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Foodservice News Official Magazine of the Canadian Culinary Federation



Publication Agreement #40033126






| Canadian Trailblazer Peter Fowler | Kitchen 2.0 | Holiday Cheer | Service Made Simple | Meatless Mains | Reducing the Risk

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contents December 2016 VOL. 7 NO. 6

COLUMNS 10 Business Operations Service Made Simple By Matt Rolfe

14 Consumer Trends Food Focus By Tyler Baks

16 Nutrition Healthy Choices

39 COVER STORY 22 The Service Advantage Building your business through exceptional customer service By David Swanston

DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor's Note Serving Up Success 6 Canadian Trailblazer Peter Fowler, SIR Corp. 8 Chef Q&A David Lee 58 Crunching Numbers Key Foodservice Challenges

FEATURES 39 A Tradition of Quality Baking Canada to a better place By Paul Hetherington

44 Meatless Mains Vegetables move to the centre of the plate By Laura McGuire

50 Cleaning Evolution How detergents have changed with the times By Patricia Briere

52 Workforce Development Connecting good people with good jobs

By Rachel Hunt

20 Playing It Safe Kitchen 2.0 By Matt Bradford

28 Giving Back A Legacy of Caring 47 Raising the Bar Holiday Cheer By Rob Berry and Diana Roberts

48 Business Brokering Market Ready By Greg Kells

56 Allergy Awareness Reducing the Risk By Beatrice Povolo


By Soofia Mahmood

54 Training for Excellence Improving service through effective training













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


reat restaurant service can be a peculiar thing. On the one hand, truly phenomenal service is often invisible – once your order is taken, everything seems to get done and attended to but you never seem to notice anyone doing it. On the other hand, with truly bad service nothing seems to get done or attended to yet someone always seems to be hovering around or intruding on your meal. Although it may be true that for many diners, delicious food is the main event while others are drawn in by attractive ambiance or a fantastic limited time offer, great service can either be the icing on the cake that keeps people coming back or it can be that niggling feeling that something just wasn’t right and will have the customer thinking twice about a return visit. At the very least, providing exceptional customer service is one of the cornerstones of success in the foodservice industry and it is something that no establishment can survive long without. Many industries seem to have let customer service deteriorate to the point of non-existence (ever tried to sort out an issue with the cable company?) but success in the restaurant industry depends on it. In this service-focused issue of Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News, we are proud to bring you a comprehensive look at the many aspects of service and hospitality and what you can do to ensure you are providing the best for your customers. Starting with David Swanston’s cover story on how to build your business one act of exceptional service at a time, you’ll find a number of features dedicated to this important topic, along with an impressive lineup of regular articles and columns including: • How owners can get their foodservice business ready for sale; • The importance of training and education for workforce development; • Why restaurants can’t afford to ignore customers’ needs for gluten-free dining options; • How technology is making restaurant kitchens safer than ever for staff and customers; and • How vegetables are moving to the centre of the plate for dinner at Canadian restaurants. As always, if you have any comments, suggestions or article ideas, please feel free to contact me at Until next time, enjoy the issue! Cheers for now, Sean Moon Managing Editor

4 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

ART DIRECTOR: Annette Carlucci

DESIGNER: Jen Carter

WEB DESIGNER: Rick Evangelista PRODUCTION MANAGER: Rachel Selbie

CIRCULATION INQUIRIES: Maria Siassina 416.512.8186 ext. 234

Magazine Editorial Advisory Board Donna Bottrell, RD

John Lettieri

Owner, Donna Bottrell Food Consulting

President and CEO Hero Certified Burgers

Andrea Carlson Chef/Owner, Burdock and Co.

Ryan Marquis

Steve Chase

Corporate Chef, CW Shasky

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

Gary McBlain

Connie DeSousa and John Jackson

Roger Mittag

Regional Director of Culinary, Baybridge Senior Living

Co-owners/chefs, Charcut/Charbar

Owner/Consultant, Thirst for Knowledge

Jeff Dover

Brent Poulton

Principal, fsSTRATEGY

CEO, St. Louis Bar and Grill

Matt Rolfe CEO and Hospitality Leadership Coach/Speaker, Barmetrix

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: 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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Inspired by Service


6 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


Supported by an unwavering commitment to service and hospitality, SIR Corp. has been developing a successful, results-driven culture led by its CEO and President Peter Fowler since its origination over 25 years ago. Comprised of such well-known Canadian foodservice brands as Jack Astor’s ®, Canyon Creek® and SCADDABUSH Italian Kitchen and Bar®, SIR Corp. has grown consistently under Fowler’s direction since its earliest roots in 1990, when the first Jack Astor’s was opened in St. Catharines, Ontario. Today SIR Corp. (SIR aptly stands for “Service Inspired Restaurants”) consists of 60 restaurants. SIR’s flagship brand, Jack Astor’s, has 40 locations across Canada. SIR employs over 5,000 people and generated $281 million in sales in its most recent fiscal year. TRIAL BY FIRE

Fowler, one of SIR’s founders, was appointed CEO in 2004 when SIR completed the initial public offering of the SIR Royalty Income Fund on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: SRV.UN). Prior thereto, he served in a number of senior management roles and was part of the team that created all of the SIR brands. He got his start in the industry with a “trial by fire” after graduating from the University of Western Ontario Business School in 1979. “My first job was to oversee the development of a go-kart track, snack bar and roller rink at a resort,” Fowler recalls. “The job quickly changed when the operating partner was abruptly let go. I was made general manager the next day of a very tired 150-room hotel, 300-seat restaurant and 450-seat banquet hall, as well as a campground and the small amusement park it was operating. This is often referred to as the ‘School of Hard Knocks,’ a great way to learn to survive.” While Fowler was launched head first into his early foodservice career as a result of taking over the hotel restaurant facility (known as Prudhomme’s Landing near London, Ontario), he says the restaurant was the easiest to fix up from a capital perspective and created instant cash flow. “The excitement of the instant feedback on what you were doing created an opportunity to find solutions quickly, and to test my creative thinking and problem solving. It was also an outlet for creativity.”


Fowler’s ability to think creatively and solve problems paired nicely with the foodservice philosophy and passion that became the foundation for SIR Corp. With a company goal of being the first choice for guests, staff team members, supplier partners, communities and investors, it is obvious that Fowler’s perspective has infused the entire organization with a strong emphasis on creating world-class customer service.

“My motivation is rooted in an entrepreneurial competitive streak from my younger days,” Fowler explains. “I get my inspiration from all aspects of life, observing people doing exceptional things. Every day I get up with the intent to move the business and our team members forward in this quest to provide a better hospitality experience, i n ba la nc e w it h a sol id f i sc a l responsibility to the stakeholders. I love the challenge.”

“I believe the essential ingredients for success in the foodservice industry today are tenacity, nimbleness, passion, innovation, commitment and the right values that support everyone’s success in balance.” — Peter Fowler “My philosophy of food and hospitality can be summed up by one very simple phrase: To be successful in this industry you need to care about all aspects – food, service, atmosphere, energy, and be passionate about hospitality,” says Fowler. “The key issues that I am concerned about when it comes to food and bar service is the quality of the service and the products. Whether we source local or otherwise, I believe it is incumbent on us to deliver to the guest the best possible experience for the money. If it can be locally sourced that is important, but it also needs to be sustainable. Critical, however, is that the quality remains.” Fowler further describes SIR Corp. as “a group of individuals who together understand that being hospitable is a fundamental backbone to the company, and as a result, we strive to build restaurants that guests have a connection to.” DIVERSE MOTIVATION

With the company name itself derived from a commitment to inspired service, Fowler says his motivation and inspiration comes from both internal and external sources.

As most company leaders can attest, the challenges of operating a successful foodservice establishment or company can be many. Often, says Fowler, those challenges can be met head-on by some c r e at ive t h i n k i n g a n d s e i z i n g opportunities when they arise. “Most of the challenges in the foodservice industry are related to the changing social environment,” says Fowler. “Tastes and needs change, and these show up as challenges or we find opportunities to do something better by figuring out the right solution. The key to the challenging environment is being innovative.” A proud father of two daughters, Fowler enjoys spending much of his spare time with them at the family cottage in Muskoka or participating in activities such as downhill skiing. He says that while running a large company in the Canadian foodservice industry is definitely hard work, it can feel less like work if you take pleasure in small victories. “Like with family, simple things usually provide the most enjoyment.” | December 2016 7


DAVID LEE Executive Chef, Planta, Toronto Education: UK Hertfordshire School Years of experience as a chef: 20 years


What are your earliest memories of cooking and why do you think you were drawn to a culinary career?

My earliest memories are from when I was growing up in Mauritius between 6-10 years old. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in our family’s gastro pubs and restaurants. I was always around food, and therefore, it seemed very natural for me to pursue a career in cooking. How would you describe your current restaurant Planta and what makes it unique?

Planta is a casual, vibrant, plant-based restaurant, serving dishes inspired from all parts of the world. Planta is a unique restaurant because we do not use any animal products in our food preparation. What have been some of the challenges of opening Planta?

One of our biggest challenges was creating a menu that was fully satisfying, not only for people who already enjoy a plant-based diet, but also for those who eat meat. What have been some of the positive surprises and successes since opening Planta?

The reception has been overwhelmingly positive. People are excited to try this style of cooking!

8 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

How would you describe your philosophy about food and the foodservice industry?

My philosophy is that the food has to be honest, sensible, and approachable. What issues concerning foodservice are you particularly passionate about?

First, sustainability. It’s very important to acknowledge the impact that the foodservice industry has on our planet. We are aware that, generally speaking, the foodservice industry


isn’t typically environmentally friendly, and wanted to show what we could do to build a restaurant that could mitigate those effects. What we feed our kids and put into our bodies is so important not only to our health, but the health of our environment. Since I’ve started eating only a plant-based diet, I’ve never felt better (in terms of my energy levels). Second, local sourcing and foraging. It has never been more exciting than now because of suppliers like 100KM foods. Before 100KM foods, there was no way for us to get these beautiful ingredients besides actually driving out to the farms. It is so much more accessible now. When I go to Brickworks or Wychwood markets, I see other chefs going to pick out their produce and that’s fantastic. Who were your biggest influences/inspirations for becoming a chef and what drives you to do this every day?

My grandparents, my parents, and the great chefs of France. Steven Salm (laughs); We’re passionate, we love what we do.

that come to my mind. The seasons are so quick in Canada that you have a very small window to realize those visions and keep them on the menu. What advice would you have for aspiring chefs as they enter the industry?

Getting a great foundation and not being too quick to take an executive chef job. It takes time to get all of the skills to have a long-lasting career.

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

Champagne, pasta, Manni olive oil

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

I think I’m doing it right now; Planta has been an awesome culinary experiment.

What is your favourite food combination or ingredient right now?

Kombu. It’s a source of umami; we use it a lot at Planta. We sous vide, cook, and marinade with it. It’s very unique.

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

Buying great ingredients and having great suppliers

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

My biggest challenge is trying to control all of the dish ideas Visit us for online training, recipes and menu inspiration. | December 2016 9


SERVICE MADE SIMPLE Get, Retain, Develop By Matt Rolfe Eighty per cent of hospitality owners and managers started their hospitality careers working in the front or back of house. Over time many in our industry rise through the ranks and find themselves leading others rather than doing the work themselves. Does this sound familiar? Was this your journey, or do you have someone running your restaurant who followed this path? If so, this article is for you.


After spending the last 10 years studying top operators across North America I have come to the conclusion that our industry has an abundance of highly skilled and passionate people. The challenge for hospitality owners and managers is that this passion does not always lead to a profitable or successful businesses. When these individuals develop the ability to lead a team with strength, it is then that a business will often become highly profitable. In order to provide the best experience for your employees (which in turn will translate to a great experience for

your guests), you need to have the leadership strategy that your business needs to succeed. In this article I outline a simple and proven concept I have worked through with our clients; whether you operate a large multi-site organization or a small corner pub this concept can work for you. There is more competition in the market than ever before and if you want to have a successful restaurant, bar, hotel, or quick service operation, doing business the way we did in the past simply won’t cut it any more. The success of your operation ultimately rests in

10 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

the hands of the people working on the front lines of your business. Now is the time to invest, inspire and enroll these employees in a way that motivates them, retains them and connects them with your vision. GET, RETAIN AND DEVELOP YOUR EMPLOYEES

If you are in a manager or ownership position in the industry today, consider yourself as a coach. In my eyes, a coach’s job is to recognize and develop talent. To be successful in our industry, you need a strong strategy to attract talent into your hiring pipeline. Recognizing talent begins in the hiring process; job postings are successful not when they produce the most applicants, rather when they reap the best applicants. The most successful operators take the necessary time to craft honest job ad’s which repel the ‘wrong’ applicants and only attract people that will be a true fit for your business.

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“Providing your guest a truly remarkable experience will be your biggest opportunity for you to retain your guest.” Getting applicants is easy, but getting top level employees is a fullout fight in today’s market. As this is your first interaction with potential employees, you need to draft unique job postings that will ensure hiring success. Filtering the candidates by their fit with your culture and vision (rather than strictly skillset or amount of experience) is the next step in recruiting the best employees. The consequences of this can mean that you may end up choosing someone with a weaker skillset compared to another because they align with the vision for your team, and that you will need to invest in time to retain and develop them then. After you have filtered and chosen the right employees, how can you ensure they stay with your team in the long run? Most hospitality operators in Canada are experiencing over 100 per cent annual staff turnover. This makes it very difficult for us to provide great guest experiences if we have a revolving door of talent. A retention strategy which focuses on reducing employee turnover can fundamentally change your business. I encourage you to think differently about employee compensation, scheduling f lexibility, employee meal programs, and how you create a community within your staff. Yes, these all cost money, but factor in how much money or time you are spending screening resumes, sitting in interviews, inducting staff simply to do it all over again every week of every month. If your employees have made it through the 100-day mark in your business they are now part of the team and should be in a position to assist and support the induction of new employees. Additionally, don’t ignore your staff who have been with you well past 100 days; look to them as the potential managers and leaders in your team. It has been proven that after your employees base financial needs are met what they are looking for from their employers is the opportunity to learn and grow professionally. I encourage you to

look for opportunities to develop the leadership skills of your managers by: • Attending conferences and workshops, • Bringing in suppliers to grow product knowledge for your team, • Starting a business or personal development book club • Bringing in a bank to teach employees about how to get their first mortgage. There are plenty of low- or no-cost options that can make a drastic difference when it comes to the development and retention of your managers and staff. GET, RETAIN AND DEVELOP YOUR GUESTS

For any business to be successful it must bring g uests through its doors. Through all of my experience working with hundreds of operations, I fully believe that the best way to grow your client base is to begin with those already in your restaurant and then wow them. If we have successfully covered the steps above we will now have a n engaged, i nspi red, a nd enrolled employee serving our guest every time. This might sound easy but recent studies have shown that over 50 per cent of the workforce across all major industries, not just hospitality, is actively looking at other employment opportunities. Before breaking the bank on marketing, social media or other campaigns to draw a crowd, I would double-down on ensuring only the right employees get the opportunity to wow those guests. Focus some energy on prioritizing your budget accordingly; it may surprise you that development of your team may earn you a larger ROI than a marketing campaign or promotion. Prov id i ng you r g ue st a t r u ly remarkable experience will be your

biggest opportunity for you to retain your guest. It is not just the food or drink that your guest consumes when in your restaurant that will keep them coming back; it is how you make your guest feel that will keep them coming back, time and time again. I have found t hat t hose op erators who provide their guest a remarkable experience keep a simple service strategy at their core. This service strategy is discussed, reviewed and celebrated on a daily and weekly basis. A key concept to this success is that service training does not stop a f ter a n employee is t ra i ned or inducted. Great service is a result of consistent and passionate focus on what your service expectations are as well as how they are expected to show up every night. When it comes to developing your guest the key is to make sure they know all that your operations have to offer. This means starting with passionate recommendations at the table that will allow your guest to try and experience new or unique items from your menu. I also encourage that you take time to inform your guest about events, nightly specials, seasonal party opportunities, new menu launches. This may seem like a given but I can tell you that having staff provide your guests a reason to return to your location is a huge opportunity in our industry. As the celebrity entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has said, “Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple.” The get, retain, develop concept is simple enough that everyone in your organization can connect with and understand. That said, it is not easy, it takes focus, commitment and time but I can promise you the payoff is worth it.

Matt Rolfe is the CEO of Barmetrix Global, a hospitality coaching and consulting firm that helps clients multiply profits, maximize staff engagement and deliver remarkable guest services by design. Contact Matt at to book speaking engagements or to discuss Barmetrix Services. For more information, call 416-367-2263.

12 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


Why food quality trumps service in driving business growth By Tyler Baks


Any restaurant owner knows there is a lot to think about when it comes to driving growth and staying relevant in today’s increasingly competitive foodservice landscape. In order to increase traffic and build loyalty, operators need to deliver on excellent service, value for money and great-tasting food, while ensuring the atmosphere is modern and trendy. It’s a lot to juggle and many operators are conflicted about where they should focus their efforts for a well-run operation.

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We know that higher overall satisfaction is a strong predictor of whether or not a foodservice consumer will return or recommend a restaurant to a friend or family member. While this seems like an obvious statement, many restaurant owners and operators struggle with how to increase overall guest satisfaction. NPD’s latest Full- Service Dining Report examines this very question by looking at which restaurant attributes

14 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

are the strongest predictors of overall satisfaction (and therefore revisit intent). KEEPING THEM COMING BACK

While it can certainly be argued that a restaurant must deliver on service, value for money, food and atmosphere to be successful, it is crucial for operators to understand which is most important. The answer (drum roll) is food. Food is t he b ack b one of ever y d i n i ng establishment, and diverse, innovative menu offerings have become the golden standard. Now more than ever, today’s foodservice consumer is focused on these high-quality offerings, and how one company is differentiating itself from another. Consumers are looking for new and exciting menu items that taste great and contain healthier ing redients. Moreover, they a re

CONSUMER TRENDS demanding greater transparency around the sourcing of ingredients, both for ingredients that are locally sourced and raised without antibiotics. Simply put, food is a stronger predictor of overall satisfaction than service, value or atmosphere. The best service in the world or the best deal is not going to make up for a subpar menu. Food is the glue that holds a restaurant together, and a successful dining experience must start with the trust between the restaurant and the guest cemented through the menu. Perhaps t he b est exa mples of restaurants successfully leveraging food quality to drive growth in an otherwise challenged and steal-share foodservice market are the emerging Fast Casual and Premium Casual sub-segments within their respective Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) and Full-Service Restaurants (FSR) segments . With Canadians continuing to cut back on out-of-home foodservice visits year over year, helped by the fact that inflation costs for food purchased from grocery stores and the Retail segment is at an all-time low, Fast Casual operators and Premium Casual operators continue to drive growth, outperforming their respective competitors.

niche sub-segments, and their winning strategies with retention of happy consumers. Foodservice forecasting sees that menu items and product offerings will only continue to innovate, invigorate,

and grow. Excellent service, great atmosphere, and good value for money are essential to well-oiled operations, but food remains the driver of happy customers.

Tyler Baks is Account Manager, Foodservice Canada for the NPD Group. The NPD Group has more than 25 years of experience providing reliable and comprehensive consumer-based market information and insights to leaders in the foodservice industry. For more information, visit or contact Tyler at

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Made up of operators such as Five Guys Burger & Fries, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Panera Bread, Fast Casual has set the stage in the QSR market. Similarly, Premium Casual – made up of western-based operators working their way east, such as Earl’s Kitchen and Bar, Joey’s Restaurant, and Cactus Club – is changing the game within the FSR market. Fast Casual and Prem ium Casua l a re mov i ng consumers’ perceptions from convenience-based to quality-based. While doing this, both Fast Casual and Premium Casual are driving higher traff ic, garnering better consumer satisfaction, and increasing customer spend within their restaurants. Simply put , they a re getti ng customers through the door, they are keeping them happy, they are charging them more, and they are getting them to come back! Taking a note out of this playbook, in the coming years, foodservice operators will see greater demands around “premiumization,” customization, and quality offerings, all derived from these

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2016-12-05 2:31 PM

HEALTHY CHOICES Gluten-free community hungry for new hotspots By Rachael Hunt


Picture your restaurant: It’s a typical Saturday night, you have 130 cozy customers already in-house and only a few seats left. A family of three your staff has never seen before walks in, bright-eyed and excited to try your cuisine for the first time. Two of them happily browse the front menu board while the third looks nervous in doing so.

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After what seems like minutes of intense scanning, you notice this look of defeat on their face, alarming the rest of the family. Suddenly, the discussion amongst them has gone from what to eat to where to eat. They leave. It’s easy to assume they just didn’t see anything they liked (it happens). In this particular case, however, it wasn’t that the individual didn’t want to eat your food, it was that they couldn’t have anything, not even a sandwich. Out of the 133 people in your business at that moment, why couldn’t that individual stay?

16 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


Simple: One in 133 Canadians is glutenfree due to celiac disease. This does not include those who do not consumer gluten for other health-related reasons (which is an additional 29 per cent of the population); a niche comparable to groups who live meat or alcohol-free and are to be taken just as seriously. It is estimated that the gluten-free foods market will grow over 19 per cent annually with Canada and the United States, contributing an estimated market share of $6.2 billion over the next two years. While un-servable stragglers aren’t always completely avoidable, it’s important to remember you don’t need to exaggerate your efforts to decrease the odds of losing gluten-free diners. You don’t even have to be a special kind of restaurant to be accommodating enough.



Whether they’re embracing gluten-free (GF) for health reasons or by various personal choices, these potential customers aren’t asking you to revamp your entire brand or menu to please their needs. However, by accommodating, even a few items at a time, can open your business to a niche, to an entire community, you might not have known possible before. Just ask Toronto’s own Trevor Lui. In the spring of 2015, Lui opened Kanpai Snack Bar, a Taiwan-inspired, GF-inclusive space in Toronto, Ontario and knew he found something special in having this integration in his menu from the get-go. “There has been a dramatic increase in the shift of consumer needs in the past few years. Since opening our doors, we have increased the adjustments to our menus, happily tripling our glutenfree offerings to integrate inclusivity in both the kitchen and the bar,” he explained. “Our understanding and undertaking of the consumer cuisine shift has opened our business up to more and more people who appreciate what we are able to offer because we are able to serve a much broader level of diners and beverage enthusiasts.” GF BEVERAGE OPTIONS

Notice that Lui’s endorsement of glutenfree adoption isn’t limited to food options. Having a correlating beer or cider option ready in the back of fridge can mean the

difference between someone gluten-free having a night of drinks with their friends and sipping water disappointedly. Another example of introductory adoption could relate to one’s Italian menu. Have at least one gluten-free pasta like Chickapea Pasta stored somewhere in your pantry and you could be hosting a happy family with a happier GF individual who’s thankful to not be stuck eating salad yet again. There is also very little actual inconvenience in these additions. You can easily stash GF alternatives in a small space, freeze GF buns or keep just a few cans of GF beer on hand, just in case.

If you want to go the extra mile, it might be helpful to evaluate your appetizers or decide on a new dessert alternative for those intolerant of gluten-filled flour. These ingredients and kitchen staples are not hard to find as distribution companies, like Neal Brothers Foods in Canada, continue to add lines of gluten-free offerings to their regular nationwide business initiatives. “The appetite by consumers for glutenfree products has and continues to experience solid growth,” says Neal Brothers’ President Peter Neal. | December 2016 17

NUTRITION So, what should happen next once you’ve received the ingredients and added gluten-free options to your menu? CREATING AWARENESS

Consider your on-premise marketing and awareness techniques. Are your hosts and servers well aware of and educated on these options? Are there callouts on your menus and any frontof-house advertising identifying the existence and selection of gluten-free substitutes?

If questions were asked, would a staff member know what exactly makes a specified dish gluten-free? Can you substitute buns on the burger, or GF dough for the pizza? Now that your internal awareness campaign is in motion, it’s time to get the word out; become known as that go-to place for gluten-free friends and family to finally have some fun food freedom. Boost your brand visibility by getting yourself added to various online lists and directories mentioning gluten-free options,

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for example GlutenFreedom Inc. Make mention of GF options to your social media channels so as to not alienate diners who live a gluten-free lifestyle. POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Word of mouth is another powerful way to reach new audiences, especially in the digital age. A recent marketing campaign our agency deployed included an advocacy “tweetup” held by gluten-removed beer Daura Damm. Over 50 inf luential contributors got together at Toronto restaurants for dinner and Daura, engaging in group conversation while also posting their involvement in real time on social media. Overall, their tweets reached 248,174 users (638,381 impressions overall) while their Instagram photo posts attainted a reach of 123,381 accounts. “I loved the experience as a whole,” one influencer enthused. “Gluten-free? Ya, there’s a beer for that! @DauraNorthAm and it’s actually really good,” tweeted another to his followers, 24.5k and counting. Simply put, this is more than just a trend. Gluten-free is, in itself, an open, interactive community; make the right moves and you can easily become a part of it. When a restaurant is accommodating, in small doses or high regard, you’re opening yourself up to increased inclusivity, fewer stragglers and more than ever before, everyone is free to join in on the food and drinks. Opening the door to this growing market opens your floor to bigger business. Even by changing or adding one item at a time, you have the potential to engage a community you might not have ever known to be possible. With a love of discovering new foods accelerated by her gluten-free lifestyle in the past three years, Rachael Hunt has taken her passion and made it a staple in both her personal life and in business. In 2013, she founded GlutenFreedom Inc., an online community dedicated to multiple facets of GF living. Rachael has since joined Toronto food marketing agency Branding & Buzzing as head of their Gluten-Free Division. For more information, visit

Official Blender of the Restaurants Canada Show 2017

* Motor horsepower for our commercial blender motors were measured using a dynamometer, a machine laboratories routinely use to measure the mechanical power of motors. Our 3.5 horsepower (HP) motor reference reflects the horsepower rating of the motor itself and not the commercial blenders horsepower output to the blending vessel. The output horsepower to the blending vessel will be somewhat reduced. For more information, visit ®/™ KitchenAid ©2016. Used under license in Canada. All rights reserved.

For more great tips on improving your bottom line, visit


18 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News Kitchenaid_CRFN_OctoberNovember_2016.indd 1

2016-10-07 10:46 AM

+ Some things are simply better together . . .

Like the classic combination of macaroni and cheese, Russell Hendrix is a dynamic duo that can’t be beat. Over the next several months, Canada’s two largest foodservice equipment dealers will become one. The merged company, Russell Hendrix Foodservice Equipment, will supply customers from seventeen showrooms and five distribution centers across Canada. Stay up to date at


KITCHEN 2.0 Taking the guesswork out of food safety

By Matt Bradford


Smart equipment. Connected apps. Cloud-based checklists and online training. It takes just one peek behind the counter to see how cutting-edge technologies are making commercial kitchens more productive, efficient, and attuned to food safety issues.

And it all goes back to connectivity. More and more, kitchens are relying on equipment with advanced sensors and analytic capabilities that can be monitored remotely 24 hours a day. These include refrigeration units that alert owners via their smartphones when temperatures fall out of range or ovens that detect and report failures for immediate repair. “Constant electronic monitoring is becoming less and less expensive and easier to deploy, so you don't have to be part of a huge chain in order to bring that technology into your kitchen,” offers Domenic Pedulla, president of the Canadian Food Safety Group, adding, “Not only does online

monitoring maintain the best standards for public health, but it saves operators money by alerting kitchen staff sooner to pieces of equipment that are malfunctioning or not keeping the right temperatures. That lets them react before they lose valuable product.” CUSTOM PROGRAMS

Kitchen equipment is also becoming more functional and self-maintaining. Conveyor ovens, for example, are entering the market with broader customization and preprogramming options, smarter controls, online features, and the ability to better regulate temperatures to meet exact preparation requirements.

20 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Elsewhere, electronic checklists are also making their way into the kitchen. These are apps that can be used on individual phones or centrally mounted tablets that keep kitchen staff working as one and on the same schedule. “If you're the manager of the kitchen, you can see who is doing what, what still needs to be done, and how those tasks are coming together. For instance, you could have one employee probe the burger on the line at 2 p.m. and enter the temperature, which can then be seen by everyone on the system,” explains Pedulla. “That kind of technology is exciting because it's taking away some of the guesswork that happens in the kitchen,” Similar “networked” apps are also emerging that can help k itchen managers keep better track of schedules and log books, while collecting and combining data to form reports that can help predict times of high or low volume.

PLAYING IT SAFE Add it up and it's little wonder kitchens small and large are embracing new technologies. “As labour becomes more expensive, deploying technology becomes more imperative,” notes Padulla. “You need to make sure that person is producing to the best of their ability and they're being productive to keep your cost alignments. These technologies can do that while also protecting your brand by ensuring and the safety of the food you're serving.”

far from over. Technologies on the horizon such as 3D food printing, unmanned drone and vehicle deliveries, and greater equipment integration are set to change the landscape. “It's an exciting time for the industry because there are so many innovations coming out that are going to help

employe e s c om mu n ic ate more effectively with their equipment and have a better visibility of what's happening with their products,” says Pedul la. “Overa l l, technolog y is going to help us get safer in the kitchen, not to mention make new and better foods.”

Matt Bradford, based in Barrie, Ontario, is a freelance writer in the Canadian foodservice industry. Domenic Pedulla is president of Canadian Food Safety Group, a food safety and quality company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. Founded in 2000, it offers confidential brand protection audits, and an online and onsite Canadian Food Safety Certification Course. For more, visit


As beneficial as they may be, technologies in the kitchen can raise concerns over added complexities and costs. In reality, today's equipment manufacturers are seasoned food industry veterans who understand the demands of a kitchen and the need for equipment that is not only reliable, but easy to learn and operate. For this reason, modern equipment is often outfitted with touch-screen controls and software designed to take the onus off of kitchen staff. Moreover, while modern kitchens may require leaders with a sense for technology, many of today's manufacturers are stepping in to do the heavy lifting. “People that are offering and serving these technologies understand that the most valuable commodity in the kitchen is an employee's time, so they're awa re that i f a piece of equipment or new system becomes too time-consuming, it'll be out the next day,” says Pedulla. “That's why we take on all the back-end maintenance, set-up, and repair so that the employees in the kitchen can just use it.” It also helps that it's now easier than ever for food service professionals to train online for today's kitchens. Canadian Food Safety Group's own online provincially approved food safety certification, for example, allows students to learn their craft at their schedule and take a final exam online via a connection to a live person. “What we've done differently is included the ability to take a final exam online as opposed to waiting for an in-person proctored exam. That makes certification instant once you write the exam, which helps people advance faster and bring greater skills to their kitchens,” says Pedulla. INSTANT CERTIFICATION

Call it the “Kitchen of Tomorrow” or Kitchen 2.0. Either way, the evolution is | December 2016 21


THE SERVICE ADVANTAGE Building your business, one act of exceptional service at a time By David Swanston


Even though Canadian diners are spending more and restaurant visits are on the rise, operators are faced with a growing number of challenges when it comes to trying to improve stagnant revenues. Whether it’s trying to hold on to fickle customers looking for change or simply the reality of an overcrowded foodservice landscape, operators searching for ways to get that competitive edge can often find the solution in one of the time-tested tenets of this industry – great customer service.

COVER STORY Across the country, the frequency of out-of-home consumer dining opportunities and total foodservice spending continues to increase. According to Statistics Canada, year-over-year monthly receipts were up 5.4 per cent as of August, with all provinces and territories but one experiencing growth. The expanded selection of menu offerings to meet the diverse needs of the market, combined with the convenience of eating out are making restaurant dining more attractive for timestarved Canadians. Times are good. So why then are so many operators finding that they’re struggling to maintain f latlined revenues? Regular patrons return less frequently as they seek variety in their dining choices and more intense competition is making it difficult to attract new customers. Highly fragmented consumer markets and the complexity of communication technologies are making it challenging for firms to reach and impact potential consumers.

difficult for consumers to perceive any real difference between the variety of foodservice suitors campaigning for their dining dollar. Success today, and for tomorrow, will be contingent on an organization’s ability to stand out from the multitude of options available. Updated menus, modernized dÊcor, and prime store locations help, but with the competition doing the same these amount to little more than maintaining parity. For operators looking to truly differentiate themselves, there is one proven and sustainable approach: Service. Outstanding service is often discussed, or even promoted by management teams, but is rarely truly delivered. Most restaurateurs deliver good service, acceptable to their customers and not a major cause for concern. But for those few who are able to delight their guests in consistent and unexpected ways, the benefits are plentiful. SERVICE NO-NOS


The competitive landscape is evolving as firms seek new markets for expansion. Traditional category boundaries are blurred as quick-service moves casual and upmarket, midmarket concepts upscale their brands, and many fine-dining operations relax a little. Grocery stores offer fresh food markets while traditional restaurants expand their take-home selections. The homogenization of the industry makes it

24 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Some common areas where restaurant service falls short include unfriendly or rude staff, slow or inattentive service, mistakes with food and charges, unclean facilities, and staff appearance. Directly or indirectly, customers are made to feel that they are not important enough to look after properly so they seek another provider that will. Distinguishing your operation based on providing engaging experiences will strengthen customer relationships and can lead to

COVER STORY greater loyalty. Persuasive guest referrals will create the positive word-of-mouth marketing that is very effective at attracting new consumers. Repeat visits and guest check averages will increase as patrons seek out new opportunities to participate. So how do operators deliver this type of best-in-class service? It starts with a sincere commitment by senior leadership and a guest orientation that permeates the entire organization. LEADERSHIP

Management must go beyond merely stating their goal of delivering outstanding service. Guest service must be part of their DNA. Every decision, every interaction, and every move must demonstrate their passion for creating epic guest experiences. This behaviour needs to be consistently visible to both staff and customers. The leader’s mindset must be that a healthy bottom line, both now and in the long-run, can only be achieved by exceeding every guest’s expectations, one table at a time. Not only must management behaviour demonstrate their commitment, but so too must the budget. Operators must consider every guest point of contact as a moment of truth that can impact their satisfaction. Financial resources should be earmarked for initiatives that will ensure these interactions are positive and memorable. Consider the statement that would be made if a budget line item was labelled “Guest Experience Enhancement,” and the use and results of these funds were regularly reviewed with management and staff.

Businesses should initiate a program to solicit guest feedback, with management responsible for review and follow-up. Postpurchase support is critical for guest retention and to strengthen relationships. Customers feel valued when you ask for their comments and listen to their opinions. When service falls short, managers have the opportunity to correct the problem and earn another chance with the guest, while at the same time learning important information that will help improve the operation. CULTURE

Incorporating a guest focus into the firm’s statement of values is a good start, but for success these values must be shared and adhered to by all team members. You can only create a service-oriented culture over time by constant delivery and reinforcement of guest service objectives. Strong culture acts as an informal way to guide behaviour which is ultimately much more effective than any human resource policy. Instead of striving to deliver outstanding service, it just becomes the way things are done. Prioritizing the impact on the guest experience will guide employee actions, become the measure used to assess any situation, and help improve decision-making. Great service requires a team effort and managers cannot monitor and control every employee at all times. Staff must be able to think and act in a manner consistent with the guiding service principles, even when nobody else is watching. Building a strong service culture is the best way to achieve this buy-in. WRITING THE STORY

Creating an environment that is not just functional and attractive, but also has meaning will help develop a richer guest experience. People don’t buy what you sell, they buy the reason you sell it. A concept has more integrity when there is history or a story behind it. This narrative could be literal or by design, but it adds significance to all the conceptual elements that guest interact with. The market is stocked with restaurants utilizing attractive colour schemes, carefully selected décor, exotic names for menu items, and attractive staff in appealing outfits. From a customer’s | December 2016 25


perspective, they all begin to look and feel the same. But the businesses that manage to deliver those unique and memorable guest experiences, while providing many of these same elements, are able to do so in a more coordinated and impactful way. Think of the family owned restaurant that has been passed down through generations, where the atmosphere is replete with history, lore and a sense of community. Possibly it’s the local boy who returned home to open his own pub and can be found nightly tending bar, swapping stories and knowing every customer by name. Perhaps it’s the explorer who spent time in South America and fell in love with the culture, people and food, and decided to recreate a taste of this experience in a new quick-service concept. The story can even be more abstract, recreating an emotion or attitude. For one project, I created a new concept based around a single song giving the entire operation a sense of energy and focus. During a trip to Bogota, I had the opportunity to experience probably one of the most memorable restaurants called Andres Carne de Res. Every aspect of the concept was unexpected, brash, and over-the-top fun. What do all of these concepts have in common? They are unique, they have an underlying sense of purpose that binds their elements into a cohesive whole, and they provide sincere and superior service to guests by delivering memorable experiences. ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Customers interpret an operation’s concept and culture through their interaction with the multitude of elements, both large and small. The quality and consistency of these details signals the 26 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

organization’s commitment to guest service. Patrons feel assured because if the restaurant can take care of the little things well, then they must be able to take care of the big things well. This attentiveness demonstrates that an operation values and is committed to their guests, wanting to make their entire experience perfect. Delivering on these goals becomes easier when there is a strong culture and story to guide decisions. The choice of background music, cleanliness of the floor under the bathroom sink, alignment of tables, hygiene of staff, presentation of meals, and condition of the parking areas are just a few of the details that affect guest’s service experience and require management’s attention. PEOPLE (US)

By its very nature, the service industry is a people business. It’s about people looking after people. Superior service is achieved by having the right people doing the right jobs in the right way. Unfortunately, building a strong team takes time and can only be achieved by committed management and a strong supporting organizational culture. Several considerations will help organizations improve their human resource management initiatives to develop top-performing, service-oriented staff. Start by reconsidering the traditional job descriptions. Realigning roles within the organization allows firms to expand the breadth of responsibilities each person and position must carry out. Consistently providing outstanding service requires a team approach. Customers have various and, at times, unpredictable needs. One contact person cannot adequately and effectively fulfill

COVER STORY all of a guest’s demands. All staff should consider themselves to be service agents and seek out opportunities to enhance customers’ experiences. This approach deviates substantially from the silos of traditional job responsibilities. When recruiting candidates for these newly expanded positions, priority should be given to those who possess important soft skills. These aptitudes can include empathy, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, communication and teamwork, just to name a few. Yes, technical skills are still important and the candidate must at least demonstrate the capacity to learn the required job skill, but these duties can also be taught. Finding candidates with traits that prepare them to better deliver on service expectations by enhancing the guest experience is critical. The competencies also align the new employee with the organization’s values and priorities which will facilitate a smooth orientation and integration into the team. Training should be designed to ensure that new hires are not just taught what to do, but also the right way to do things in a manner consistent with the firm’s guest service focus. Training is the first substantial time period where the organization can on-board new hires and indoctrinate them into their serviceoriented culture. Operators must commit adequate resources to develop and utilize a rigorous training program to prepare new employees to succeed in their expanded roles. Once on the job, leadership teams must manage employee performance. With a clear guest service focus, supervisors should recognize when employees commit exceptional acts of service. At the same time, when service opportunities are missed, they should be treated as learning opportunities to make further improvement. One of the key challenges is that most managers are not skilled at managing either positive or negative performance. Learning how to provide timely and relevant behaviour reinforcement is a critical for managers trying to change the firm’s service performance.


Finally, the most important stakeholder to consider is the actual customer. Superior service will deliver greater value to the organization if it is able to strengthen its relationships with patrons. Loyalty is a critical pursuit but many firms compromise their ability achieve this objective by not selecting the right guests. Yes, operators should select their guests. Being able to provide outstanding service and memorable experiences depends on targeting the right consumer, who will respond to the firm’s unique offerings. A strong concept cannot be everything for everyone, but longevity requires that it the right things to the right people. Too often, financial objectives demand that businesses cast a wide net and attract as many customers as possible. Focusing on trying to meet the needs of this diverse market will make it difficult for the operation to carve out a unique identity that will set them apart in the market. Instead, focus on identifying and delighting those that would most appreciate the unique aspects of the organizations concept, story, and culture. Researching your markets and identifying attractive segments to target provides management with several benefits. First, their marketing efforts can be more focused. This will help to avoid wasting part of the marketing budget try to reach the wrong people. It also means that the communication message can be more specific and highlight the unique concept points of differentiation that will resonate with this group. As a result, response rates should be much higher driving more of the right type of customer through the doors. These guests will be easier to service and satisfy as they are more likely to respond favourably. The impact on customers can be magnified if the operation can then go even further to exceed their expectations. A key part of being able to achieve this objective is to under-promise and over-deliver. CONCLUSION

Memorable service experiences do not occur when patrons’ expectations are being met or when service is merely consistent. These are just basic requirements for operators to stay in the game. Winning will hinge on the service team’s ability to find ways to personalize the experience and deliver exceptional service at each point of contact by going above and beyond what the guest would have expected. These opportunities occur at random times during customers’ interaction with the operation, making it difficult to plan for and script strategies to address these situations. This is where a strong service culture, talented and well-trained service teams, and service-focused leadership will pay dividends. Everyone in the organization will seek out opportunities to thrill guests with exceptional and customized service. In return, the restaurant will be rewarded with loyal customers who care about the success of the concept and will become ambassadors within their communities. Achieving this level of support will strengthen an operation’s reputation, distinguishing it from the competition and gaining a key service advantage. David Swanston is a Hospitality and Foodservice Consultant, Principal of Focused Industry Training Seminars and is an instructor at major Canadian university business schools. Since 1997 he has helped a wide variety of organizations develop and launch new concepts, turn around troubled operations, and improve sales, profits, controls and efficiency. To learn more about how he can help you improve performance, contact David directly at 905.331.6115 or | December 2016 27


A LEGACY OF CARING Friends of We Care’s Kevin Collins to lead Easter Seals Ontario

Member Sponsors of Friends of We Care Agropur Canada

Mars Canada Inc.

Aramark Canada Ltd.

McCain Foods (Canada)

Arla Foods Inc.

McCormack Bourrie Sales & Marketing

Bamford Produce Co./Freshline Foods Ltd.

McNairn Packaging

Bunn-O-Matic Corporation of Canada

Monin Canada Inc.

Burnbrae Farms Ltd. C.W. Shasky & Associates Ltd. Campbell Company of Canada Canada Bread Foodservice


After more than 17 years of loyal and unparalleled service, Friends of We Care has announced that Executive Director Kevin Collins has made the difficult decision to leave the organization and will be taking on the role of President and CEO of Easter Seals Ontario.

Collins’ legacy includes raising over $20.5 million that directly benefitted children with disabilities, establishing a national presence for Friends of We Care, raising the profile of the organization and developing a cohesive and dedicated staff. His leadership within the Canadian foodservice industry has won him the respect of the many sponsors and supporters who generously give of their time and money to support Friends of We Care. Mediaedge Communications, publisher of Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News, congratulates Collins on his exemplary leadership of Friends of We Care and wishes him continued success in his new role with Easter Seals Ontario. “Throughout his tenure, Kevin has touched and improved the lives of many,” Jim Greenway, Chair of the Board of Directors of Friends of We Care, said in a release. “His caring spirit, ability to interact with everyone and genuine desire to be good at his role has benefitted us all.” Greenway expressed that Collins will be missed and that the Board, staff and com munit y a re g rateful for his

Canada Dry Mott’s Inc.

Nestlé Professional OLYMEL Parmalat Canada PepsiCo Foodservice Piller's Fine Foods - a division of PBOLP

Cavendish Farms

Polar Pak Inc.

Club Coffee LP

Procter & Gamble Professional Inc.

Compass Group Canada Danone Canada Dare Foods Ltd. Diversey Care Canada E.D. SMITH Foods, Ltd. Ecolab Co. Export Packers Company Limited Flanagan Foodservice Inc. Foodservice and Hospitality magazine Freeman Signature Inc. Gay Lea Foods Georgia-Pacific Canada Gordon Food Service

28 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Inc.

Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd.

DANA Hospitality Inc.

outstanding contributions to the Friends of We Care organization. “Many of you already know that Kevin was once an Easter Seals Ambassador and he likes to say, ‘it’s where it all started for me.’ This opportunity culminates his lifelong dream to give back to this organization. A celebratory farewell is in order and more information will be forthcoming.” The Friends of We Care Board has established a search committee and is commencing the recruiting process immediately. Collins’ last day with the organization will be January 27, 2017.

McCormick Canada

Bunge Canada

Heritage Frozen Foods Ltd. High Liner Foods Inc. International Pacific Sales Ltd. Italpasta Limited Kellogg Canada – Out of Home Division Kerry Ingredients KraftHeinz Company Kruger Products Limited Labatt Breweries of Canada LCBO Loblaw Companies Limited Lynch Foods (W.T.) Limited Mandarin Restaurant Corporation Maple Leaf Consumer Foods Inc.

Restaurants Canada Rich Products of Canada Rose Hill Foods Inc. Rosina Food Products Saputo Dairy Products Canada G.P. Select Food Products Limited Seydaco Packaging Corp. Single Service Sales Inc. Smucker Foods of Canada Sodexo Canada Limited Sofina Foods Inc. Starbucks Coffee Company Stewart Foodservice Inc. Stone Straw Limited Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc. Sysco Canada Sysco Food Services of Toronto TMF Foods Inc. Total Focus Foodservice & Jiano Foods Traffix TrainCan, Inc. TTS Marketing and Sales Tyson Foods Canada Inc. Unilever Foodsolutions Ventura Foods Canada Weston Bakeries Foodservice








NEW BEGINNINGS WELCOME TO THE NEW CCFCC MAGAZINE , À L A MINUTE. This is an exciting undertaking and I would like to thank o ur n ew p ar tn e r, M e diaEd g e, fo r this opportunity to be showcased in their magazine, Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News. Summer is over and the federation is in full swing with meetings going on from coast to coast. I look forward to hearing all about what is happening at your branch and we all look forward to the future of the CCFCC. This past August your CCFCC board and chapter Presidents met in Edmonton to discuss the future of the federation. It was a two-day intensive workshop. Three areas were identified and committees were set up to work on these areas. A PowerPoint presentation has been sent out to your branch to show and discuss at a future meeting. In September a group of CCFCC delegates attended the WorldChefs Congress & Expo in Thessaloniki, Greece. It was a truly amazing exp erience with many great sp eakers , competitions, and networking opportunities. There was an election for the WorldChefs

Donald Gyurkovits, President CCFCC

30 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

President, with Chef Thomas Gugler elected to the position. Congratulations Chef Gugler. This October many chefs from Canada and around the world will gather in Erfurt, Germany for the IKA Culinary Olympics. We wish our junior team, senior team, regional teams, and individual competitors the best of luck in Germany. October 20th was International Chefs Day around the world. How did you celebrate? Please send in an article on your chapter's activities for this day and any new and exciting events/announcements in the future. We must again thank our partners for all they do for us. Without their partnership we would not be the most successful chef's organization in the country. Please remember to support those who support the CCFCC. I look forward to hearing from you this year. It's an exciting time for the CCFCC moving forward. This year many board positions are up for election. Have you thought about taking on a board position? I encourage you to do so. The CCFCC is your association and it is up to you get involved.


COMMUNITY ROOTS A Fruitful Harvest Ripe for the Picking

Have you ever noticed a late-summer fruit tree surrounded by fallen fruit, and wished someone could have put all those perfectly ripe apples, plums or pears to good use before they fell to be left on the ground? This wish for our community to make the most of our bounty has been answered in the Fruit Tree Program organized by the local non-profit LUSH (Let Us Share the Harvest) Valley. Although the Comox Valley in British Columbia has no shortage of fruit trees with surplus produce, it can be a challenge to find available fruit-picking volunteers when the harvest is ripe. Thanks to a unique collaboration with the CCFCC-North Vancouver Island Chefs Association (NVICA), a new wave of volunteer pickers recently stepped up to help harvest many bushels of apples, pears and plums at a Comox Valley orchard. Sharing the Bounty “LUSH Valley’s Fruit Tree Program is a local project that organizes volunteers to harvest backyard and orchard fruit that would otherwise go to waste,” says Jessica Hawkins, executive director of LUSH Valley. The fruit is shared between the grower, the harvesters and our nonprofit organization, which in turn distributes the fruit to those in need. This match between

availability and need has brought together many people since the introduction of the program in 2002. “In 2015 our volunteers picked 24,000 pounds of fresh fruit and produce,” says Hawkins. “This year our goal is to harvest 40,000 pounds of local freshness.” The North Vancouver Island Chefs’ Association helped answer this goal on Aug. 29, when many of the region’s chefs and other NVICA members brought out friends, family and colleagues to pick almost 300 pounds of fruit at the local orchard. Quinn Ehrler, NVICA Junior and owner of Pressing Matters, pressed the fruit into juice that was then shared between NVICA and LUSH Valley — the local orchard generously donating their portion. “Through this partnership the Branch was pleased to also donate $1,000 to LUSH Valley to purchase the equipment required to expand their Fruit Tree Program”, said NVICA president Chef Lesley Stav.

It’s All About Giving Back “We believe in giving back to our community,” notes Stav. “That is why we’re proud to support LUSH Valley. It’s the perfect way to ensure nutritious, fresh and locally grown fruit is available to those who need it most in The Valley.” Both organizations believe local food plays a powerful role in promoting health, building more diverse and caring communities, protecting the environment and strengthening the local economy. “Together, says Stav, we support many culinary and food projects to empower people with knowledge on nutrition, food prep and safety while increasing skills and self-sufficiency.” NVICA collaboration with LUSH Valley’s Fruit Tree Program has yielded a ripe harvest of partnerships by connecting people with local, sustainable food options throughout the Comox Valley. For more information on making a positive d i f f e r e n c e v i s i t w w w . l u s h v a l l e y. o r g o r


LASTING MEMORIES Our experience at the World Chefs Congress — 4 days, 787 chefs from 86 countries By Rosalyn Ediger (CCFCC Ottawa) and Tina Tang (CCFCC Okanagan) Rosalyn: Getting off of the airplane in Thessaloniki, Greece and spotting a huge “World Chefs 2016” banner right on the tarmac, we knew that we were in for quite a treat. As a member of the Global Youth Development Team, I attended this year’s World Chefs Congress along with Canada’s Young Chef Ambassador, Tina Tang, to spend time with the young chefs and to apply some of what we learned here in Canada. Tina: Four plane rides, 24 hours worth of travel and we finally arrived in Thessaloniki! First impressions? It was cold! But it was beautiful. Ever since Greece won the bid to host the World Chefs Congress in 2016, it was my goal to make it there…and here I was — representing Canada as a Young Chef Ambassador nonetheless, alongside many Canadians representing our great nation and our great federation. Rosalyn: This was my second World Chefs Congress but it was the first time that the young chefs had such an official program with a full itinerary tailored to them. There was so much work put into the planning and logistics. Part of the time was spent watching some of the competitions, either the Hans Bueschkens Young Chef Challenge (for chefs under 25), the Global Chef Challenge, or the Global Pastry Chef Challenge. In the centre of it all was what was called the Nestle Chill Room. It was a

relaxing, semi private room designed to look like a walk in cooler, just for young chefs to meet, have a coffee, cook something or gather for an up close and personal interview with a guest speaker or an influential person in the industry. Tina: This was my first World Chefs Congress. Excitement was an understatement. The conference main stage slowly filled up with white jackets as the opening ceremonies were about to begin. Young chefs had the ultimate honour to carry the flags in. I had the honour to bear ours. A beautiful tribute to the late Dr. Billy Gallagher took place on the main stage, where all the young chefs created an arc at the back to the stage for him. Without Dr. Billy Gallagher, the unity, the strength of the Young Chefs Forum would never be what it is today. We are all incredibly grateful for all that he has done for us and every minute we were there, we always thought of him. Rosalyn: The most incredible thing about the entire experience was in realizing the similarities between chefs from around the world. Of course, the lines that are attached to World Chefs such as “World on a Plate” and “Chefs Without Borders” reappear throughout the congress, but to actually be implicated in it is something else. The notion that food breaks down cultural borders is no secret. However, to feel it firsthand is something that all chefs

32 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

should experience. Geography and politics don’t come into play. We were all there to learn new things and appreciate others’ contributions to our worldwide industry. Tina: I’ve met many people from across the globe in Greece and you would not except the similarities that we all shared. No matter what country someone was from, no matter what language was their strongest, we all had one thing we loved: Food. Our passion for this industry has one language, a language that we all spoke. Rosalyn: From all that I learned, I want to stress to others that the value of actually being there and seeing things on an international level is the most worthwhile part. Meeting people from all around the world and feeling a sense of belonging has a truly incredible impact in someone. The Young Chefs development team has a long way to go and I look forward to doing more on my part. I can’t wait for Malaysia 2018! Tina: Thank you to the Canadian Culinary Federation for supporting me and allowing me to experience this great opportunity. I’ve brought more than a suitcase home, I’ve brought many memories that I hope every Young Canadian Chef will get to experience for themselves one day. I cannot wait until the day where every Canadian Young Chef will be at a WAC S World Congress, representing Canada.


AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME In September 2016, the city of Thessaloniki, Greece hosted the 2016 WACS World Chefs Congress. Junior Ryan Collie from CCFCC Toronto had the privilege to attend. Can you please tell us a little about yourself? My name is Ryan Collie. I’m currently a line cook at Turnberry Golf Club in Brampton, Ontario. I am a recent graduate of culinary management at Humber College. Outside of cooking I like to take part in things like fencing and archery. How did you get the once in lifetime opportunity to go to the World Chefs Congress 2016 in Greece? I was selected by the program coordinator at Humber College, Chef Shonah Chalmers, to attend the conference under the Humber banner. This was essentially an extension of volunteer work I had done to represent the college during my time there. What was your first impressions of the congress? I was quite amazed in a way, you know and always hear about how small the industry is, but at the congress it really highlighted just how connected we are — to see chefs from over so many different countries interacting, networking and exchanging ideas. It added another level to our industry – a sense of global community I never realized was there before.

It’s tough to pick out your favourite part, so what are the top three favourite parts? Even three is hard! 1. I really enjoy the world of wine and viticulture, so the visit to the winery was absolutely a highlight. 2. Visiting the market and culinary school in Thessaloniki. I really enjoyed the personal seminar that was presented for us and the peek into the cuisine it provided alongside the market excursion. 3. The opening ceremony and the chefs march later that evening. That day had such great energy and really set the tone of the event for me. What did you bring back from your trip? I came back to Canada with a burning drive to travel – not just vacations but to work in various countries and move around the world to get a great variety of experience. For inspiration, I’m going to have a hard time answering that – there were so many sp e e ch e s th at f ire d m e up, G e o rg e Calombaris, Michel Escoffier, Christopher

Koetke and Mark Moriarty are the first that come to mind. There was just so much to be inspired by and aspire to at the congress it’s hard for me to break it all down in a reasonable space. I also came back with objects of course, I collected two new knives in Greece, a book about Chef Bill Gallagher, several souvenirs and, of course, the start of my international pin collection! The next conference is in Malaysia in 2018. What are your goals for that? More connections and more experiences of course, but I also want to immerse myself in the local culture and cuisine more than I did in Greece. Aside from that I also intend to put myself out more then I did in Greece – my ultimate goal will be to connect with every young chef in attendance. Would you like to thank anyone for this opportunity? Absolutely, I’d like to thank Humber College as well as Chef Shonah Chalmers and Chef Rudi Fishbacher. | December 2016 33



The Canadian Culinary Federation and Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre presented the 5th annual CCFCC Classic Golf Tournament on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at the Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Ottawa. The day’s fundraising event was held to help further the CCFCC’s operations and goals as well as to help apprentices to further their culinary education.


CCFCC Central VP David Franklin, CCC, with Claude Buzon of Chef Hats Inc. at Sysco Ontario Food Expo in Toronto.

CCF Central VP David Franklin, CCC, with Team Canada Manager and “Chef of Chefs” Bruno Marti, Honor Society member. 34 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

CCF Central VP David Franklin, CCC, with CCFCC Oakville member Stephan Schulz at Sysco Connections at the National Marketing Conference in Toronto.


WESTERN BRANCH UPDATES Brandon The Brandon branch is celebrating international chefs day by assisting the local food bank and Samaritan house by preparing stew for the freezer that can be handed out throughout the year, with a thanks going to Crocus Plains Secondary school and Manitoba housing for the use of the culinary space. Vancouver The first general meeting of the season was kicked off with a successful dinner meeting with over 60 people in attendance. For International chefs day the branch will be partnering with VCC, Chinese chefs association, Salvation Army, Municipality of Vancouver, B.C., the produce marketing association and Sysco, who will be serving over 1,400 meals to those in need at Carnegie Community Center/ Oppenheimer Park.

and Community Food’s Greg Trimming for the beef. Service events were coordinated with Habitat for Humanity on October 19 and served up by Saffron Professional Chef’s Dean Mitchell.

Lethbridge Lethbridge headed to a beer tasting at Coulée Brewery, have cooked spaghetti and meatballs for the poor, and on International chefs day cooked sausage and perogies at the soup kitchen, rounding out the year with a Christmas bake sale.

September Branch Meeting at Pratt’s Foodservice: The first meeting of the season on September 12 at Pratt’s Foodservice was highlighted by two Filipino chefs demonstrating their considerable skills at fruit and vegetable carving. From dazzling flowers to a carving of the president, Ricardo Bilon and Fercibal Brown are masters at their craft. These two talented chefs are on deck for the national conference May 24-28, 2017 at Calgary’s Hyatt Hotel. The lengthy meeting was highlighted by an outstanding buf fet prepared by their Winnipeg-based corporate Executive Chef, Ferdinand Catalan. Pratt’s Jason Baranyk and Bob Russell unveiled their new food m a n a g e m e n t p r o g r a m a v a i l a b l e to customers as part of their Bistro 101 Culinary Education Centre. Guests included Maxwell Lawrence accepting his Life Membership and World Skills Abu Dubai Canadian Cook competitor Victoria Hislop with coach Hayato Okamitsu.

Calgary International Chefs Day — In preparation for events to celebrate International Chefs Day October 20, the Great Events Group kitchen at Spruce Meadows simmered up over 400 litres of Tuscan Inspired Navy Bean Soup. Executive Chef Daryl Kerr and Sanjiv Rama stirred up three cauldrons for the Calgary Drop In Centre and Habitat for Humanity. We are grateful to GFS’s Jeff Lawrick for providing the groceries

October Branch Meeting at Saltlik Steakhouse: The branch meeting was hosted by Joey Group Regional Chef Kevin Wall with Saltlik Executive Chef Bahi Hammoud. Attendees were treated to a team competition among Saltlik apprentices for the best appetizer canape. Jason Pierre presented Confit Turkey Leg, Bacon Stuffing Crostini and Cranberry Pearls; Kyle Bryce Campbell created White Cheddar Gougères, Spiced Apple Sauce, Prosciutto and Fried Sage;

Edmonton Edmonton Chefs are busy as ever. Cook it Simple on Shaw TV is a series of videos that are designed to show what can be done with an Edmonton Foodbank hamper, delicious simple recipes and food tips using food often found in the hampers. For more information on all the happenings head to the website

Mandal Patil served Thais Spice Marinated Duck Two Ways, Crispy Rice Cake and Pickled Vegetables; and Jamil Ezdine prepared Duck, Potato Chip and Carrot Puree were offered before a tasty buffet. Crowd favourites were the Gougères and Duck Breast on crisp potato, with both #1 Kyle and #2 Jamal rewarded with a culinary book courtesy of the branch president and a stainless steel fry pan from BJE Hospitality Solutions. A wonderful, seasonally inspired buffet followed. Guest speakers were Tannis Baker, Director Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance. She provided an information packed summary of the history of the alliance, including projects and board members, along with an invitation for chefs to submit biographies for consideration on upcoming events. Their mission is to establish Alberta as a culinary destination. They also promote micro-breweries. Kevin Power, on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Round-up Cancer Initiative, shared his personal journey to being cancer free. He highlighted the oneof-a-kind Thrive Program for Head and Neck Cancer patient’s therapy program developed by the University of Calgary and its success in his treatment. Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed and Dr. Lauren Capozzi, Department of Kinesiology developed and have proven its effectiveness. It is part of ACE (Alberta Cancer Exercise program). The program has been expanded to include breast and prostate cancer patients and their families. The branch also approved a Bronze level sponsorship to support the 2017 National CCFCC conference being held at the Hyatt Hotel, May 24-28, 2017. | December 2016 35




By Stephane Paquet, Past-president CCFCC Outaouais, Chef Owner Le St-Estephe

WHEN IT COMES to cooking competitions, Chef Chris Corkum is a pro! With numerous competitions under his belt, he has mastered the art and science of competition. It takes more than great cooking chops to win an international competition — it takes an overwhelming amount of preparation and training and the ability to remain composed under extreme pressure, while collecting medals of course. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Chris began working in a kitchen at the age of 16. His technical training began at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Prince Edward Island. While at the Culinary Institute of Canada, Chris was a member of Junior Culinary Team P.E.I. and discovered that he had a knack for competing, winning a silver medal with the team and going on to win a gold in Skills Canada. In 2012, Chris assisted in the first ever podium finish for the province of Saskatchewan, winning a silver medal at the CCFCC National Chefs Challenge. He won the right to compete the following year, and returned to Saskatchewan with another silver medal. In 2015 he represented Canada at the Congress of the Americas for the World Association of Chef Societies (WACS) in Quito, Ecuador. He competed against the best chefs in the Americas and took home the gold. Chris is currently the Executive Sous Chef at the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon where he prepared for his most recent battle, representing the Americas at the World Chefs Challenge Congress & Exposition in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 24-27, 2016. Preparing such delectable dishes as Foie Gras Torchon with Rhubarb, Croquant and Foie Gras Croquette he narrowly missed the podium, but he gave his international competitors a run for their money and will continue inspiring young chefs to create and compete.

36 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Photo Credit: applphotography

SPRING IN THE CULINARY world is synonymous with the Saputo Junior Culinary exchange. But when we think about spring, we also think chores. That is why, knowing that I would be receiving four juniors during the spring of 2016, I feared that it would be one of those boring and time-consuming chores. Well, it turns out, not really! I was pleasantly surprised, when I met these four juniors, to discover their anticipation of the challenges and educational program that lay ahead of them for the next two weeks. As soon as I picked them up from the airport, their first question was, “Chef Paquet, what are we going to see and when do we start?” This allowed me to see right away how involved they were. I was charmed to see four kids so dedicated and ready. It is with a shared sense of pleasure that we embarked on our week-long culinary adventure in the Outaouais region. Activities that I thought would feel ordinary or boring became super interesting discoveries: Four hours in a strawberry field with a winemaker flew by in a couple of minutes; a stop by the farm made us realize that cows graze on a structured circuit in the fields and are therefore moved around three times a day; to shape 400 wheels of cheese by-hand made me realize how much work and love is invested in local products from my region; and what should I tell you about our nights in the kitchen with some of the regions greatest and finest chefs? So my dear colleagues, this is the tip of the iceberg of what awaits you, if you decide to welcome our juniors during their exchange.

Calm, Cool and Collected!


POP UP DINNER SERIES By Jonathan Thauberger, Executive Chef Crave Kitchen +Wine Bar, Vice President CCFCC Regina Branch

The delegation of the CCF National Board with CCF Branches from coast to coast at our Edmonton Retreat.

THIS SUMMER HAS BEEN an eventful one for the Regina Branch. In April we partnered with Over the Hill Orchards ( to host a pop up restaurant every other week at the orchard featuring local Chefs preparing a four-course dinner for 30 guests. I saw this as an opportunity to showcase the association and its members, while bringing more awareness to the public about who we are, what we represent and frankly that we exist. In addition, the dinners help raise funds which in turn will increase our membership and help financially enable more representation from our branch at competitions and conferences. By mid-October we will have hosted 17 dinners, featuring 10 chefs as well as our junior membership, which have virtually all sold out and have received great reviews. Looking forward, I am starting to plan for next 2017. The goal is to do two dinners per week, Friday and Saturday from May through to October. If you happen to be passing through Regina and would consider hosting or enjoying a dinner with an orchard tour, let me know.

CCF Western Canada VP Anthony holding his tinfoil goose.


CCF National Secretary Judson Simpson, CMC, trying his hand at naan bread to be baked in a traditional Tandoor oven (that's what is in Anthony's tinfoil goose).

EVER WONDER WHAT can be done with an Edmonton Foodbank hamper? Now you can find out thanks to Chef Stanley Townsend who has come up with delicious simple recipes and food tips using ingredients often found in our hampers. Learn how to Cook it Simple on Shaw TV and find ways to stretch your food and make the most out of your food hamper. Stanley Townsend is the President of, the Edmonton branch of the CCFCC. Chef Townsend’s assistant in Stephanie Stolk Junior representative Cook it Simple episode one and two are televised on Shaw TV community channel and are posted on YouTube. Episodes three, four and five will soon be posted. All episodes are filmed in the Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

CHECK OUT THE CCFCC ON A few of the Ontario delegates at the CCF National Retreat in Edmonton dining out: VP Central Canada David Franklin, CCF Oakville President Christopher Moreland, CCF Marketing Chair Ryan Marquis and CCF Toronto President Shona Chalmers. | December 2016 37



A TEAM OF CCFCC CHEFS was recently at the Ottawa Mission to take part in a special demonstration in recognition of International Chef's Day on Thursday, Oct. 20. On hand for the cooking demo to help feed the thousands of homeless people that come through the doors of the Ottawa Mission were: Chef Claude Leblond, Chef Kenny Hayden, Chef Ikuo Kanbayashi, Chef Janik Q uintal , Algonquin student and Junior President Marnie Watson, along with Ottawa Mission Food Ser vice Training Program students, Lisa, Samantha, Bill, Sean and Josh. The Food Ser vices Training (FS T ) Program is a five-month program that teaches men and women how to cook in a commercial kitchen. It also builds selfesteem and confidence, which are fundamental to an individual ’s success. P r o g r a m p a r t i c i p a n t s t a ke co u r s e s i n Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), health and safety, food h a n d lin g , s t a n d a rd f ir s t ai d , a n d knife handling skills. They learn first-hand in a working kitchen how to prepare and present a variety of meals and spend the last few weeks of the program in job placement. In 2015, 14 men and women completed the program. Congratulations to all the chefs and students on their success in helping feed the Ottawa community.


A Tradition of Quality Baking Canada to a better place By Paul Hetherington There's nothing we love more than the smell of fresh baked bread in the morning... except maybe the smell of fresh baked muffins or cinnamon buns or just baked goods in general. Almost every Canadian eats bakery foods in one form or another and regularly purchases the bulk of their baked products from large commercial bakeries, an artisan factory or smaller local bakers. In order to meet the needs of their clientele for healthy, simple, clean and affordable products, bakers have evolved their craftsmanship according to consumers’ demands. | December 2016 39

Bakers have a long history of improving the nutritional value and quality of their products in order to help Canadians make healthy and educated food choices. Product improvement started as early as World War II, when the government was concerned about the lack of iron in the diets of some Canadians. This led to the decision to add iron to the bread supply. Canada became one of the first countries to adopt this standard. Then, in 1953, the Canadian industr y introduced vitamin-enriched bread. This bread proved to be the model food to deliver extra necessary vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin and niacin to consumers. A PROUD HISTORY OF BAKING

Bakers can also be proud of their historic

support of folic acid fortification. The enrichment and fortification of flour in Canada had a huge impact on the reduction of neural tube defects. Mandatory folic acid fortification of the food supply was implemented in North America in 1998. In the years after mandatory fortification, the prevalence of neural tube defects in Canada decreased by 50 per cent. The Baking Association of Canada (BAC) is delighted with this positive outcome and our members support for it. Bakers have also been very supportive of the voluntary efforts to reduce trans fat in baked goods. As indicated in recent publications, 97 per cent of the products assessed for trans fat in the marketplace meet current recommendations. We are proud of the many advancements our industry has accomplished in making

40 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

the food supply healthier for Canadians through voluntary commitments. LEADERS IN INNOVATION

Bakers consider themselves skillful leaders on sodium reduction. Sodium is an important functional ingredient in the baking process as it stabilizes yeast fermentation rates and strengthens the dough and plays an important role in preventing or delaying spoilage which is a key safety component. Even with technical challenges, bakers successfully reduced sodium levels in white pantry breads by 13 per cent and wheat pantry breads by 16 per cent — demonstrating that the voluntary approach to sodium reduction is successful. Bakers are committed to continue further sodium reduction while delighting consumers with the taste, texture and


Fastest-changing baked goods Top 200, % operator incidence change

Specialty cookie Chocolate Cake Oatmeal cookie


Cinnamon roll/sticks


Specialty cakes


Carrot cake Fruit pie/crisp



-33% -40%

18% 11%




Specialty cheesecake Brownie

Sticky coffee pudding


Plain cheesecake


Crumble/fruit crumble


Fruit pie/crisp Specialty cakes


57% 24% 13% DECLINING

Gluten-free is one of those trends, which has forced bakers to be creative and bake glutenfree breads and baked goods, using alternate grains that do not contain gluten such as quinoa, teff, amaranth, buckwheat and pulse. However with the demand for gluten-free came a lot of misinformation about the positive role of wheat and bread products in the diet. In response to this BAC was a founding member of the Healthy Grains Institute whose mission is to inform and enhance Canadians’ knowledge and understanding of the health benefits of wheat and other grains. The Healthy Grains Institute is guided by an independent and multidisciplinary Scientific Advisory Council consisting of recognized plant science and nutritional experts from across North America. The Healthy Grains Institute is Canada’s only authoritative voice devoted to promoting and defending the health benefits of wheat and other grains. By uniting the wheat and grain industries to deliver a consistent and national message to key stakeholders, the Healthy Grains Institute works to address consumer misconceptions resulting in unnecessary reductions in the consumption of wheat and other grain-based food. Through its digital properties on Facebook, Twitter and its website, the Health Grains Institute communicates science-based facts about the health benefits of wheat and other grains in a consumer-based format.





freshness they have come to expect from their baked goods. Nowadays, a growing number of consumers desire products that are as natural as possible. Consumers want to go “back to nature” and seek minimally processed baked goods containing fewer additives and preservatives. They want to understand and be able to pronounce the ingredients in their food. While clean label claims is as hot a trend for the bakery industry as it is for the entire food industry, the free-from movement is not far behind and became popular with consumers who are making the choice to avoid certain ingredients or categories of food for health.




Chocolate cheesecake


Source: Technomic Inc. Canadian Dessert Consumer Trend Report. Base: 256 desserts at 60 LSR chains and 340 desserts at 79 FSR chains *Indicates a tie.

Brownies are growing fast at both LSRs and FSRs | December 2016 41



Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News recently spoke with two leading suppliers about the latest baked good trends in Canada. Here is what Iain Grant, Director of Sales, Tyson Foods Canada and Zuffar Khan, Marketing Manager, Rich Products of Canada, had to say. . .

What are some of the hottest trends when it comes to baked goods in Canadian restaurants? Iain Grant: I see two major factors driving the baked goods and dessert category from QSR to white tablecloth. First are the improvements in the quality and simplicity of fresh baked breakfast/morning snack pastries stemming from advances in “Par-Bake” technologies. The presentation value of these simple consumer finished baked goods products is extreme and a major selling feature making marketing in the segment very easy. Oven finished product delivers the flakey pastry bite that consumer demand. In fact, a major Canadian QSR chain and leading Quebec convenience store chain are promoting these sweet treats with coffee as part of a deal to generate traffic and incremental sales. The second major trend is frequent dessert menu rotations. Dessert limited-time-offers are critical to stimulate consumer interest towards desserts from morning snack to fine dining, thus increasing check average and the potential for consumer loyalty. Snacking is becoming an important revenue generator in t h e d e s s e r t s e g m e n t. A c c o r d i n g to Datassential MenuTrends, morning snacking is growing at over 30 per cent and afternoon snacking at over 40 per cent. Rotating offerings during these periods is as critical as rotating dinner desserts.

Zuffar Khan: Filled baked goods are a very exciting trend in the Canadian marketplace. We are seeing everything from filled doughnuts to filled cookies. This trends stems from the last few years as quality has taken on a new meaning in consumers’ minds. It’s not just about surface level attributes any more, like visual appeal, taste and texture. Today, quality means so much more — it means specific details about each and every ingredient going into each baked good, including cookies. Why are the above trends important and what can chefs and restaurant operators do to capitalize on them? Iain Grant: Consumers look for innovation and positioning “Me To” desserts makes capturing interest in any sweet treat a particularly difficult challenge to overcome. The value of frequently rotated, small, wellmarketed dessert strategies is very important. Refreshing the desser t /breakfast /snack offerings at least four times a year can nearly double sales in these categories, according to Datassential MenuTrends. When buying prepared desserts or sweet snacks, think outside of the box with the presentation and naming of your creations. Sixty-five per cent of Tyson Foods Canada’s sales of their 18 Sara Lee cheesecakes are in Classic New York Style or French Cream. While cheesecake is still a menu favorite, the value of adding your


Consumer demands for clean eating and free-from claims will continue to grow. Fueled by social media, consumers are seeking transparency from food companies about where and how their products are made, what ingredients are in them and how these ingredients are produced. While consumers want great tasting, cost effective, safe products, retailers also want long shelf life. According to the Guelph Food Technology Center, bakers took the following creative approach: They

own twists enables operators to play and create a signature to this staple item. Berry Cheesecake Brulee or Cheesecake Rum Shooter are simple but creative ways to position these old standards.        Zuffar Khan: Each week, three out of four North Americans eat a cookie. Seventy-eight per cent of them eat that cookie at home – made from scratch or retail package. They are well aware of the ingredients that should be found in cookies. The shift to premium cookies is expected to grow at a rate of three to four per cent over the next several years; cookie category growth is driven entirely by gourmet cookies made with premium ingredients. Rich Products has launched Filled Cookie Dough with three innovative flavours including Peanut Butter and Jelly, Sea Salted Caramel and Strawberry Lemonade. They do not contain artificial flavours, artificial colours, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. They are made with premium ingredients which include 100 per cent butter, natural sugar and real sugar. We also recently launched Mini Donuts, a smaller format doughnut that focuses on many trends including snacking and portion control. It’s the perfect choice for a retailer with limited labour who wants to create a range of decorative doughnuts that are relevant and timely; glazed or filled to showcase seasonal flavors.

removed or replaced artificial ingredients with more natural alternatives; and they created short, simple ingredient lists, making them easier to read and indicating less processed product. With a variety of products hitting the bakery shelves every day, from indulgent to healthy, made with whole grains or ancient grains, containing pulses and vegetables, in various shapes, and textures, for every kind of eating occasions. . .the bakery business is far from boring or stale.

Paul Hetherington is President & CEO of the Baking Association of Canada (BAC), Canada’s trade association representing the country’s more than $8 billion commercial, retail and in-store bakeries as well as industry suppliers. BAC’s members currently represent some 80 per cent of the nation’s production capacity of a wide range of breads and rolls, cakes, pastries, cookies and other sweet goods along with semifinished or par-baked, frozen products. For more information, visit 42 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Our Sincere Thanks to the Following U.S. Cooperator Partner

For more information on Taste US Food & Beverage Alliance please visit


44 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


Meatless Mains Vegetables move to the centre of the plate with vegetarian and vegan entrees By Laura McGuire Vegetables taking a starring role on restaurant dinner plates may seem like an unusual phenomenon for some consumers. However, innovation around veggiecentric entrees in both chain and independent kitchens is growing, and chefs are demonstrating the culinary potential of these ingredients by swapping vegetables for meat or grains in traditional dishes. Research indicates that vegetarian and vegan consumption has grown more than any other category over the past few years. Vegetable entrees increased 15 per cent on Canadian menus over the past two years, according to Technomic’s data, while specific mentions of “vegetarian” have had nearly identical growth (14.7 per cent) over the same time frame. “Vegan” mentions show more robust development, increasing 47.9 per cent over the past two years. Further, consumers say they are more likely to have increased consumption of vegetarian and vegan options than meat, poultry and seafood proteins over the past year, according to Technomic’s Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report. Vegan and vegetarian substitutes particularly resonate with younger guests and women. The data also indicates that consumption of vegetarian and vegan items may continue to increase in the near future. A third of all consumers (33 per cent) say they would order vegetarian dishes more often at a restaurant if they were available, while 28 per cent say the same of vegan dishes. VEGGIES ADD VALUE

Why the strong growth of veggie-based entrees? One reason interest in veggies is on the rise is that operators and guests are learning more about the value veggies add to the menu. Veggies are generally cheaper

to source than proteins and thus comparatively priced as more affordable menu options for guests. They also hold local, seasonal and nutritional appeal, and having vegetable options may eliminate the “veto vote” from vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian or health-conscious diners. Further, operators and their guests are discovering that veggie entrees can be equally as filling and flavourful as meat- and grain-based counterparts. New plant-based restaurant concepts popping up across the country are also generating interest in centre-of-the-plate veggies. These restaurants specialize in contemporizing vegan and vegetarian fare using gourmet preparations and artisan ingredients. Calgary’s Veg-In YYC restaurant specializes in vegan and vegetarian street food, including Veggitos (veggie burritos), burgers, poutines and signature flatbreads. Gluten-free and vegan-friendly offerings include a Veggito filled with potato, cauliflower and peas, and a Potato Cauliflower Flatbread on naan. Even food trucks are getting in on the action, with The Vegan Extremist launching in Toronto last spring. Its menu of Southwest Asianinspired fare features a variety of meatand dairy-free curries served with steamed rice. Culinary experimentation is taking interesting approaches to substituting

veggies in place of meats and grains, especially in regards to showcasing lesscommon veggies. These applications provide all guests—from vegetarians and vegans to meat-lovers—with new and better-for-you ways to enjoy favourite comfort foods. Here are some opportunities for using veggies as differentiators and traffic drivers on dinner menus. NEW TAKES ON VEGGIE BURGERS

Garden and veggie burgers are garnering more attention at dinner, with incidence of these burgers increasing 6.5 per cent year over year, according to Technomic research. One reason for the broadening appeal of these burgers is that operators are replacing the standard grain- and black bean-based patties with novel veggie patties made with ingredients such as sweet potatoes, cauliflower and beets. The Latke Burger at Montreal’s Aux Vivres restaurant comes with a roasted beet and sweet potato patty, and Hard Rock Cafe’s Cauliflower Burger features a housemade patty created from cauliflower, garlic, egg, goat cheese, oregano and breadcrumbs. Premium toppings and buns are also helping place veggie burgers in the spotlight during dinner occasions. Canyon Creek Restaurant embellishes its garden burger with aged Canadian cheddar, goat cheese and barbecue sauce, and the burger is served on a housemade bun. Meanwhile, Fatburger tops its California Veggie burger with guacamole, Swiss cheese, a fried egg, tomato, lettuce and mayo. Operators may also enhance appeal of veggie burgers by allowing guests to customize their toppings based on their dietary needs and tastes. | December 2016 45


Compared to one year ago, would you say that ____ of the meals you eat include the following? Vegan substitutes




Vegetarian substitutes

























Same amount

Base: 845 (beef), 701 (pork), 910 (chicken), 400 (turkey), 588 (seafood), 225 (vegetarian subsBtutes) and 97 (vegan subsBtutes) consumers aged 18+ who eat these items at least occasionally


© 2015 Technomic Inc., Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report


Today’s veggie innovation is influencing new interpretations of traditional starch-heavy dinners at restaurants. Carrots, zucchini, beets and squash are among the veggies chefs are spiralizing into a noodle shape to replace traditional grain pastas. These veggie noodles are then heightened with sauce, cheese and other toppings before being served hot or cold. Fable Restaurant in Vancouver serves a “Tagliatelle” noodle made from zucchini, topped with mushroom Seacore_CRFN_OctoberNovember_2016_FINAL.pdf 1 contorted 2016-09-19 Bolognese and Parmesan. Veggies can also be into noodle shapes like spaghetti, fettuccini and manicotti.









Similar to pastas, veggies can serve as a substitute for rice. Cauliflower, in particular, is a veggie chefs are using to mimic the taste, look and texture of rice for dishes like risottos and casseroles. Beyond the obvious nutritional benefits, these veggie noodle and rice dishes simulate eating a comfort food without the gluten or carbohydrates. They also add a splash of colour to the presentation of a dish, depending on the veggie used. VEGGIE TAKE ON A DINNERTIME FAVOURITE

Chefs can often use the same cooking techniques with veggies as they traditionally do with meat, like searing, braising and charring. And, increasingly, many chefs are preparing, shaping and serving cauliflower as a “steak” in place of beef at restaurants. Cauliflower is a highly versatile veggie that serves well in the centre of the plate because its flavour pairs with a variety of ingredients, its neutral colour acts as blank slate for plating and its heartier texture satisfies the appetite. Menu mentions of cauliflower in entrees increased 50 per cent year over year, per Technomic research. Cauliflower veggie steaks can be complemented with sauces, marinades or other accompaniments to further boost flavour and provide an appearance similar to beef steaks. Vancouver’s Pourhouse Restaurant serves its Cauliflower Steak with stewed lentils, romesco sauce and crispy kale. Beyond cauliflower, other vegetarian ingredients that can also resemble steaks are eggplant and mushrooms, specifically portobellos. What’s the future of plant-based dinner entrees at restaurants? While it is unknown whether this emerging trend will be a passing fad, consumer and menu research and the continual emergence of vegetarian and vegan restaurants suggests these options are on menus for the long-haul. Not every operator needs to roll out dinner menus devoted to veggie-focused main courses, but having one or a few of these options may interest and even excite veggie-loving guests. Operators who highlight craveable flavours, interesting preparations and creative presentations of these dishes will entice guests to step out of their comfort zone for dinner with a plant-based entree.

11:15 AM

Laura McGuire is Director, Shared Content Services, at Technomic in Chicago. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry, Visit 46 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News



Winter cocktails to warm the spirit

By Rob Berry and Diana Roberts


As the days get shorter and we wait for the approaching holidays, our beverage menu takes on a more festive mood with fiery red and gold coloured cocktails to help ignite the spirit through the use of warming spices and seasonal fruits laced with gin, vodka and liqueurs.

At this time of year, busy bartenders are looking for quick and easy drinks with lots of flavor using homemade syrups, which can be kept fresh longer by adding an ounce of vodka, rum or brandy to them, extending their shelf life for about two months refrigerated. Old favourites can also receive a holiday twist by switching up ingredients or adding some seasonal garnishes and flavours such as peppermint and cinnamon. Here are a few festive adult beverage ideas you can experiment with to add some cheer to your holiday menu: Blackberry Bramble: A combination of sweet,

alcohol percentage low, use Kahlua (coffee liqueur) instead of the tequila and add mini marshmallows — we are never too old for mini marshmallows!

must have syrup for the cold season. To make a Rosehip syrup you will need Rosehip, water and brown sugar (there are some good online recipes for this).

Autumn Chiller: Tequila or gin, orange juice,

Infused Spirits:

ginger beer, sparkling apple cider

tart, herbal and fruity. Brambles are made with crushed ice, which may not sound like a winter cocktail. This is like a fresh daiquiri using rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. Muddle the blackberries and then drizzle Cassis over the ice and add a splash of ginger beer (optional). Tip: Save the blender — you can crush your ice with a Lewis ice bag and a wooden mallet.

The Driver: The perfect non-alcoholic cocktail for the designated driver. This recipe is the same as the Autumn Chiller with no alcohol. Always have a unique or special style of glass to serve mocktails and alcohol-free drinks so you and your guests can easily recognize which ones do not contain alcohol.

Alexanders: One of our all-time favorites that

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin:

is good hot or cold is the Gin or Brandy Alexander. Think of brandy as a digestive after a beautiful holiday dinner — Brandy Alexander is the dessert. Mix one ounce Brandy, ½ oz Dark Crème de Cacao, shake with cream (coffee cream, whipped cream or ice cream) then garnish with sprinkle of cinnamon. The perfect cocktail to have on a chilly day hanging around the fire drinking tequila, hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps. On the other hand, to keep the


Using pumpkin puree in an Old Fashioned, with maple whiskey and orange bitters

Rosehip syrup, apple juice and rum, mint, club soda and apple slices. Rosehip contains 20 times more vitamin C than you find in oranges. This is

Rosehip and Apple Mojito:

Infusing vodkas and rums with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or adding apples and pears.

Harvest Moon: Muddle Cassis, sage leaves and

a rosemary sprig. Add whiskey that has been infused with bacon and dashes of orange bitters. Toss into a mason jar. Using a smoking gun, fill with smoke (cherry wood) and then double strain into rocks glass. Wow!

Hot Toddy: Always a perfect cocktail for those bone-chilling days! Try a Toddy made with honey-ginger syrup, bourbon, two dashes orange bitters and hot water. For the honeyginger syrup, combine one cup of honey, one cup of water and two tablespoons of finely grated fresh ginger root. Do not strain and be sure to shake before each use to redistribute the grated ginger bits.

Rob Berry and Diana Roberts are the owners of The Bartending School of Ontario, dedicated to providing bar owners, managers and students with the skills and expertise necessary to succeed in the hospitality industry. The B.S.O. has been voted #1 Career College & Private Vocational School by Toronto Sun Readers seven years in a row. For more information, call 416-466-7847 or visit | December 2016 47


MARKET READY How to prepare your restaurant or bar for sale

By Greg Kells


When it comes to selling a foodservice business or bar, there are a number of questions that can arise. From maintaining confidentiality to deciding on the right time to sell, the process of selling your business can be daunting.

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Here are just some of the questions t h at yo u m ay h ave i f yo u a r e considering selling your business: • How do I maintain confidentiality? I do not want my staff, suppliers or customers to know I am selling. • How do I maximize the value when I sell? • What tax planning should I be doing in advance of selling? • How long does it typically take to sell?


• Where do I get help? • When do I approach the landlord? I will need an assignment of my lease or a new lease. And now for the answers. . . Maintaining confidentiality is essential to selling your restaurant or bar and it is how good business brokers operate. Contact the best business broker you can find and let them manage the process. CONFIDENTIALITY IS KEY

Realtors want to tell the world what they have for sale and hope someone is interested. But value drops when the street knows you are selling and you risk losing staff and clients. A good business broker will screen potential buyers to assess their experience, goals and financial resources and gauge what will work for them before ever introducing them to a business. The broker will have prospective buyers sign a confidentiality agreement and ensure they know they will be sued if they breach it. Maximizing value is another reason for you to get the best business broker you can find and the earlier in the process you have them guide you the better. Typically they will recommend that you eliminate discretionary expenditures, report all sales, spruce up the facility, document all systems and processes, etc. They will recast prior years’ financials to show what the business really makes as opposed to what was filed on your tax return. They will produce a Most Probable Selling Price (MPSP) report to let you know what your business is worth. They will then discuss timing and actions you can take to increase its value. THE IMPORTANCE OF STARTING EARLY

When you decide to go to market they will prepare the marketing packages that show your business in its best light and they will work with you on projections so you can share your expectations of the future with the buyer prospects. They will then market your business extensively (without revealing its identity) in order to get the widest market and most prospective buyers possible. The key for you is to start early while there is time to take the actions that increase value. Most restaurant owners wait until it is too late to make improvements.

Tax planning requires the involvement of your tax accountant or perhaps a tax lawyer. If your books have been exceptionally clean for the past three years and the MPSP is well above your total cost base, your business broker may suggest a share sale; you can then take advantage of the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption, which may result in you paying no tax on the sale or at least reducing your tax substantially. The current exemption is more than $800,000 per shareholder. There may be some planning issues that take time to put in place. Many restaurants and bars do not operate with clean enough books to be candidates for a share sale but there are still many things that can be done to minimize tax. I suggest you start to work with your business broker more than two years before you plan to exit. IT’S ABOUT TIME

In terms of timing, the typical restaurant or bar sells in three to nine months. Some take longer—larger ones and chains that sell for more than $2 million typically take six to 24 months. Location is a factor— the better the location the faster it sells. Small town and rural restaurants and bars take longer. Addressing the value drivers can speed up selling and seller financing makes a big difference. We typically include seller financing in most sales and it ranges from 20 to 50 per cent of the purchase price depending on the seller’s confidence in the buyer, the ability to finance through third parties, and the seller’s cash needs after the sale. Contact your chosen business broker early – it will make a big difference in what you end up with. The most important role in selling your business is that of the business broker who will manage the sale. You will also need your accountant to help early on with financials and tax planning

and, perhaps, structuring. You will need a lawyer once basic diligence has been completed by the buyer. NON-BINDING OFFER

The initial offer, which will be drafted by the business broker, will be non-binding. It will contain clauses making the sale conditional on diligence, lease assignment, etc. It should also contain a clause making it conditional on the final drafting of the agreement of purchase and sale being acceptable to you and your lawyer. Typically the purchaser’s lawyer drafts the agreement and your lawyer drafts the security documentation and note. You do not want to engage in this expense until financial and operational and market diligence has been completed and the buyer has secured their financing. Insurance is often used to mitigate risk so an insurance agent may be involved. There will be a license transfer so you may use a licensing consultant to do this. There may be a bank involved if using Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) or a Canada Small Business Loan. If you are a franchisee the franchisor will be involved. If you are planning retirement you may have a wealth planner involved. Let the business broker quarterback the team. As for approaching the landlord, most leases contain a clause allowing a lease assignment subject to the landlord’s approval. Landlords will not approve until they know who the new tenant is, along with their assets, credit history and the experience they bring to running the business. While there is usually no point in approaching the landlord until there is an accepted offer, it is important to ask them well in advance what their criteria would be hypothetically for approving a transfer. That way you do not get a shock when you are closing.

Greg Kells is President of Sunbelt Business Brokers, Canada’s largest business brokerage. With offices across the country, Sunbelt helps restaurant and foodservice business owners to maximize their selling price, reduce taxes, reduce risk and take the hassle out of selling. They also help many budding entrepreneurs to make the right choices in acquiring a business that works for them and matches their financial resources, skill, experience, and lifestyle goals. As you have seen in the preceding article, selling is a complex process! Contact Sunbelt Business Brokers for a free book on the selling process and for help and guidance. Visit or 1-800-905-3557 | December 2016 49


CLEANING EVOLUTION How dishwashing detergents have changed with the times By Patricia Briere Look at any advertisement for a liquid dishwashing detergent—whether the product is for home, commercial, or institutional use—and you will invariably see two words used over and over again: Grease cutting. It’s not hard to understand why manufacturers of dishwashing liquids place such an emphasis on these words. Cooking grease and oils are tough to remove from pots, pans and utensils, so consumers as well as those who wash dishes in commercial locations welcome all the help they can get. At-home cooks may try to get around the problem by using nonstick pans, which have a special coating that doesn’t allow grease and oil to stick to the pan. Such pans also make it possible to cook without adding any oil or butter. However, commercial and institutional kitchens tend to stay away from such pans because they can cost more, are inadequate for some cooking methods, and typically cannot hold up to the heavy-duty workload of a commercial kitchen. During cooking, fats and oils build up on pans, cooking utensils, cooking surfaces, as well as plates and utensils used to serve the food. This often cooked-on, baked-on grease is hard to remove, and that is when we turn to grease-cutting dish detergents. You might wonder why pure tap water doesn’t remove this grease. It comes down to basic science: Water and oil do not mix. They won’t have anything to do with each other unless a third element is brought into the picture, such as some type of detergent acting as an emulsifier. Once a detergent is introduced, we then have the potential for some real greasecutting action, but more about that later.

dishwashing detergents have become more effective, less expensive, easier to use, and much better grease cutters. But the essence of them and how they work is the same. Dishwashing detergents contain surfactants. These surfactants lower the surface tension of water so that not only does the surfactant help the water to mix and interact with grease and oil, but it also makes it easier for the water to remove the grease and oil.


There really were not any type of synthetic (man-made) detergents until World War I. Due to shortages of animal and vegetable fats, which had traditionally been used to make soaps, substitutes using a variety of chemical ingredients and raw materials were developed. This resulted in the production of a limited number of household detergents, including dishwashing detergents, but things did not really take off until after World War II. Due to shortages once again, researchers and manufacturers returned to the drawing board to develop dishwashing and laundry detergents, and a big breakthrough came in 1946, when the first official detergent containing a surfactant-builder combination was introduced in North America. As explained by the American Cleaning Institute, “The surfactant is a detergent product's basic cleaning ingredient, while the builder helps the surfactant to work more efficiently. Phosphate compounds used as builders in these detergents vastly improved performance, making them suitable for cleaning heavily soiled [items].” From 1946 to the present day,

50 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News


First, the easy part. We mentioned that dish detergents have improved considerably over the years. This is because other ingredients have been added to them, including enzymes that help degrade protein-based stains; bleaches to help remove the colour of stains on plates and pans and add a little more cleaning power; as well as dyes to help prevent the yellowing of plates and pans. Some detergents may also contain petrochemicals and oleochemicals (those derived from animal or plant oils and fats); oxidizers, which are compounds that stimulate chemical reactions; as well as alkalis, which also promote chemical reactions. But detergents are also made up of hydrophobic, or water-repelling, hydrocarbons and hydrophilic, or waterattracting, hydrocarbons. Let’s look at how these two hydrocarbons work together and why they are so important when it comes to creating grease-cutting dish detergents. On one end of a molecule in the dish detergent are hydrophobic hydrocarbons,

EQUIPMENT which are repelled by water but attracted to the grease and oil on the pan. On the other end of the same molecule are hydrophilic hydrocarbons, which are attracted to water but repelled by grease and oil.

If these two hydrocarbons just sit there on the greasy pan, nothing happens. But, bring in agitation and heat, and the grease and oil become loosened, begin to melt, and can be washed away. While there are cold-


Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News recently asked two leading suppliers about the latest developments in dishwashing and cleaning supplies for commercial foodservice. Here is what Patricia Briere, account manager with Avmor and Tara Fuller, Marketing Manager, Institutional, at Ecolab, had to say. . . What are some of the major trends and d eve l o p m e n t s w h e n i t c o m e s to dishwashing and cleaning supplies in Canada? Patricia Briere: There were a lot of years in this industry that were static in terms of development and that’s finally changing for the better. The product efficacy has improved with proven safer products, such as UL Ecologo certification and GREENGUARD G old Cer tification. A lso, technolog y advancement has allowed the industry to evolve such as the world of IoT (Internet of Things) and its ability to improve the customer experience by allowing suppliers and technicians to pro-actively engage with the end user and their needs. Tara Fuller: There has been a dramatic shift in water consumption of dish machines. The industry has moved from 5.7 litres of fresh water used per dish rack to a norm of 2.3 l off fresh water. Some conveyor machines are rated as low as 1.25 l of fresh water per rack. At the same time, food soil concentration is dramatically higher. Protein soil re-deposition is an industry challenge. Ecolab continually advances systems to improve results with new chemistries designed to handle higher protein diets while using less water. This reduces the amount of rewash, lowers utility costs and helps protect equipment. In 2017, Ecolab will be announcing Smartpower™, our latest innovation backed by customer testing at 280 locations. What are the biggest benefits of these trends for restaurant operators? PB: With development of new products, there is a higher level of clean which leads to better sanitation control. With products that are safer for the user, with green certifications such as UL Ecologo and GREENGUARD

Gold, the users and the customers are safer and healthier, which in turn has economic benefits for the foodservice industry. TF: Using the latest technology is significant because operators are finding 71-75 per cent improvement in items that are ready for serving to customers versus a variety of current product. Upon surveying over 200 foodservice locations globally, secondary reprocessing is common (rewashing, handpolishing). Using the latest innovations dramatically reduces secondary processing.

water detergents, in general hot water detergents are more effective in helping to melt grease and oils, making them easier to remove from surfaces. One other significant change over the past few years is that the rinse dish detergents have been proven safer for people (users), and the planet. This is due to certification with UL Ecologo and GREENGUARD Gold cleaning products available on the market. So, as you can see, dishwashing detergents are far more complicated than many of us may have realized. It took a lot of time and technology to get them to work as effectively as they do. So the next time you hear a manufacturer of a dishwashing liquid say that its product “goes to work on dirty dishes, pots, and utensils with powerful grease cutters, leaving them spotless and squeaky clean,” you might want to tip your hat and show your gratitude for this wonderfully helpful product. P a t r i c i a B r i è r e i s A c c o u n t M a n a g e r, Foodservice for Avmor, which manufactures a variety of dishwashing and professionalgrade kitchen cleaning products. For more information visit

What should restaurant operators keep in mind when buying dishwashing and/ or cleaning supplies? PB: While safety of the public and employees should always be of paramount concern when planning a cleaning and sanitation solution, the long term operational costs associated with your operation should not be overlooked. Far too often, emphasis is given to the upfront costs, which in comparison to the long-term operational costs are marginal. A well-planned cleaning and sanitation process can also save thousands of dollars in labour and maintenance. TF: Ecolab recommends restaurant owners and operators focus upon cleaner, healthier, and safer solutions when deciding upon dishwashing and cleaning supplies. Foodservice operations can get the latest training on WHMIS 2015/GHS by partnering with industry leading suppliers. Ask for a survey from suppliers to demonstrate how a dishwashing and all-round kitchen hygiene program can actually save an operation on total cost due to energy and water savings benefits compared to a current program. | December 2016 51


WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT The industry needs good people. People need good jobs. How do we bridge the gap?

By Soofia Mahmood Training and development in the hospitality industry must be viewed in terms of a more profound concept known as workforce development. That is the only sustainable solution to the growing demand-supply gap in the industry. The most definable aspect of the hospitality industry is its people. With this industry’s rising contribution to our economy, there is no doubt that skilled workers with opportunities for continuous upgrading are crucial to its sustainable success. It is predicted that by 2035, nearly a quarter of a million potential tourism jobs in Canada might go unfilled due to projected labour shortfalls and increased demand. To avert the impending “people crisis,” the solution is simple – we need to focus on not just skills training, but Workforce Development. The concept of Workforce Development focuses on people to achieve prosperity in a business. The concept comprises various

intertwined solutions that are meant to meet employment needs – both for the employers as well as employees. With this approach, the industry can access workers with the skills in demand, while focusing on the career development of people in need of employment. For the hospitality industry with foreseeable demands on the rise, in a city with evident employment gaps, a sectorbased workforce development strategy that focuses on building human capital for the industry while developing the community is the logical way to go. Some crucial steps may be considered to start adopting a business-wide workforce development attitude.

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Strategic human resource planning is an essential component of any comprehensive business strategy. The planning process takes into account both internal and external factors that may impact the business through its various operational elements. If the property plans to upgrade its technological assets in the next few years, there would be a pressing need to have computer-liter ate staff to transition to the modern systems. Analyzing tourism demand trends and projections would impact the anticipated labour needs. Focusing on insights from your consumers, a gap in service or expectation might be identified. All this and more would point towards changing human resource needs in the short or long run and highlight whether they can be fulfilled by hiring new entrants, developing existing workers, or both. Planning strategically and in-tune with


the overall business strategy will enable business leaders to establish effective training and recruitment partnerships to fulfill the short and long-term skill demand. ESTABLISHING TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT PARTNERSHIPS

Recruitment, training and development, as well as retention of new or existing staff, involve high cost for every organization. Social investment, on the other hand, as part of the corporate social responsibility strategy also requires major spending. Creating partnerships that provide skills training and career development services with a s o c i a l m a n d at e o f s u p p o r t i n g communities can provide the perfect tangent that caters to both – business needs and social responsibilities and are essential to following the Workforce Development approach. Additionally, a major growing global consumer trend indicates that social responsibility is increasingly influencing consumers’ purchasing behaviours. Forging such partnerships that support communities in finding employment would also position brands as socially responsible, elevating their appeal to the enlightened consumer. Many non-profit initiatives like HWTC have emerged over the years, providing sector-focused, free and funded training and employment services with the macro-objective of supporting the industry’s skills needs, by way of connecting marginalized communities to job opportunities. The most successful of such initiatives are almost always reciprocal for all stakeholders. If the partner is taking responsibility of providing skilled workers to the industry, the industry must allow the workforce solutions to be viable by reducing barriers to employment, providing opportunities for unpaid training placements and fostering a nurturing work environment. At the end of the day, the business always wins as the success of businesses, in the long run, depends on having stronger communities. Furthermore, to ensure that such partnerships thrive, the industry and its employers have the right to monitor and evaluate the standards, quality and methodology of training and contribute to its improvement for the benefit of the entire industry.


The value of real-life work experience as an important aspect of skills development is a popular and widely accepted notion. Providing opportunities to existing and potential employees for experiential learning can be a very successful strategy, not just for training but also for identifying strengths and improvement areas. Job shadowing is often given too much importance under this premise. Although that does provide opportunities to observe, it does not facilitate the hands-on experience that is most conducive to learning. New entrants must be given opportunities to learn through short duration unpaid training placements, internships and apprenticeships as an investment in the future of the business and the industry. As a hospitality training partner, one of the most successful elements of our program at HWTC is the unpaid training placement of participants who have been fully trained in controlled environments. These placement opportunities develop our trainees’ skills further, orient them to specific employer standards and provide potential employers a chance to observe the trainees before deciding to offer employment. EVALUATING RESULTS OF TRAINING

For any training and development initiative, it is important to monitor and evaluate its effectiveness on an on-going basis. This can provide meaningful evidence needed to develop improved strategic plans that are more dynamic, an essential requirement for all businesses operating in environments continuously in flux. To monitor results and investigate return on investment, a set of Key Performance Indices (KPIs) need to be identified and established as baseline. In addition to the obvious measure of pre and post training skills development, other factors to monitor include trends in customer satisfaction (in interaction with staff), employee motivation levels, retention and turnover rates as well as cost of recruitment and training.


Often, training is focused on the essential vocational requirements. The skill most needed in hospitality, however, is emotional perseverance. A hospitality employee works in an environment which expects him/her to be upbeat and joyful on duty, no matter the circumstances. Can you train someone to be flexible, patient and pleasant if not all, then at least most of the time? The answer is yes and it lies in breeding a culture that promotes development, growth and positivity. Better people management strategies, employee engagement activities, oppor tunities for continual job enrichment and a management team that is supportive of new entrants are some ways to develop a positive culture that in turn makes employees stay, and stay happy. The first step in developing a culture that promotes openness, collaboration and constructive dialogue is to include formal training and development for people who manage the staff. Training hiring managers or supervisors in empathy, understanding and support is crucial to having happy and long-term employees. Sensitization of managers and supervisors in understanding the barriers many employees may face would also help in building a culture rooted in the Workforce Development approach. If an organization does not promote learning that goes beyond vocational skills and workers, the benefits of training – formal or informal, independent or partnered – will be unsustainable. The belief that the success of its people is the success of an organization is a gamechanger for the service industry, and people can only be consistently successful when they are positively enabled. Being a Workforce Development Champion as a business is that enabler.

For more HR tips and ideas, visit


Soofia Mahmood is Communications Manager, Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC), a non-profit organization working in Toronto's hospitality and food service industries. Based on a sector-focused workforce development approach, HWTC provides free training to new entrants and existing workers for employment and career development. The centre also runs a full-service training restaurant, Hawthorne Food & Drink, in downtown Toronto. For any queries or talent needs, please contact talent@ Twitter @HospitalityWrks | December 2016 53



Improving hospitality through customer service training By Corey T. Nyman What is at the core of delivering superior customer service and welcoming hospitality for our guests? A good answer would certainly include training and the implementation of systems, being consistent and providing each and every member of our teams with the tools they need to deliver on the service quotient. At the core, we must be PROACTIVE, rather than REACTIVE. If we prepare our staff for almost every situation and guest, we can allow our teams to operate a successful restaurant. A good example is the usage of E.A.O. – incorporating Empathy, Awareness and Ownership. These three letters should drive us and all that we do when working with our team members and delivery on the promise of hospitality to our guests. Empathy - The feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions; the ability to share someone else's feelings. Awareness - Knowing that something (such as a situation, condition, or problem) exists. Feeling, experiencing, or noticing something (such as a sound, sensation, or emotion). Ownership/Taking Ownership - Being responsible for your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. ‘Own’ the choices you make and the results that follow. When training, our job as operators is to teach accountability for oneself and the staff overall, to focus on development that leads to growth and longevity of staff within our operation, and to focus on our

overall goals. At the same time, when things go wrong (which they will) – what do we do? It is all about having a positive attitude, taking action and making sure that guest satisfaction is paramount. IMPORTANCE OF PRE-SHIFT MEETINGS

In keeping with this theory is the role of a consistent “Pre-Shift” meeting before service, which allows management and staff to set the shift and the expectations, opportunities and items that should be highlighted that day and in planning for the future. We need to make sure that we host a daily meeting with our team, keeping everyone in the loop, allowing questions to be asked, bringing a discussion of features and special events and the opportunities that lie in the shift ahead. As owners, operators and management, we need to determine the experience we want for our guests. Our job is to fully understand who our guest is, why they are

54 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

with us and what their expectations are. When we understand these things, we can establish a training program that best fits our team and what is needed to deliver to our guests. WHO NEEDS TRAINING?

Everyone needs training! Not only at the start of an operation, or for new team members, but throughout our day-to-day operations. When discussing training, we always must set a baseline and determine what management’s expectations are for the staff. It should include the importance of setting goals, enforcing training and methods and being consistent. Developing a culture of training will allow staff to gain respect for one another, understand each other’s jobs and have overall knowledge which they can apply to their daily tasks and build unity. As with all elements of service and hospitality, it goes back to how to speak and connect with guests. The words we use lead to how our guests perceive us as a service team, and our entire operation. Examples might include such things as talking about “guests” not “customers” and “team members” not “employees,” using positive words and phrases to drive the process. Additionally, it’s not only verbal communication, but the importance of non-

TRAINING AND EDUCATION verbal communication and the value of a smile. It starts with our body language and the image that we are sending out to our guests in how we stand, how we address them when not speaking and how guests observe us. CASE STUDY – YYC RESTAURANTS

A recent example is our launch of two training programs for management and line level staff at the expansion of YYC Calgary International Airport, at three of their restaurants: Belgian Beer Café, Bistro on the Bow and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. For management, we implemented our Train the Trainer Program that empowered them with the knowledge and skills to work together with team members and how to be a better manager on a daily basis. For the team members, we incorporated the Training 101 Program with a greater view than that of just being servers and bartenders, but as ambassadors for the cuisine, their environment and the overall Calgary and Alberta communities. With the Train the Trainer program, there is a focus directly upon management and supervisory staff – reviewing their overall aptitude in the hospitality industry and balancing that with the culture we are trying to create. From learning the importance of giving praise to teaching managers how to give critical feedback and coaching to selfanalysis and introspective awareness, this training is about further developing managers. For the Training 101 Program, it is designed to invest in team members in order for them to be better at the positions in conjunction with the standards that we have implemented as operators. It is really a high-level educational experience that is about more than just serving from the correct side and delivering food hot and fresh. It is using the principle of, “The Answer is Yes, now what’s the Question” as a way of always delivering on guest expectations. Using their knowledge to act as marketing agents for the venue, reading guests to keep them coming back and their “restaurant eyes” to constantly be observing their guests, members of their team and the overall environment. As we all know we are in a business of pennies, or fractions of pennies, so any advantage that we can have as operators is a benefit to our overall operations. We want to give our guests the best experience we can, through service and true hospitality. Taking the time to train is better than taking the time to fail. Corey T. Nyman serves as the Director of Operations for The Nyman Group, an organization of hands-on operating professionals, specializing in consulting services, restaurant management and project management restaurant and hospitality industry. They have devoted their experience and energies to directing cutting-edge restaurants, hotels and foodservice programs of today and developing and planning in the ever-changing marketplace. For more information, visit

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REDUCING THE RI Dining out with food allergies By Beatrice Povolo


Deciding where to dine out is a common debate in our household. As a family of five, everyone has their favourite place and sometimes it’s a challenge to get everyone to agree. However, one thing we all agree on is that whichever restaurant we select, it must have safe meal options for my 15-year-old son who has food allergies. Whether it’s a casual lunch out or a more formal sit down dinner, this is a must for all of us.

Since my son was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts and tree nuts at the age of three, we have tried to approach dining out in a positive way, ensuring we were “careful and not fearful” when managing his allergies. We soon found out how challenging this would be, especially when eating at restaurants. In the beginning, trying to understand which restaurants would have safe

options for him was a bit overwhelming. Not knowing how different establishments prepared their meals or what processes they had in place to manage food allergens, were two of our biggest worries. However, like many other families, we began to research and call some of our favourite places, asking about their allergy policies. We were relieved to know that some restaurants

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had very good policies in place and we could continue dining out there as a family. Others, unfortunately, did not. LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE

Looking back on our experiences over the past 12 years, I realize how much we’ve learned and how we’ve balanced my son’s needs with our expectations of restaurants. We understand that there are risks when eating out, and we are not looking for a “guarantee.” However, we are looking to see how the risks can be managed and minimized in order to have a safe meal option, recognizing that in some cases, this may not be possible and we will have to find other alternatives. For example, we had planned a holiday dinner with some friends, who


Food Allergy Canada, in collaboration with TrainCan Inc., has developed the Allergen Training Basics for the Foodservice and Food Retail Industry to educate foodservice managers and front line staff on how to prepare and serve food that is safe for customers with food allergies. The program covers the basics of food allergy and anaphylaxis and teaches managers the necessary principles to develop allergen risk management procedures that are specific to their own company’s environment. For more information or to take the course, please visit:

SK highly recommended a restaurant that they go to regularly. Before making the reservations, I called to speak to the manager who informed me that they are a buffet style restaurant, use peanut oil in many of their dishes and have several different tree nuts in most of their menu items. He also told me that their kitchen is quite small and they do not have a dedicated space for preparing a special meal to help minimize the possibility for cross-contamination. After this conversation, we agreed that this would not be an option for us given my son’s allergies and booked another restaurant that we knew could accommodate his allergies. TOP TIPS FOR DINING OUT

As a parent of a child with food allergies, there are many things to consider when dining out. Here are some tips we’ve found helpful when

selecting restaurants. We’ve taught our son from an early age to also follow these tips; it’s especially important now as he often dines out without us. • Allergy policy – Restaurants that have an allergy policy and procedures in place on how to manage food allergens is key. • Access to information – Being able to get information on a restaurant’s allergy policy is a must. We look for the allergy policy on the restaurant’s website and we also look for a main contact person to call with any questions before we visit the restaurant. • Well informed and trained staff – Knowing that staff (both front of the house and back of the house) have been trained on managing food allergies goes a long way in helping us make an informed dining choice. • Clear communication – Being able to speak directly to the chef/manager at the restaurant with our requests and hearing from them what safe options are available, gives us g reater confidence in the restaurant we select. • Consistency – Having the same experience in terms of how allergies are managed when we visit a restaurant makes us more confident. While we understand that there is no such thing as having zero risks when dining out, we feel that having the above procedures in place can go a long way in helping to minimize the risks for diners with food allergies. We also understand that it’s primarily our responsibility and our son’s responsibility to manage his allergies. My son learned to self-manage early on, for instance, he would be the one to tell restaurant staff about his allergies and ask them questions on food handling

and cross contamination. Now that he’s older, he’s the one going online to check out the restaurant’s website and look for safe options. We also taught him that a big part of being safe when eating out is always being prepared. This means he always: • Discloses his allergy to the restaurant staff prior to ordering any meal • Asks about ingredients and how food is prepared • Tells others who are dining with him about his allergy • Carries his EpiPens® and knows how to use them in case of a reaction Over the years, we have learned that dining out can be a challenge, but it can be done with the right safety precautions in place and by being pre pared. As a family, we find our selves dr awn back to the restaurants that we have confidence in and can provide us with choices, but more importantly, safe options for my son. We, like many families living with food allergies, are frequent and loyal patrons of establishments that make allergen management a priority for their business. On behalf of my family and m a n y o t h e r s, we t h a n k t h o s e establishments for their support and for giving us a place to dine safely, to celebrate special occasions with loved ones or to just stop in for a quick bite with the hockey team. For all this and more, thank you!

For more information on food safety, visit


Beatrice Povolo is Director of Advocacy & Media Relations, Food Allergy Canada and mother of a teenage son with food allergies. For more information, visit | December 2016 57


Key Challenges in the Foodservice Industry – Operating Costs, the Economy and Competition Each year, fsSTRATEGY conducts a C-Suite survey of senior executives in the Canadian chain restaurant industry. Results are presented at the Canadian Restaurant Industry Summit. C-Suite Survey participants were asked indicate the three key challenges for 2016.


Percentage of Responses in 2016; Change ( or ) when compared to 2015 39% Operating Costs

5% Labour Issues -­ Availability, Quality







Cost of Goods Sold

Labour Costs, Productivity



The Economy -­US dollar, Availability of Financing, Recession

Competition in Canada - more dense, consolidation, growing







Government Policy

Human Resources — Retention and Availability


Sites -­Finding Sites

Nutritional Information Requirements

Competition from the United States

Similar to 2015, operating costs continue to be the single greatest challenge for the



survey participants. However, in 2016 emphasis appears to have increased onto labour costs (the rising minimum wage was cited frequently by respondents). Operators are very

Changing Customer Demand -­ Demographics

Availability of Franchisees

concerned about the disparity that exists between front-of-house and back-of-house earnings and the ability to sustain strong kitchen teams. New business models are being explored. The economy, specifically the value of the US dollar compared to the Canadian dollar and the recession in Western Canada, continues to be cited as a significant challenge. The challenge of growing competition in Canada increased in



Service -­ Improving Quality

Food Safety

significance among survey participants in 2016, as well as increased concern over government regulation (caloric labeling on menus was cited by respondents). fsSTRATEGY is a niche consulting firm specializing in strategy in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on the foodservice sector. For additional information, contact us at or 416-229-2290.

Source: fsSTRATEGY Inc. 2016 C-Suite Survey

58 December 2016 | Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News

Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News  

December 2016

Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News  

December 2016