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& Restaurant Canadian

Spring 2018

Foodservice News Official Magazine of the Canadian Culinary Federation

OPERATIONS LEADERSHIP Publication Agreement #40033126



Reducing your food cost could be easier than you think — Page 42




Canadian Trailblazer Doug McNish | Premium Brews | Exotic BBQ | Alphabet of Soup | Canadian Bakin’ | The Design Process |

Innovative dairy solutions for your business.


contents Spring 2018 VOL. 9 NO. 1




22 Operations Leadership Lessons for challenging times

10 Design and Decor The Design Process

16 Dairy Directions Trends and innovation in Canada’s dairy supply chain

By Matt Rolfe

DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor's Note The Operations Challenge 6 Canadian Trailblazer Doug McNish 8 Chef Q&A Bee Choo Char, Prince George Hotel, Halifax 54 Crunching Numbers Minimum Wages Across Canada

By Chris Hannah

14 Consumer Trends The Digital Door By Robert Carter

42 Minding Your Business Strength in Numbers By David Scott Peters

20 Premium Brews Boosting sales and loyalty with an enhanced tea service By Frank Weber

38 Canadian Bakin’ Updated classics and social media-worthy creations By Mike Kostyo

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT 27-34 The Canadian Culinary Federation’s À LA MINUTE

48 Exotic BBQ Unique and unusual proteins move into traditional BBQ territory By Sean Moon

50 Alphabet of Soup The ABCs of soup from around the world






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


hen a customer comes into a foodservice establishment, most of us hope that he or she will be won over by one or more of several key components to a successful business. Perhaps your chef will be able to wow them with delicious and innovative recipes. Maybe your service team has a reputation for being among the best in the business. Or is it the warm, welcoming ambience that creates the kind of atmosphere that will keep diners coming back time and again? No matter which of the above factors has become your hallmark, none would be possible without all of the hard work, planning and execution that goes on behind the scenes and that customers likely never notice (and ideally, never will). More often than not, successful restaurants are the result of successful operations. Almost any restaurant owner will tell you that it is the components that make up day-to-day business operations that can tip the scales when it comes to success or failure in the foodservice industry. After all, it’s next to impossible to create innovative new menu items and recipes when you’re concerned about the rising cost of meat, fruit and vegetables. It’s a constant challenge to raise the bar on customer service when you’re struggling to find dedicated, reliable staff. And it is difficult to eke out a profit when your building needs renovations, repairs or new equipment to stay competitive. Starting with this issue’s feature story from author and business operations expert Matt Rolfe, Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News looks at the various ways operators can address the diverse challenges they face on a daily basis while running a restaurant in Canada. As Rolfe explains, the factors that helped lead to your success in 2017 will not necessarily produce the same results in 2018. The market has changed and your business needs to as well. In addition to the other articles and features focused on business operations in this issue, you will learn: • How reducing your food costs could be easier than you think; • How chefs can choose from a world of ethnic inspiration in creating their next delicious soup recipe; • How restaurants can boost sales and loyalty with an enhanced tea service • The key steps and concepts in working with a restaurant designer; and • Why updated classics are leading to innovative bakery menus. Plus, if you’re a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation, be sure to check out the latest edition of À LA MINUTE magazine to get the latest news from all of the exciting CCFCC community events that have been taking place across the country in recent months. Until next time, enjoy the issue! Sean Moon Managing Editor

4 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

ART DIRECTOR: Annette Carlucci

WEB DESIGNER: Rick Evangelista


CIRCULATION INQUIRIES: Yeshdev Singh 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. 5255 Yonge Street, Suite 1000 Toronto, Ontario M2N 6P4 Tel: 1-866-216-0860 Fax: 416-512-8344 E-mail: • Website: Copyright 2018 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.

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Vegan with a Vision



6 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


Like some who espouse a raw food, vegan or vegetarian lifestyle today, chef Doug McNish wasn’t always such a compassionate culinarian. Once a confirmed carnivore who happily grilled up steaks for hungry patrons, McNish has since become a vegan with a vision, opening a pair of successful meat-free eateries in Toronto and convincing doubters that eating a plant-based diet can also be major-league cool. As the affable owner and chef of Public Kitchen since opening its doors in December 2013, McNish is also a founding partner in his latest venture called Mythology Diner that opened in early December last year. While Public Kitchen continues to focus on providing his loyal (and newly converted) customers with a full menu of healthy vegan dishes, Mythology is turning the tables on the old-school “diner” experience by offering veganized comfort food classics that can cajole even the staunchest meat-eater into craving plant-based foods. From an egg-free Eggs Benedict to vegan Viennese Salisbury Steak to the meat-free, deli-inspired Ruebenator, all of McNish’s recipes are made with attention to nutritious detail, flavour and a healthy dollop of good humour. PAYING HIS DUES

After discovering a passion for cooking at age 15 while working in the kitchen of a British pub, McNish later honed his skills and education in the George Brown College culinary program and then apprenticed for two years at a private country club. Subsequent work experience included stints at Oliver and Bonacini’s Jump and the Air Canada Centre in his hometown of Toronto. “I fell in love with cooking because of the honest hard work, creativity, teamwork and the ability to make people happy by feeding them,” says McNish. “I knew I would never be out of a job, because everyone has to eat, right?” McNish did not set out to become a vegan chef, or even a vegan customer, however. His transition from an omnivorous diet to a plant-based one was the result of a friend showing him an emotionally jarring animal-rights video, along with his increasing desire to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Over the course of several months of clean, vegan eating, he started feeling better, lost a considerable amount of weight and began learning more about the environment and its relationship

to food. He became a vegan more than 13 years ago. “I have worn many hats and chopped many bunches of parsley to get to where I am at today,” McNish says with an easy laugh. “I decided to become an entrepreneur after realizing that enough was enough, and that I was the one who needed to call the shots once and for all.” VEGAN VARIETY

While his two foodservice businesses in Toronto have unique atmospheres and menus, they have plenty of commonalities, not the least of which is the fact that both are focused on vegan dishes. “My Public Kitchen definitely focuses more on organic and healthy meals, whereas my diner Mythology — while still vegan of course — is more of a place to come for an amazing comfort meal with a cold beer or wine — yes we have wine on tap! Both business still focus on paying staff proper wages and creating a balance of work/life and a work environment friendly to everyone in every walk of life, regardless of sex, gender or race.” As a vegan restaurateur, McNish says he is most passionate about understanding where food comes from and who is producing it. He is also focused on providing the best ingredients and service to his clientele at both dining spaces. SUPPORTS LOCAL ECONOMY

“While it may sometimes be impossible to know every single ingredient and every single producer, understanding the bulk of it and the important items are key,” says McNish. “I do love supporting the local economy of course, and wish more people would buy what is grown, or at least processed, in Ontario and surrounding regions. “I would also say that I am customerservice oriented. Without the customer, there is nothing and I feel like people forget this all too often. My philosophy about food is similar to that of the customer. We must put the ingredient first. This doesn’t

necessarily mean that every single ingredient has to be the most expensive, rather that the ingredient works in whatever it is you are creating.” Naturally, vegan cooking has its own set of challenges, along with all of the usual hurdles of opening and running a successful restaurant. But he admits that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as some might think. “You don’t need a new set of cooking techniques to create vegan cuisine. It’s everything that we already know. The searing, the roasting — all of those things work the exact same way. For me it was learning about the ingredients, and how they react to each other. You know, applying traditional cooking methods to them works as well, if not better, than traditional cuisine.” MULTI-MEDIA PRESENCE

McNish enjoys being able to put his classical culinary training to the test every day, not only as a chef but also as a publisher of three hot-selling vegan and raw food cookbooks. He is also becoming increasingly comfortable and popular in front of the cameras, with dozens of entertaining segments on local daytime television under his belt, and plans to expand his career in that direction. “I love being able to teach my recipes and spread my awareness of vegan living and food, so to have my own cooking show route is 100 per cent natural and in my cards.” As for what inspires and motivates him to show up each day “and give 110 per cent,” McNish believes that a sincere desire in wanting to be the best at what he does is all the motivation he needs. “Working in a restaurant is like no other atmosphere on the face of the planet. Yes, it can be stressful and yes, it can be a lot of work, but it can also be the most rewarding jobs out there. You get to be creative every single day, you get to work with new product and people all the time, and you never stop learning. These are just a few of the reasons I get up every day and put on my whites!” | Spring 2018 7

BEE CHOO CHAR Prince George Hotel, Halifax — Head Chef Education: NSCC Culinary Arts program Career Path: Prep cook, Breakfast cook, line cook, Banquet Chef, Gio restaurant chef, Head Chef Years of Experience as a Chef: Head Chef – 10 years


Bee Choo Char is the talented Head Chef at the Prince George Hotel in Halifax, N.S. The roots of her experience with cooking go back to her early childhood in Malaysia. It was there that she learned to prepare the various authentic Asian dishes with their rich flavours and fresh produce from the local markets and the farm she lived on. Her interests in cooking grew when she later moved to British Columbia. There, she worked at a Chinese restaurant as a prep cook and server. Char’s professional cooking journey began in earnest as she studied Culinary Arts at the Nova Scotia Community College. She graduated at the top of her class and was immediately hired to join the culinary team at the Prince George Hotel more than 18 years ago. It was there that she made a name for herself as she began as a prep cook in the kitchen. Over the subsequent years, she continued to challenge herself, starting out on the banquet side and eventually moving on to fine dining, where she worked under Chef Ray Bear and Chef Ted Grant, as they helped her to discover her passion in creating dishes that have become a fusion of East meets West. As she expanded her expertise in the fine dining industry, she was eventually appointed Chef at the newly renovated Gio restaurant.

8 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Char’s achievements go beyond those at the Prince George Hotel. She has participated successfully in various competitions, both nationally and internationally, and won three gold medals when she was a member of Team Nova Scotia. Ten years ago, she also participated in the local APEX trade show in the Restaurant Wars competition, where she and her team captured first place. With her various achievements, Char earned the prestigious Alex Clavel Education Award in 2003. “Cooking will continue to be my lifelong passion,” says Char. “I will continue to share my love of food with others as I wish to inspire the minds of the various young cooks entering into the profession with my expertise in the field.” What are your earliest memories of cooking?

Cooking with my mother, preparing meals for the family. Why do you think you were drawn to a culinary career?

I like good food, I am creative and artistic and I enjoy creating new flavors and dishes.

How would you describe your restaurant(s) or foodservice operation?

Hotel, Banquet, Breakfast, Brunch, Offsite Catering, Fine Dining.

If you knew you were eating your last meal, what would you have?

Spicy Chinese food with rice.

What is your philosophy about food?

Food nourishes the body and mind. Food is the foundation of good physical and mental well-being. Where do you go to dine out?

I like to try all kinds of different restaurants, ranging from casual to fine dining. What is your favourite ingredient?


Who were your biggest influences/inspirations for becoming a chef?

My mother, my former chefs, celebrity chefs.

If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island, what three ingredients or food items would take with you?

Rice, garlic, and seafood.

What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now?

I can’t think of any food trend that I would consider overrated. What do you think is the most underrated food trend?

If something has become a trend, I guess it’s difficult to consider it underrated. Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment more with?

I would like to experiment more with cured meat, assorted breads.

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

Hard work, experimentation with different cuisine, research, and a drive to further oneself. Which cooking technique or tool is a favourite of yours right now, and why?

Sous-vide. It is a healthy, flavourful, tenderizing cooking method. What is your favourite food combination right now?


Do you have any culinary guilty pleasures? Food treats that you couldn’t live without?

Potato chips.

What are some of the most interesting or unique challenges of being a chef and restaurant owner?

Most challenging without a doubt is management of staff from many different backgrounds. Also, staff retention is a big challenge. What advice would you have for aspiring new chefs as they enter the industry?

Be prepared to work hard, long hours. Be open to new ideas, continuing education. Be mobile, experience different establishments, management styles, etc.




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THE DESIGN PROCESS Where do we begin and how will it end? By Chris Hannah In my early days of teaching design, I had to write a quiz for students learning the process for the first time. As it happens, I was sitting in a client’s restaurant composing the test, when he walked by and asked what I was doing. When I explained, he picked up the paper I was using and read the first question. “What is the first step in the design process?” That’s easy he said, “get a retainer!” Of course, that was not the answer I was looking for from a student, but it was the perfect answer coming from (or referring to) a client. While the “design process” is way of achieving creative solutions, it also parallels the contract or “scope of work” that is struck between restaurant owner and designer. The complication to viewing this as a simple process involving two parties is that in design and construction of the built environment, there are many people involved, and many factors to consider. The client g roup may c o n s i s t o f c u l i n a r y, f i n a n c i a l , operations and concept specialists, or a single owner/operator that has to wear all these hats. On the design side, there are interior designers, architects, mechanical, electrical and structural engineers, as well as other specialist consultants in certain cases. Typically, there is one consultant who leads the process, and that is usually a specialist foodservice designer. At the front end of the process, a client who is new to the business may need assistance in the early

stages from a consultant who covers all or some of the client group skills noted above. It is for those new to the process that I write this article. The process that follows more or less reflects what you would see in a contractual scope of work laid out by a design consultant, but I will try expand on the creative aspects. One interesting note is that we teach the process to students as being non-linear, such that we often circle back on steps as new questions arise. When this happens in the real world, it is often frustrating, particularly within tight timelines. However, it is often necessary and should be embraced in order for a successful end product. Phase 1: Programming and Predesign

More often than not, clients come to us with a site (and a time-sensitive lease) before this phase is complete, which puts the whole team under stress. Alternatively, some clients are capable of doing most

10 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

of this phase prior to engagement of a design team. The key here is to have a full understanding of the concept and operation in terms of things like food and beverage offering, target market, service model, price point, and an overall financial model. When we meet a client for the first time, we can usually assess at this point if we need to engage specialist operations consultants. For us as designers, this process of working with the other consultants is very instructive, and typically a lot of fun. For my students, they often see this information-gathering phase as more frustrating than enjoyable – preferring instead to jump ahead to design – always a bad mistake! Phase 2: Concept Design

If we have all the right information from Phase 1, we are ready to jump into design. This is the fun part for designers, and often equally so for clients. Planning, equipment section, interior form, lighting, finishes and furniture are all developed. Design being an iterative process, options are explored in this phase so that the team can agree on the main thrust of the design in terms of the elements noted. A great way to streamline the overall process in terms of timing is to start this process before site selection. By doing this, the time pressure of lease



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conditions is eliminated, and the actual process of site selection can be done in a more educated way. The one large variable in this phase is the type and quality of the presentation material. Some clients understand the b a s i c t w o - d i m e n s i o n a l d r aw i n g produced, and can visualize the planning, finishes and lighting based on experience. More often than not, more detailed 3D colour renderings are needed for a full understanding of the design direction. The important thing is to know what to ask for, particularly when comparing design proposals for competing designers. Phase 3: Design Development

In this phase, all of the elements conceived in Phase 2 are developed further. Also, this is often a good time for engineers and other consultants to dive into the process more actively so that the various aspects of the environment are coordinated. Client and design communication is still very active as specific details are fleshed out – details that the client and their staff will have to




Know what you know, and what you don’t, so you know what help you need Make sure your consultants understand you and your business Communication is key – if it is not working, nothing will Invest in the process, and enjoy it

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work and live with for some time. The main goal at the end of Phases 2 and 3 is that the entire team is happy with the design before it gets documented. Phase 4: Contract Documentation

This is typically the most timeintensive phase for a design office. As well as drawing, all of the detail needed to price, permit and build the restaurant, it also involves lots of coordination with the other consultants. This is still not a completely hands-off phase for the client, as many details will need review and discussion. The goal however, is that major changes don’t happen here as they are costly in terms of time and fees. While there may be some overlap in Phases 2-4, the hope is that each previous phase is complete and approved by the client, to avoid these issues.

Phase 5: Contract Administration

Once drawings are complete, pricing and permitting can be done. While this is often done consecutively, we actually try to expedite the permit drawings ahead of tender drawings. This way, potential code issues may be resolved before a final price is established, and before a contract is signed between builder and client. While the big-time push is done prior to this phase, the key here is that the designer is your advocate to review shop dr awings, site construction and help you deal with issues that arrive during this critical phase. There are a number of ways to articulate the process, but the steps are basically the same. Knowing the phases of the process and what to ask for is the first step in getting a great restaurant design.

Chris Hannah is the principal of Cricket Design Company Inc. in Toronto. The firm was founded in 1988 and specializes in hospitality projects, from kiosks to casinos and everything in between. Hannah also teaches at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design. For more information visit - but stand by for a new and improved site coming this fall. Email:

RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Spring 2018 13



DIGITAL DOOR New opportunities to build your foodservice business By Robert Carter

With traffic and spend relatively flat across most of the foodservice market in 2017, certain segments, such as full-service restaurants (FSR), continued to struggle. On the other end of the spectrum, segments such as fast casual and home meal replacement saw strong growth – successfully stealing share from traditional FSR and quick-service (QSR) categories. Now that 2017 is behind us, the question becomes: “What can we expect in the coming year?” The foodservice landscape is shifting across the globe. The supply chain is evolving, consumer needs and tastes are changing, the channels offering foodservice are plentiful, and technology is enabling convenience and service at the speed of light. 2018 — THE YEAR OF FOODTECH

Canada has become a hotbed for tech startups, particularly in Toronto. With Canadian initiatives such as the MaRs complex,

enhanced government technology start-up grants and facilities such as the University of Toronto, Canada is now home to many exciting Foodtech start-up companies: Think Ritual, Chef ’s Plate, Skip the Dishes, SmoothPay and others. Add to the mix additional food and restaurant focus from the likes of Facebook, Uber and Google, the FoodTech space is one of the fastest growing segments of the foodservice industry in Canada. And these examples are just on the consumer facing side! So, what is driving the demand for evolving FoodTech in today’s market? To

14 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

put it simply: Convenience. Among the main reasons why consumers visit restaurants and use foodservice, convenience influences behaviour. And given today’s highly developed and competitive foodservice landscape, technology has enabled an unprecedented level of convenience for consumers. With a few scrolls, taps, and clicks, they can get what they want, when they want it, with great speed. Digitalization — mobile ordering, delivery, apps, order kiosks, the Internet — is growing rapidly across Canada as well as all global foodservice markets that The NPD Group tracks. Dubbed the “digital door,” consumers using technology to interact with restaurants will spend over $1.8 billion dollars in 2018, up from the $1.4 billion from 2017. Looking back over the past five years, revenue generated through the Digital Door has outpaced all other areas of the foodservice industry.




For today’s restaurant operator, it’s no longer a question of whether or not to invest in a Digital Door strategy since it has now become a consumer expectation. Restaurant operators must move beyond participation in order to develop a deeper understanding of who is using the Digital Door, what methods they’re using, when they’re using, at which daypart, at what type of restaurant or foodservice outlet and for which categories (i.e., coffee, main entrée, etc.). Once we understand the resources and benefits of developing and implanting a Digital Door program, the opportunities to develop an additional revenue stream is changing the way restaurant operators view their traditional business and go-to-market strategies. Case in point: The FSR category and Digital Door services. Since 2008, c u s t o m e r t r a f f i c at F S R s h a s experienced steady year-over-year declines, on average, down three per cent annually. As consumers become less motivated to go out to dine, opting to stay home for a night of Netflix binging, the result is fewer customers at full-service restaurants. Add to the competitive challenge the continued enhancement of convenient, quick-service restaurants with their drive-throughs and focus on menu innovation and increasing food quality, the end result is that the FSR operators are forced to look for additional strategies to capture a share of the consumer food dollar. FSR QUALITY AT HOME

The one bright spot that has emerged for FSRs is the increasing demand from consumers for FSR-quality meals they can easily pick up on the way home or conveniently have delivered to their

homes or workplaces. It is this growing acceptance from consumers that a highquality, restaurant meal prepared by a chef from an FSR can provide a similar dining experience outside of the restaurant’s traditional dining room that has resulted in Digital Door traffic at FSRs to grow from 27.4 million delivery/takeout orders in 2016 to 36.6 million in 2017 – an increase of over 33 per cent! Not surprisingly, this increase coincides directly with the growth in popularity of third-party delivery services such as UberEats, Skip the Dishes, Foodora, etc. As a result of this growth, there are now more options available for FSR meals to be delivered than ever before. From a consumer perspective, who exactly is driving the growth of the Digital Door? Not surprisingly, it’s the Millennials. As we all know, Millennials are a must-win battle for all of today’s restaurant operators. Not to mention that Millennials are now the largest foodservice cohort (surpassing Baby Boomers for share of traffic). They also continue to be the key driver of overall foodservice growth, outpacing all other age cohorts. This is the most important generation to target and win with! In f a c t , F S R o p e r at o r s t a r g e t i n g Millennials will increase revenue. Every one per cent of Millennial traffic that a FSR can “steal from the competition” is worth $44 million. And the key to the Millennial demographic is a Digital Door strategy. The bottom line is that 2018 will be the year of FoodTech. Understanding how consumer trends such as the Digital Door can become an additional revenue source for your foodservice business will ensure that 2018 is more profitable than the year before.

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 please visit

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RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME. ® 800.239.5251 | Spring 2018 15

Dairy Directions Trends and innovation in Canada’s dairy supply chain

From a growing consumer desire for natural, healthy foods to ethnic ingredients and flavour innovation, Canadian dairy manufacturers are rising to the occasion with a number of new offerings and expanding product lines. Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News recently asked a panel of prominent dairy suppliers about the latest trends and developments in dairy options available at Canadian restaurants. Read on to hear what they had to say. . .

16 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: DAIRY Participants: Genevieve Bolduc, Marketing Director, DanoneWave Canada Tina Galluccio, Marketing Manager, Saputo Dairy Products and Cheese Jeff Zonneveld, Vice President/General Manager, Meadowfresh Dairy Corporation What are some of the most significant trends and developments when it comes to dairy products for restaurants in Canada in 2018? Genevieve Bolduc: First and foremost, the major trend that DanoneWave Canada has identified involves the growing consumer appetite for healthier, more natural food. DanoneWave Canada is aligned with this trend. For example, we recently launched Activia Pure, a new plain yogurt in our bestselling Activia portfolio that is made with 100 per cent all-natural ingredients and no added sugar, while including the benefits of Activia’s exclusive B.L. Regularis probiotic culture. Secondly, we’ve identified what I’ll call the “texture trend.” Canadians are big fans of dairy products that have some type of added texture, such as the crunch of grains or granola. In the restaurant industry, this trend is manifesting itself via the yogurt bowls and parfaits that are becoming mainstays on breakfast and snack menus.

Flavour innovation will continue to influence dairy product development. Big, bold flavours in cheese appeal to younger consumers who have adventurous palates. Younger cohorts drive food service visits more than any other generation in Canada.

Tina Galluccio:

The main one that stands out to us as a local small dairy and foodservice supplier in Lower Mainland, B.C. is the desire to purchase local products from locally owned and operated businesses. Consumers are very well informed and discerning these days and like to know their food is made with quality local ingredients. Meadowfresh, for instance, is a B.C./Alberta-owned producer co-op that uses milk from local farmers here in B.C.

Jeff Zonneveld:

What are the biggest benefits and challenges for chefs and restaurant operators in adapting to these trends? GB: As Canadians become increasingly

health-focused, it makes sense for restaurant menus to reflect options that make customers feel like they are making the right choices. Of course, customers also want to enjoy their food, so the challenge lies in creating menus and recipes that are healthy, but still interesting, exciting and, of course, delicious.

Chefs and operators can create menu differentiation and set themselves apart from the competition by introducing unique flavours (i.e. premium cheeses) on the menu. Offering unique menu items can boost the average eater check and craveability which can lead to increased restaurant traffic.


Supply, I would think. With the gap from the small locally run businesses and the large multinationals widening constantly, it is tougher for the smaller companies to remain competitive and have the distribution reach sometimes required. Meadowfresh has a fleet of nine trucks and we are continually adapting, customizing and expanding to meet our customers’ needs. We will often change formulas or customize products to ensure our customers get what they need.


What are the key factors currently driving recipe innovation and the use of dairy products? GB: First, there’s the general trend towards

more natural, less processed food. In the case of yogurt, this often means products with no added sugar, which have the benefit of versatility. Plain yogurt can be used as a base for both sweet and savoury recipes, and it can sometimes be used as a substitute for higher-fat dairy ingredients. Second, there’s the impact of multiculturalism on what and how we eat. This cultural diversity is manifesting itself through new recipes and new approaches to cooking. Yogurt is a truly global phenomenon – it’s a kitchen staple in virtually every region of the world, from Brazil to Turkey to Indonesia. Therefore, I anticipate that it will increasingly show up on restaurant menus and in-home kitchens from coast to coast. Finally, there’s the growing appetite for what I’ll call healthy indulgences — recipes that offer customers a bit of a treat, without going overboard. Yogurt – especially a thick, creamy option like Greek yogurt – can be the perfect base for these recipes and menu items. Reduced or low sugar, high-protein, high-fibre, low allergens, and clean ingredients are top of mind with healthconscious consumers. Other considerations include local and organic sourced products, convenience/snacking and premiumization or indulgence.

TG: | Spring 2018 17

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The trend back to higher fat dairy products seems to be a driver here. Clearly we are experiencing upward growth in higher butterfat products like butter and heavy creams. Another emerging trend is grass-fed products. Meadowfresh has recently launched a grass-fed milk.


What are some creative ways chefs can include new dairy product offerings to expand beyond traditional menu items? TG: Chefs can create over-the-top, indulgent

versions of classic dishes to expand beyond traditional menu items. Examples could include such offerings as gourmet grilled cheese, lobster mac and cheese, cheesestuffed burgers, or gourmet poutine. Chefs can also create mini-versions or snack-size options that cater to both snacking and social occasions.

What new dairy products or recipe ideas are you currently working on that may be of interest to restaurants operators and chefs? GB: We are excited to introduce more

yogurt products in a variety of textures with no added sugar that serve as an ideal base for both sweet and savoury recipes and menu items. In fact, our research shows that Canadian consumers have a growing interest in using yogurt in savoury dishes, such as soups, sauces and dips. DanoneWave Canada places a significant focus on the research and development of quality yogurt products. Our production facility in Boucherville, Quebec has a dedicated team of experts

who ensure that we offer only the best options to Canadians. Our mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible, and our products allow us to do that every day. JZ: We continue to grow our organic lines of cultured products, grass-fed milk and ethnic specialty products. What additional future innovations in dairy products do you anticipate in the next year or so and why do you think they might become popular? GB: First, we can expect to see more and

more yogurt products that reflect different ethnic cuisines. This is not necessarily new; we’re already seeing the growing popularity of international yogurt products like lassi, kefir and skyr. However, international tastes will continue to be a driver of yogurt category growth, and a source of menu and recipe inspiration. By the same token, we’ll also see the growth of new, exotic yogurt flavours, such as those based on fruits and spices that are less familiar to Canadian consumers. Drinkable yogurt, as well as yogurt products designed to be consumed on the go will also become increasingly popular. Consumers want to stay healthy, and that will be reflected in their snacking and convenience choices.

JZ: I believe grass-fed and organic products

will continue to increase in popularity in the foodservice industry in direct response to consumer demand.






Source of fibre No preservatives, artificial flavours or colours. More than 1 billon probiotic cultures B.L. regularis*

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Jalapeno Cheese

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Grana Padano


Base:Q3 2016 to Q3 2017-101,261 menu items Source: MenuMonitor, Technomic

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Base:Q3 2017-102,355 menu items Source: MenuMonitor, Technomic



Goat Cheese Cream Cheese





Swiss Cheese

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*With more than 109 CFU Bifidobacterium lactis per serving, a probiotic that contributes to healthy gut flora. - Activia ® of Cie Gervais Danone, used under lic. / Danone ® of Cie Gervais Danone, used under lic.

Jamie Millette

National Account Sales Manager - 416-676-8397 | Spring 2018 19



BREWS How restaurants can boost sales and loyalty with an enhanced tea service By Frank Weber

The image of tea as being the preferred “granny” choice of beverage has long been shed and “Tea Culture” is now omnipresent in artisan coffee shops, fine food emporiums and slowly even mainstream grocery stores.

20 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


NEW The Canadian tea industry grew past $1.3 billion in 2015 – a 23-per-cent increase over the year before and it has seen a steady increase in specialty tea since. Leading the way are Millennials, who are drinking more tea than ever and seem to love the hip-and-healthy tea culture. Premium loose leaf tea has already become a staple in this demographic – a part of the new normal. A GROWING INDUSTRY

In many instances, the flavours and scents of tea have become intrinsically interwoven into memory, habit and personal identity. By 2020, Euromonitor forecasts that the tea industry will see $20 billion (US) in growth, and calls it the most dynamic category in global beverages, adding that it is now in “an era of value creation,” with ultrapremium and luxury tea claiming a share of the increase That said, you would never guess the above to be the case if you visited most Canadian restaurants. Here in Canada, the old mainstream tea dinosaurs have maintained a firm grip on the market with sub-standard tea dust in Granny’s favourite tea bag, often falsely labeled as “orange pekoe” (which isn’t actually the tea that is found in said envelope). Orange is actually a higher grade leaf cut which has become synonymous with mainstream black tea. It’s puzzling to think that this miscommunication is still happening in a world where chefs place the utmost importance not only on quality and freshness but also on the origin and traceability of their ingredients. It seems that in the world of tea, secondary ingredients are still largely ignored. GLOBAL POPULARITY

Tea has been second for a long time; in fact, it is the second-most widely consumed beverage on the planet, just after water. Canada has some catching up to do here, but as they say, “the times they are a

changin’.” (Bob Dylan must have sipped on a good old cuppa when he wrote this tune). Carrying a good selection of fine looseleaf tea is becoming an expectation, if not a requirement, in any better restaurant. Those ignoring the changing landscapes have always been left behind. Some innovators are already taking advantage of those added-value experiences such as Matcha prepared tableside and chai lattes in a multitude of flavours. These beverages don’t require more time and effort than a cappuccino and the customers interested in these choices are plentiful. The opportunities in the after-dinner segment are staggering. Customers, not looking for a crème caramel, may just be interested in a low-calorie version of these “liquid desserts.”




Profitability is, of course, the major benefit here, where food cost is in the low teens and perception of value and innovation rise beyond expectations. Why charge $3.00 for a tepid old bag when one can deliver an outstanding experience for $8.00-$12.00 and reap five times the profit. These are incremental sales that would have been lost, as this customer would not have settled for the bag in the dusty old tea box. The right tea supplier will be able to make such an enhanced tea program easy to establish, promote and maintain. In the current environment, your tea supplier should be able to live up to the same high standards restaurants have come to expect from their other quality suppliers of produce, meat and seafood. Oceanwise, USDA, Fair Trade, non-GMO are terms of transparency consumers have come to expect. Why stop at the main ingredient when your tea service can also be more profitable, fun and a better experience for your customer? The rapid growth in this market has given restaurants greater choices and better partners to make this simple and sensible change. If not now, then when?

Frank Weber is the owner of Toronto based importer and wholesaler Tea Squared. Frank has been a pioneer in the Canadian tea industry and regularly travels the world to bring the purest and most exquisite teas to restaurants and retailers. For more information, visit


Almonds / Granola


Coconut / Granola


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Walnuts / Shortbread

Selected toppings such as

nuts, granola and more Available in 4 differents flavours

to satisfy every taste High in protein

OIKOS ® of The Dannon Company, Inc., used under lic. / DANONE ® of Cie Gervais Danone, used under lic.

Jamie Millette

National Account Sales Manager - 416-676-8397 | Spring 2018 21


OPERATIONS Lessons for challenging times By Matt Rolfe

22 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News



We are currently in the midst of one of the most challenging times for operators over the last decade. Costs and competition continue to rise and the fight for strong leaders or managers is more aggressive than ever. The key to transitioning through challenging times is creating a plan and taking action quickly. It is in the time of the decision that action is needed and true leaders will shine. | Spring 2018 23

The factors that helped lead to your success in 2017 will not necessarily produce the same results in 2018. The market has changed and your business needs to as well. Below are five critical elements to allow your team to continue to thrive in these challenging times.


TEAM CONNECTION RHYTHM This may sound very simple to some, however it is not common practice for many leaders today. It is important to create a clear plan to ensure everyone on your team is aligned. A strong frequency of meetings is going to aid in this process and communication needs to be fluid and constant. Every owner or leader needs to focus on creating clarity and then reinforcing it. Just when you think you are over-communicating your plan. . .you are just getting started! Remember to keep reiterating your plan and ensuring everyone on your team is clear and aligned. The perfect forum for creating, aligning, tracking and discussing progress is in your weekly and monthly meetings. You are having weekly and monthly meetings, right? I have personally studied the importance and dynamics of meeting rhythms

YOUR TEAM NEEDS A LEADER During challenging times, your business needs you to show up and lead the team regardless of your job title: Owner, Regional Manager, GM, Chef, etc. During times of uncertainty, people desperately need to be lead and need to hear a consistent message from the leader and alignment across the leadership team. Alignment is not only about the speech you deliver, but about your body language and how you show up. I have a unique poster in my office of an Opera quote that says: “Be responsible for the energy you bring to this space.” This message could not be more critical for the leaders in our industry today. It is obvious our industry experiences very long working hours and the imbalance many of us have with our family/friends can easily create negative energy, which can be reflected in our operations and onto our teams. From personal experience, not being in the right state when leading my own team has previously created disconnection and unnecessary tension. Many of us are very strong leaders and may not be aware of the impact we have on a room, positively or negatively based on our energy and emotions. I often ask my clients to reflect on decisions they have made when they were stressed and overwhelmed vs. decisions they made when they were clear and grounded. Take a step back today and think about the impact you, and your energy have on your team. One powerful tool I have started using and would highly recommend is journaling on a daily basis. Our industry has been trained to focus on the five to 10 per cent of things that go wrong in our operations, which unfortunately can diminish our energy levels. I currently use the “5 Minute Journal” to focus on the positive that occurs in my life and work on a daily basis. I never imagined journaling to be part of my daily routine, however the impact this process has had on myself and the leaders I work with has been incredible. If you would like more information on regarding journaling or morning routines, please email me. 24 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

for several years and based on my experience, I have outlined the best rhythm below. The best performing teams in our industry are having frequent meetings (with the RIGHT agendas) and are having the critical conversations that will keep their businesses moving forward. • Weekly Meeting – 2 Hours • Monthly Meeting – 1 Day • Quarterly Meeting – 1.5 - 2 Days If you think the above frequency is impossible to fit into your schedule, that may be part of your operations challenge. If you would like further information regarding meeting rhythms or agenda templates, please email me directly. I want to help your team get the most from its time together.




MAKE A COMMITMENT TO YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT As human beings if we are not growing we are dying. For some that may sound like an aggressive statement, however my intention is to create a spark in anyone who is reading this article. What is your personal development goal for this year? Do you have a list of books you are going to read? TED Talks you are going to watch? Conferences you are going to attend? Courses you wish to complete? Mentors are you going to work with? Peers in the industry you are going to commit to connect with? These are all part of your personal development. As our businesses thrive, we need to continue to grow as leaders at the same pace if not faster. Most of us are too busy working in our operation that we feel we don’t have the time to work on ourselves, which is one of the biggest challenges in our industry today. I’ve connected with many leaders that carry a lot of guilt

4 CREATE AND REINFORCE CLEAR OUTCOMES FOR 2018 One of my favorite authors is Patrick Lencioni. If you have not already read any of his books, I would highly recommend getting a copy of “The Advantage” or “The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team” and reviewing them with your team. The key to any business is knowing where your team is going and how they can win. Some of you reading this may assume these books are more suited towards the corporate world rather than our hospitality industry, however that could not be further from the truth. The key to having a successful 2018 is creating a clear vision so your team knows where to apply their energy on a daily and weekly basis. Many leaders are going to be looking to cut costs to make their bottom line work this year. I agree that it is critical for your business to have your costs in line, however if that dominates your team’s focus it can easily shift the staff ’s focus away from what truly matters for most operators reading this article. The guest experience is what matters most! One of the only ways to drive profit this year, after your base costs are controlled, will be increasing your topline sales. This increase will not happen on its own… it will only happen by design. For a process on how to design your operations outcomes for 2018, please email me to receive our Building A Play Book exercise.

because they committed an hour a day to read and two weeks for their team to attend conferences and workshops. I understand how you feel. I know we are all extremely busy however, in times of change and turbulence, it is important we lean into to our personal growth the most. My recommendation is less about the personal development of your team and more about giving yourself permission and seeing value in investing in YOURSELF. I promise that by doing so you will see how it can change your life – personally and professionally. Get grounded on your perspectives and priorities, and significantly change the energy and state you are in when you are inside your operation. For further information regarding leadership development strategies, plans and options, please email me directly.

RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE! If you have read my articles in the past, you would recognize this important lesson. I spend time every week coaching my clients on how to genuinely recognize their people more often. There has not been a time where I have walked into a restaurant and had staff ask me to get their owners or managers to provide them with less feedback or change. As mentioned previously in this article, our industry has been built on focusing on the five to 10 per cent of things that go wrong every day or week. Operators are simply not giving the other 90 per cent or more of great work the attention that it deserves. This will be the core source of your cultural issues, staff retention woes and ultimately the experience your guest receives. As a leader, you need to create a contagious positive culture and recognition and celebration is where you can start! It is time for our leadership teams to look at past patterns and decide if they will lead us successfully into the future. I truly feel that if we want more great service experiences in our operations, we need to recognize great behavior when it happens. It sounds counter-intuitive to many, but I believe that recognition needs to be a process accompanied with providing feedback which will result in one of the biggest return on time possible for your business. If you would like an example of a great recognition process, I would love to share that with you upon request. This article is strictly designed to make you think differently. When strong leaders are clear and grounded, positive results will quickly follow. To get yourself and your team aligned and focused you need to create the time, be present to your emotional state and find ways to continue to grow and develop as a leader. I am grateful to spend every day supporting leaders and leadership teams in our industry.


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 | Spring 2018 25

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REBRANDING, EDUCATION UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT FOR 2018 Dear CCFCC Members, Colleagues and Friends: OUR NATIONAL BOARD has been working hard

Simon Smotkowicz President CCFCC

over the past few months to add value to the CCFCC membership and here are some of the initiatives we are working on. Rudi Fischbacher, our Canadian Culinary Institute Chair, has been working on a new Continuing Education Program that will be launched at the National Conference in Charlottetown in June. Starting September 2018, the program will offer workshops presented across Canada (i.e. Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax). They will be two-day workshops on topics such as charcuterie, cheese-making, breads, plated desserts, etc., at no cost to CCFCC members. Participants will receive a CCFCC Certificate of Completion. Priority will be given to CCFCC members for the first three weeks of each workshop announcement, after which nonmembers will be able to register for a fee with the option to apply the fee towards a CCFCC membership should they decide to join the CCFCC within 30 days of completing the workshop. Tina Tang, Junior Membership Committee Chair, Donald Gyurkovits and our three Junior Member Board representatives, Dana O’Brien, Jonathan Rocha and Andrea Robichaud are organizing activities in all regions to spur interest in participating in the World Chefs Junior Chefs Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Some complimentary hotel rooms have been secured on a first-come, first-served basis and fundraising activities are taking place.

28 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Ryan Marquis, our Marketing Chair, and his committee are working with The House Media Group. They have done an excellent job with our rebranding initiative and at the time of writing we are two weeks away from the release of our new interactive website. Independent Board member, Walter Jazvac, with the support of our Regional VPs Anthony McCarthy, David Franklin and Peter Dewar are working on a mentorship program. Experienced chefs will be paired with junior members and lessexperienced chefs to provide career guidance and increased culinary and management knowledge within the foodservice industry. The mentorship is intended to be delivered at the Branch level. Last, but not least, rebranding and education will be the focus the 2018 National Conference which will take place from J un e 10 to 14 in Charlottetown, PEI. It will feature interactive workshops and educational sessions. Prince Edward Island, with its magical landscape, is a bounty of agricultural and sea products and a full day has been set aside for delegates to tour the island an see what it has to offer. Please stay tuned for more exciting news and initiatives. I hope to see many of you in June in Prince Edward Island. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at, should you have any questions, ideas and/or suggestions. Culinarily yours, Simon Simon Smotkowicz President, Canadian Culinary Federation


DESTINATION OVERVIEW There is something magical about the landscape of Prince Edward Island. Many visitors compare it to the gentle grace of Ireland and rural England. There seem to be a thousand shades of green, and the rich red soil is unlike any found elsewhere in Canada. The pristine beaches stretch for miles, and it is not unusual to see a farmer working in fields to within a few feet of rugged cliffs. Even the trees seem to be richer in texture and hue. Conference delegates come to PEI to enjoy not only fine meeting and accommodation facilities, but also superb dining in distinctive settings from traditional mouth-watering lobster suppers to intimate cafes and lively dinner theatres. Providing a warm and hospitable atmosphere to guests is important to islanders and conference delegates always leave the island with wonderful memories to cherish. Charlottetown, the capital city, has a population of approximately 40,000. The total population of the island is approximately 140,000. At the height of the tourist season, more than a million visitors come to the island — it’s not hard to imagine why!



Delta Prince Edward, 18 Queen Street, Charlottetown, PEI General Manager (Mark Gregory) and Executive Chef (Javier Alarco) are CCFCC members. Modern property, situated on the waterfront and within walking distance of downtown.

• • • • • • •

ROOM RATES (+ 15% HST AND 3% TOURISM LEVY): • Standard $229.00 • Waterview $249.00 • Suite $299.00 REGISTRATION FEES: • National Member • Life Member • Youth Member • Spousal

EARLY BIRD $395 $375 $250 $325

AFTER APRIL 1, 2018 $450 $425 $300 $375

Welcome Reception hosted at Holland College Junior & Senior Competitions to take place in the Delta Main Ballroom President’s Gala Kitchen-Party with Eastern Provinces Course Themes AGM & Presidents Meeting now on same day Interactive Island tours — Educational workshops Registration and payment now in one easy step Interactive Conference App

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE NATIONAL BOARD MEMBERS: • Simon Smotkowicz • Christopher Moreland • Ryan Marquis • Peter Dewar LOCAL: • Irwin MacKinnon + selected branch members EVENT MANAGEMENT: • Sue Martin & Samantha Scholefield | Spring 2018 29


INTERNATIONAL CHEFS DAY TORONTO C C F C C To r o n t o B r a n c h m e m b e r s volunteered by sharing their knowledge of cooking with children in an effort to create a better culinary and healthy future for us all. Twenty-four excited Grade 3 and 4 students from a neighbouring elementary school visited Gore Meadows Community Centre in the Greater Toronto Area to have hands-on cooking experiences and to learn about the “super-hero” powers of preparing and eating healthy food choices.

WINNIPEG On October 19, 2017, the culinary kitchen of John G. Stewart High School hosted International Chefs Day in Winnipeg. In 2016, the World Association of Chefs Societies created International Chefs Day to educate children around the world about the importance of healthy eating. In doing so, they hope to expose children to the culinary profession and teach them good eating habits they can carry with them for life. The day featured our culinary instructor Paul Lemire, Helmut Mathae production chef Jason Silk, the culinary students and high school math teacher Terrance, who brought his class to the kitchen classroom for the morning. For the first course, everyone learned how to make apple swans and soon there was a flock of birds in the kitchen! The exercise provided a fun and 3D effect in which you can turn an ordinary apple into a piece of edible art. The second course turned out to be a 14’ long apple and cinnamon snake roll with the help from Helmut. Two of the math students helped fill and roll out the long creation that was cut up into 77 healthy and nutritious mouthwatering delights. The lunch for the day was grilled bison burritos, with the choice of multigrain or cheese tortillas and filled with oven roasted vegetables. 30 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


TORONTO PIZZA CHAMPIONSHIP THE TORONTO PIZZA Championship was held in mid-November and hosted by the CCFCC Toronto Branch with partners Italiana FoodTech, the School of Italian Pizza, SYSCO Canada, Canada Produce, F. Dick Knives and Gravitas, Inc. Competitors were required to make 2 x Classic Pizza + 2 x Creative Pizza (all thin crust) in 40 minutes. Taking first place was Giovani Campisi of Il Sorriso Cafe and Pizzeria and Casa Mia Ristorante in Niagara Falls, Ont. Campisi will now represent Canada and the CCFCC Toronto Branch at the International Pizza Championship to be held in Bucharest, Romania in March 2018. The jury panel included Head of Jury Tony Fernandes, WMC, Crown Plaza Toronto Airport Hotel; CCFCC Toronto President Shonah Chalmers, CCC, Humber College; Francesco Zulian, Italiana FoodTech; Rosanna Caira, Editor and Publisher, Kostuch Media; Warren Ford, George Brown College and Cornelia Volino, Culinary Competition Committee, with Guest Judges Stephen Wemyss, Gravitas, Inc., and Carmelo Vadacchino, F. Dick.


GLOBAL CHEFS CHALLENGE ON NOVEMBER 4, 2017, the CCFCC held a competition at Humber College to select a chef to represent Canada at the World Chefs Global Challenge in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in July 2018. The competitors were asked to prepare a threecourse menu for six people within a four-hour timeframe. We had six competitors from across Canada and they were: Manpreet Sethi, Moe Zubair, Paul Hoag, Jonathan Crave, Rahil Rathod and Hugo Lavoie-Drouin. The competition was judged by Peter Dewar, Judson Simpson, Rudi Fischbacher, Catherine O’Donnell and Tony Fernandes.

RESULTS: 1st place Rahil Rathod, Delta Toronto 2nd place Hugo Lavoie-Drouin, Fairmount Hotels 3rd place Paul Hoag, Executive Chef, McMaster University Thank all the competitors for taking part in this competition as well the team at Humber College for hosting us. Thanks also to the judges for taking the time to taste and critique the food. | Spring 2018 31




EVERY MONTH the student cooks of the culinary arts and hospitality program of Monarch Park Collegiate spend time serving on the hot line of Toronto's large Good Shepherd Mission on Queen Street East. The need is sadly desperate, the demand growing. We do what little we can. Each month we cook and serve: • 250 covers in September; • about 335 in October; • almost 750 in November. In December, we cooked and served for very high-end clients in Forest Hill, and four days later for some of the most desperately hard-to-house adults in the city, for HOTT's Christmas event for 120 hungry people. The next week we were back at the Good Shepherd.

RECOGNIZING SUCCESS CENTRAL REGION Vice President David Franklin attended a CCF Muskoka Branch meeting at Hawkridge Golf Club in Orillia, Ont. in November to present Chef Danilo Carpino with his CCF Lifetime Achievement Award, given in recognition of those who have achieved excellence in the culinary field and to honor those who have made significant contributions to the culinary profession.

MCMASTER EXECUTIVE CHEF Paul Hoag entered a world video competition late in 2017 through the World Gourmet Society with a theme of “My Best Plate.” The video had to be under three minutes, show creativity, and show the region of the country the contestant was from. Chef Hoag was the only entry from Canada and just one of two from North America. There were two rounds of judging (and a lot of rules!) and Chef Hoag placed eighth in the world. The awards were held in Monaco, in conjunction with the World Chefs Summit. “The plate I made for this competition was totally vegan,” said Hoag. “I used cauliflower cooked six different ways (smoked, pickled, raw, roasted, fried and dried). As well, on the plate were pickled grapes, almonds, a potato spiral, date puree and curry sauce.” Below are the links to the top 10 videos. Gabriele Vannucci

Simone Cipriani

Bledar Kola

Michela Bottasso

Andrea Perini

Florent Pietravalle

Gabriele Andreoni

Chef Hoag

Dirk - Jan Decock

Filippo Saporito

32 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


SPREADING HOLIDAY HALIFAX PASTRY BRIGADE CHEER FOR OVER A DECADE now CCFCC Toronto and GFS have partnered to carry out a wonderful holiday annual occasion at the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. Several chefs give their time throughout the busy week in December to prepare turkeys, make stuffing, platter desserts and pull together a splendid five-course dinner for 300 people attending to enjoy some Christmas spirit with their families. Giving back to the community at this time of year and to bring cheer to people in need could not have happened without the help of everyone involved.

THE HALIFAX BRANCH of the CCFCC would like to recognize five members of the branch who work in the Pastry department in The Halifax Convention Centre. “We’ve always known that our pastry staff is special because they go above and beyond in everything they do,” says Jonathan Hannam, Pastry Chef of the HCC. “Together, they have a combined industry experience of 76 years, 39 of those being dedicated to our Centre. “Somehow they’ve managed to 'wow!' us again. Each member of our pastry team has worked hard to receive their Red Seal certification. That’s five out of five employees! “Our Centre’s dedicated pastry staff now makes up 23 per cent of Nova Scotia certified Red Seal Bakers. The fact that our team contributes to nearly one quarter of the Red Seal Bakers in our province is very impressive and we are so proud of their expertise. “We’re thrilled they’ve achieved so much together, through hard work and the continued support of our organization. Congrats to our team. We’re always ready to dish out delicious treats and leave our guests wanting more!”

(L to R): Sarah O'Malley, Suyoung Kim, Ashley Murphy (Baker), Jonathan Hannam (Pastry Chef), Charmaine Roma (Assistant Pastry Chef)

TORONTO BRANCH CHRISTMAS DINNER A CHRISTMAS DINNER Social was enjoyed by members, friends and families on December 3 at Boehmer's Restaurant on Ossington Avenue in Toronto. Food was outstanding by Chef Paul Boehmer and his team, from the delectable seared scallops with lobster bisque to the perfectly seared foie gras, and so much more. Live music by Manitoba native Brooke Palsson was a perfect blend of modern and classic which paired perfectly with the evening. | Spring 2018 33


ASIA, THE RISING DRAGON, is THE gastronomic paradise of today. It offers a complex plethora of cuisines, cultures, flavours, ingredients, herbs, cooking techniques… the possibilities are endless. Join us at Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and get set for a gastronomic journey that will inspire your palate, your minds and your culinary soul. This bi-annual must-attend global event will welcome chefs from around the world. Enjoy global networking opportunities, and bask in renowned Asian hospitality.

SAVOUR ASIA ON A PLATE The Worldchefs Congress & Expo brings together more than 100 member countries and industry leaders to learn about culinary trends and innovations, compete on a global scale, and of course - experience unmatched camaraderie! Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018 – Asia on a Plate - is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The Congress includes four days of action-packed programming between July 11 – July 14, 2018, while the Expo, featuring world-class exhibitors from across the culinary field, runs between July 12 – 14, 2018. Congress & Expo is a hallmark tradition of Worldchefs and has been organised in over 20 cities across the world throughout its illustrious 82-year history. Don’t get left behind – see you at Congress!

DESTINATION OVERVIEW As the nation's capital, Kuala Lumpur is a major cultural, financial, economic and education centre for the South East Asia Region. The city is a kaleidoscope of fascinating sights and sounds, with all the buzz of a modern city, yet rich in culture and heritage. You will find some stunning contrasts in this city, on one end of the spectrum there is the modern PETRONAS Twin Towers and on the other, there are numerous pre-war heritage buildings, which reflect Kuala Lumpur's rich past, juxtaposed nicely with the modern architecture. Today, 1.6 million people from all walks of life call Kuala Lumpur home while the surrounding area is home to an estimated 7 million people with diverse ethnic mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures. English is widely spoken and the city boasts a comprehensive transportation network that makes getting around hassle-free. With massive investment in venues, transportation and technological infrastructure over the last two decades, Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming a popular destination for major events and conventions.



Luxury & Malaysian hospitality await at all four of our partner hotels - savour Asia! • Trader Hotel • Mandarin Oriental • Impiana Hotel • Grand Hyatt

FOR DELEGATES/ CHEFS AND YOUNG CHEFS/ RETIRED CHEFS: • Congress Attendance & Full Delegate Bag • 4 Lunches & Coffee Breaks • Ice Breaker Reception • Welcome Reception • Gala Dinner • Shuttle Services for Social Events

REGISTRATION FEES: • Chef Delegate • Young/Retired Chef • Accompanying Person

FOR ACCOMPANYING PERSONS: • Ice Breaker Reception • Welcome Reception • Gala Dinner • Shuttle Services for Social Events

EARLY BIRD €750 €550 €350

AFTER APRIL 1, 2018 €850 €650 €350

For more information visit 34 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

AUTHENTIC ITALIAN CUISINE COMES FROM THE HEART. For 40 years, Carla’s Pasta ® has stayed true to their Italian heritage by delivering authentic homestyle pastas and sauces, from their family kitchen to foodservice operators across North America. Carla’s Pasta offers authentic filled-pastas with carefully chosen combinations of high quality Italian-inspired ingredients, dolloped between their signature laminated pasta dough. All of their pastas are prepared, lovingly, with Nonna’s touch.





MCCORMICK® RELEASES MUCH ANTICIPATED 2018 FLAVOUR FORECAST™ West Indies Hot Pot. Japanese Onigiri. Tanzanian Mishkaki. Discover these flavours and more in 2018 LONDON, ON, Dec. 5, 2017 – Today, McCormick & Company, Inc., a global leader in flavour, released the official McCormick® Flavour Forecast™ 2018. This annual report is a comprehensive look at the latest ingredients, cooking techniques and culinary ideas driving what’s next in flavour at restaurants, on retail shelves and in home kitchens. This year’s Flavour Forecast highlights the casual, adventurous and interactive nature of how people are eating across the globe today. Since 2000, McCormick has deployed its international team of experts, chefs, trend trackers and food technologists to explore and identify tomorrow’s favourite flavours featured in its annual Flavour Forecast. The team predicted smoky, spicy chipotle in 2000, rich and versatile maple in 2007, refreshingly sweet coconut water and milk in 2008, golden turmeric in 2010 and tangy, savoury Korean BBQ in 2012. “In McCormick’s 2018 annual Flavour Forecast report, we continue to bring new tastes from around the world to your table,” said McCormick Canada Executive Chef Juriaan Snellen. “This year’s report celebrates meals meant to be shared, along with the exciting experience of discovering a new flavour,” observes Chef Snellen. “In addition to tracking influences emerging from Japan, East Africa, and the West Indies, we also take stock of the rise of mindful eating through elixirs.”



Handheld Flavour Fusion – Take to the streets for the latest fusing of global cuisines. Carts, trucks and food halls are merging high-flavour fillings with unique crepes, buns and breads for loaded street fare you eat with your hands.



Sizzling Egg Crepes: Called jianbing in China and dan bing in Taiwan, these thin pancakes are griddled, filled and rolled up like a burrito. Stuff these Asian wraps with regional American tastes like smoky pork, crisp slaw and tangy sauce for a Southern twist. Gyros Meet Arepas: Arepas are the tacosandwich hybrid you must try. Split and fill these crispy corn cakes with sliced meat, veggies and spicy tzatziki sauce–it’s a blissful union of the best tastes and textures South America and Greece have to offer. Dessert Bao Buns: In China, these soft, steamed buns are typically served up savoury. But, with a simple dough and classic pie fillings, you can create the ultimate handheld dessert–like a British banoffee pie bao with bananas, cream, cinnamon and toffee.

A Bite of East Africa – East African cuisine is a treasure trove of flavour. The signature seasonings, BBQ marinades and sauces of Tanzania and Ethiopia are being explored across the globe. •

Berbere Spice Blend: Ethiopia’s most popular seasoning contains an array of spices like paprika, allspice, coriander, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and red pepper. Its hot, sweet and citrusy flavour lends richness to whatever it touches, whether rubbed on meats, stirred into soups and stews, or sprinkled onto lentils and veggies.

Tanzanian BBQ: These meat skewers, called mishkaki, are similar to shish kebabs. The traditional marinade blends lemon, tomatoes and green papaya to tenderize the meat, while curry, garlic, red pepper and ginger add bold flavour.

Japanese Izakaya Eats – Sushi isn’t the only bite-sized food Japan has to offer. Izakayas– Japanese gastropubs–serve up casual tasting plates, similar to Spanish tapas. Featuring bold glazes, seaweed seasonings and tangy dipping sauces, these dishes are an explosion of flavour. •


Miso Sake Yakitori Glaze: It’s all about the glaze. This tangy, sweet and savoury sauce adds excitement to grilled chicken and seafood skewers. Brush on to instantly impress dinner guests with a distinctive char and bright, glossy look. The Essential Furikake Seasoning: In Japan, furikake is sprinkled on everything from rice and noodles to veggies and seafood. This coarse mixture of seaweed, sesame, dried seafood, sugar and salt offers umami deliciousness and a subtle, sweet flavour. Onigiri– Stuffed Rice Balls: Rice balls filled with flavourful goodness are served in almost every izakaya in Japan. Stuff them with ginger & plum vinegar-infused chicken for a sweet and zesty snack.

Drink to Your Wellness – Wellness never tasted so good. Breakfast boosts, snacking soups and end-of-day sips feature robust flavours and uplifting ingredients like cucumber, dandelion greens, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Awaken, stay energized, rebalance and, above all, enjoy.


The Morning Jumpstart: Swap your coffee for a wake-up call that’s packed with tart green apples, refreshing cucumbers, tangy-sweet clementines and a bold kick of cayenne. The Afternoon Soup: Power through your day with a drinkable soup. Oyster mushrooms, avocado, thyme and sage provide satisfying flavour for the ultimate pick-me-up. The Evening Elixir: Rebalance after a busy day. For the ultimate replenishing mocktail, muddle fresh pineapple with ginger, turmeric and dandelion greens, then top with a splash of sparkling water.

Globetrot with Hot Pot – Throw an Asian hot pot party and leave the cooking to your guests. Gather friends around a steamy pot of deeply flavoured broth. Offer meat, seafood and veggies for dunking, then finish with various toppings for a new DIY meal. This East Asian favourite can be easily changed up to go Mexican, Caribbean and more. •

Puebla Hot Pot: Steeping ancho chili, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock gives this Central Mexican-inspired hot pot a smoky, savoury taste. Use it to cook chicken or pork, and finish with corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes for a festive feast. West Indies Hot Pot: This hot pot features an amazing spiced coconut milk broth. Bay leaves, thyme, turmeric and allspice add intense flavour to the broth, which quickly cooks the seafood. Top it off with a chili papaya pica sauce and plantain chips for a Caribbean vacation right in your kitchen.

To learn more about the flavours of 2018, including recipes and tips for tasting them now, visit

Earlier this year the New York Times claimed that, “Canadians have been keeping the best dessert for themselves,” in an article on butter tarts, which necessitated a follow-up article after the original attracted hundreds of comments. Tokyo, a city that has turned trend-seeking into an art, is home to Poko Bagel Café, which specializes in Montreal-style bagels made in a wood-burning oven. The BeaverTails chain has expanded to Japan, plus South Korea, the UAE, France, and this year it opened in Mexico.

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Updated classics and social media-worthy creations to inspire your bakery menu By Mike Kostyo

Canadian consumers are no strangers to breads and baked goods – a donut chain is one of the country’s most famous exports, after all. Now the rest of the world is just beginning to catch on to the joys of Canadian favorites.

38 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


While other countries play catch-up, Canadian operators are taking their breads and baked goods to the next level. They’re using on-trend flavors, dreaming up eye-catching creations, and mashing up classic dishes to transform them into something new. At Against the Grain Urban Tavern, a casual spot from Fab Restaurant Concepts in Toronto’s Corus Quay, the name informs the menu – they aren’t afraid to go against the grain when it comes to their breads, baked goods, and pastries. The Smashed Brekkie is an updated version of on-trend avocado toast made with ancient grains toast and topped with pomegranate seeds and caramelized lemon. Their own version of the butter tart is transformed into a Butter Tart Donut, filled with a brown sugar and raisin filling and topped with dried cherries, sea salt, brown butter cream, and candied pecans. They’ve even taken inspiration from pastries to create unique savory dishes like the Mac n’ Cheese Donuts drizzled with sriracha aioli and smoky ketchup. REVIVAL OF CLASSICS

Against the Grain isn’t the only one reinventing classic Canadian pastries and flavors. Last year Tim Hortons celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday by transforming a Nanaimo bar into the Nanaimo Bar Donut, which joined Dutchie Donuts and Maple Timbits on the menu. Maple also showed up in some baked goods at McDonald’s, which celebrated maple season with a Maple Apple Danish and Maple Mini Pastry. Maple, of course, is a quintessentially Canadian flavour, yet it continues to grow on menus, up 28 per cent on Canadian menus in the past four years, according to Datassential’s MenuTrends tool, which tracks menus from over 500 Canadian restaurants. Expect even more maple and maple-flavoured products to become available in the next few years due to the flavour’s recent media attention as the industry seeks the “next pumpkin spice.” While sweet, indulgent flavours like “s’mores” and Nutella are consumer favourites, sophisticated, sometimes even savoury flavours are showing up in cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, and beyond. Floral flavours like

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lavender (up 178 per cent on Canadian menus in the past four years) and rose have been trending, along with tea-based flavours like matcha and earl grey. At Toque, the fine-dining restaurant in Montreal, the dessert menu has included options like the Matcha Tea Meringue with black sesame sponge cake, toasted rice crème anglaise, and miso cream, while a chocolate torte featured flavours like trending sea buckthorn, thyme chantilly, and hay caramel. The pastry case or dessert menu can be a key area to showcase these unique flavours because customers are more willing to try something new if it’s in a dish or item they already know and love, like a cake, cookie, brownie, or pie.

Clean up your act.


Even Tim Hortons is getting into the “sweet and savoury” trend, though you’ll have to travel south of the border to find the Poutine Donut, which the chain offered at select U.S. locations for Canada Day last year. The unique creation topped a Honey Dip Donut with potato wedges, gravy, and cheese curds, attracting plenty of media attention. In the age of social media, attracting attention is a key element for many baked goods. Unicorn toast, galaxy cakes, rainbow bagels, and elaborate pie crust designs took over Instagram feeds at various points recently. It’s good business – Instagram added 100 million users in a single month last year and is on track to hit a billion monthly active users worldwide this year. Now look for baked goods to show off interactive elements that look great in videos, like the Exploding Cupcakes at Union Fare in New York, which feature a streamer-filled party popper hidden in the icing that explodes when customers pull the string on the bottom. Like so many foods on menus these days, a number of these social media-worthy baked goods come from overseas. PappaRoti, with four locations and more on the way, has become one of Vancouver’s most Instagrammed concepts because of its massive coffee buns inspired by Malaysian roti. Toronto’s Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery has lines down the street in the summer because of its Hong Kong egg waffles, a treat that is trending around the world. C








Of course, it’s not all rich, decadent foods on menus – numerous operators are offering up healthier options. The term “gluten-free” is not only the most prevalent healthy term on Canadian menus today, appearing at over 30 per cent of restaurants, but it’s still growing. Chefs are using breads to showcase a range of health trends, whether it’s ancient grains or next-level sprouted grains, which are said to be easier to digest. Though they appear on only one per cent of Canadian menus right now, sprouted grains have been gaining ground in recent years. Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill, with 18 locations, serves a California chicken sandwich on toasted sprouted wheat bread. Numerous bakeries across the country are also grinding their own grains for breads and baked goods, including True Grain Bread, in British Columbia, which uses Austrian granite mills to grind wheat and rye. “The resulting flour that you get is often more difficult to work with on the downside, but on the upside we believe it’s more nutritious,” co-owner Bruce Stewart told CBC News, noting that the grain is fresher and isn’t subjected to high temperatures, preserving nutrients. Upgrading classics, seeking out trending flavours, embracing social media-worthy creations, taking inspiration from around the world, and understanding the latest health trends are just a few of the ways that you can step up your bread and baked goods game. Cakes, cookies, breads – these items are ubiquitous on Canadian menus, but with some creative thinking you can stand out and get a bigger “slice of the pie.” K

Mike Kostyo is the Senior Publications Manager 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

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HOW TO MAKE MIXERS AND BLENDERS LAST In the fast-paced, multi-tasking world of food service, you can't afford your tabletop appliances to let you down. That's why investing in top-quality equipment and practicing best maintenance procedures is critical for any kitchen operation. “Quality equipment is among the most important things we can have in a kitchen,” says Chef Luciano DelSignore, owner of Bacco Ristorante and proprietor of the Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina chain. “We work in a business where stuff breaks – heating, cooling, plumbing – but we have all those people on speed dial to keep us up and running. That's not always the case with tabletop appliance, so never having to worry about the functionality of our tabletop appliances is priceless to us.” Certainly, working with durable and reliable appliances is a top consideration for food service professionals. This is especially true when it comes to oft-used tools like mixers and blenders.

Here, then, are 5 tips for keeping them in peak condition: Free from debris: Excess dust and ingredients inside the motor cover can reduce the lifespan of a mixer or blender. Keep the outside of the unit clean to prevent wearing down vital components.

Naturally, one of the most obvious ways to ensure quality is to invest in reliable appliances from the start. For Chef Luciano DelSignore, that's meant relying on the KitchenAid line of countertop blenders “[I like] the feel of them, the lack of vibration, and the ease of cleaning. You can disassemble them quickly and be right back in business,” he says. DelSignore adds the design of the KitchenAid immersion blender brings similar benefits to his kitchen, noting, “I love that the immersion blender is all packed in this beautiful hard case. The parts go back together easily, so you aren’t missing pieces when you need them. Everything about the design has been really thought out with the professional chef in mind.” When every second counts, food service professionals need appliances they can count on. For kitchen veterans like DelSignore, that means relying on proven brands and ensure staff are up to speed on the best cleaning and maintenance techniques. “My restaurants are very busy, and we use our appliances more than the average place,” he adds. “The fact that they're always dependable and extremely powerful makes our lives much easier.”

A clean mix: Blending arms, lid parts, and tamper are typically safe in the dishwasher; however, the jar can also be cleaned by running the blender with a light detergent solution in the jar for 30 seconds. Safe storage: Keep your mixer or blender on a wall rack for easy access and keep it out of the way when not in use to avoid accidental damage or contamination. Alternatively, consider returning the unit to its original carrying case after it's been cleaned for enhanced protection. Check your speed (mixers): Avoid using heavy speeds for heavy dough. Operate the dough hook at moderate speeds for best results and to maintain motor performance. Select your style (blenders): Different blender models cater to different ingredients. Beverage blenders have variable times, allowing chefs to “set it and forget it”; while culinary blenders can be manually set to mix at varying speeds throughout blending to adjust for delicate or tough ingredients. Pick the style that suits your needs for optimal results.

40 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

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Reducing your food cost could be easier than you think By David Scott Peters

If there is one thing that doesn’t change, it’s the fact that your food prices keep going up. Sure, there are some ingredients that may drop in price due to seasonality, but if you look at the prices over the entire year, odds are they all have gone up year over year. On top of that, you can only raise your prices so much to make up for the price increases before you start to price yourself out of business. But you can’t just keep watching your profit margins slip away with each delivery truck that pulls away from your back door. So, what is a restaurant owner to do? What if I told you that by simply gathering a little bit of information, you could reduce your food cost by two to three per cent while purchasing the same groceries you buy right now? Would you be interested to learn more? Better yet, would you take action and do the work? I am here to tell you it’s easy to do, only a bit time-consuming, and it works! Let me share the process with you now. It’s all about attacking your descending dollar report.

will list all of the products you have purchased from that vendor for the time period sorted in the order of what you have spent the most money on down to the least. You will want to do this for every vendor. That means when the specialty meat driver or local produce driver drops off your order and hands you a hand-written invoice each time, you actually have to create a spreadsheet and manually type in the data. STEP 2


You will need to gather some information from ALL of your vendors and from ANY business where you purchase food, including the broadline distributors to the specialty meat company to the grocery stores you run to for picking up a quick item. In a perfect world, you would gather this information for the same date range. The information you are asking for from your broadline distributors is called a “descending dollar report” in the form of a spreadsheet (Or “descending case report.” They are the same report, just sorted in a different order.) You will want the information on this report for the past six months of purchases, or since you changed your menu if that is more recent. We only want to look at products you are purchasing today. The descending dollar report (see chart on page 43)

Once you have all of this data gathered and in spreadsheet form, you will combine ALL of your purchases and sort that spreadsheet from what you’ve spent the most money on to what you have spent the least amount of money on. It will look like the chart on page 44. In this example, the total food purchases for this report were $64,146.43 for ALL vendors/stores (example chart is just 17 rows of a multi-page report). You will notice that the first 12 items are highlighted in pink. When you add these highlighted items together, it comes out to be $32,786.78 or 51 per cent of the total $64,146.43 in purchasing. What this demonstrates is one simple overlooked fact in the restaurant business: Your top 10–12 purchases can represent 50 per cent of ALL your purchasing! So what? Wait just a bit, and I will share with you why this is so incredibly important.

42 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


At one point and time in my career I was the COO of a 30-unit sports bar chain as a franchisor. My team was in charge of getting the best purchasing deals for our franchisees. Over the years I learned something that most restaurants in the United States don’t know about the broadline distributors. I learned about something called marketing money. It’s a concept found in grocery stores. It’s pretty common knowledge by now that when you go to a grocery store that all of the products on the eye-level shelves are the ones the manufacturers paid the grocery store for. This product positioning is meant to influence us to grab the products and put them into our carts. The manufacturers have learned that this is critical to getting their products sold. Well, the same practice is true in the distribution world. Your broadline distributor will sit down with their manufacturers and say, “Give us your best price.” Once they get that price, the distributor will say, “Now add $5 (random number, just as an example) a case to that price and give us that $5 back for each case we sell and we’ll put you in our book and sell your product.” This is known as marketing money. Before you get upset about it, know it’s a common practice with ALL distributors and is just the way it’s done. Now, as a franchisor, we learned we could bypass this marketing money by bringing in a new manufacturer that wasn’t already in that distributor. For example, in our chain we used Anchor Appetizers. At the time, we were approached by a new appetizer company called Great American Appetizers. It was a company started by some ex-Anchor guys. We flew out to visit them, did a cutting of their products and determined that switching to their

Descending Dollar Report







Total Price






















































MPC Code












5 LB




10 LB




1 LB





5.3 OZ





5 LB





10 LB





5 LB





6 OZ





5 LB





6 OZ





product made economic sense for our franchisees as the savings were significant. Because we had 30 units, we were able to get a slot in our distributor’s warehouse for this new product. And because we brought them in, there was no opportunity for the distributor to negotiate marketing money. Instant savings for our franchisees. But what this also meant was the distributor’s sales people would not tell other restaurants that the product was in the warehouse and was available for them to purchase because it would not appear easily in the salesperson’s laptop since there was not marketing money. But if a

restaurant was smart enough to ask, they would have received significant savings, too. STEP 3

Now that you know there could be products that are available to you at a lower cost, here’s what you do. You take your top 10–12 products that you purchase as listed in our compiled descending dollar report and ask your food sales people from whom you purchase these products the following question, “If I promise to buy all of this product from you over the next year, can I get a better price?” If you’ve ever been to a

food show, you understand that at the show, if you promised to purchase a certain number of cases of a specific product they would lock you into a better price for that product. Well, distributors are able to do that anytime. If you’re lucky, your salesperson will be able to simply give you a better price. If you’ve been luckier, your salesperson has already been giving you his or her best price. In this instance, your salesperson will reply with, “No. I have already been taking care of you.” Don’t just accept this answer and move on. Next you will ask this new question, “Do you have a like-quality or better-quality product at a cheaper price?”

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Notice, I didn’t have you ask if they had a cheaper product. You NEVER want to go with a lower quality product, that would go against your core values and kill your dish. But you should be willing to switch to an equal quality product or better-quality product if you can get it for a better price than you are paying now. Using my appetizer example, by asking this question, your salesperson would open their laptop, do a search and find the Great American Appetizer products and give you the opportunity to purchase it. The results

will be amazing. If you could purchase the same groceries out of your top 10–12 items on your descending dollar report for less, you may see as much as a two-to-three-percent savings! By simply gathering the right data, doing some manual data entry, combining

all of your reports and sorting that data, you’ll be able to attack your top 10–12 items you purchase and reduce your food cost by two to three per cent! My question to you is not will you do it, but rather what the heck are you waiting for — TAKE ACTION!

David Scott Peters is a restaurant consultant, speaker and founder of TheRestaurantExpert. com, offering an exclusive online restaurant management software designed specifically to meet the complete operational needs of independent operators. For more information, visit

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Foodservice professionals are divided over the choice between working with raw chicken ingredients or fully cooked products. Yet as considerations around customer health, productivity, and product quality mature, more and more kitchen veterans are choosing to the latter. “Food safety, labour, and consistency are certainly the main driving factors behind the recent industry drive from raw to fully cooked,” reports David Cocker, Corporate Research Chef with Reuven International Ltd., noting, “Consumer health is a crucial factor with the recent and ongoing food safety concerns of restaurateurs and the general public.” Certainly, minimizing the risk of bacterial cross contamination and undercooked proteins from the kitchen line is one of the main arguments for eliminating raw chicken from a food prep environment. Moreover, removing raw poultry from the equation minimizes the likelihood of poultry products falling within the “Temperature Danger Zone” (4°C – 60°C), which can promote accelerated bacterial growth, leading to spoilage and foodborne illness. Food safety is a top priority in the industry, and many steps are already in place to mitigate the risks of working with raw ingredients. However, says Cocker, unsafe products can still slip past even the cleanest kitchens and most well-trained eyes: “Contaminated foods may not look, taste, or smell any different from foods that are safe to eat.” For example, he continues, “When making a seasoned flour dusted chicken wing, the raw chicken is placed into the seasoned flour and deep-fried. Even though the raw chicken has been removed from the seasoned flour and fully cooked to kill the microorganisms, the bacteria would still be found in the seasoned flour and multiplying readily. As

well, the flour can also be traced back to the preparation and hot line, where plating the finished dish could promote the likelihood of cross-contamination.” Appetizing results Speed of service and consistent quality are critical to a restaurant's success. Here again, there are advantages to using fully cooked frozen poultry products which achieve significantly less yield loss in the co o k i n g sta g e co m p a re d to ra w alternatives (33% yield loss for raw breast compared to 8% yield loss for fully cooked breast). But while getting more product to the plate is a plus, so too is making sure customers come back for more. Herein, studies have recorded a measurable increase in marinade pickup by fully cooked chicken breast over raw. The ability to maintain more natural flavour has inspired a lineup of fully cooked products with neutral flavour Explains Cocker: “This allows end users to add their own unique flavourings and /or marinades and can speed the marination process (36 hour raw marinade will have similar flavour profiles as a 8 hour fully co o ke d p ro d u c t u s i n g t h e s a m e marination) which would eliminate preparation time and the use of expensive vacuum sealers.”

A better bottom line Ensuring food safety and quality may be among the most compelling reasons to work with fully cooked products, but there is a business case to be made as well. Working with cooked chicken products reduces preparation times in regards to blanching and cooling requirements, resulting in lower associated labour costs. In addition to this, moving to a fully cooked frozen product enables savings in inventory control. For example, says Cocker, a 40lb case of thawed, raw poultry products has typically has a refrigerated shelf life of 2-4 days depending on many variables. In the event of a slow sales period, this may trigger the need for specials deals in order to move that fast-expiring product. “Having a fully cooked IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) product in your freezer, on the other hand, has a shelf life of 1 to 1.5 years, so you can avoid the last minute 'chicken wing special' from these slow week/periods,” he adds. Raw or cooked? That is questions food service professionals face when adding poultry to their menus. And as the health, financial, and operational advantages of working with fully cooked foods come to light, many are making the switch. This is the first in a four-part series examining the use of raw and fully cooked chicken products in the foodservice industry. Look for more discussions in future issues.

Chef David Cocker is the Corporate Research Chef at Reuven International, the global poultry experts. With a wealth of culinary creativity, industry expertise and a unique culinology research chef background, he helps create innovative recipes, does detailed product analysis and leads customer ideation sessions from their state-of-the-art test kitchen. For more information about the latest trends in the poultry industry call 416-929-1496 or visit

46 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News



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Unique and unusual proteins move into traditional BBQ territory By Sean Moon

Your next neighbourhood get-together may not be featuring the likes of grilled kangaroo, camel or antelope burgers, but don’t be surprised to see one of these delicious and healthy proteins on a BBQ menu soon at a restaurant near you. While traditional proteins like beef, pork, poultry and seafood will always be popular with BBQ-loving Canadian diners, game and other exotic meats are starting to take centre stage on a growing number of menus.

With more diners than ever interested in expanding their gustatory comfort zones, particularly as international travel and exposure to different cultures and ethnic cuisines continues to grow, chefs are finding that exotic or unique proteins such as kangaroo, ostrich, antelope or bison have a lot to offer their guests. Always looking for that competitive edge to differentiate their establishment from all others, savvy operators are turning to game and other unusual meats to entice their customers with something special. “I've seen customers become much more willing to take risks over the last couple of years and try cuts of meat that they have

never tried before,” says Peter Sanagan, owner of Sanagan’s Meat Locker in downtown Toronto. “Restaurants hopefully will look outside of the striploin-and-ribeye box when looking to offer steak cuts on their menus.” ADD MENU VARIETY

Sean Kelly, owner of leading game meat supplier Black Angus Meats, believes one of the biggest trends is to mix up traditional BBQ menus by adding some new and unique protein options. “We do a lot of events at the ski clubs in Ontario’s Blue Mountain region. Even when they have caterers, they’ll ask us to come in

48 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

and do tastings of items such as sliders. Maybe some people won’t choose to put kangaroo, or whatever, on the centre of their plate, but their interest level is high in trying some of these different meat products.” Leila Batten, owner of busy Whitehouse Meats in Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market, says that as the world gets smaller and people experience more kinds of foods from around the globe, they develop a growing interest in renewing those memories by eating those foods back at home. “For that reason, if the restaurants try to broaden their menus even just a little, and don’t limit themselves to conventional meat items, they will attract more customers,” says Batten. “Some of the more familiar North American-style items include meats such as bison, venison and wild boar. But if you come from another country, for example, you may have grown up eating camel in the Middle East or kangaroo or crocodile in Australia. I’ve also had people who are planning to travel overseas and want to try some of these meats before heading over there.” HEALTHY NEW BBQ MEAT OPTIONS

Besides the novelty factor of trying something new or unusual, consumers are also looking for healthy, delicious protein options and may be tired of the same old varieties of beef, pork, poultry and seafood. That’s where many of the game and exotic meats can play a major role in attracting customers. “Realistically the needle isn't going to sway too far away from what people are most comfortable with, but at least there could be more variety,” says Sanagan.

UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: MEAT Kelly adds that, in general, game meat can often be healthier than standard factory-raised or even farm-raised product. Plus, there is the taste factor. “A perfectly done venison rack or tenderloin is just unbelievable,” says Kelly. “The average person has no idea what kangaroo tastes like. A chef can throw magic into that loin so that the customer says, ‘Wow, what a flavour!’” Batten agrees, explaining that the biggest benefit of using game or other exotic protein is in the uniqueness of the meat. “I can get a beef or turkey burger on any corner,” says Batten. “Items like kangaroo or camel, in contrast, are definitely on the higher level of uniqueness. I have customers who come into our retail location who don’t cook and want to know where they can find these products in a restaurant.” COOKING CONUNDRUMS

Of course, there are a few challenges in making game and untraditional meats a part of a restaurant’s regular protein repertoire. Some require a deft touch during cooking and preparation, while others may be difficult to source or keep on hand. “The challenges in working with these products most often come down to the cooking and using proper technique,” says Batten. “Once you’ve found the proper kind and cut of meat, you have to cook it properly. For example, if there is little-to-no fat to keep the meat moist, as with many game meats, you’d better not overcook it. Rather than use heavy marinades, I think people want to taste the flavour of the actual meat so I usually suggest serving the sauce on the side.” “There are no real drawbacks to using these products,” says Kelly. “However, there is sometimes a little bit of hesitation by operators in stocking these items on a regular basis.” So how do chefs ensure there are enough customers ordering unique and exotic meats for their next BBQ meal and how can operators justify consistently stocking more of the product? The answer, it seems, is to start small with items diners are already familiar with. “Chefs could start selling these cuts as specials to get their customers trying some different things,” says Sanagan. “This can also help increase customer loyalty, as people may be intrigued to come back and see what the chef has up her or his sleeve.” START SMALL

Aside from straight-ahead barbecue offerings, Batten says other entry points can include sauces, appetizers and familiar items like burgers. “Some chefs are already making things such as a ragu for pasta so these ingredients are not that far out there,” says Batten. “You can very easily switch up the meats for a new dish. I sell a lot of sliders and restaurants can jump on that as an appetizer where you give people an opportunity to taste the meats without a huge financial outlay. Sometimes you have to start small and anticipate that not everyone will run in wanting to try it.” Kelly says that more customers than ever are keen to try the new flavour profiles offered by game and exotic meats. The key, he believes, is in educating an already curious customer base. “We work with suppliers such as Flanagans who do a good job of providing pamphlets and information to customers before they order these products,” says Kelly. “The information is out there — it’s just a matter of getting it into peoples’ hands. People tend to want to try and experience (game and exotic) meats at a restaurant first because then they know they have a knowledgeable chef working with it.”


WWW.KENDALE.CA | 888-887-9923 | Spring 2018 49


OF SOUP The ABCs of soups from around the world

A standby on Canadian lunch and dinner tables for generations, a steaming bowl of soup is often a go-to comfort food that brings back memories of childhood on cold winter days. But, with variations based on geography and climate, soups are also mainstays in hundreds of cultures and countries around the world, showcasing both unique local ingredients and staples that can be found in almost any North American pantry. Although most diners and chefs are already familiar with a variety of ethnic soups from a diverse selection of global cuisines – from the ever-popular Italian minestrone to Spanish gazpacho to Asian dishes such as hot and sour soup. But our planet offers an entire alphabet of options when it comes to this perennial mealtime favourite. Here’s our look at what’s cooking in the international world of soup, from A to Z.

Borscht is a traditional sour soup, usually made with beets, and popular in Eastern European countries such as the Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Romania. It is often served with a garnish of sour cream.

In Colombia, ajiaco features chicken, potatoes and the galinsoga parviflora herb. The Cuban version is a stew of various meats, vegetables and starchy roots and tubers, while in Peru it is a dish of potatoes with garlic, dried chilies and mint. Ajiaco —

50 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Borscht —

Caldo verde — Considered a national dish of Portugal, this soup is traditionally made of potatoes, collard greens, cabbage, kale, onions, garlic and slices of chorizo (sausage).

Also known as daali toy, this is a simple, healthy soup made with split yellow lentils in the Konkan region of India.

Dalithoy —

Ezogelin soup is c o m m o n i n Tu r ke y a n d features main ing redients that include bulgur and red lentils. It is usually served with lemon wedges. Ezogelin —

Fanesca — A traditional soup served during Holy Week in Ecuador, the main components include figleaf gourd (sambo), pumpkin (zapallo), and several different kinds of beans and grains, together with bacalao (salt cod) cooked in milk. It is generally garnished with hard boiled eggs, fried plantains and herbs.

Originating in the Italian region of Tuscany, ginestrata is a thin, lightly spiced e gg-based soup containing egg yolks, chicken stock, Mar sala, butter, nutmeg and sugar. It may also include different types of wine and spices such as cinnamon. Ginestrata —


Covering the Bases Soup ideas to boost your business

What is more comforting and welcoming than a bowl of hot soup? Many restaurateurs in Canada would agree that a bowl of soup is a quick way to welcome a customer with something delicious while also bumping up your average meal price with a profitable menu item. Colours of the World — Canadians are looking for more adventure when dining out. Soups are a great way to create exotic excitement on your menu, without the high risk of an expensive main menu item. Try taking your existing soup recipes, and experiment with new spice and flavor combinations. Pre-made seasoning mixes like the LUDA Booster seasonings are another way to add exotic flavours to your recipes, with little effort. Cutting the Salt and “Fillers” — Historically, manufacturers added fillers like glucose to make all soup bases have the same yield (g per L). Why pay for fillers that will only mask flavour and increase sugar? Try looking for “clean label” or “no filler” options. The good news is there are more and more low and reduced sodium options available, as well as clean-label products without fillers. Be careful when comparing products; when removing salt and fillers, the price per kg may increase, but the yield once added to water might be lower than the full salt version! Start with the Right Base — Having a homemade signature soup on your menu is a great way to build customer retention. To create your own, you can use a variety of proteins, vegetables and grains you already have, and prepare them with a soup base that can provide a solid foundation for a wide variety of different recipes. Thirty years ago, soup bases were often high in salt and MSG and would never have been mistaken for a scratch stock. Today, the variety and quality of the soup bases available on the market has exploded, with some premium products – such as the awardwinning LUDA Pro line of soup bases for example – difficult to distinguish in a blind testing from a scratch stock.

A traditional soup of the Maghreb region of northern Africa, harira features lamb, tomatoes, chick peas and lentils, flavoured with spicy harissa sauce. There are many variations and it is mostly served during Ramadan. Harira —

Above information provided courtesy of Aliments LUDA Foods Inc.,

Also known as Icelandic meat soup, this soup is traditionally made with lamb and a variety of root vegetables. It may also contain onions, leeks and dried herbs. Íslensk Kjötsúpa —

Joumou — A mildly spicy soup from the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. Joumou is traditionally made with a base of winter squash (pumpkin) where the squash slices are simmered along with pieces of beef, potato, vegetables and plantains. Thin pasta is also sometimes added. Kharcho — This is a traditional soup

originating in the Samegrelo region of Georgia. It most often features beef, rice, English walnut and cherry plum purée and is usually served with finely chopped fresh coriander. | Spring 2018 51




5:20 PM

Laksa — A spicy noodle soup

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from the Peranakan cuisine of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Laksa most frequently consists of rice noodles with chicken, prawns or fish, served in a spicy broth made from either coconut milk or sour asam (tamarind or gelugur). Mohinga — Mohinga

is a rice noodle and fish soup from Myanmar. Often eaten for breakfast, the dish is being consumed more and more throughout the day and most often consists of chickpea and/or rice flour, garlic, onion, lemongrass and ginger and fish cooked in the broth. Naengmyeon — A Korean

noodle dish consisting of long, thin noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients, including buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot, and kudzu. Other varieties of naengmyeon are made from ingredients such as seaweed and green tea.









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Okróshka — This classic cold soup, originating in Russia, is a mix of raw vegetables such as cucumbers, radishes and spring onions, potatoes, eggs, and a cooked meat such as beef, veal, sausage, or ham with kvass, a low- or nonalcoholic beverage made from fermented black or rye bread.

Creates a crispy, melt-in-your -mouth coating that delivers the big, bold flavours customers crave. Also awesome on fries, kettle chips, onion rings, ribs and more!


A traditional soup or stew from Mexico, pozole is made from hominy (coarse ground corn), meat (usually pork) seasoned and garnished with shredded cabbage, chilies, onions, garlic, avocado and salsa or lime. Pozole is often served accompanied by a variety of condiments, including chopped onion, shredded lettuce and tostadas or chicharrones. Pozole —

52 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Rassolnik — A traditional

Russian soup consisting of pickled cucumbers, pearl barley and pork or beef kidneys. The key component of rassolnik is the rassol, a liquid created from the

juice of pickled cucumbers with various other seasonings. Snert — Also known as Eerwtensoep in the Netherlands, snert is the Dutch version of pea soup. It is a thick stew of green split peas, different cuts of pork, celery root or stalk, onions, leeks, carrots and potato. Slices of smoked sausage (rookworst) are often added before serving. Tekwan — A fish soup from Indonesia, this dish is comprised of fish cakes made from a dough of fish mixed with tapioca, similar to pempek. The fish cake is then cut into small pieces and placed in shrimp broth and served with rice vermicelli, mushrooms and garnished with celery and green onions.

Ukha is a clear soup from Russia made from various types of fish such as bream, northern pike and wels catfish. It typically contains root vegetables, leeks, potato and herbs and can be spiced with black pepper, nutmeg and saffron. Ukha —

Vorí vorí — This is a thick, yellow soup from Paraguay containing small balls made of cornmeal, corn flour and cheese. Waterzooi

Originating in the Flanders region of Belgium, waterzooi is a stew dish often made of fish (and occasionally chicken) in a baseof cream,eggyolkandthickened vegetable broth. It can also contain celery, onions, celery root, leeks, potatoes and various herbs such as parsley, thyme and sage. Zurek — In western Slavic

countries, fermented rye or wheat, or sourdough, are used to make a wide variety of soups. Regional variations include barszcz bialy (Poland), kyslóvka (Slovakia), sauermehlsuppe (Silesia) and kyselo (Czech Republic).


since 1951


Minimum Wage by Province Restaurateurs are dealing with increases in many of their expenses (e.g., food, occupancy expenses). However, with recent significant minimum wage increases in several provinces, labour cost has caused considerable concern given the tight margins in Canada’s restaurant industry.

As shown, Ontario and Alberta are both increasing minimum wages significantly in 2018 and will have the greatest minimum wage in Canada, $15.00/hour, by October 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019 respectively. These rapid minimum wage increases, especially in Ontario, will be challenging for restaurant operators, whose profit margins are relatively slim and may not be in a competitive position to increase prices to cover the increased The table below shows current and planned minimum wage labour cost. Several provinces (Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Quebec and increases by province. Nunavut) increase minimum wage rates by small amounts (often CPI) annually; which is much easier for restaurant operators to absorb than sudden, significant wage increases. Not all restaurant employees make minimum wage. However, increases in minimum wage, especially significant increases, often result in wage increases for other employees making more than the minimum wage. In Ontario and Alberta, restaurant operators are looking for other ways to increase margins. fsSTRATEGY is working with our clients to conduct operational reviews designed to ensure all costs are controlled and design labour matrices to ensure restaurants remain profitable.

Quebec (Employees Receiving Tips) 2017 $9.45 British Columbia (Liquor Server) 2017 $10.10 Ontario (Liquor Server) 2017 $10.10 Jan 1 2018 (2018)$12.20 Jan 1 2018 (2019) $13.05 Nova Scotia1 2017 $10.85 Apr 1 2018 (2018) ? Apr 1 2019 (2019) ? Saskatchewan1 2017 $10.96 Oct 1 2018 (2018) ? Oct 1 2019 (2019) ?

Jeff Dover 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 fsSTRATEGY services, contact us at or 416229-2290.

% Increase ? % Increase ?

% Increase ? % Increase ?

% Increase 20.8 % Increase 7.0

Yukon1 2017 $11.32 Apr 1 2018 (2018) ? Apr 1 2019 (2019) ?

% Increase ? % Increase ?

British Columbia 2017 $11.35

New Brunswick 2017 $11.00

Ontario 2017 $11.60 Jan 1 2018 (2018) $14.00 Jan 1 2019 (2018) $15.00

Newfoundland and Labrador 2017 $11.00

Northwest Territories 2017 $12.50

Manitoba 2017 $11.15

Nunavut 2017 $13.00 Apr 1 2018 (2018) ? Apr 1 2019 (2019) ?

Quebec 2017 $11.25 May 1 2018 (2018) $11.75 % Increase 4.4 May 1 2019 (2019) $12.10 % Increase 3.0 Prince Edward Island 2017 $11.25 Apr 1 2018 (2018) $11.55

54 Spring 2018 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

% Increase 2.7

% Increase 20.7 % Increase 7.1

% Increase ? % Increase ?

Alberta 2017 $13.60 Oct 1 2018 (2018) $15.00 % Increase 10.3

1 Minimum wage is increased annually by CPI

As your partner in bringing Operating Costs Labour Profit

Break-Even Threshold

real, carefully crafted foods to more people, we strive to always make the best possible soups. It’s why we start each recipe at zero, carefully selecting ingredients and leaving out anything unnecessary.




At Campbell’s l l ’s ®

Ve r

ve ®

Foodservice, we’re Carr

o t Pa r

snip Bisq u e w it h G i n g e r

always listening to bring you the flavourful foods your guests want

©2018 CSC Brands LP

today and in the future.

We are in the process of removing the following from our Verve® and Signature® frozen soups: High-Fructose Corn Syrup • Artificial Flavours • Artificial Colours • Disodium Inosinate & Disodium Guanylate • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein • Partially Hydrogenated Oils Visit to learn more.



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Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News  

Spring 2018

Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News  

Spring 2018