few short years ago. SPEND LESS. MAKE MORE.

The marketing of tomorrow is already here, it’s ridiculously affordable, and it’s very cool. It can study each customer, learn their behavior patterns, and develop a max-profit marketing scenario for tomorrow. Then, while you sleep, it creates, schedules and delivers the right message to the right customer at the right time. Its only mission - a reliable, unstoppable flow of profit for you… and Bob’s your uncle.

While making a phone call to get tickets to the Rolling Stones, Kamron Karington ended up buying a run-down pizza restaurant (huh?). Over the next three years he increased sales from $3,000 a week to over $1.6 million a year. He founded Repeat Returns in 2007 to provide an alternative for restaurant owners looking to escape the discount-driven hamster-wheel. Today, Repeat Returns provides data-driven, automated marketing to restaurant and pizzeria owners worldwide. Learn more: 20 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


MUSIC DRIVES RESTAURANT SUCCESS Imagine walking onto what you would expect to be an upbeat patio only to be welcomed by silence. Awkward, right? Music is an emotionally-rooted medium that draws on nostalgia and emotion to set a comfortable ambiance. And when it’s not there, customers notice. Whether looking to experience authentic Indian food, a rowdy Irish pub, or a romantic dinner, the music a restaurant plays is integral to a patron’s overall experience. And there are clear business benefits to doing so. SOCAN has done research on the value and importance of music, asking Canadians how the music being played in an establishment impacted their experience. The results? Music has a substantially positive impact on dining. While it can be difficult to quantify the benefit that music has on business, this doesn’t mean it’s not playing a vital role. It’s challenging to measure the direct impact that air-conditioning has on the customer experience during the summer months, but

78% of Canadians say that hearing music in a restaurant makes them enjoy their food and drink more and almost three-quarters say it makes them want to stay longer.

84% of bar, restaurant and retail owners surveyed credit music for helping to create a more positive experience.

you’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that wants to let their customers sweat! Here are three easy ways to evaluate your restaurant’s use of music: 1. Make sure the music you are playing aligns with your restaurant brand as well as the needs and expectations of your diners. Is the music in the dining room too loud to encourage conversation? Do you have music playing in the front of the restaurant where customers are waiting to be seated? Does the vibe of the music fit the food you’re serving or the ambiance you are trying to create? 2.

Take into account summer events that have brought visitors to the area and use them to inspire your music selection. Is there a concert or festival taking place that many of your customers are attending? Is there a local sporting event that could serve as inspiration for song selections?

75% of Canadians say they enjoy food and drink more when they hear live music they like.

34% of Canadians said that if they knew a restaurant was paying its legal and fair license for music, it would influence their decision to go there.


Ask your staff their opinion, and be open to their feedback.

Have you asked your staff what they’d like to hear? Have they gathered anecdotal feedback from customers suggesting they’d like to change the soundtrack to their meal? So no matter what type of food your serving, whether your establishment is one for fine-dining or quick takeout, always consider the music you’re playing. Is it already a perfect recipe, or do you need to tweak it to better drive overall business success? For more information on how to use music the right way in your restaurant, visit licensedtoplay.



Make sure you have your music license.

More than two-thirds of business owners say that live music attracts more customers, and more than half agree that live music gives them an edge over their competition.


Save Money by Investing in Energy-Efficient Equipment A different recipe for success By Lisa Coxon It’s a well-known fact within the foodservice industry that the higher your table turnover rate, the higher your profit will be. The math is pretty simple: the more patrons you see outside the kitchen seated in your dining room, the more money you’re bound to bring in. But what’s inside the kitchen also has a significant impact on profit. By switching to energy-efficient equipment you’ll not only reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll save money on energy bills, increase staff comfort, and be able to take advantage of commercial incentive programs.

22 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Enbridge Gas Distribution recognizes the importance of lessening the impact on the environment, and the cost-savings that come along with it, which is why it offers its commercial customers incentives on a wide range of energy-efficient kitchen equipment. Full-service commercial kitchens operate for long hours almost every day. And one of the first things the manager does when they arrive early in the morning is flip on the exhaust fan. “And


“Running equipment when it’s not necessary will have a negative impact on both the environment and your bottom line.”

that fan will run at 100-percent speed until the doors close at the end of the night,” says Neil Saunders, Enbridge’s channel consultant in the commercial markets. “But if staff are just prepping,” he says, “it probably only needs to be running at half speed.” So, even though certain appliances aren’t being used to their full capacity—or at all—there’s already an overconsumption of energy taking place. Running equipment when it’s not necessary will have a negative impact on both the environment and your bottom line: come the end of the month, kitchen owners and managers are going to be looking at a higher than necessary energy bill. But there’s good news: full-service commercial kitchens that operate at a minimum of 12 hours per day typically qualify for something called demand c o nt ro l k i t c h e n ve nt i l at i o n ( D C K V ) — a regulatory ventilation system that hundreds of commercial kitchens in Ontario have adopted. Instead of allowing the exhaust fans to permanently operate at full speed, the DCKV relies on temperature and infrared sensors as well as modulating control processors to automatically adjust the speed of the fan according to changes in appliance use. So, when certain appliances aren’t operating for very long, or at all, the speed of the exhaust fans is regulated and they work at a much lower speed (typically 50 percent or less). “The energy savings from this are immediate,” says Saunders. And because the DCKV system is only an addition to existing parts, installation is convenient. The infrared and temperature sensors are simply added to the existing fan unit to regulate the speed—an installation process that can be started after the restaurant closes, and finished before the next day’s operations. The DCKV allows for a cooler cooking environment for kitchen staff, a decrease in noise, and an increase in the longevity of the

existing equipment. And the only maintenance that’s required is cleaning of the sensors. Under Enbridge’s fixed incentive program, customers who purchase and install a DCKV unit can receive a rebate of anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000, depending on the size and exhaust volume of the hood. And with the purchase and installation of a DCKV unit, most customers are seeing under a three-year payback. Another product that’s gaining a lot of traction within the restaurant industry for its ability to slash energy costs and speed up cooking time is the ENERGY STAR®-certified combi-oven, which allows for convection cooking, steam cooking, and a combination of the two. By eliminating the need for two separate ovens and combining their processes into one, the combi-

oven uses far less energy, meaning your kitchen’s carbon footprint is significantly reduced, there’s more space to comfortably move about the kitchen. The combi-oven also boasts improved insulation. As heat loss is reduced, more efficiently prepared food is produced. Enbridge customers who purchase and install an ENERGY STAR®-certified combi-oven can also take advantage of Enbridge’s incentive program. According to Saunders, the savings is around 10 cents for every cubic metre saved—resulting in a potential total rebate of close to $1,500. Other ENERGY STAR®-certified equipment that also qualify for Enbridge’s incentives include dishwashers, fryers and steam cookers, with incentives ranging anywhere from $50 to $600. “The restaurant industry is very busy,” says Saunders. “So, energy efficiency doesn’t always have a whole lot of sizzle to restaurateurs. At Enbridge, however, we’re working to put it front and centre.” Especially because in the long term, investing in energy-efficient equipment means that kitchen owners will save money, help reduce their impact on the environment, and create a safer and more comfortable cooking space for their staff.

To find out more about Enbridge’s commercial incentives, visit For assistance concerning eligibility and the application process, please email Neil Saunders at, or call 905-436-7017. | Fall 2017 23


CRAFT The art and science of making cheese

By Martin Kouprie

24 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


At the beginning in my cooking career I was taught the simple lessons — product knowledge, knife skills, butchery, cold and hot preparations, baking, simple pastries — you know, all the stuff to get you flying. Over time I added to these lessons and grew professionally, constantly learning while developing skills and building my craft. The accomplishment of creating something new from nature is truly a “eureka” moment and can be a powerful point of pride for creative cooks. If you think slow food has a romantic appeal, then cheese-making is the ultimate slow food experience. Making cheese for the first time is a gratifying experience that requires some trial-and-error lessons. There are many subtleties controlling the final outcome, yet there are just a few basic techniques and then a lot of room for creativity. Like anything in life, cheese-making will take an investment of time and money; but, if you’re committed, the outcome is delicious. EDUCATION IS KEY

Read as many books on the subject as you can. Familiarize yourself with the ingredients, processes and varieties. Compare similar recipes from different authors and make note of their differences. Learn why equipment sanitation is so important and the methods relating to proper sterilization of tools. For equipment and tools, begin with a starter kit; there are many available on the Internet but I would recommend going to All their kits have everything you need to get started. If you stick with it long term, they are a good long-term source where you can buy many of your ingredients. Next you will need a small fridge in which to age the cheese. It will need to have a thermostat able to maintain an average setting between 10–13 C (50-55 F). Also, you will need small plastic container with a lid that’s big enough to fit one or two of your cheeses. It should also have a plastic grate on the bottom deep enough to catch the whey that the cheese releases when it first goes in. You’ll also want to invest in a proper pH meter.

develop your chops. Once you have a better understanding of the manufacturing process, you can begin to refine your milk selection and move on to other types of milk (cow, sheep, goat, etc.). Decide on what cheese you are going to make and copy the recipe word-for-word into a binder; this is an excellent way of internalizing the process and it gives you a place where you can scribble in your own notes. When you make each batch, you’ll print it out and add new notes including date, time stamps for every stage, temperature and pH readings. This is important if you plan on selling the cheese in-house as the Health Department wants compliance with food safety regulations. Use pasteurized milk and make sure all your tools and molds have been visually inspected, sanitized in the dishwasher and allowed to air dry. START EARLY

Start the cheese-making process early in the day in order to give yourself lots of time for draining and flipping the cheese. If you start late afternoon, you’ll still be at work until sometime after midnight. Have all your equipment and containers laid out. If you set your pot of milk in a water bath equipped

with a thermocirculator, then you can make cheese in any area of the kitchen and not be tethered to the stove. If you need to use the stove, it’s no big deal as you will only be on it for an hour or so. If you let your milk come up to room temperature first, you can then heat the milk in under 30 minutes for a 16-litre batch. Calcium chloride and liquid rennet are two standard ingredients that you’ll familiarize yourself with. Calcium chloride fortifies the calcium in the milk which was weakened during pasteurization. Calcium is the “glue” that holds the protein structure together which means it is very important when making a solid product like cheese. The rennet is what coagulates the milk into a solid mass but it can have an unpleasant taste if overused. Don’t be tempted to use more rennet than the recipe requires. In fact, as you become more skilled you’ll probably try to use slightly less than what was called for in the recipe initially. Once your curds are cut, stirred and shrunk sufficiently, the cheese is ready to be molded (hooped). Whether you’re making a hard or a soft cheese, the draining process is an important one. Let the cheese drain longer than most recipes suggest. The importance of flipping the cheese during this time should not be understated as it will contribute to the quality and the overall appearance of the finished product. If you are making a hard cheese, don’t be in a hurry to apply the maximum pressure. It can contribute to premature development of a rind which will trap too much moisture inside.


Start off with regular whole homogenized cow’s milk from the grocery store; it’s less expensive than organic milk, more readily available and works fine. This is just a starting point because you probably won’t have excellent results with your first batch or two. Stick with this milk until you | Fall 2017 25


Brining, dry rubbing or, by direct application, adding salt during the process of making cheese adds a barrier to unwanted bacteria. Salting regulates microbial growth, encourages moisture loss and in turn enhances the final texture. If you’re concerned about the level of salt in cheese, this is not the time to change the ratios; just eat less cheese or forget about it. That said, be sure to measure your salt carefully because over-salting can be the kiss of death. THE CHEESE CAVE

You can use a small bar fridge if you must but they can be finicky and air circulation is important. The bigger the fridge the better. Choose a fridge with wire racks – not glass – to ensure good ventilation. Air circulation removes the moisture from the cheese and with proper humidity, does so at a controlled rate. Buy a couple of good quality hygrometers/thermometers; dependable ones cost about $20 each. Equip your fridge with several, one on the top, one on the bottom, one in the cheese box. Keep an eye on the relative humidity (RH). This reading will dictate the rate at which the cheese dries. Too dry an RH and your cheese will crack; too much moisture and your cheese will not develop gracefully. Look for an ideal ratio of 80 to 85 per cent RH. When you start putting cheese into your cheese fridge, humidity will be difficult to control and that is why I use lidded boxes initially. Just offset the lid at various degrees to create air circulation and control the humidity. As you make and fill the fridge with more of your cheese, the humidity will be easier to control to the point where you can do away with lids entirely. Remember to open the refrigerator door several times a day to allow for ample air exchange. Now the waiting game begins. If you’ve made several small briestyle cheeses, try them every two weeks to understand the ripening process. If all the conditions are met, they will transform from a chalky fresco formaggio into a gooey unctuous cheese in six to eight weeks. With hard cheese, it’s more of a leap of faith and a test of your patience before knowing whether or not you were successful. A hard cheese that hasn’t been allowed to develop can give you the wrong impression. Cheese-making is an individual experience and I’m sure other cheese makers will have different tips to share with you. Regardless, I hope these tips inspire you to give cheese-making a try. It’s an age-old practice that is as much art as science, which makes it a rewarding and reinvigorating project for well-seasoned chefs. After 20 years pleasing critics and patrons alike as the executive chef and co-owner of Toronto’s iconic Yorkville eatery Pangaea Restaurant, Martin Kouprie has moved to the country! Martin’s high standards and culinary imagination have won him accolades from near and far: Gourmet Magazine, Toronto Life, The Financial Post, and The New York Times have all given his cooking their seal of approval. He is the author of Pangaea: Why it Tastes So Good, recipient of OHI Restauranteur of the Year award in 2009 and in 2016 earned the coveted title of Certified Chef de Cuisine. In his personal life Martin Kouprie is an accomplished carpenter and a Rescue Diver. 26 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Spanning the Globe Evolving trends spur demand for fish and seafood By Laura McGuire

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now available! Elevate your chowder with Clearwater Chopped Arctic Surf Clams. Clearwater’s canned clams are packed in their own juices eliminating the need to separately purchase clam juice. Taste and see the difference with larger clam pieces, vibrant colour and sweet taste. Contact us today to learn more about using Clearwater Chopped Arctic Surf Clams. 905.858.9514 |


Trending seafood and fish dishes are giving many Canadians cause to dine out. Some of these items, like poke bowls and seafood boils, hail from different U.S. regions, while others such as conservas originate from farther regions of the world. What’s driving fish and seafood innovation? One catalyst is consumers’ increasing need for better-for-you menu options. Consumers rank seafood as the second most-healthy protein on menus, falling just behind chicken but well above beef and pork in health perception, according to Technomic’s Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report. Seafood’s health perception is even higher than fully vegetarian and vegan options. In fact, only three per cent of consumers believe seafood is unhealthy. Another driver is consumers’ demand for fresh, quality ingredients during restaurant experiences, which fish and seafood often satisfy. Freshness is the leading attribute that impacts seafood purchases: 87 per cent of consumers are most likely to buy seafood that’s described as fresh at restaurants and half are willing to pay more for it (50 per cent). Seafood described as natural follows closely beyond fresh, with 81 per cent saying they’re more likely to buy natural seafood. Local, wild-caught and sustainable are also valuable seafood menu callouts because these attributes tie back closely with transparent, eco-friendly practices and quality products. In fact, 75 per cent of seafood consumers are more likely to buy seafood that is locally sourced and 29 per cent are willing to pay more for this attribute, according to Technomic. Further, Technomic research shows that consumer expectations for seafood sustainability efforts are high; nearly 40 per cent % of seafood consumers expect restaurants to only serve sustainable seafood. Many operators are satisfying that expectation by closely following and promoting participation in Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise conservation program. Now let’s look at what fish and seafood dishes are on-trend, including presently popular and more emerging trends.

PRODUCT PROFILE A Convenient Take On Clams Clearwater Seafoods recently expanded its Arctic Surf Clam product line into the Canadian foodservice marketplace with the addition of Chopped Wild Arctic Surf Canned Clams. This new and convenient format packs Clearwater’s Arctic Surf Clams in 100% pure, premium clam juice, locking in the incredible ocean freshness and delivering a sweet taste. “Clearwater’s Chopped Wild Arctic Surf Canned Clams eliminate the need for foodservice operators to purchase canned clam juice when making popular clam applications like a chowder,” said Diana Hanus, Marketing Director, Clearwater Seafoods. “This is an all-in-one solution that offers convenience, variety and a costeffective shellfish menu solution.” The unique colouring of Clearwater’s Arctic Surf Clams, combined with large pieces add visual appeal to any clam recipe or dish, especially soups and chowders. And, with a consistent and reliable supply, this product is available year-round to foodservice operators. “Restaurant patrons enjoy treating themselves when they dine out, ordering items that they typically wouldn’t prepare at home,” said Hanus. “And our canned clams provide foodservice operators with the opportunity to offer popular seafood applications like chowders, soups, pasta sauces and dips. The options are endless.” Wild-caught from the cold, clear waters of the Canadian North Atlantic, Arctic Surf Clams (mactromeris polynyma) are sustainably harvested from the healthy Canadian fishery by Clearwater-owned and operated vessels. The Arctic Surf Clam fishery is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified, the world’s gold standard in third-party independent certifications for sustainable fisheries. For more information on adding Chopped Wild Arctic Surf Canned Clams to your offerings, please contact: 905.858.9514 or | Fall 2017 29


TRENDING NOW Poke Adaptations

Although not new to menus, menu development around poke continues to grow as concepts aim to offer their own unique variation of the dish. Poke is a Hawaiian seafood salad typically consisting of cubed ahi or yellowfin tuna served in a bowl over rice or greens with sauces and toppings. Its many appealing attributes for consumers include a light and refreshing taste and texture and striking bright reddish-pink color, while operators benefit from poke’s adaptability to multiple mealparts and ethnic influences. For instance, Moxie’s Grill & Bar serves Tuna Poke in a Jar as a shareable appetizer, and Burgoo in Vancouver also serves a tuna poke starter with tortilla chips. However, Quebec chain Sushi Taxi stars poke as the primary protein in California- and Hawaiian-inspired entree bowls, which come with other ingredients such as quinoa, rice, avocado and edamame. A challenge for operators offering poke is properly addressing food safety concerns guests may have with this raw dish. A simple yet effective tactic many poke

FALL IN LOVE WITH SEAFOOD We’re High Liner Culinary, and we’re on a mission to make seafood the hottest thing on your menu. SEAFOOD IS BETTER™ © 2017 High Liner Foods. All rights reserved.

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operators are using to build trust with customers is to incorporate qualityfocused buzzwords in advertising or menu callouts. For instance, Poke Guys promotes on its website that it is “Toronto’s premium poke” destination while Pacific Poke in Vancouver publicizes locally sourced poke in the brand’s name. Lobster Handhelds

New takes on lobster handhelds are evolving from the popular lobster roll sandwich of New England and the Maritime provinces. From coast to coast, operators are finding other portable formats in which to feature lobster, including wraps and tacos. Presse Cafe wraps lobster, avocado, mango, sweet peppers and baby spinach in a lemon and coriander tortilla, while Baton Rouge Steakhouse & Bar pairs lobster meat with red bell pepper, lettuce, jalapeno, cilantro, radish, housemade lobster mayo and a ginger-lime dressing in a soft taco format. Lobster meat is also frequently placed atop burgers, as seen on Vera’s Burger Shack’s limited-time Golden Lobster Burger. The burger’s beef patty is adorned with a 4-ounce lobster tail poached in butter and truffle oil, along with truffle mayo, Vera’s sauce, tomato, lettuce and 24-karat gold flakes for added decadence. An upside to offering lobster handhelds is that operators can raise the price point for handhelds featuring this premium meat. Technomic’s MenuMonitor shows the average price of sandwiches on Canadian menus is $9.53, whereas sandwiches made with lobster average $17.09; that’s a 79.3-per-cent markup. Similarly, the average price of a taco is $9.97, while tacos with lobster average $12.37—a 24- per-cent markup. This shows that lobster can generate greater financial gains for operators as a handheld ingredient compared to other proteins and fillings. Build-Your-Own Seafood Boils

Originating in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S., seafood boils (pronounced “berl” by locals in New Orleans) are meeting consumers’ need for customizable and interactive dining experiences. These meals typically include a choice of seafood accented with veggies, seasonings and sauces, all of which are boiled and served in a bag to be eaten with hands instead of utensils (although mallets are sometimes provided). Plastic bibs and gloves are usually provided to help keep the dining

Tuna Poke A trend that’s here to stay Poke bowls continue to be a popular trend on restaurant and QSR menus. Like sushi, it’s made with raw fish and other fresh ingredients, meeting the growing consumer want of healthier, fresher, fast-casual dining choices. Poke (pronounced “poh-kay,” and literally means to slice/cube/chop) has long been a culinary staple in Hawaii. With the rise in popularity of sushi, poke has become more commonplace. Mainstream poke bowls are a mix of raw, bite-sized cubes of seafood, often ahi tuna, in a soy-based marinade served on a bed of rice or greens. Chefs are now putting their own contemporary spin on them by adding multi-cultural ingredients and flavours. Upscale poke bowl offerings include raw tuna over a bed of kale or quinoa with a myriad of toppings that are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. These modern poke bowls are proving to be popular, health-oriented, tasty, protein-packed options for lunch or dinner that are a step up from the salad-and-noodle-bowl trends of recent years. And, like sushi, it’s also the perfect takeaway food. Tapping into the raw fish trend is Anova Seafood, a top sushi-quality supplier of tuna. Anova provides operators with a wide variety of formats available in convenient 3 oz. vacuum packed portions. Starting with premium quality, sashimi grade tuna, the meat is rich in colour and flavour, pairing well with many ingredients. Many Anova tuna products are already seared and seasoned, and even pre-cut, like the pre-cut poke cubes. Operators simply thaw the tuna and add it to an appetizer, salad or entrée, reducing labour costs, food waste and preparation time. Available year-round, Anova yellowfin tuna is sashimi grade, wild-caught, sustainably sourced and Ocean Wise™ recommended, another important consideration for today’s consumer. Above information courtesy of Export Packers Foodservice, the exclusive Canadian distributor of sustainably sourced, wildcaught Anova® yellowfin tuna. For more information, visit | Fall 2017 31


experience as mess-free as possible. The cost of the meal is typically determined by the price per pound of the selected seafood. At Ontario’s L.A. Boil Seafood chain, guests choose from a seafood selection that includes crawfish, Dungeness crab, lobster, king crab legs, mussels and shrimp. The sea food can be complemented with one of four flavours (Cajun, lemon pepper, butter or a mix of all three) and choice of spice level, with options ranging from non-spicy to “I-can’t-feel-my-mouth” extreme spicy. Other meal add-ons include sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes, zucchini and mushroom. The Captain’s Boil is another seafood boil chain that has won over Canadians. While the menu and format is similar to L.A. Boil Seafood, distinctions include a garlic sauce instead of butter option and okra and broccoli add-ons. The brand currently operates more than 20 units across the country and is targeting at least seven more locations to open in the coming months. POISED FOR GROWTH Tuna Tataki

Tuna tataki is gearing up to be the new tuna poke, as it also features either ahi or yellowfin tuna and has a similar refreshing appeal as poke. The Japanese dish is typically thinly sliced and lightly seared

tuna served rare with a citrus-base soy sauce; other tataki preparations may substitute salmon or beef for tuna. Earls Kitchen + Bar’s springtime menu launches included an Ahi Tuna Tataki with serrano peppers and garlic rice crisps, served on a bed of julienned vegetables in a spicy yuzu vinaigrette. Similarly, White Spot’s Ahi Tuna Tataki with sesame-ginger mayo, edamame, green onion, radish and sesame seeds adheres to Ocean Wise’s list of sustainable fish and seafood species. Tinned Fish and Seafood

Ha i l i ng f rom Spa i n a nd Fra nce, conservas (or conserved seafood) are hand-packed tins of high- qua lity specialty foods preserved in cans or jars with oil, brine or sauce. While conservas can include anything from ol ives to p epp ers, op erators a re exploring offering high-end canned fish and seafood—including canned t una b el ly, t una loi ns, sa rdi nes, octopus and mussels, among others— as a delicacy on menus. These items are being presented on the table in the original tin packaging as authentic

appetizers, often served alongside chips or bread. Toronto’s Bar Raval tapas bar is helping to develop this trend by adding conservas to the menu. It serves items like mussels and smoked mackerel with rosemary oil conservas alongside cured meats and other tapas. Ox Bar de Tapas in Calgary followed suit with a dinner menu that includes conservas ranging from $18 to $30. Offerings are octopus in olive oil, stuffed squid in its own ink, razor clams in brine and scallops in Galician sauce. Fish and seafood dishes will continue to draw in guests looking for above-average meals as long as operators are able to emphasize the quality and healthy attributes of these offerings. Freshness will remain top of mind for consumers considering ordering fish or seafood, and sourcing transparency will also play a larger role in the appeal of these items as eco-friendly and humane practices becomes increasingly important to guests. As trends evolve, further innovation could include new global influences such as Filipino pinakbet (mixed vegetables steamed in fish or shrimp sauce), as well as interesting, novel preparations like fish skewers.

Laura McGuire is Content Director at Technomic in Chicago. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. Visit

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PREPARING FOR CHANGE Working to meet the needs and expectations of CCFCC members FIRST, THANK YOU to our branch Presidents for their confidence in electing me President of the CCFCC. It is an honour and privilege to serve our members. During my campaign I made a commitment to bring value to your membership and I will work very hard to make sure that happens. The CCFCC has a Board of Directors that is very committed to renewal and growth. The world is a very different place than it was even 10 years ago. We know that we need to change the way we do business in today’s world to meet the needs and expectations of our current members and attract new members. And that is exactly what we’re going to do. How are we going to change?

Simon Smotkowicz President CCFCC


REBRANDING in a big way: • New image that is energetic, relevant and current • New website that engages, is user-friendly, responsive and aesthetically pleasing to reinforce our brand and communicate our story • Social media presence — Social media plays a huge part in how people, including chefs, communicate and share ideas and we will increase our presence on all platforms to boost our reach

ACTUAL VALUE for membership • Continuing education program – We are going to develop a program that will be delivered regionally at no cost to members. These workshops will be delivered by well-known chefs in 3-to-4-hour segments covering topics such as charcuterie, cheese making, local sustainability, etc. • Junior initiatives – Designed to engage and empower our junior members, apprentices and all young culinarians. A mentorship program and a country-wide fundraising drive designed to send junior members to the 2018 World Chefs Congress in Kuala Lumpur will be two of these initiatives. • Branch Support and Best Practices – There are some CCFCC branches with successful programs, good ideas and initiatives. What are they doing for their members to bring value to their membership? We need, and will, find a way to share these success stories with all the branches. 2017 and 2018 will be years of major change. With the commitment and experience of our Board of Directors and your support, I am confident we will succeed in making the CCFCC relevant and appealing.


IT IS WITH GREAT SADNESS that we announce the untimely passing of Chef Iain Rennie. Iain was born in Scotland and immigrated to Canada and Parksville on Vancouver Island when he was two years old. He inherited his passion for all things culinary from his father, Alex, a chef and culinary instructor and his grandfather, Bill, a pastry chef/baker and instructor. Iain attended the culinary program at Malaspina College (Vancouver Island University) in Nanaimo, B.C., graduating with honours, and later secured an apprenticeship at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. His extraordinary career included commis positions at the Savoy Hotel and Mosimann’s in London, Sous Chef positions at the Pan Pacific, and the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, and Executive Chef’s posts at the Fairmont Airport Hotel and the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa and the Oak Bay Beach Hotels in Victoria, and the Delta Grand Hotel in Kelowna. Iain was an avid competitor with a history of successes with the B.C. Apprentice Team to the “Taste of Canada” competition in Toronto in 1993, the Salon Culinaire Mondial as a member of Team B.C. in Basel, Switzerland in 2004, the World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany with Team B.C. in 2004 and most recently at the World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt last October as a core member of the National Team Canada. Our sincere condolences to Iain’s family, his friends and his team at the Delta Grand Hotel. 34 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


A TASTE OF THE TRADE Try-a-Trade program gets full marks with North Vancouver Island students

DEMAND ON THE RISE Last year, due to demand from district high school teachers to include the Cook Trade occupation, Grey approached North Vancouver Island Chefs Association (CCFCC-NVICA) President Lesley Stav on becoming involved and introducing culinary skills into the Try-aTrade line-up. Successfully underway for several years in North Vancouver Island’s School District #71, this established program puts the materials and tools of a trade into the hands of students so they can experience hands-on what the various career opportunities involve and what they are all about. “This is a brilliant plan — it plants two seeds of interest in apprenticeship training,” says CCFCC-NVICA Junior JoAnne Steele, who accepted the task to meet with Grey to explore how the CCFCC-NVICA Branch could introduce a professional cooking session into the Career Program’s itinerary. EXPANDS SKILL SET The outline was in place to insert a Mise en Place specific skill set, within a set time frame to achieve the program’s expected outcome. So the questions: What one skill would showcase a career in cooking? What one skill would be challenging, fun and useful? It was Steele’s own Apprenticeship progression that provided the answer. Piping! Piping skills are used in appetizers, main courses and desserts. Steele’s North Island College Chef-Instructor recommended she practice the various piping skills using instant mashed potatoes. “Have fun, play and DON’T eat the product! — But, you CAN eat cake and even better if it’s piped with butter-cream icing.”

Photo credit: Bill Jorgenson

CCFCC-NORTH VANCOUVER Island Chefs Association has been piping progress into the local Try-a-Trade Program with Try a Cook Trade. In the program format, Grade 11 and 12 student leaders with an interest in a specific trade, and about to make post secondary career decisions, learn the fundamental skills in their field of interest, then teach their new skill set to eager Grade 5 and 6 students. “The Tr y-a-Trade program ser ves several purposes,” says Career Programs Coordinator Randy Grey of the Comox Valley Sandwick Technical Education School. “Firstly, it exposes elementary students to trades and what that feels like, and secondly, it allows Grade 11 and 12 students to experience a trade in greater depth by teaching it to the younger students.”

Funding was obtained for the equipment that ranged from bowls, piping bags, tips and spatulas to cleaning and storage supplies. A YouTube training video was created for instructing the Grade 11 and 12 students. On the morning of the 30-minute class, the student instructors learned from the YouTube presentation basic piping skills and the prepping required for the afternoon “teaching” of the cook trade-session with the elementary students. PAYING IT FORWARD During this time the high school leaders taught the Grade 5 and 6 participants how to fill a piping bag, pipe letters and create a range of classic culinary piping designs. They began by practicing over clear plastic wrap using the instant mashed potatoes, then honed their skills with various decorating tips and an array of butter-cream icing colours. Their newly acquired artistry skills were used to excitedly ice and decorate their own piece of cake. The Try-a-Cook-Trade pilot project involved five different students in each of the three, rotating 30-minute sessions over eight days. A half sheet cake divided quite nicely (4x4) for an instructor demonstration and one piece for each of the five students. “I came to Try-A-Trade because I would like to know what I want to do, like what kind of jobs and what sort of things I want to take in high school,” said a student. “It’s pretty fun. I liked learning from the older kids about piping and decorating.” “I want to try to see what I would like to do when I get older so I kind of know my future a little bit better,” said another participant. “I was having fun learning the piping skills and how to decorate a cake with a pastry bag and tips. I had a blast teaching and showing the younger students these skills,” said a student leader. Success, reports Steele! Some of the high school students have chosen to enter the Youth Train In Trades for Professional Cooking! We are fine-tuning details for the next school year. Stay tuned! | Fall 2017 35



An inside look at the journey to achieving culinary mastery in Canada

It is the pinnacle of culinary achievement in this country: Certified Master Chef. For the three Canadian chefs who have embarked upon this daunting and challenging journey, it represents the culmination of their life’s work. It is a journey that is not taken lightly, but with focus, commitment, determination and a passion to succeed. Developed by industry Master Chefs and faculty from the Canadian Centre of Culinary Arts & Science at Humber College, the Certified Master Chef (CMC) program is the newest certification under the Canadian Culinary Institute (under the auspices of the CCFCC) and also the highest attainable culinary designation in Canada.

The CMC program requires a minimum two-year commitment with a maximum allowance of four years to complete all components. Currently, there are three professional Canadian chefs who have achieved this distinction: Judson (Jud) Simpson of Ottawa, Ontario; Tobias MacDonald, of Vancouver, B.C. and the most

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recent recipient of the CMC designation, Michael Allemeier of Calgary, Alberta. À LA MINUTE magazine recently talked with each of these Master Chefs to learn more about their journey along the road to success. Read on to discover what they had to say about the rewards, challenges and memorable moments of that journey.


What was your main motivation for wanting to achieve the CMC designation and how did you maintain that drive while going through the rigorous training and testing process? Michael Allemeier: My father was German and I lived on three continents growing up. He always had an active role in what I was going to do for my career. He was always emphasizing how the system works in Germany where the “masters” of every craft were responsible for the culture, education standards and things like that. The masters were also responsible for educating the apprentices, who would go on to become journeymen and then masters

themselves, thus completing the circle. That system always made sense to me. Getting my CMC was not so much a matter of “if” I was going to do it but “when” it was going to happen. Another reason I wanted to do the program was that I am in education now. To me, it seems like a very relevant designation for what I’m doing. I’ve always believed in practicing at a very high level and I’m fairly competitive by nature as well. So it was like, “Why wouldn’t I want to do the hardest designation available within my craft?” Tobias MacDonald: I participated in the program when it was first offered because it is the highest academic achievement we can

reach as chefs in Canada and I wanted to be a part of it. The program was designed to be as good as the American program and we wanted to be equivalent to that program without the rigid atmosphere and with a larger academic component. Other countries have similar programs but I believe we allow people to better prepare for the actual examination process. Judson Simpson: As a lifelong learner, it was natural for me to want to proceed with the program. It was also a little bit personal for me because I brought the program in while I was National President of the CCFCC. So it was a way for me to validate the program. Indirectly, I | Fall 2017 37


got a lot of drive from my family because I am not the kind of guy who gives up. I wanted to be sure that this wasn’t going to be something that I could easily give up once I had started. My wife Lisa and I have four boys and I didn’t want to send the wrong message to them if I were to give up. It was all about setting the right example. What past career or life experiences helped prepare you for the CMC process? MA: In the three kitchens I have run, the standards were extremely demanding. Good enough was never good enough. That was a pretty good environment for me to prepare to throw myself into the whole CMC environment. When you come up against something as big as the CMC, it is very natural to look back at your roots and where you came from. Thinking back to the standards that my mentors such as Simon Smotkowicz and Takashi Murakami instilled in me when I was impressionable and just starting out, it really helped me through the whole process of the CMC program as well. TM: I was on the National Team from 20052009. Then I coached the Junior Team for four years, then I coached the National Team so I spent a good 12 years of my life immersed in competition. I approached the practical exams in very much the same way I would approach a competition. I am pretty lucky that I have the competition repertoire to pull from and that experience was invaluable. JS: I relied on a combination of my work and competition experience. The only reason I say competition is not for the skills I learned in competition but for the stamina required to be successful. Being able to handle the enduring, persistent and demanding schedule of competing nationally and internationally was really helpful during the CMC process. What were the biggest challenges in completing the CMC accreditation process? MA: One of my biggest concerns was not so much about failing the exam process, but in possibly disappointing the people like chefs Smotkowicz and Murakami. But overall the biggest challenge for me during the process was time management. Some of the courses required up to 30 hours a week. So you’ve got a full academic load, full-time study, plus I’ve got

a family, plus a career. Time management, by far, was the biggest challenge, especially during the first two years. Almost everything else in my life got pushed aside. The CMC program is about fully committing yourself. You can’t go into the process and not be fully committed.

almost like a person with an MBA who gets a higher salary. It’s all about making sure that I can leave my industry and my business better than when I came into it. I look at it as if I’ve done something and continue to do things that can help others on my team along.

TM: For the lack of a better way of saying it, just keeping my head on straight was a big challenge. It can be tough going back to school as not only a teacher but as a mature adult. It’s a little bit different head space that you have to get yourself into.

What are some of the most memorable aspects of your journey to Master Chef and why are they significant to you?

JS: The biggest challenge I had was with the online material. You have to understand that many people such as myself who will take on this challenge are not chef instructors so we don’t often have our nose in a textbook. Cooking behind a stove has always been my strength and is something I do all the time so I didn’t really have much of a problem with that. Of course, during the evaluation, it can be a bit intimidating being judged by legends in the industry but over the course of the program, I have to say the online material was the biggest challenge just because I’m not in that kind of academic environment every day. What are the biggest benefits of achieving the CMC designation? MA: I know that I’ve done it but it hasn’t fully set in that I’ve done it, since it was only a couple of months ago that I completed the program. Because I was so fully engaged in the process over four years, I have to remind myself from time to time that I’ve actually finished it. Ultimately there is a great sense of relief and pride in knowing that it is done. As for how it might affect me down the road, now that I know I have this designation, I’ll have to hold myself to an even higher standard in everything I do. TM: It certainly has earned me a level of respect from among my peers and colleagues. For it to truly to become something special, though, we need more of us to become involved with the program. I look forward to watching the program grow as people become more engaged and the program becomes more widely accepted by Canadian chefs. JS: The biggest benefit is that it is a tremendous personal achievement. There is no monetary gain, such as might the case in some other countries with a Master Chef program where it is

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MA: I’ve always had a bit of a sweet tooth and always respected the pastry side of things. For me, one of the most memorable aspects was how my pastry skills and baking have improved. There’s an academic component to the CMC program as well as three kitchen exams focused on making a pastry. I especially enjoyed adding multiple layers and growth to my baking experience and skill set. TM: Just completing the program was a major milestone — along with getting to finally sleep in! Certainly it gave me a huge feeling of accomplishment. I know that in some way I have climbed my own Mount Everest. But there is still plenty of room for the program to expand and grow so that we can emulate the success of the American program. JS: During the developmental stage of the CMC program when I was National President, it was a very big thing. We had talked about a CMC program in this country for 20 years so it was a really big deal to bring it to fruition. It was also important that we didn’t bring in a kind of cookie-cutter program like the U.S. or other countries. We wanted something that would be unique to Canada. Who most supported you on your journey to Master Chef? MA: I think I’ll always remember how the community rallied around me. Whether it was peers, colleagues, industry contacts or family and friends, people were genuinely interested in how the process was going. I also found that even my students became engaged with the process. With that kind of community support, I never felt alone. But first and foremost, I thank my wife Meredith. I’m happy to say that our marriage survived both my career and the CMC process. And of course my two boys who missed their dad when I was busy with work, studying or completing assignments. I also can’t forget our Dean at SAIT, Tom Bornhorst.


He was unconditional in his support and as Dean, he was always a great person to talk to when I needed good advice.


TM: Bruno Marti was the person who really encouraged me to take this on. He was also my employer when I started. I received nothing but support from him. JS: Without a doubt, my wife. We have four boys but she pretty much raised them. I wasn’t always home and certainly with the CMC program it was like having another first child. I mean, I missed the first five years of my son’s life — I was always working. With the CMC program, I was either working or doing homework. Lisa really was the one who held it all together and encouraged me to carry on.

Chef Simpson is Secretary of the Canadian Culinary Federation, Vice-Chairman of the WACS Culinary Competition Committee and the recipient of an honorary bachelor’s degree from Humber College. His competition experience spans 30 years and includes individual and team competition, mentoring, coaching and judging. Chef Simpson is also Executive Chef at the House of Commons in Canada’s capital. With a verifiable mastery of current management skills, he has been able to build and maintain control of a highly effective and efficient brigade. He has broad experience using technically advanced foodservice equipment as well as cutting-edge knowledge of trends and developments in national and international haute cuisine.

What are a couple of key pieces of advice you would give to a chef considering embarking on the CMC journey?


MA: First, people need to understand that the CMC is a beast of a project. It is probably bigger than you could ever imagine. It is a full-time commitment and you need to go into it with that awareness. You also need to be prepared to change and be prepared to embrace both the good parts of the process and the challenges. Second, you need to find some good people to support you — people that can objectively taste your food and objectively evaluate your ideas. Ultimately, you also need to build excellent habits. TM: The number one thing I could say is to get out there and cook. Whether it be in competitions or stages at Michelin-starred restaurants, you need to really get out there and see what the top chefs are up to and see what’s possible. JS: They shouldn’t be intimidated by the program. Yes, it is daunting but it is not something to be intimidated by. It is something to take seriously. It is, I would say, the equivalent of an MBA in the business world. This is a big deal for chefs. It is a rigorous program but if you are a lifelong learner who craves that kind of challenge, you should go for it. It is a t re m e n d o u s a ch i e ve m e n t t h at i s recognized worldwide. I know many CCC’s have the skills and it would be great to see them in the program.

Tobias MacDonald grew up in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. After high school he studied chemistry at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. His restaurant career began at the local golf course by washing dishes and then cooking as a way to pay his way through school. Once in Vancouver Chef MacDonald worked for a number of restaurants, including an apprenticeship under Bruno Marti at La Belle Auberge Restaurant in Ladner. He then moved abroad to Switzerland to work at Schloss Falkenstein with Max Eichmann. Returning to Vancouver, Chef MacDonal went back to La Belle Auberge as Chef de Cuisine. He managed La Belle Auberge until 2012 when he moved to Vancouver Community College to begin teaching. As an Instructor at Vancouver Community College he continues to develop young chefs, and takes pride in sharing his knowledge with younger cooks.

MICHAEL ALLEMEIER, CMC Chef Michael Allemeier has traveled the world and Canada learning his craft. Prior to joining SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) as a Culinary Instructor, Chef Allemeier has run some of Western Canada’s most exciting kitchens, including Bishops Restaurant in Vancouver, Teatro Restaurant in Calgary and Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. Chef Allemeier has also had many opportunities to be on television, including being one of the principal hosts of Food Network’s Cook Like a Chef. Other TV guest appearances include: The Thirsty Traveler, Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag and Canadian Living TV to name a few. A published author, Michael co-authored the book Bishop’s - The Cookbook. | Fall 2017 39


LEARNING THE ROPES Junior chefs converge on Niagara Falls for a week of learning and tasting

EIGHT UP-AND-COMING JUNIOR CHEFS recently gathered from across Canada to get a first-hand look at many of the components that make up the restaurant and foodservice supply chain, visiting ever y thing from wineries and farms to bakeries and breweries. Seven junior chefs were selected from among 15 well-qualified applicants, along with the winner of the Saputo National Junior Culinary Competition, to attend the week-long Saputo Culinary Exchange in Niagara Falls, Ontario from July 17-24. Applicants were required to write an essay on why they should be chosen to participate as well as prepare a two-minute video, a three-course meal using Saputo products, provide two letters of reference from CCFCC mentor chefs, along with a letter from their employer. The selected applicants received the allexpense paid trip to visit Niagara Falls area venues and suppliers to learn about food, culture and agricultural operations. Activities included visits to a winery, brewery, bakery, hor ticulture school and bio-farm. Participants also enjoyed delicious meals at a number of outstanding local hospitality venues. Congratulations to the following participants who are sure to put their newly learned skills to great use over the coming years! Travis Leost — Winnipeg, Manitoba Robbie Aggarwal — Niagara Falls, Ontario Quinn Ehrler — Saltspring Island, British Columbia Amber Colbourne — Regina, Saskatchewan Kelly Jo Beck, Halifax, Nova Scotia Rebecca van Bommel — Antigonish, Nova Scotia Danika Peltzer — Creston, British Columbia Solange Arias (Ordonez), Saputo National Junior Culinary Competition winner — Toronto, Ontario


“This trip really just opened my eyes up to the many different opportunities in our industry. It is easy to make the mistake of just thinking of chefs simply as working in restaurant environments, but we visited so many other types of establishments in the culinary field. Networking was also a key component of this exchange trip; and so many new career paths have opened up for me just in the week I spent on this exchange!” — Rebecca van Bommel

“This trip inspired me to keep moving forward, to use my passions and talents in this industry that make me unique. Each of the people I met on this trip had something different to offer, and they were confident in that! I learned to listen to others' ideas, using what they have to offer, but without being afraid to share my own inspirations. When everything is put together to serve the customer’s best interest, it is a beautiful thing. We are all artists in our own way, and I would like to apply this same positivity throughout my career.” — Danika Peltzer

“During the week we all made strong connections with peers from around the country as well as with local chefs and business owners. I learned that this is in many ways a small industry and that we need to stay connected and to always respect where ingredients come from.” — Robbie Aggarwal

“After I won the Saputo Junior National competition, this trip was a confirmation that dedication and hard work always bring good things. Knowledge is the best reward. All the learning experience that I acquired during this trip will be useful at some moment in my future career. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to spend a whole week with an incredible group of junior chefs from different parts of Canada.” — Solange Ordonez


PEI A MESSAGE FROM PETER DEWAR, VP EASTERN REGION CCFCC AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO 2018, the CCFCC National conference will be held in Prince Edward Island. The Island is a perfect place to hold a conference and also to spend some time before or after for some rest and relaxation. Whether it’s a day at the beach, an evening at the theatre, or the best seafood you have ever tasted, the memories you make last longer on Prince Edward Island. It’s an island filled with fun and unique adventures. No matter what experience you’re searching for, it’s easy to find when you’re on the Island. PEI is also pure golf heaven. Whether you’re a beginner or a regular player, one of the 25 courses will suit your needs and budget. PEI also has hundreds of kilometers of shoreline, much of it in the form of pristine beaches. So whether you prefer napping in the sun, splashing the water, building a sandcastle or capturing the perfect sunset, there’s a beach that’s perfect for it. PEI is also a dining and culinary hot spot. The land is rich, producing a bounty of fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. The waters teem with fish, as well as lobster, oysters and other shellfish. Ask almost any chef in the world where the best mussels come from, and they will tell you: Prince Edward Island. The farmers and fishermen provide the ingredients and the local chefs turn those into culinary masterpieces. So come join the Chefs from the PEI branch of the CCFCC for a truly wonderful conference in 2018.

PEI Branch Update The CCFCC Prince Edward Island Branch, the City of Charlottetown and The Culinary Institute of Canada were hosts to the annual CCFCC Eastern Atlantic Regional Conference on March 11,, 2017. The conference had great attendance from each of its branches: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Outaouais. The conference, chaired by then-Eastern Vice President Donald Busch Dubay, began with the reading of the Code of Ethics in both official languages. The host branch then brought forth greetings and explanation of the Senior and Junior Competition format beginning later that afternoon. John Scurry of Newfoundland was appointed Sargent at Arms. Election Chairpersons appointed were Bud Bremner, Nova Scotia, and Simon Smotkowicz, CCFCC National Treasurer. Jen Bryant, Prince Edward Island, was appointed Recording Secretary. A moment of silence was held for departed members Donna Decambra and Maurice O’Flynn. Reports from the Eastern Vice President and each of the branch Presidents were presented to those in attendance. It was reported that, unfortunately, the Montreal branch has decided to dissolve. Members from this branch will be welcomed into the Outaouais branch. CCFCC President Don Gyurkovits presented to the members via Skype, outlining a number of items including rebranding, the upcoming National conference, and the state of Canada on the competition world stage. As outgoing President he thanked the members for the support he has received over the past six years. A National financial report was presented by Simon Smotkowicz, who outlined year-todate expenses and income for the organization. Presentations were also made for the two members running for CCFCC President, outlining their platform and experiences. Later, a delicious lunch buffet presented by The Culinary Institute of Canada was enjoyed by all. Nominations and election of the Eastern Vice President and Eastern Region Board Representative took place with Peter Dewar and Dana O’Brien being elected respectively. The membership nominated Donald Busch Dubay for a Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominations and voting for Chef of the Year, Eastern Region took place as well. Claude Cote, Quebec, was nominated to The Honour Society. Tracy Wildrick, Prince Edward Island, won the Junior Scholarship. Dates for future Eastern Region Conferences were set for 2018 in Outaouais, 2019 in Moncton, New Brunswick and 2020 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. After adjournment of the conference, and a short rest, the delegates joined everyone at the Senior and Junior Competition taking place at The Culinary Institute of Canada. A very enjoyable dinner and close completion was experienced by all. At the conclusion of the evening, The Chef of the Year for Eastern Region was announced with Christophe Luzeux being the winner.

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BEST OF THE WEST Steve Squier crowned Top Chef Saskatchewan

CHEF STEVE SQUIER of Picaro Restaurant in Saskatoon took home the title of Top Chef Saskatchewan after the final Chef’s Series competition at A Taste of Saskatchewan earlier this summer. The final chef-to-chef showdown took place at noon on Sunday, July 16 after a week of tough competitions on the Farm & Food Care Chef's Series Stage, now in its third year at the food and music festival in Saskatoon. Fourteen chefs competed in daily “Chopped”style match-ups throughout the week leading up to the Top Chef final, in which Darren Craddock, Executive Chef at the Delta Bessborough, took on Steve Squier. The final competition consisted of three rounds: appetizer, entrée and dessert. For the appetizer portion, the two chefs had to randomly select numbers that corresponded with Taste of Saskatchewan vendors and purchase a dish from each—then repurpose those ingredients into a new appetizer. For the entrée stage of the competition, each competitor had access to a pantry of Saskatchewan-grown ingredients and had 45 minutes to create six delicious plates. Finally, the chefs were presented with a mini-black box from which to create a dessert. A panel of judges adjudicated the final dishes based on taste, use of ingredients, plating design and originality. “That was one of the hardest competitions I’ve ever done,” Squier said after completing the three-part challenge—all during one of the hottest days we’ve seen this summer. Squier’s winning entrée included green lentil fried Saskatchewan turkey with white country gravy and Saskatoon berry hot sauce, accompanied by a fennel and strawberry salad, quick biscuit and charred pepper relish. The Chef's Series is presented by SaskTel Centre and Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan. “This was a record-breaking year for us,” said John Howden, Director of Business Development for SaskTel Centre, which promotes and organizes A Taste of Saskatchewan each year. “More people than ever came out to enjoy the Chef’s Series this year, and it’s clear

why: there was something exciting happening every day.” “This was a fantastic event,” said Clinton Monchuk, Executive Director of Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan, a group that represents thousands of farm families and food businesses

in the province. “This festival celebrates both our great food as well as the amazing talents of our local chefs. It’s great to make that connection between food and farming and I hope people went home with a better understanding of the many creative ways to enjoy our food.” | Fall 2017 43


GOLFING FOR GOLD A FULL SLATE of foodservice industry representatives including chefs, suppliers and foodservice operators teed it up under sunny skies and sizzling temperatures on Monday, July 31 to raise funds in support of the Ontario Culinary Team, a talented group of professional chefs who will be representing the province and the CCFCC at the 2018 World Cup in Germany. Participants enjoyed a great day of golf, food, networking and fun at the beautiful Meadowbrook Golf Club. An array of delicious ONTARIO CCFCC CULINARY WORLD CUP TEAM: Chef Tony Fernandes — Team Manager and Team Captain, Crown Plaza Toronto Airport Chef Ryan Marquis — Business Development and Team Member, Corporate Chef CW Shasky and Associates Chef Paul Hoag — Team Member, McMaster University Chef Thushara Fernando — Team Member and Team Artist, Crown Plaza Toronto Airport Chef Chaminda Palihawadana — Team Member and Artist

44 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

snacks, pizzas, BBQ treats and beverages were on offer from dozens of industry sponsors. In addition, amazing prizes were generously donated by several suppliers, including the host club who gave away a one-year membership to their club. Proceeds from the event will go towards funding the Ontario CCFCC 2018 World Cup Team as they go for culinary gold later this year. We hope you will join us in wishing the team all the best at the competition in Germany.

Lunchtime Evolution Convenience and culture combine to create the modern lunch daypart

By Robert Carter Is it lunch time yet? A common question echoed across the globe by billions of hungry people as the middle of their day nears. And for most of these hungry people, lunch represents the second meal of the day. In Canada, by the time lunch hour comes around, most of us will have already been awake for an average of 4.2 hours.

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Most Canadians enjoy a routine of three meals a day: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Starting the day with breakfast (considered the most important meal of the day) is popular with Canadians as 90 per cent of us eat a meal upon waking. From there, it will be another four to six hours until our next substantial meal. Unmistakably known as lunch, the meal after breakfast is viewed by many Canadians as the best meal of the day. But lunch as we

know it today is a relativity new meal occasion for our modern civilization. As society evolved and lifestyles changed as a result of the advancement of technology, our eating patterns evolved. SHAPED BY DAYLIGHT

Prior to the introduction of widespread electricity, daylight shaped our mealtimes. With no electricity, people got up earlier to make use of daylight, toiling in the fields and finishing the day many hours later. So by midday they were hungry, often having worked for up to six hours. They would take a quick break and eat a small simple meal, usually bread and cheese. As artificial light was developed and helped modify our working hours, dinner started to shift later in the day, and as a result, a more substantial meal during the day was needed. The lunch meal occasion really began to take the modern form we are familiar with today with the onset of industrialization in the 19th century. During this period, workers began to work long shifts at the factory, severely disrupting the age-old eating habits of rural life. The midday meal grew in popularity as workers were given an hour off midday to eat a meal and thus

46 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

gain strength for the afternoon shift. Stalls and later chophouses began to appear near the factories, providing ready-to-eat food for the working classes. The meal occasions we know today as lunch, was firmly established as part of the daily routine and remains so to this date. A SANDWICH SOCIETY

In 2017, 70 per cent of Canadians will eat lunch. As popular as lunch is, 30 per cent of us will skip a daily midday meal, making lunch the number one skip meal. For the majority of Canadians who eat lunch, one in three will eat a homemade lunch either at home or they will pack a lunch to bring with them to work to be eaten in the middle of their work day. Of those lunches, 75 per cent


will be some sort of sandwich, which is our favorite lunch food. Other than a sandwich, many of us may be lunching on our second most favorite homemade lunch item: Leftovers. But not all of us find a homemade lunch appealing. Many of us view homemade lunches as not very convenient or not very appetizing. For those seeking a lunch other than made at home, our lunch meal will come from a restaurant. And the selection of restaurants to choose from seems limitless; ranging from the Tim Hortons that populate the east coast to the swanky, high-end casual dining restaurants such as The Cactus Club on the West coast. BUSINESS IS BOOMING

Today we can choose from over 72,000 restaurants across Canada that will serve us a ready-to-eat, fully cooked lunch. The convenience of lunch is a booming business. In 2017, Canadians will collectively spend $17 billion on the convenience of a prepared, ready-to-eat delicious lunch meal from a restaurant. Lunch is the most important meal time for many restaurants. Of all the visits we make to restaurant in a year, 40 per cent of those will be for lunch. While breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, the majority of our breakfast is consumed at home and only 27 per cent of our visits are to a restaurant for breakfast. Dinner is the second most popular reason we visits a restaurant with the share of our usage for supper at 33 per cent. Convenience has always influenced our decision to eat lunch at a restaurant, right from the early days of the development of the chophouse during the Industrial Revolution. Today, quick service restaurants (QSR) are the primary choice of Canadians when going out for lunch. It is this segment, which includes the McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Wendy’s, AW and Starbucks of the world (to name a few), that captures the majority of our lunch visits as 68 per cent of all lunch meals on a typical day in Canada are to a QSR. Enjoying a lunch experience from a full service restaurant (FSR) is viewed as a more occasional lunchtime destination. Lunchtime at this segment of restaurants (think Boston Pizza, Swiss Chalet, the independent restaurant down the road as an example)

happens much less frequently and is only responsible for 12 per cent of all restaurant meal occasions. The primary barrier to eating lunch at a FSR is mainly time and cost. According to NPD’s report titled “The Habitual Lunch Consumer,” time is of the essence at lunch when compared to dinner when deciding to go out to a restaurant.


Convenience is the key factor influencing our lunch decisions, just as it has been for many years. Today, convenience continues to reshape our lunch experience and it is technology that is having the greatest impact on making lunch even more convenient. With the proliferation of mobile apps that | Fall 2017 47


Do You Want a Side with That? Lunchtime dining dresses up mains with the latest sensational sides Canadians are looking to liven up the lunch scene and explore menus that offer exciting mains with tasty sides that are craveable and familiar, but with a twist. McCain Foodservice offers a wide range of easy-to-prepare products made with quality ingredients that can easily become your menu’s signature side. Recent consumer research commissioned by McCain revealed that the majority Canadians (52 per cent) are eating more vegetables now than they did a decade ago. They’re also looking beyond the traditional peas and carrots, with vegetables like cauliflower growing in popularity. The versatile vegetable continues to be on trend for its ability to inspire countless creative dishes. Try tossing battered cauliflower in buffalo sauce for a savoury veggie alternative to wings at a much lower food cost. Also trending is the resurgence of potato tots, a crispy classic that’s easy to dress up or down depending on your menu. For a full flavour experience add gravy and cheese curds for a new twist on the classic poutine. Eating adventurously and experimenting with exotic flavours is an emerging trend that Canadians across the country are craving in their dining experience. We’re already starting to see restaurant operators meet this need through experimentation with condiments and sauces, for example mixing traditional and newer sauces such as Sriracha and ketchup, wasabi aioli, guacamole with ranch, or chipotle mayo. Fries work well here because they’re a great base for dipping and sharing with friends. French fries remain the number one food item ordered at restaurants, and operators are increasingly offering new takes on the classic side such as Twisted Potatoes, Lattice Cut Fries, Wedges and Sweet Potato Plank Cut Fries. In fact, since 2009, sweet potato fries have doubled on menus. Consider changing up traditional ketchup dip with mayo and extra pepper. Inspired? Visit for more menu inspiration.

allow us to order our lunch and have it ready for pick up or have lunch delivered to our office or home, the lunch meal has never been so convenient. Apps such as Ritual and Hangry as well as apps from operators such as Starbucks allow us to order our lunch and have it ready for pick up. Delivery apps such as Just Eat and UberEats provide access to thousands of restaurant lunch meals, including from restaurants such as McDonalds, delivered directly to us. And the convenience of using these apps to order lunch is growing in popularity. In 2016, Canadians spent over $270 million on lunch meals using an app. This number is expected to continue to grow by an estimated 15 per cent or more in 2017. Today, lunch ordered from restaurants is an important meal time for Canadians and spending on lunch at restaurants is a $17-billion industry. As more Canadians find the convenience of technology helps with their increasingly busy days, lunch will be a daypart that will increase in importance and restaurants that provide convenient lunch meal solutions will benefit from the continued growth of a very popular daypart occasion. Robert Carter is consumer behaviour industry expert and speaker with a passion for tracking trends and consumer activity. As Executive Director of Foodservice with The NPD Group, Robert provides key insights and strategy on consumer behaviour, guiding Canadian, U.S., and global manufacturers, suppliers and operator business decisions. For more information visit

48 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

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Imagine a crisp cauliflower floret covered in a thin layer of crunchy batter. Now imagine it tossed in a spicy Korean BBQ sauce, mixed with Kimchi and topped with a mouth-watering mix of julienned ginger, green onions and warm toasted sesame seeds. That’s what we did with our McCain® Battered Cauliflower Bites. What will you create?

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LET’S DO LUNCH From sprouted grain sandwiches to kale salads, here’s what’s trending during the bustling daypart By Renee Lee Canada’s restaurant industry brings in $80 billion in sales every year, according to recent data. A change in consumer behaviors, such as moving away from eating three square meals a day (Nestle Canada’s “Evolution of Eating in Canada” symposium revealed that many Canadians are grazing throughout the day and focusing on snacking) or eating more frequently at home than at restaurants, is making it all the more important for operators to stand out from competitors. Lunch, often associated with brownbagged sandwiches consumed at work, is one time of day where operators could practice innovative ways to garner more consumers. A survey by Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University found that most people pack their own lunch, with only about a quarter of employees buying lunch during the workweek. As a restaurant, how can you snag a piece of the lunch daypart? Take inspiration from these top lunch trends making their way throughout the country.


Healthy foods are having their moment in the spotlight – many chains are adding health-driven ingredients and dishes to menus, often showcasing a variety of items that accommodate gluten-free or vegan diets. Datassential’s MenuTrends tool, which tracks menus from over 500 Canadian restaurants and hundreds of thousands of menus in the U.S., helps companies identify and capitalize on food trends. According to MenuTrends, “gluten free” is one of the top-menued health terms

50 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

appearing at about a third of Canadian restaurants, growing over 250 per cent over the past four years. Chains ranging from Second Cup Coffee Co. (which offered a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan Almond Date Smoothie with Flax that can serve as a light lunch option for a limited time this spring)

LUNCH continues to be iconic in pop culture (who can forget the KALE sweatshirt Beyonce wore in her “7/11” music video), is one of the fastest-growing ingredients in salads in Canada. While caesar is the most menued salad variety in Canada, the term “kale salad” has grown nearly 30 per cent in just the past year alone, and kale as an ingredient in any salad has grown 870 per cent over the past four years. Last year, McDonald’s released the Keep Calm, Caesar On salad with crispy chicken, “parmesan petals,” and a lettuce blend that included baby kale, at select Canada locations. Just this spring, McDonald’s offered a limited-time Asian Sesame Fusion Salad that combines edamame, crunchy cashews, and sweet sesame dressing atop a bed of baby kale. As kale continues to be popular in salads and other lunch dishes (it’s also one of the top g rowing ing redients on sandwiches) operators may look to the leafy green as inspiration for what might be in line as the “next kale,” such as broccolini (it stars alongside kale in the Superfood Side offered by U.S.based Chick-Fil-A, currently with one location in Canada).


Datassential’s recently-released “ M e n u T r e n d s Ke y n o t e Re p o r t : Sandwiches” showed that the fastestg rowing sandwich, a perennial lunchtime favorite, wasn’t a typical BLT or ham and cheese sandwich, but a Vietnamese banh mi. The sandwich has grown nearly 400 per cent over the past four years on U.S. menus, and that’s mirrored in Canada, where the sandwich (traditionally made with pâté and pickled vegetables on a crusty French baguette), though only on about one per cent of restaurant menus, is also trending. At Vancouver’s Dock Lunch, consumers can find a menu mostly featuring traditional U.S. Southern cuisine and comfort foods, but on Banh Mi Fridays, folks can get their hands on the famed banh mi made with pork meatballs and Vietnamese slaw. While the most-menued sandwich options remain classics such as club sandwiches and wraps, Cuban sandwiches are also on the rise. Earlier this year, Ontario-based Extreme Pita released two Cuban-related limited time offers – a

to Boston Pizza (with items like a Chipotle Chicken Club or MVB Burger starring on its special GlutenWise menu) are catering to those with gluten-free diets. Restaurants are also bringing more veggies to the menu as terms with a healthhalo connotation, like vegan, are trending (vegan fare is found on six per cent of Canadian restaurant menus and growing from past years). Salad, a perennial lunchtime favorite, has been taken to new heights recently with the addition of trendy, healthy ingredients. Kale, which | Fall 2017 51


“As the popularity of meal kit companies rises, they could become more popular as a lunch option, especially with companies featuring recipes that can be easily adapted for lunch or dinner.” Cubano Porchetta flatbread as well as a wrap, described as “packed with protein” and filled with traditional Cuban sandwich ingredients like ham along with provolone and honey mustard. Looking at INSIDER, Datassential’s LTO and new menu item tracker, we also see how other global ingredients, such as sriracha, are trending. In addition to being the fastest-growing ingredient on sandwiches today, top Canadian chains also added 10 new or limited-time items featuring sriracha just this year (from spicy sriracha pizza sauce at East Side Mario’s to a sriracha lime sauce that spices up Swiss Chalet’s classic Quarter Chicken Dinner) Even as ingredients like sriracha continue to grow across Canada and North America, one unavoidable question that comes up often is, “What’s the next sriracha?” In analyzing



foods trends, Datassential looks at the Menu Adoption Cycle (MAC), our company’s framework for understanding current trends and predicting future ones. Any ingredient or flavor can be tracked from its Inception, the first stage, where it’s only available at fine dining restaurants or ethnic independents; to Adoption, where trends start to gain traction in chef casual and fast casual restaurants; to Proliferation, sriracha’s current stage, for example, characterized by its mainstream availability; to Ubiquity, where trends have fully matured and can be found throughout retail and foodservice. For operators looking to become early adopters in pioneering emerging food trends ahead of the curve, it’s those items in Adoption that we say are in the sweet spot (nothing too crazy or foreign, but still unique enough to stand out), perfect for adding to

Thailand to Your Tables


Thai Kitchen has one simple goal — to help you bring the Thai experience to your diners. Our high quality, authentic, easy-to-use Thai ingredients will make it easy to satisfy even the


most discerning palates.

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52 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

your product line or menu. For a flavor like sriracha, operators can look to other global hot sauces for inspiration, from sambal (an Indonesian hot sauce that is often referred to as “the next sriracha”) to harissa (a North African pepper paste that can be stirred into aioli or sauces to accompany wings or burgers). LUNCH ON DEMAND – INGREDIENTS OR MEALS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR

Across North America, a different type of meal, unlike eating at home or eating out, is emerging. Meal kit companies, which deliver fresh ingredients along with recipes for making lunch or dinner (sometimes also dessert or breakfast) straight to consumers’ doors, are bridging the gap for folks who like to cook but might not have time to shop for all the ingredients some recipes call for. Datassential recently explored the evolution of eating in, highlighting the rise of technology-driven food delivery through companies such as UberEats as well as meal kit subscriptions, in our “Foodservice @ Home Keynote Report.” We’ve also started to track the specific dishes and ingredients featured by companies like HelloFresh or Blue Apron through our INSIDER meal kit database. In the U.S., only about 18 per cent of consumers have subscribed to meal kits, but meal kit companies are undoubtedly trending around the world – the Globe and Mail reported that Toronto-based Chef ’s Plate Inc., one of Canada’s fastest-growing startups, has sold more than 2 million meal kits, and is now eyeing an IPO next year. As the popularity of meal kit companies rise, they could become more popular as a lunch option, especially with companies featuring recipes that can be easily adapted for lunch or dinner (GoodFood features dishes like a Baked Falafel Salad with Roasted Red Peppers or a Soba Noodle Stir-Fry with Bok Choy). There’s also been a “rise of the instantdelivery lunch” in Canada, according to the Globe and Mail, where UberEats, along with companies like Toronto-based MealSurfers (an app that lets home cooks prepare and sell food from their own kitchens), have become disruptors in the restaurant space, creating a trend that’s likely to become an increasingly important aspect of Canada’s lunch landscape. Renee Lee is a senior publications specialist at Datassential, a supplier of trends, analysis, and concept testing for the food industry. For more information about North American food trends, contact Dave Jenkins at 847-903-5744 or dave@

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DRIVING LUNCH SALES A four-step plan to greater profitability By David Scott Peters Building lunch sales is key to greater profitability in restaurants. This is because most of the costs associated with preparing for the dinner rush happen during the daytime. Think about it: You are paying rent and utilities whether you are generating sales during the day or not. There are labor costs in the kitchen to get all the prep done to have a successful dinner shift. If you could generate enough sales to at least cover all the daytime expenses, the next daypart can become a real profit centre. Basically, the busier you make your lunch business, the sooner you start making money. What can you do in your restaurant to drive the largest share of the lunch business increase lunch sales: Speed, price, portions your way? Here’s a four-pronged approach and dietary restrictions. to increasing your lunch sales: SPEED is essential in most cases. Most CUSTOMERS companies give their employees only an hour You must understand who your lunchtime for lunch, giving you only 30 minutes to get customers are. Are they business people who them in and out of your restaurant. Those in only have one hour for lunch, which means the Millennial generation are also looking you must get them in and out of your for speed, which is why they are flocking to restaurant within 30 minutes because of fast casual restaurant concepts. If your travel time? Are they wealthy housewives restaurant generally has ticket times longer who want to be pampered and are looking than 10 minutes, you may want to consider a for a longer, more social dining experience? special lunch menu built on speed. Are they Millennials who are on a limited

become more important, depending again on who your demographics are. When creating lower priced, higher value items for a lunch

budget and looking for speed in a social environment? This may be the most important piece to the puzzle of increasing your lunchtime sales. It will help drive your next decisions.

snacking, so they are looking for smaller portions. The crazy thing is many customers who are looking for smaller portions may never tell you; they will just stop showing up.


There are four things to consider when looking to create or change your menu to

PRICING is important. While minimum wages are going up all over Canada and the United States, costs are rising with them. This means diners are brown-bagging it more and more. This is not only reducing the number of times they dine out for lunch, it means they are making more and more dining choices that will extend their budgets. The addition of value driven lunch items has

54 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

menu, you MUST remember you need to make money on these items and keep the cash contribution high. are becoming key to increased sales for two major reasons. 1) While our core customers still look at dining out as an excuse to splurge, more and more people are counting their calories. Just look at their phones. Many are using apps on their phones such MyFitnessPal to log their meals. 2) Studies are showing that Millennials are changing their eating patterns from three meals a day to five or six small meals/


DIETARY RESTRICTIONS are more prevalent with today’s diners. Remember some years ago when many restaurants said this glutenfree thing is a fad and will go away like the

LUNCH rest of them? Well, I’ve got news for you. It has turned out to be more than a fad. In fact, the list of dietary restrictions is growing larger. Today’s diners are looking for gluten-free, nutfree, low-carb, no-carb, vegetarian, etc., options because of health concerns. If you plan on adding items/labeling items to take care of these customers, make sure you understand the difference between a dietary need and an allergy. One could make a customer sick or inconvenienced, while the other could kill them. There are resources such as or where you can find information and training.

restaurant. You must understand who your customers are before you can make changes to your menu to maximize its effectiveness. It’s critical to building sales. When making changes, you must consider menu design, price, speed, portions, dietary restrictions, profitability and cash contribution. You can’t just pick ideas out of the air and hope they work. There is a real science behind changing your menu. To ensure you not only increase sales, but increase profits, it requires completed recipe


As restaurant operators, if we want to make price less important and want to set ourselves apart from the increasing numbers of restaurants in our markets competing for the same lunchtime dollars, we MUST deliver “WOW customer service.” Customer service guru, John Dejulius, in his book Secret S e r v i c e, s ay s t h at “ w i t h WOW customer ser vice you make price irrelevant.” Let’s remember one very important fact: as a restaurant you are not competing as a food business. If you were, you would be competing with a gas station. They sell food. Restaurants are in the hospitality business. You create memories! Great service is critical to building sales. Period. I don’t care how good your food is, if your service sucks, your customers will find somewhere else to spend their dining dollars. Make selection and training of your team a priority. MARKETING

You need more butts in seats! Here are some of the most effective ways your marketing effor ts can payoff in driving lunchtime business: Your menu, online ordering and delivery. YOUR MENU is the most important marketing piece you have in your

costing cards so you know the food cost and cash contribution of each item. It’s only with recipe costing cards completed that you can get the most out of engineering your menu to get your desired results. has become a normal thing to many of our current and potential customers because of the convenience and speed factors. Online ordering allows the person who only has a limited time to eat lunch to speed up the whole dining process. Considering that smart phones have overtaken computers for web browsing, it also translates to a change in customers dining behaviors. Customers are ordering online at a rapid pace.



the Millennial generation, working families and singles are relying on delivery of restaurant meals. Delivery is a great way of filling seats in your restaurant that don’t exist! There are a few very important things to think about before you start

promoting delivery in your restaurant. Two important considerations are what items on your menu travel well and do you have the right containers for delivery? If your food shows up at a person’s home or office and it has degraded greatly, they will get the impression your restaurant sucks. For example, you place a beautiful medium rare burger with hand cut fries in a Styrofoam container. By the time it is delivered and consumed, the burger is more like well done and the bun and fries are soggy because the heat from the fries created a rain forest in the closed container. With the advent of delivery services like Uber Eats, Grub Hub and many local services, customers aren’t thinking twice about using delivery services to have their favorite restaurant meals in their own office or home. In fact, in talking with several delivery pros, Millennials are ordering from multiple restaurants to feed themselves and/or guests. While you must really consider jumping into this trend, it is incredibly important to remember you must make money, too. The cost of many of these services may allow you to increase your sales, but may leave you with no profits at the end. Make sure you know the costs before you sign up. NOTE: When considering product, containers and profitability, you may want to limit what you are willing to sell as delivery. Your whole menu might not be a good idea. If you are looking to increase your lunchtime sales and ultimately your profitability, follow this four-step plan. But do understand, while the plan looks easy, it will take work and a commitment of time and financial resources from you and your management team. Start by having a meeting with your team to discuss each point discussed in this article. Create an action plan for each task and person involved. Make sure your plan is put into action and continue to review your plan. If there is one thing you can count on, that is things will change in your market, and you will have to change your menu again.

David Scott Peters is a restaurant consultant, event speaker and founder of, a company committed to the success of independent restaurants. offers an exclusive online restaurant management software designed specifically to meet the complete operational needs of independent operators, including holding their managers accountable and running a profitable business. Combined with one-on-one coaching and group workshops, is helping independent restaurants find success in the highly competitive restaurant industry. Learn more about how David can help you at | Fall 2017 55


DIGITAL SOLUTIONS The latest POS trends for restaurants By Alex Barrotti Restaurant point-of-sale (POS) solutions have evolved dramatically over the last few years. They have moved well beyond the traditional model of expensive, propriety hardware, costly installation fees, and hefty annual payments for upgrades and maintenance contracts that only large restaurants could afford. The introduction of tablets has been truly disruptive, making it possible for restaurants of any size to afford a POS system. Initially restaurant operators thought using an off-the-shelf iPad for business operations was just a gimmick. But today, tablets are accepted worldwide as part of a cost-effective POS hardware solution that saves thousands of dollars for each terminal compared to the older systems. “When my server crashed on my old POS system, it was going to cost $8,000 to replace and update the system,” says Joe Magoonaugh, owner of The Ogden, a fullservice dining room and bar. That’s when he decided to go with a new tablet-based system. “You don’t have to put $10,000 – $20,000 up front for a POS, and it is easy to get up and running.” Some older POS companies have tried to tailor their retail POS solutions to a restaurant environment. Some have done so more successfully than others, but there is a world of difference between taking an order for a steak and ringing up a pair of jeans. There are also functionalities that are just not available on retail solutions,

like taking tips, and these take considerable technical design expertise to be programmed into a new POS app that works well in a restaurant.

POS while others use no POS at all. Ultimately, there are multiple factors that impact a restaurant’s decision to implement mobile technology.



A few new POS companies took on the challenge of pioneering tablet-based solutions designed from the ground up specifically for restaurants to capture the work flows that are unique to this industry. For example, combining bills for separate patrons can be time consuming and cumbersome for wait staff. TouchBistro developed a patented design that takes just a simple swipe of the finger across the iPad to complete the task. “Dividing a bill used to take my wait staff up to 30 minutes,” says Tony Geer, co-owner of The Ledford House, a fine dining restaurant. “Now it takes them 30 seconds with TouchBistro, and they can pay a lot more attention to their customers.” From quick service restaurants (QSR) and coffee shops to full service restaurants (FSR), each one is unique. While some may have just opened their doors, others may be well established; some may use a traditional

The good news is that a tablet-based solution, in addition to being much less costly than a fixed hardware system, allows for either a stationary or mobile model. This offers much more flexibility to restaurant owners who may want to initially implement the POS with an iPad placed at reception or the counter and maybe another one at the server station. Then later, iPad Minis can be added for servers to enter orders and payments right at tableside, eliminating a lot of the usual running back and forth as well as double entry errors, while simultaneously increasing table turns. “We have dramatically increased our sales in the last two months since we installed tableside ordering and payments,” says Tom Marcellino, co-owner of Calzolaio Pasta Company. “I’ve estimated it saves a minimum of 15 minutes to half an hour per table.”

Technology in Action Based on a CRFN survey of over 200 foodservice establishments, here’s a look at the increasing importance of POS technology on Canadian foodservice operations: How important is a Point of Sale (POS) system for your restaurant?



Very Important

Not Important

2% Somewhat Important

With respect to Point of Sale (POS), which of the following does your restaurant currently have in place?

85% Traditional Digital POS System (such as Micros, Squirrel, NCR)

14% Pen and Paper (or No POS system)

4% Tablet or iOS-based POS


order is easy. In addition, since customers are guided through tempting photos of items they may want to add to their burger, or maybe an extra coffee flavor shot or dessert, kiosks have been shown to increase the average ticket size. “Our average guest check through the kiosk is nearly two times the average placed with a waiter. Since it is so easy to add items on the kiosk, guests add avocado or bacon, and may also see other options to add to the order that they may not have seen on a paper menu,” says Colleen Caulliez, co-owner of Lea French Street Food. “Self-ordering is a big part of our profitability. We can focus on service and our food, rather than ordering or accuracy.” MOBILE PAYMENTS NOW AND FUTURE

When the POS solution is connected to the cloud and offered on a monthly subscription based on the number of terminals deployed, it’s easy to add tablets and download the POS application without expensive and timeconsuming installation fees. This software-asa-service (SaaS) approach can provide the additional advantage of regular updates streamed to the POS from the cloud at no additional cost. WHAT ABOUT SELF-ORDERING?

The newest POS technology to burst on the scene is the self-ordering kiosk. The surge in interest initially stemmed from a huge concern about labor costs with increases planned for the minimum wage. Restaurateurs wanted to be able to provide good service with less staff. While self-ordering is not a good fit for a FSR, the self-serve concept works well in QSRs, fast casual restaurants, or other venues set up with line service like coffee shops or cafeterias. Some customers can experience “line anxiety” when people are waiting behind them to order, so they may pass over upsell options to place their orders quicker, or because the menus on the wall are confusing and hard to read. With a well-designed kiosk, line anxiety is eliminated, and placing an

Mobile payments or digital wallets have been slow to catch on with consumers, even though EMV (chip card technology) and NFC (near field communications) has been available in Canada for years. As payment processors offer more equipment that is NFC capable, and people upgrade to their next phones – virtually all of which are NFC capable – we will likely see more consumer uptake in mobile payments. This is particularly true with younger generations who never leave home without their phones, but don’t seem to ever bring a wallet with them. Apple Pay and Android Pay are both available in Canada. Generally, digital wallets are limited to transactions below $100, which also limits the types of restaurants where they would be used. It’s all about what the operator wants to accomplish. When choosing a POS, the first thing a restaurateur needs to do is determine his primary drivers: cost, service, customer experience, or possibly streamlining specific operations or enticing a certain demographic. Then research should be done to determine which POS solution will best fulfill those objectives now, and at the same time has a track record of continually and seamlessly incorporating the latest technical innovations.

Alex Barrotti, founder and CEO of TouchBistro, embarked on the development of a restaurant mobile pointof-sale app in 2010 after watching the inefficiency of patio waiters running indoors and back outside to deliver orders and process payments. The TouchBistro iPad POS solution for restaurants was launched in 2011. Today TouchBistro is the top POS app in 37 countries on the Apple App Store. The app is frequently updated with new features thanks to the wealth of feedback regularly received from nearly 10,000 deployments worldwide.


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RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Fall 2017 57

If you are you looking at selling or buying a restaurant or foodservice business… look no further than Sunbelt Business Brokers We know that buying or selling a business is a complex and challenging process with serious financial, legal, tax and lifestyle implications. That’s why having proven, world-class expertise working for you can make a huge difference in the outcome. As the world’s largest and most successful network of business brokers, Sunbelt provides outstanding resources, expertise, and people who are fully dedicated to your success. We look forward to making the process of buying your business an exceptionally rewarding and successful one.

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Small kitchen appliances that pack a lot of punch From blenders to sous vide equipment, more and more restaurant operators are discovering they can get a lot of innovative bang for their buck from small commercial kitchen appliances. Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News recently spoke with leading manufacturers about their latest products and recent developments in small appliances. Read on to learn more about what’s new to help cut costs and improve efficiency in restaurant kitchens across Canada.


Canada’s Largest On the Ground In-Stock Inventory More parts, More Manufacturers critical to maximizing uptime

Participants: Fred Bournay, Senior Project Manager and Alexander Duncan, Senior Analyst, Sales Development, KitchenAid Commercial Mark McEwan, Regional Sales Manager/Executive Chef for Alberta, Chesher Equipment Ltd. Dustin Skeoch, Co-Founder, Cedarlane Culinary

What are some of the most exciting new trends, innovations and developments when it comes to small appliances for restaurants and commercial foodservice in Canada?

The biggest trend we see is people wanting to eat healthier and lose weight. Nearly 60 per cent of people planning to lose weight look to the stand blender as their appliance of choice. The blender is a very versatile product allowing people to make healthy smoothies, make their own nut butters and even make hot nutritious soups in just a few minutes. You can put whole fruit or vegetables in the blender and in less than five minutes have hot and healthy soup without losing any of the nutritional value of the ingredients you put in.

Fred Bournay and Alexander Duncan:

Mark McEwan: Vitamix has made some great improvements to their commercial line, with more robust controls, a choice of black or red colors (not available in the units with sound enclosures), a stronger, longer lasting triton plastic container (as opposed to polycarbonate) and higher horsepower on their entry level models. They have also introduced an aerator container where you can create infused whip creams, tasty emulsions and culinary foams. This application will give chefs and bartenders an opportunity to create unique garnishes or textures in dishes and cocktails.

Dustin Skeoch: We’ve seen tremendous growth the past few years with restaurants of all sizes adopting sous vide appliances into their commercial kitchens. This technique has many benefits for restaurants — primarily consistency because each steak or chicken breast will come out exactly the same as the last if cooked at the same temperature. The other big one is yield. With rising food costs it’s crucial to maximize your ROI with ingredients, and with sous vide your protein cooks in a sealed pouch, so there’s nowhere for the juices, nutrients and flavours to escape to. Chamber vacuum sealers are another great money saver in the small appliance category because they really help you cut down on waste and spoilage. Finally, we’ve seen an increase in the number of restaurants using thermal blenders; high-powered blenders that can also cook and saute. Labour costs continue to rise, so being able to speed up prep work by chopping ingredients, and then sautéing them in the same machine with no supervision allows you to either have less people doing the tedious prep work before service, or have them working on other things. If you could have a machine reduce down your sauces instead of paying someone to do so over the stove for 30 minutes, that cost savings adds up pretty quickly when you’re doing it every day.

RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Fall 2017 59

TOOLS OF THE TRADE How are the above developments reflective of current consumer behavior and preferences? FB and AD: Eating healthier and getting the

most nutritional value out of their foods is increasingly important to consumers. The new KitchenAid Commercial Blender has been designed around this need. Placing whole vegetables into the blender, one can make hot nutritious soup in around five minutes. The powerful Talon blade creates the heat as it blends through the ingredients. Whole fruit smoothies and icy drinks are also gaining in popularity. The KitchenAid blender allows the user to make a smooth icy smoothie or frappe in 22 seconds using our pre-programmed icy drink program. I think every restaurateur appreciates quality equipment that will continue to save them money in the long run.


What are the major factors for restaurant owners/operators to keep in mind when deciding to purchase new small appliances and why are they important to consider? FB and AD: Saving time means saving

money. The performance of our products is meant to save time for the operator. For example, the coulis cycle is a single step

versus sieving. Hummus in the blender is a single step versus several steps in a food processor. Ergonomics are also very important, as commercial items are going to be used for many hours each day in potentially stressful situations. Our 400-series commercial immersion blender was designed not only with performance in mind but also the user. The ergonomic design with secondary handle for floor mixing helps spread the load, or the silicone sleeve on the motor bell is useful for stovetop blending. This also adds to the versatility of the immersion blender. Don’t be fooled by residential units that claim to be professional grade. Residential units are not put through the rigorous testing like the commercial units and cannot stand up to the same volume. You may save a few dollars up front, but I guarantee you will be replacing it sooner than later. If the blender will be mainly used in the kitchen, I would recommend our three Vita Prep units: Vita Prep, Vita Prep 3, and the Vita Prep XL. Each unit is based upon volume and prep levels. If the blender will be used in the front of the house, consider if noise from the appliance


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60 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

TOOLS OF THE TRADE kitchen tool that can be used for a wide variety of pur poses. Our commercial blenders are great for making soups, hummus, coulis, etc. This allows foodservice operators to be creative in their offerings while also saving them time. MM: It’s going to be great to see how chefs and bartenders implement the new aerator container. I think it will open up many new ways to garnish and elevate textures in cocktails and culinary dishes. Vitamix has a great library of recipes at https://www. to spark some creativity. Every kitchen should have a Vita Prep blender. You can make tight emulsifications, smooth purees, and grind spices and grains with ease.

could be an issue. If so, I would recommend our three sound enclosure units: T&G, Blending Station Advanced, and the Quiet One. If not, we have three great units in our Drink Machine line: Drink Machine 2 Step, Drink Machine, Drink Machine Advanced. DS: Of course you need to consider how much time or money an appliance will save you, and will you have to sacrifice anything as the trade off. You never want to sacrifice the quality of your end products so it’s important to choose appliances that not only make things easier for your cooks in the kitchen, but also improves the final dish. Sous vide is a great example of this because it cuts down on the stress of everything coming together at the same time, improves consistency of the dish, and improves the yield. It’s a win-win-win. What are some creative ways operators, bartenders or chefs can use small kitchen appliances to create new food and beverage options? FB and AD: The coulis setting on our new

culinary blender is great for plating presentation and sauces. It takes the guesswork out of making the silky smooth texture required for coulis with its preprogrammed cycle. Many chefs now think of their blender not as something just for blending, but more as a multi-purpose


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DS: Again, sticking with sous vide, the possibilities are truly endless. Most people think sous vide is just for proteins, but you can actually achieve some amazing results behind the bar by using sous vide as well. Alcohol infusions that usually take 24-48 hours take only 20-30 minutes if heated at the perfect temperature. What can restaurant owners do to get the most benefit from their small commercial kitchen appliances? FB and AD: With respect to our commercial

blender, think of it as more than just a blender; it's a kitchen utility tool. Think of ways you can use the fluid gel texture of the coulis in more dishes. The pre-set cycle makes this typically complex sauce simple.

When cleaning the container, Vitamix only recommends using a bleach sanitizer at 100 ppm. I also recommend the Vitamix rinse-o-matic that can be hooked up to any facet and sink, for rinsing out the container quickly.


DS: As with most commercial appliances,

it’s important to clean them every night, or at least every other night. If cared for properly these machines are built to last years and years. We’ve also seen a surprising number of restaurants not read the manuals on certain appliances, especially commercial vacuum sealers, which leads to not changing the oil. These machines are just like cars, if you don’t change the oil every few months your machine won’t perform at it’s best, and eventually might completely break down.

RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Fall 2017 61


Institutional Foodservice HEALTHCARE AND CORRECTIONS ARE KEY TARGETS FOR CONTRACTORS In its recently released 2017 Canadian Institutional Foodservice Market Report, fsSTRATEGY estimates total gross revenues in institutional foodservice in Canada in 2016 to be $8.5 billion or 10 per cent of total Canadian foodservice industry sales. The table below summarizes the extent of contractor penetration in the primary segments of the Canadian institutional foodservice market. Approximately 54 per cent of the institutional foodservice market is operated by management and staff directly employed by institutions. The remaining 46 per cent is operated by contract foodservice management companies. Healthcare, which represents about half of the institutional foodservice market, has traditionally self-operated its foodservices. Nevertheless, contractor penetration in hospitals has been growing gradually as hospitals look to control expenses, focus on their core business and/or replace ageing infrastructure with investment by contractors in exchange for operating rights. Contractors hold significant market share in the education segment; the exception is many of large Canadian universities

self-operate their foodservices, especially those with a significant number of students on mandatory meal plans. Remote catering to resource camps is highly contracted as is business dining (office and plant foodservices). Nevertheless, due to the slump in world oil prices, demand in the Remote segment has declined significantly in the past three years. Foodservices in correctional facilities are polarized. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland/Labrador contract out their foodservices. The Food Production Centre at Maplehurst Detention Centre in Milton, Ontario is operated by a contractor and provides lunch and dinner meals for slightly more than half of Ontario correctional facilities; the rest are self-operated. All other provinces self-operate their correctional facility foodservices. Transportation foodservices are largely contracted with exceptions being ferry services and cruise ships. Geoff Wilson is a Principal with fsSTRATEGY Inc. fsSTRATEGY is a niche consulting firm specializing in strategy in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on the foodservice sector. For additional information on the 2017 Canadian Institutional Foodservice Market Report or fsSTRATEGY services, contact us at nextsteps@fsstrategy. com or 416-229-2290.

2016 Canadian Institutional Foodservice Contractor Market Penetration 45.6%







Total Institutional Foodservice


Business Dining





62 Fall 2017 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

For 125 years, Del Monte has stood as the freshest name in produce. After all, we’re fruit fanatics, which means we’re also quality fanatics. Innovation fanatics. Healthy-lifestyle fanatics. Food-safety fanatics. Sustainability fanatics. And, while we obsess over all the fruits we grow, we’re bananas about bananas.







FRUITFANATICS.COM ©2017 Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.


+ Some things are simply better together . . .

Hot fudge is to ice cream what Russell is to Hendrix, an unbeatable combination. Over the next several months, Canada’s two largest foodservice equipment dealers will become one. The merged company, Russell Hendrix Foodservice Equipment, will supply customers across Canada. Stay up to date at