November 2022 - Total Food Service

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2 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 3 The first plant-based protein pasta sauce that gives you more options and more Red Gold® flavor on every plate. Get recipes and a free sample at RedGoldFoodservice.com/plant-based Red Gold is a registered trademark of Red Gold, LLC. Elwood, IN RG-1351-0922 NEWYour new meat sauce is plant-based.

INDUSTRY LEADERS SET FOR THIS MONTH’S RESTAURANT FINANCE CONFERENCE IN LAS VEGAS

With news of the $27 million investment into New York based Tacombi Restau rants and Kevin Hart (Hart House) and Shaquille O’Neal’s (Big Chick en) investing in franchising, restau rants are finding their new normal.

With that in mind, many of the nation’s leading operators and those who finance their dreams will take center stage this month in Las Ve gas, NV. The annual Restaurant Fi nance & Development Conference (RFDC) is slated for Nov. 14th-16th at the Wynn. Las Vegas. RFDC is all about the business side of the restaurant business and an op portunity to get “up to speed” with what’s happening in the restaurant business and capital markets. At tendees gain key insight by attend ing expert educational sessions and boot camps covering a wide variety of financial, economic, accounting, technology, strategy, real estate and restaurant operations topics. In ad dition to an excellent educational forum, attendees have the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of fi nancial sources during the conference.

Among the all-star cast of speak ers will be a trio of New York area executives: Peter Cancro, Founder & CEO, Jersey Mike’s Subs; Dario Wolos, Founder & CEO, Tacombi; and John Rigos, CEO, Aurify Brands. Panel participants also include: Greg Flynn, CEO, Flynn Restaurant Group (Applebee’s, Arby’s, Panera, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Wendy’s); Ann Gugino, CFO, Papa John’s; Bill Valen tas, CFO, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers; and Mike Dixon, CFO, FOCUS Brands.

The Conference continually at tracts many of the brightest minds in the industry including the Elliott Group team. The Elliot Group is a premier executive search firm that

harnesses human connections and strategic advisory to power busi nesses forward. “I’ve been attend ing RFDC for at least 12 years and it is not to be missed,” noted Sarah Lockyer Chief Brand Officer of The Elliot Group. “The conference never disappoints, and everyone has early November in Vegas penciled into their calendar each year.”

Restaurant owners, operators, executives and board members of multi-unit restaurant compa nies—public, private, franchised, nonfranchised and independent restaurant groups send multiple representatives to the conference each year. Attendees include owneroperators and their partners, board

members, CFOs, controllers, senior executives in finance, operations, development, legal, real estate and franchising. Also invited are lend ers, investment bankers, real estate developers, accountants, attorneys, private and public equity investors, consultants, family offices, and oth er firms with investments in the res taurant industry.

Attendees to RFDC can meet with representatives of banks, finance companies, investment banks, pri vate equity firms, merger and acqui sition specialists, private investors, real estate developers, sale-lease back providers, consultants, busi ness brokers and other financial in termediaries to find financing, buy or sell restaurant businesses and real estate, or locate new concepts or existing business opportuni ties. A variety of financing and deal sources are on hand. Meetings are typically arranged in advance or by visiting the Finance & Development Mall during the conference.

The Las Vegas event has become an incubator for many of the key acquisition and continued on page 110

4 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
SPECIAL EVENTSNEWS
“Over the years you’d feel the temperature of deal making in the halls – you see the rise of IPOs, the influx of private-equity, the sophistication of franchising, M&A, and the surge of strategic acquisitions.” — Sarah Lockyear
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 5

SCHOOLS ACROSS THE US CELEBRATE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH WEEK

Schools nationwide raised awareness of the benefits of healthy school meals dur ing National School Lunch Week, last month. With the creative “Peace, Love & School Lunch” cam paign theme, special activities, menus and decorations, the celebration’s goal was to educate students and families about how school lunches support student success both in and out of the classroom. Research shows children are getting their healthiest meals at school. School lunches meet federal nutrition standards and school nutri tion staff encourage students to enjoy the fruits, vegetables, milk and healthy entrees offered each day.

The federally funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has been fueling students for success for 75 years. During the pandemic, fed eral waivers permitted all schools to offer free meals to all students with out an application. Since these waiv ers have expired, schools have had to return to charging students for meals if they are not eligible and enrolled in the Free and Reduced-Price meal

program. Given the many benefits of school meals, the nonprofit School Nutrition Association (SNA) is urging Congress to offer free school meals to all students as part of their education. Celebrations of the annual event were highlighted in South Florida by Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Food and Nutrition Services. The Broward County goal was to fea ture a colorful, groovy theme that in cluded student activities and educa tion that promote the importance of healthy eating all while highlighting the many reasons students love school lunch. Students were also invited to wear their favorite peace, love and groovy outfits throughout the week.

The Broward celebration also in cluded student poster contest (all

grades) based on the “Peace, Love & School Lunch” theme. The grand prize winner will receive wireless air pods and charger. A winner for each grade level will also receive a prize. Elemen tary and Middle School students were invited to enter a Coloring Contest. Students will be selected from their creative coloring of a template lunch poster. One elementary and one mid dle school student will be randomly selected from submitted posters to receive AMC movie theater tickets. Local High School Instagram Contest. Students were asked to post a selfie on Instagram enjoying their lunch with a groovy theme and tag @BCPSFNS. A $25.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble along with headphones will be award ed to the top student with the most “likes” on their post.

The federally funded NSLP provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students every day. The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 75 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards such as offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving wholegrain rich foods, and limiting fat, calo ries, and sodium.

“We are excited to embark on an other successful National School Lunch Week,” said Zoe Crego, MS, RD, LD/N, program manager, nutrition education and training. “Through ed

continued on

Main Office

282 Railroad Ave. Greenwich, CT 06830

Publishers

Leslie & Fred Klashman

Vice President of Sales and Marketing Michael Scinto

Art & Web Director Mark Sahm

SCOOP News Editor and Senior Contributing Writer

Joyce Appelman

Contributing Writers

Cherry Dumaual Francine Cohen

Editorial Interns Claudia Giunta Jackson Hart Karen Jones

Keesha Joseph Zachary Kitay Cristina Mercedes

Phone: 203.661.9090 Email: tfs@totalfood.com Web: www.totalfood.com

continued on page 102

Total Food Service ISSN No. 1060-8966 is published monthly by IDA Publishing, Inc., 282 Railroad Ave., Greenwich, CT 06830. Phone: 203.661.9090. This issue copyright 2022 by IDA Publishing Inc. Contents in full or part may not be reproduced without permission. Not responsible for advertisers claims or statements. Periodicals Postage paid at the post office, Greenwich, CT and additional mailing offices. Additional entry at the post office in Pittsburgh, PA. Subscription rate in USA is $36 per year; single copy, $3.00. Postmaster: Send address changes to Total Food Service, P.O. Box 2507, Greenwich, CT 06836

6 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
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K-12 SCHOOL MEALSNEWS
Dario Wolos photo courtesy of Tacombi
Subscribe to the TFS YouTube channel Follow @TotalFoodService
“Through educational and fun-filled activities, we are looking forward to raising awareness of the important role that school nutrition programs play in student achievement.” — Zoe Crego
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 7

WHY WAIT? THE ROAD TO PERFECT CUSTOM WARES

Tucked away inside 230 Fifth Avenue in New York City, on the 13th (!) floor is a true gem of tabletop procurement: the LMT Provisions showroom inside the Singer M Tucker offices.

Yes, I may be biased, but I truly believe there is no better place in the country to start your tabletop journey, especially if you are look ing to customize your dinnerware. Is this you? Are you opening a res taurant in the next six to twelve months? If so, why wait? These are the commonly asked questions we get when starting the custom con versation.

What is the lead time for custom dinnerware?

Lead times can vary depending on the fac tory, the time of the year and the size of your order. Since the pandemic—sur prise!—lead times have gotten longer. Some ven dors can turn around a custom order in as little as 4-6 weeks while most suppliers are currently working in a time frame of about 6 months!

What is the order minimum?

Order minimums vary by manufacturer and shape. Figgjo Norway only requires an order of 48 pieces per design, while some manufacturers ask customers to order at least 25 dozen pieces!

Can you give me some design inspiration?

Absolutely! We are tabletop design experts. Our team is fully immersed in the dinnerware landscape and brings unparalleled knowledge to the presentation process. We will put to gether unique designs based on your concept and style of service and work with our many factory partners to help determine the best selections for your restaurant space.

Will my artwork wash off eventually?

Not when you order from Singer!

With our hospitality forward brand partners, all artwork is applied ‘under

glaze’ and then fired once again to en sure your designs live a long life cycle.*

* Real gold décor will fade over time. This is because it can only be applied above glaze.

Why can’t I have a custom shape?

Technically, you can! However, a custom dinnerware shape requires custom tooling of a mold so it is heavily time consuming and requires a much higher order minimum for a factory to justify such an invest ment in product development. The process is expensive, and that’s why customization is much more easily achieved with artwork on the surface

Sarah Bulmer is the Lead Tabletop Specialist for Singer Equipment Company, support ing strategic communication with Singer’s diverse range of hospitality clients and manu facturer partners. She studied Journalism & Mass Communica tions with a focus in food writ ing at the University of Iowa. Sarah is based in Brooklyn, New York and can be reached at sbulmer@singerequipment. com.

of the plate.

What do I need to get started?

Artwork and a dream! No mat ter what factory you place your with, you will need to supply your artwork files with our team to ensure the final product is as crisp as possible. Adobe Illustrator is always preferred but a high-resolution vector file is also often acceptable!

Ready to begin the conversation about cus tom china, glassware and even cutlery? Send us an email at marketing@sin gerequipment.com to get started today.

About Singer Equip ment Company: Singer Equipment Company is the fourth largest foodser vice equipment and supply dealer in the United States and remains privately owned and operated in its third generation of family leadership. Headquartered in Elverson, Pennsylvania, Singer maintains offices and 8 distribution cen ters throughout the East Coast. Singer offers the power of a century of ex perience combined with highly personalized service delivered nationwide.

8 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
WITH LMT PROVISIONSPROVISIONS PREVIEWED
New
Openings: La Folia
in
New York City chose custom
Figgjo
dinnerware
paired
with Felt+Fat
for
their tabletop.

with both established

stand at the intersection of design

here is the new Astor collection from Libbey.

November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 9 LMT Volume VII has been completely redesigned to brilliantly showcase industry leading tabletop products designed and sourced for hospitality. In collaboration
and emerging factories, we
and utility. Featured
THE NEW LMT CATALOG For endless tabletop inspiration, contact your Singer Sales Rep to receive a copy of the catalog or visit singerequipment.com/lmt-catalog to view virtually. TABLETOP CONSULTING • DESIGN & BUILD • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JANITORIAL & PPE • PAPER & DISPOSABLES

ARE THE OPEX BENEFITS OF BUSINESS EQUIPMENT SUBSCRIPTIONS RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Restaurants and bars face major capital out lays for equipment in order to launch. Not only are these expensive startup costs—most of them are recur ring. Owners can expect to face such purchases again and again as equipment is replaced.

Fortunately, business own ers can take advantage of new or innovative methods to con vert these front-loaded capi tal expenditures (CapEx costs) to operating expenses (OpEx), resulting in numerous busi ness benefits. One of the ve hicles for this is an equipment subscription.

Why Move Costs from CapEx to OpEx?

Subscriptions have long-since revo lutionized business balance sheets. When an asset, such as machinery, is purchased, it is a Capital Expen diture (CapEx). When a similar asset is attained through a subscription, it can be considered an operating ex penditure (OpEx). The number one benefit of operating expenditures is they qualify as tax-deductible from the business’s income, unlike capital expenditures.

In addition to tax write-offs, there are other advantages of moving costs from CapEx to OpEx:

• OpEx costs are financially at tractive for companies with limited cash flow (common in the restaurant industry).

• When businesses rely on exter nal financing, such as loans, to fund CapEx purchases, they can become over-leveraged.

• If the owner ever wants to sell the restaurant, too much debt can be a deterrent to buyers.

• Unexpected expensive repairs or outlays for equipment replacement affect profitability and cash on hand, no matter how the costs are realized in the accounting. Banks and investors are concerned by erratic profitability, which may affect future funding.

Equipment as a Service (EaaS)

The most well-known business sub scription type is SaaS, or Software as a Service. SaaS permits business own ers to access expensive software they need by paying monthly, rather than spending up front for pricey boxed solutions that aren’t scalable and may create security issues. As of 2021, the SaaS industry is worth $152 billion.

Equipment as a service, EaaS, pres ents similar benefits, except that in stead of technology security, they of fer risk security. Expensive machinery comes not only with a bit purchase price but the need to spend on main tenance and repairs. An untimely ma jor repair that may run in the thou sands can easily upset or bankrupt a

business with tight financials. When subscriptions include maintenance and repairs in their fee, they eliminate the risk of unexpected costs, allow ing for better forecasting and more financial security.

For example, a restaurateur will spend thousands to purchase a com mercial ice machine. After installa tion, it’s only a matter of time until the ice maker needs preventive mainte nance, cleaning, filter replacements, and small repairs. Ultimately, one day the ice maker will suffer a major re pair or breakdown, temporarily halt ing production. Expensive repairs or the purchase of a new ice maker will ensue. This continues in perpetuity as long as the restaurant is in business. Furthermore, aside from mechanical issues, the ice machine cannot be up graded or changed no matter how the business’s needs grow or change.

Equipment Subscriptions Versus Leasing

Another alternative to purchasing

equipment is to lease it. Equip ment subscriptions are simi lar to leasing in that they both reduce the capital required to start a business. However, leases almost never have the support or flexibility of subscriptions. A subscription may include equip ment repairs, which eliminates the financial blow of equipment failure, as well as preventive maintenance and service. The terms of subscriptions are also preferential to traditional leases; leases commonly charge egre gious interest rates and offer no cancellation policy should the business needs change.

If the owner leases an ice mak er, the initial outlay is avoided, and monthly payments for the unit may be tax-deductible OpEx costs. However, costs for maintenance and repairs and the man hours re quired to coordinate them still loom. If the owner signs up for a full-service ice maker subscription, he or she ex periences all the benefits of a lease and offloads the hassles of cleaning, service and preventive maintenance, back-up ice, and more. Plus, the ice machine can be upgraded to a larger or different style if business needs evolve.

Is EaaS Right for Your Restaurant?

While numerous other industries are thoroughly convinced of the busi ness sense of subscriptions, the EaaS model is only recently taking hold of equipment acquisition in the food and beverage space. Equipment sub scriptions offer most businesses more flexibility and predictability, less risk, and tax deductions, but they aren’t a fit for everyone. Your accountant should be able to help assess if one is right for your business.

10 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
Article
contributed by John Mahlmeister, COO, Easy Ice
OPERATING EXPENSESNEWS
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 11

CHARTING A NEW STRATEGY FOR COMMERCIAL WAREWASHING IN ‘23

The return of in-house din ing patrons is exciting for us all, but it also can be daunting as operators work on filling Back of the House (BOH) positions. The job market is competitive and turn over remains an issue.

Hit hard by the pandemic shut downs, restaurants relied on de livery and to-go orders for most of their sales, which required minimal warewashing. Now as customers return to in-house dining, opera tors need to increase and then re tain their staff to perform the work necessary to keep their kitchens running properly. One critical pro cess is warewashing. For some, this

If you have the space and other system requirements, a dish machine will never call in sick and will work non-stop until the job is done. This frees up your BOH staff for other work to ensure that that your guests are having a special dining experience.

has always been a manual process which is very labor intensive. For others, commercial dish machines are in use, but perhaps not perform ing at full efficiency.

What are the considerations for evaluating an automated warewash ing program? If an operator is con

sidering a dish machine program for the first time, it is important to start with a survey of their facility and address the following questions. Is there space for a dish machine? Are there water and power sources? Is there drainage? If the answer is yes, then the next step is determining

Laura Craven is the Vice President, Marketing & Com munications at Imperial Dade. Laura oversees marketing and corporate communications for Imperial Dade, a national distribution company head quartered in Jersey City, NJ. Her responsibilities include marketing communications, brand and reputation manage ment, internal and external communications, experiential marketing events, and me dia relations. Laura has been with the company for over 18 years and has contributed to the organization’s growth and brand awareness. A LEED AP, Laura consults on sustainabil ity initiatives and as a GBAC Trained Technician she assists customers develop cleaning programs.

the size and type of machine. What volume of wares needs to be washed and sanitized each day? What is the hot water temperature? What is the soil load? Even factors such as water hardness can impact performance.

We suggest starting with a profes sional service technician who can help operators analyze their situ ation and choose the best option. There are two main types of dish machines, high temp and low temp. Both are effective but depending on the situation, one may be a better fit. High temp machines use heat to sanitize dishes, glassware, etc. The water must reach 180 degrees F to meet regulations, which typically requires more energy. These mod els are more effective for removing heavy grease. Low temp machines require a chemical sanitizer and use more water, but less energy.

One of the elements of warewash ing is understanding the impact that your tabletop items have on your dining guests’ experience. For instance, stemmed wine glasses

continued on page 122

12 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
WITH LAURA CRAVENREOPENING STRATEGIES
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 13 waringcommercialproducts.com @waringcommercial

STRATEGIES TO MITIGATE THE RISING COST OF HEALTHCARE FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY BUSINESS

Employee retention is a se rious issue that employers in the hospitality and food service industry are fac ing today and as businesses recover from impacts of the pandemic, labor shortages still threaten the progress. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry has an an nual turnover rate of 73.6% 1, much higher than any other industry.

As the hospitality industry focus es on overcoming the labor short age in advance of the holiday sea son, many are turning to employee benefits as a strategic incentive to

attract and retain talent. According to a recent survey by Joblist 2, an em ployment search site, 38% of hospi tality workers were not planning to return to the industry, citing a de sire for higher wages and more ben efits than the industry can support.

About 45% said they wanted higher pay and 29% wanted better benefits. However, for employers across all industries, rising healthcare costs have unfortunately been a com mon trend during employee benefit plan renewals this year. This has largely been a result of several fac tors since the start of the pandemic

and beyond.

• For example, while all COVIDrelated claims (vaccines, hospital stays, etc.) have been mostly free for members, the insurance carriers are still paying for them, and in turn increasing their premiums to offset the expenses.

• Additionally, various drivers have led to higher carrier costs, such as more people are going back to the doctor for their elective surgeries uncovering that some is sues may have gotten progressively worse over the past several years.

• With hospitals consolidating

Robert Fiorito serves as Vice President with HUB Internation al Northeast, a leading global insur ance brokerage, where he special izes in providing insurance services to the restaurant industry. As a 25+ year veteran and former restaura teur himself, Robert has worked with a wide array of restaurant and food service businesses, ranging from fast-food chains to upscale, “white tablecloth” dining establishments. Robert can be reached at 212-3382324 or by email at robert.fiorito@ hubinternational.com.

and doctors joining larger groups, providers are asking for more mon ey for their services, etc.

According to another recent study, larger employers, where rates are individually set with car riers, project their health care costs will jump 6% next year compared with an average 5% increase they’re experiencing this year. 3

In today’s market, restaurants, and all other employers within the hospitality industry must utilize creative solutions to mitigate the rising costs of healthcare, while still provid ing employees with competitive benefits offerings. This includes:

1. Individual Coverage Health Re imbursement Agreements (ICHRA )

– An ICHRA enables employers of any size to reimburse their employ ees tax-free for health insurance premiums and medical expenses. With an ICHRA, employers set an al lowance and employees choose the individual state plan that fits their needs.

Advantages include cost-effective renewals (individual plans do not increase much year over year), no minimum participation require ments and employees provided with a platform to assist them with

14 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
FIORITO ON INSURANCE
continued on page 120
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 15 Soft and delicate, with a slightly sweet, milky flavor, BelGioioso Burrata is made with hand-crafted Fresh Mozzarella filled with Stracciatella, a mix of soft mozzarella shreds and cream. Enhance your menu by creating a deluxe Caprese salad with spooned sections of Burrata beside ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Or enrich your pizza or pasta by topping with a garnish of this fresh, creamy cheese just before serving. BURRATA belgioioso.com/Foodservice For more info and samples, please contact: foodservice@belgioioso.com 877-863-2123 Available in 2 oz., 4 oz. and 8 oz. Burrata balls, 4 oz. balls with Black Truffles, and 8 oz. and 1 lb. Stracciatella.

INDUSTRY TRIO TACKLES

HAVE ISSUE ON TFS/SASHIN

BREAKFAST PODCAST/WEBINAR

Creating a podcast/webi nar that brings something different is what sets con tent apart today.

“When we first discussed our ti tle, ‘The 1 Thing Your Restaurant/ Kitchen Needs’, a myriad of things came to mind,” noted co-host Larry Sashin. “Would it be a tool, a tech nique an ingredient or a system? It was an extremely broad, subjective title that gives the panel leeway to take us to places we never thought of. And like the product they pro duce, the panel’s answers didn’t dis appoint.”

Last month’s Virtual Breakfast Session panel brought restaura teur/innovator/disruptor Stratis Morfogen, Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director Stephen Yen and Chef, author and TV personal ity Rocco DiSpirito together to ex plore their “must haves”. The ses sion began with Chef Stephen Yen identifying “salt” as his go-to. “A good…cutting board”, stated DiSpirito and then Yen piped in with “Leadership” and the Ses sion kicked into second gear.

Yen, who believes that leading by example separates a leader from a boss continued with, “Lead from the front…proper leadership is really important”. DiSpirito likened leadership to setting up a cook’s station. He added, “Give them the founda tional tools that they need to succeed…then be a source of inspiration…mirroring the be havior you want them to copy, being passionate…the excite ment of what they do…Be the

source of inspiration”.

Morfogen, ever the disrup tor, discussed his highly success ful methods for hiring front of the house staff. Wanting them to mirror his views and habits, “I never hire people with experience. If they can smile, want to work and if they can add energy to the room”, the tech nology and his tutelage can teach them his way of what they have to do. “My best servers and waitstaff in Times Square are schoolteachers… they know how to communicate. I have no interest in hiring people with experience when it comes to hiring people in the service part of

the house.” He restated that with the technology and his systems that he’s implemented the front of the house staff become ambassadors and delivery people. “And then we shifted to third gear,” he added. Technology, resisted by many, but in this climate of high salaries and labor shortages needed by all. Yen spoke about their programs record everything every member eats or drinks at the club, “If I get to know you… I can forecast…if I know what you ate in the summer, I can forecast what you’ll eat in the fall.” DiSpirito spoke of restaurants as early technology adopters. “We

used to puree tomatoes by hand, now we use blenders.” Morfogen then added that his technology cuts labor costs and pointed out that his Brooklyn Dumpling Shop with his technology does the same busi ness, “I do 800 covers a day with 4 people”, instead of 10 or 11. In NY, “7 out of 10 restaurants close”, many times due to high labor costs. “If we cut labor costs not all those 7 res taurants will close. We’re not cutting jobs, we’re saving jobs.”

When customer resistance was brought up, Morfogen emphatically stated that the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop was created for the TikTok generation and when older people (35 and up) go to the Shop for the first time there’s different degrees of confusion, but after an explanation of what to do, “I find out that they come back every week… When you make a customer feel smart, you win.”

The bi-monthly VBS-Virtual Breakfast Sessions are a pro duction of L.Sashin and TFS. The programming is entering its second year with a goal of creating unique perspectives and solutions for the restaurant and foodservice professional.

Info on upcoming ses sions that are held on Wednesdays can be found at: https://bit.ly/3xWUc0V

All past VBS’s can be seen on YouTube: https://www.you

16 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
tube.com/playlist?list=PLKx Cb_1N0zgNaYq1uSJeecFoUtIM9pbE ALL STAR
MUST
VIRTUAL
PODCASTS AND WEBINARSNEWS
“If I get to know you… I can forecast… if I know what you ate in the summer, I can forecast what you’ll eat in the fall.” — Stephen Yen
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 17

AVOID THE JANUARY SALES TAX HANGOVER

Some of the biggest days of the year for restaurant sales are fast approach ing. Whether it’s night after night of large parties and functions or an increase in take out and food delivery app orders, foodservice establishments see big increases in revenue in November and Decem ber.

This increase in sales also brings an increase in the amount of sales tax you’re collecting on that addi tional revenue. It’s easy to look at your funds available and mistake the sales tax you’ve collected as cash available for other needs. But come January, when the largest sales tax bill of the year may be due, the funds to pay the sales tax may not be available. For many restaurant owners, the January sales tax holiday hangover can spiral into missed pay ments and penalties.

We have a few tips to make sure you don’t get caught off-guard with your January tax filing.

3 tips to plan now for your Janu ary sales tax bill

1.Review what you paid last year Start with what you know. Review your November and December sales from last year as well as what you paid in sales tax for that period. Use that number as a baseline to under stand how much you may need to pay this year. If you expect a significant increase in business this year, calcu late how much more in sales tax that would equate to. For example, if you expect an additional $20,000 in rev enue and your state sales tax rate is 5%, you would collect and then need to have $1,000 on hand to pay the sales tax bill.

2. Create a system to save your

sales tax funds

Soften the blow of January’s tax bill by keeping track of your sales tax li ability more regularly. You should aim to run a report in your POS system to look at how much sales tax was col lected on a frequent basis – if not daily then weekly. Then, set-up a way to put that money aside so you know not to use it for other purposes. You could even set-up a separate checking or savings account and move the sales tax collected over to that account.

Many restaurant owners are turning to sales tax automation to calculate and manage sales tax funds for them.

Sales tax automation apps, like DAVO by Avalara, seamlessly integrate into your existing POS to calculate sales tax from your sales and set it aside in a separate account daily.

3. File on time

Missed sales tax payments can re sult in hefty fines and penalties. The long term risks of not paying sales tax add up quickly. For one, the penalty and interest that is charged on unpaid balances can be between 5%-50% of the balance due. If you fall too far be

hind, the State may decide to place a lien on your business which creates a host of financial problems, like getting a loan. Some states even have criminal penalties for not paying sales tax.

By planning ahead so that you can file on time and pay in full, you can avoid any penalties and risk. You may even be rewarded! 27 states offer dis counts for the amount of sales tax due when it’s filed and paid on-time.

Automate Your Sales Tax

One of the easiest ways to avoid the January sales tax hangover is to set-up a sales tax automation system now. Sales tax automation can eliminate the entire complicated, manual pro cess and tasks associated with report ing, filing and paying sales tax. Sales tax automation enables you to auto mate every task within the process including:

Sales Tax Reporting

Sales tax automation apps, like DAVO Sales Tax, integrate directly with the most popular POS systems. The app gathers daily transactional sales data, including cash, credit, debit, re

funds, gift cards and 3rd party apps. At the close of business, the amount of sales tax collected and owed is totaled.

Sets Aside Sales Tax Daily

Once the amount of sales tax is calculated, the app will set aside the funds from that day’s sales in a se cure tax holding account. Because the cash is set aside daily, you can be assured that the funds needed to pay sales tax are available when the payment is due.

Automatic Sales Tax Filing and Payments

When sales tax payment dead lines approach, the app automati cally files and pays sales tax to the State. Using the funds set aside in the secure tax holding account, the app pays the amount due.

With a fully automated process, you’re guaranteed to pay sales tax on time and in full. The deadlines and pa perwork are off your plate. The risk of mistaking sales tax for income or mis spending money that really belongs to the State is eliminated.

DAVO Sales Tax can help you avoid the January sales tax hangover and gain back valuable time to focus on the priorities that will help the busi ness grow. Automating sales tax takes just a few minutes to set-up and then you never have to worry about sales tax again. The app is free to try for the first month. Put your sales tax on au topilot and stop worrying about how it will get paid.

As a former restaurant owner, David Joseph is no stranger to the struggles of restaurant sales tax. A self-proclaimed sales tax evangelist, David co-founded DAVO by Avalara, a sales tax automa tion platform that integrates directly with the point of sale.

18 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
SALES TAX STRATEGIESNEWS
co-founder,
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 19

BOOZE-FREE COCKTAILS THAT ARE WORTH THE HYPE

They’re coming to a bar or res taurant near you: adult bev erages rivaling your favorite cocktails for entertainment value. And – surprise – they contain little to no alcohol.

Drinks like these are on the rise as more consumers seek to reduce or re move alcohol from their diets, while still having an intoxicating good time at happy hour. For many restaurants and bars, now is the time to up their game in this growing category.

Today’s mocktails aren’t just slightly modified versions of the old standbys. They’re complex sippers in their own right, thoughtfully made with premi um ingredients and designed for an extraordinary experience.

In the hands of a careful bartender, mocktails do not need alcohol to yield a delectable outcome. A sophisticated balance of flavors, aromas, and tex

tures can be achieved with special ized blending equipment, such as The Quiet One® paired with the Aerating Container by Vitamix® Commercial.

For best results when creating your own mocktail, we suggest that you appeal to a range of senses, with dif ferent layers of flavor to entertain the palate. Here, to get you started, are some techniques and approaches that will lead to your own stellar mocktail.

A delicious, refreshing foundation.

The base for your mocktail might be a ready-made product, such as spar kling water, soda, fruit juice, tea, or kombucha.

Or, you might prefer to create your own base from scratch by muddling fresh or frozen fruit with ice and your liquid of choice. You can do this in a shaker, or greatly speed up the process

using a blender such as The Quiet One® paired with the Aerating Container.

This specialized blender container features a flat, disc-like blade, enabling it to gently muddle fruits with out pulverizing them. You can also use it when making multiple drinks at once. Try this: Load the container with lemon or lime slices, mint leaves, water, ice, and sugar, and blend using program 7 on The Quiet One®. Then, strain the blend to remove rinds, solids, and ice. You’re left with a refreshing limeade that’s a wonderful starting point.

Sweeten and flavor with syrups and purées.

Without the benefit of alcohol, mocktails require layers of flavor. Both simple and flavored syrups are a good place to start.

While prepared syrups are con venient, blending your own lets you customize beverages with sweet, tart, spicy, and savory flavors. You can make these syrups right at the bar in minutes. And if you blend them up ahead of time, they’ll be ready to go during peak business hours.

While the traditional simple syrup is made over a stove, you can repli cate the process using The Quiet One or a Vita-Prep® 3. As you’re not using a heat source, there’s no risk of over cooking. To make a flavored syrup, just add equal parts granulated sugar and water, along with a flavoring ele ment, to the Aerating Container. Then process in The Quiet One by increas ing the speed to 100% and blending

for two minutes. The cycle will create just enough heat to fully dissolve the sugar and infuse flavors.

The flavoring options are endless: Use herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, and more to create an assortment of syr ups that are sweet, spicy, fruity, or tart. For example, create a ginger-flavored syrup by using thin slices of fresh gin ger. Or, create a fruit-forward blend using whole strawberries. After blend ing, simply strain and store in a sealed container.

Another option: Purée ingredients without sugar to create potent shots of flavor. For example, make a fresh, spicy splash for drinks by blending jalapeño peppers and a small amount of water in The Quiet One®. Strain the purée before using.

Balance with bitters.

If using simple or flavored syrups, you may want to balance the sweet

20 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIESNEWS
continued on page 116
Hibiscus Holiday mocktail by Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 21 Never worry about sales tax again Save time & resources Avoid cash flow issues Integrates with your POS START A FREE TRIAL : DAVOSALESTAX.COM/TOTALFOOD

Q&A WITH STEVE WEIS, VP OF DEVELOPMENT & OPERATING PARTNER, CAMERON MITCHELL RESTAURANTS

From closing all its restau rants overnight in March 2020 due to COVID, re opening them by summer 2020, then launching five new res taurants in 2021 and 2022, Cam eron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) is looking forward to five to seven ad ditional locations to come in 2023, and three more Ocean Primes in 2024. The privately held company expects $400 million in sales under management in 2022. CMR plans to have 71 restaurants under manage ment by end of 2023, eclipsing $500 million in sales. Plus, they plan to expand into the hotel industry with its first upscale hotel.

Falling on the shoulders of Steve Weis in his role as vice president of development for Cameron Mitchell

Restaurants (CMR), with nearly 40 years of experience in the restau rant and hospitality industry, is the focus on new restaurant develop ment, locating new restaurant sites, analyzing how to improve current locations, and overall expansion of the company.

Weis joined CMR in 2015, bring ing to the team a vast knowledge of real estate and restaurant opera tions. He brings specific expertise to the CMR executive team and can not only solve potential problems but also help the company grow.

Prior to CMR, Weis served as president of Max & Erma’s, where he helped the company turn around sales efforts. From 2004 to 2010, Weis was the regional vice presi dent of Thomas & King, one of the largest franchise organizations for Applebee’s. He has owned a restaurant company, was senior vice president of operations for Jillian’s Entertainment.

Steve Weiss shares his in sights, pandemic effects, CMR’s culture and philosophies with our readers.

How has Cameron Mitchell Res taurants (CMR) thrived and remained profitable since the pandemic in March 2020?

CMR was built on the prin ciple of taking care of its asso ciates. During Covid, our goals were to keep them safe and to operate safely. We believe this led to being not as greatly af fected by the labor shortages.

Sales are up over 33% in 2022 vs. 2021. Increased sales have enabled us to remain profitable.

Learnings and silver linings from a Pandemic:

• Negotiate with partners: We talked to over 60 landlords to work through agreements though we never asked for rent to be forgiven. In most instances, we paid back all deferred rent in 2021

• Maintain regular associate and guest communication: This was, and is, essential because we recog nize our associates take care of our guests and they are empowered to do what it takes to make the guest happy using “Yes is the Answer” motto

• Use your culture as a filter when you are challenged with making de cisions

• Sustain increased wages and en hanced quality of life

• Focus on recruitment and career development so our associates con tinue to grow

Why did CMR decide this was the prime time to expand?

It is a good environment to work in myriad ways with partners, land lords, brokers; just as CMR has made raving fans out of its guests, this ap plies to partners, who oftentimes lead to other deals. For example, as we see the Ocean Prime restau rants consistently grow in sales, that makes for a compelling concept to grow in other markets.

According to Brent Crawford of Crawford Hoying (OH), who has partnered with CMR in developing a hotel in Columbus: Every CMR brand that he has as a tenant is “best in class.” Once CMR signs on, Brent knows other tenants will fol low. He says, “There is a consistent

Joyce Appelman is the SCOOP News Editor and Senior Con tributing Writer for Total Food Service and previously the Na tional Communications Direc tor for C-CAP, Careers through Culinary Arts Program. An industry leader supporting education and scholarships, she has been instrumental in opening career opportunities for many young people in the foodservice industry. Email her at joyceappelman@gmail.com

high level of execution.”

We opened Budd Dairy Food Hall with a great local developer as our partner. We made a decision to continue to embrace a partnership model, which we applied to Ocean Prime Kansas City and Prime Social. What we know is once a CMR restau rant signs our lease, the developer is able to increase the lease pricing for other space in the building because of CMR’s reputation as being a qual ity operator.

Has CMR changed its strategy to ex pansion from pre-pandemic times?

According to J.R. Dehring, CMR’s chief financial officer, self-funding is getting more difficult. When the company opened Del Mar Naples in 2021, it brought in about 10 in vestors, CMR retained partial eq uity and a management fee. “As our name recognition has grown, there are developments wanting to work with us,” says Dehring.

Phil McCabe, who developed multiple properties on Naples’ Fifth Avenue, says, “Ocean Prime is the perfect tenant. The restaurant per forms well, the team is good at what they do.” He thinks CMR is one of the best restaurant operators in the country – and this is reflected in the operation of Ocean Prime.

With labor shortage, supply chain

22 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
continued on page 24 WITH JOYCE APPELMANTREND TALK
Steve Weis, VP of Development & Operating Partner, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 23

issues and inflation not going away soon, how have you addressed these challenges?

Our culture of putting associates first and the benefits we offer make CMR a place where people want to work and stay. We are an employer of choice, and have less attrition than the industry as a whole, also because we promote 80 percent of our associates from within. We en courage our associates to try new positions at different locations to continue to grow.

We see the supply chain is getting better. We usually review and raise prices approximately four percent each year but we are having to in crease prices much more to offset the increases in cost of goods and labor.

Your recent announcement about opening the 18th Ocean Prime in Las Vegas is exciting! How did that deal come about?

We had been looking for a Las Vegas location for about 15 years. I was connected with New York de veloper Flag Luxury Group’s Paul Kanavos, who is a partner in 63, the prime location on Las Vegas Blvd. and Harmon. Paul, Cameron Mitch ell and I met at Ocean Prime New York, and by the end of the meet ing had agreed that Ocean Prime would be the anchor restaurant at 63. Paul knew about CMR and had dined at Ocean Primes, so he knew our reputation. Once we saw the location and reviewed the data on pedestrian traf fic at the restaurant, we knew this had to be our flag ship location.

It looks like you have between five and seven open ings in 2023, can you tell us about what’s happening and how you put together so many deals?

Our expansion schedule over the next two years looks like:

• Ocean Prime Kansas City,

MO opened February 2022

• The Pearl in Tampa, FL opens in Spring 2023

• Valentina’s in Columbus, OH opens Spring 2023

• Cento in Columbus, OH opens Spring 2023

• Ocean Prime Las Vegas opens spring 2023

• Three additional locations (TBA) in 2023

The confluence of timing is part luck and coincidence that what we were working on came to fruition around the same time.

CMR Lead Broker, Keith Rogers of RD Advisors says, “Cameron Mitchell creates op portunities for his people and the only way to do that is to expand the company and open new restaurants.” “If you are a manager at an Ocean Prime and want to become a regional manager or move to a new lo cation, you know there are opportu nities to do that at CMR.”

What advice would you give other independent restaurateurs who are interested in expanding, or keep ing their existing operations prof itable given the current economic climate?

Find a great restaurant broker, be very intentional about where you want to go first and that it fits your brand. Your brokers will have the re search you need to review.

When looking at locations for Ocean Prime, Keith and the CMR team ensure that the surrounding tenants will have a similar level of sophistication. If guests are going

out for a special meal to celebrate an occasion or business dinner, you want to ensure the surroundings are consistent with the Ocean Prime experience. Keith negotiates with the developer to ensure that there is parking, it is accessible, there is landscaping, lighting and any other aesthetics necessary to create the right ambiance. Co-tenancy is very important.

Sometimes Ocean Prime deals come quickly. Other times it can take a while to find the right space. Keith and the CMR team first started site visits in NYC in 2007. It was not until 2017 that Ocean Prime NYC opened.

Our keys to keeping CMR profitable goes back to our basic tenet of putting our associates first, as well as:

• Learn to use your cul ture as a filter as you are challenged with making de cisions

• Sustain increased wag es, enhanced quality of life and focus on recruitment and career development

24 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com from page 22TREND TALK
One of the dining rooms at the recently opened Ocean Prime Kansas City A rendering of the private dining room at the upcoming Ocean Prime Las Vegas

EXHIBIT HALL SCHEDULE

Sunday, January 15th 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday, January 16th 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 17th 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

FOR EXHIBITING INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Manager, Member Relations, Northeast Janet DeCarlo 646.878.0187 jdecarlo@specialtyfood.com

Manager, Member Relations, West Roger Greenidge 646.878.0158 rgreenidge@specialtyfood.com

Manager, Member Relations, Southwest/Southeast Erika Sipos 646.878.0130 esipos@specialtyfood.com

Director, Strategic Alliances Louis Helms 646.878.0161 lhelms@specialtyfood.com

Manager, Global Accounts Mimo Boulefrakh 646.878.0151 mboulefrakh@specialtyfood.com

Manager, Member Relations, Midwest/Northwest Reta Martin 646.878.0135 rmartin@specialtyfood.com

November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 25 Meet Buyers and Grow Sales in 2023 at the Winter Fancy Food Show fancyfoodshows.com Want to have your specialty food products seen and sampled by thousands of qualified specialty food buyers? Join the SFA today to exhibit at the 2023 Winter Fancy Food Show – January 15-17 in Las Vegas. The Fancy Food Shows are the premier B2B specialty food trade events in the U.S., with attendance entirely composed of qualified industry professionals. Never exhibited before? The first 100 first-time exhibitors to apply for the 2023 Winter Fancy Food Show by October 31, 2022, will receive a FREE lead retrieval services package (a $495 value). Floor space is limited, so act fast to be a part of it! • $41 per sq. ft.* for Specialty Food Association Members • $42 per sq. ft.* for International Pavilions & International Non-members * ($400 upcharge per 10x10 corner booth)

ONE REASON YOUR FOOD COST IS SO HIGH

Does your restaurant food cost look high to you? As we’ve all seen, the cost of goods that you sell has skyrocketed with high inflation and logistical issues everywhere you look. While a lot of factors are contributing to increasing costs in the restaurant industry, it’s still possible you’re using the wrong numbers when calculat ing your food cost and your food cost might not be as high as you think.

In a restaurant, there are three things that cost you the most amount of money. First is an empty chair. Yes, an empty chair. You pay all these bills to have people come into your restau rant, but if nobody is sitting in there with a wallet to pay you, then your res taurant is costing you money.

Next is labor cost and then food cost, especially if you’re a restaurant where food is 60, 70, 80, 90 percent

of what you sell. While food costs have been doing nothing but going up, there are times where I find that I’m working on budgets with a new member, going through line by line on that budget, and we get to the food cost and it looks really high. When this happens, I know they’re probably us ing the wrong number.

Here is what I mean. The first ques tion I ask a restaurant owner when we get to this point is whether they take inventories on a weekly basis to calculate their food cost, or are they just using purchases for their num ber? Probably nine times out of 10, the restaurant owners who go through my coaching program are using their pur chases divided by sales.

This is the wrong number. Your food cost calculation is not what you pur chased divided by sales. It’s what you use. The correct food cost calculation

is beginning inventory plus purchases minus ending and that gives you use. You must take inventories for value. Purchases divided by sales is not food cost because the change in inventory can be too radical. You could have pur chased a ton of product but had really low sales. When this happens your food cost looks falsely high. And the next month, your sales are high, but you had so much food on the shelves you didn’t have to order that month that it makes your food cost look false ly low. Instead, you want to determine what actually leaves the shelves to get the accurate food cost number.

The next question I ask restaurant owners is are they separating their products on their food distributor in voices for everything that’s not food. If it’s not food, what else would it be? Janitorial supplies, paper supplies, small wares, equipment, etc. You don’t sell bleach. You don’t sell toilet pa per (usually) or tongs. These are all things that could be on the same invoice from your broad line dis tributor. And if you don’t separate the food products from everything else, your numbers show that all as product. That’s the simplest way to think of it: When you hear cost of goods sold, it’s the cost of the goods you sell. So, when you sell a plate with food on it, it’s only food, no janitorial and no paper.

Food is food and cost of goods sold is the cost of the product that you bring in divided by gross sales (the ring of the register before dis counts). So how do you ensure your food cost is accurate?

One, you must take weekly food inventories for value, not for an order. You’re not counting stuff to figure out how much to order.

David Scott Peters is an author, restaurant coach and speaker who teaches restaurant op erators how to take control of their businesses and finally realize their full potential. His first book, Restaurant Prosper ity Formula: What Successful Restaurateurs Do, teaches the systems and traits to develop to run a profitable restaurant. Thousands of restaurants have worked with Peters to trans form their businesses. Get his three principles to restaurant success at https://dsp.coach/ three-key-principles.

This is for value. That means you need to have a system in place where you know everything on your shelves and what it costs. This is for a product you buy from a distributor or a product you make, such as meal components like onions, soups, sauces, desserts, dressing. It’s the products you buy plus the products you make and the value of those things on your shelf.

Two, categorize all your invoices into food, janitorial, paper, small equip ment and so on. By the way, did you know you can simplify this process? Automate this process. Find a good cost of goods sold software. You can use it to help you order, take inven tory, and make recipe costing cards. All your numbers are automatically input, and you can use the reports to set up shelf-to-sheet inventory so you can take inventory accurately on a weekly basis in under an hour. Doing this means you’ll know your food cost within minutes of completing that in ventory. Best of all, you’ll know your food cost is right.

If your food cost looks high, make sure you’re using the right numbers first. If you want to know the right numbers and know what your food cost should be, start taking inventory weekly, separate your order in food vs everything else and then use a cost of goods software to automate it all.

26 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
WITH DAVID SCOTT PETERSRESTAURANT EXPERT
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 27

WE’RE

Batali: The Fall of a Superstar Chef

A new documentary about the controversial career of Mario Batali, Batali: The Fall of a Superstar Chef, premiered on Discovery+. The docu mentary chronicles accusations of sexual misconduct that date back over two decades, which came to light in 2017, leading Batali to divest from his restaurants and pay a settlement of $600,000 to former employees. Batali also settled two additional sexual mis conduct lawsuits, related to alleged in cidents in Boston, after a Boston judge found Batali not guilty of indecent as sault and battery. The documentary includes new testimony from a former Babbo employee, who previously re mained anonymous, asserting that she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Batali.

Chef’s Table: Pizza

Chef’s Table, the multi-documen tary series has become more specific, dedicating full seasons to barbecue, pastry, and France. The latest season focuses on pizza from around the world, with six featured pizzaiolos, prepared by renowned chefs who bake passion creativity and hard work into every slice including American pizza legend Chris Bianco, Rome’s pizza al taglio pioneer Gabriele Bonci, and James Beard Award-winning Ann Kimm, of Minneapolis’s Young Joni. Expect tons of wood-firing and ingre dient foraging, plus lots of talk about dough and flour.

Matt Sartwell, Managing Part ner, Kitchen Arts & Letters Bookstore in New York City shares his book reviews...

WHAT WE’RE READING:

Conversations Behind the Kitchen Door: 50 American Chefs Chart Today’s Food Culture

Drawing on insights gleaned from his restaurant-industry focused pod cast Flavors Unknown, Emmanuel La roche explores the future of culinary creativity and the hospitality business.

Dedicated podcast listeners will no tice quickly that Laroche is not simply rehashing episodes he has shared. He includes private conversations with the chefs, beverage specialists, and entrepreneurs, and makes connec tions informed by his years of profes sional engagement as an executive with a leading food industry supplier

Among the chefs with whom La roche has spoken and gleaned insight are many nationally known names, including Gabriel Kreuther, Antiono Bachour, Johnny Spero, Elizabeth

WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO:

Falkner, Edward Lee, Jose Garces, and Dan Kluger.

But just as impressive, and in some ways more relevant for aspir ing professionals, is Laroche’s con tact with and inclusion of working chefs and other food service figures who are making a local impact and drawing inspiration from a wide range of personal experience and interests. Within a paragraph he can cite a chef with multiple Michelin stars and the proprietor of a food truck. Laroche is just as interested in a remarkable pie shop as he is in fine dining.

Conversations Behind the Kitch en Door provides real service to anyone interested in or building a culinary career.

A History of Cookbooks: From Kitchen to Page Over Seven Centuries

Now available in paperback for the first time since its original publication in 2017, A History of Cookbooks exam ines works from Europe and Western civilization.

Henry Notaker, a Norwegian liter ary historian, credits his pursuit of the subject matter to conversations with the late Alan Davidson and Rudolf Grewe, who encouraged an approach similar to the techniques used to ex amine traditional literature.

As a result, Notaker’s work is not a chronology—although a chronology is easily discerned—but an examina tion of elements such as the effect of printing on the diffusion of cookbooks and the development of the idea of

continued on page 30

28 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
MEDIA CORNER
WHAT
WATCHING: BOOKS, TV, FILM, AND PODCASTSWith Joyce Appelman
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 29

plagiarism of recipes. Other chap ters address subjects that include how cookbooks are organized, how recipes are named, the form of recipes, and different audiences for whom a book might be written, whether rich or poor, vegetarian, or distinctly nationalist.

Notaker displays familiarity with an impressively wide range of books from across Europe, and he writes with clarity, choosing clear examples to illustrate his insights. Happily, for anyone inspired to further research, A History of Cookbooks contains footnotes and an extensive bibliography.

Editor’s Note About PodcastsListen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including on Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Audible & more.

Spill & Dish: A Specialty Food Association Podcast

Ever wondered what makes a specialty food special? The Spe cialty Food Association says that every member has a story. Spill & Dish brings you the stories of the entrepreneurs, makers, and sell ers who are shaping the future of food. Listen and discover the in spiration, recipe, craft, culture, in gredients, and production meth ods that make a true specialty food and get a deeper understanding of the people and motivation behind the products—beyond what you’ll read on a label. If you have a recipe you’ve thought about bringing to market or a brand you are launch ing if you are a buyer in the trade, or simply a food lover, this podcast is for you.

Friends of the Vine

This podcast discusses all things related to the wine industry by spotlighting feature conversations with passionate wine profession als including winemakers, wine writers, sommeliers and masters of wine who love talking about wine.

30 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
from page 28MEDIA CORNER

FRESH VICTOR’S PORTFOLIO OF FLAVORS BRINGS SIGNATURE MOCK/COCKTAIL SOLUTIONS TO ON-PREM OPERATORS

While bar and night club patrons hid in their homes during the worst of the pan demic, the joys and social interactions shared at bars, restaurants, and cafes were put on hold. This didn’t stop so ciety from purchasing Cocktails-ToGo from their local establishments.

Drinking was reported to be up 400% in homes as activities and means of entertainment were limited. For many bar and restaurant opera tors, takeout and delivery proved to be their lifeline to survival. In fact, in many states including New York, it has continued as a way of life even with the reopening of drinking establish ments.

Fresh Victor recognized the drink ing trends, observed the upward movement in mocktail requests, and designed a mixer line that suited both drinking needs.

Ken MacKenzie, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Victor, shares the origin of the company and the vision the team had. “My wife went to school in Northern California in the mid-1990s and after she graduated, I quickly realized we were inseparable, followed her to Guadalajara, and pro posed a week later,” MacKenzie said. “I got on a plane looking for invest ment opportunities down there but was discouraged. I was always taught

if I wanted to be involved in business to be a part of something that makes a difference. But my wife’s father was able to make introductions into the tequila industry for me to learn about tequila.”

MacKenzie found himself learning about agave, fermentation, and mar keting, and observed a huge discon nect between U.S. and Mexico’s opera tions. “The U.S. is extremely projective and concerned with credit terms, while Mexico is more cash-based,” he explained. “A lot of the tequila produc ers in Mexico at the time, in the mid to late 1990s, were unfamiliar with the formulaic chain of three-tier im portation, distribution/wholesale, and retail in the states. I recognized this disconnect and became a part of a consulting gig for about 3-4 years.”

During this time MacKenzie helped bridge the two sides, but his wife en couraged him to explore his passion more independently.

It was during MacKenzie’s consult ing and traveling career that he con sulted with distributors and custom ers and realized there was a need for a better, fresher solution. “Distributors were looking for essentially a cheat code to making really good cocktails without all the work of sourcing many ingredients. Mixers had a negative reputation for not being very good, only easy.”

MacKenzie took approximately 18 months to come up with the first base lime mixer, a simple four-ingredient mix that taught him a lesson in mean ingful ingredients while balancing acidity and titrating that up to an in dustrial run. Titrating up from a test batch in the kitchen to a larger batch was harder than MacKenzie antici pated. The mixer is low-calorie, nonGMO, gluten-free, and kosher. “What I love about it is that it’s going to suit a multitude of people. We initially launched five flavors, gained atten tion, and wanted to continue explor ing mixers. I had a lot of friends who dropped out of drinking for a myriad of different reasons. With these mix ers, you can complement it with spar kling water next to someone pairing it with tequila and not feel ostracized.

You are drinking the exact same in gredients as the person using alcohol with their cocktail, you just have a mocktail version. You can actually talk about the flavors and how and why you appreciate the drinks.”

Fresh Victor was launched in March of 2017 and found its niche with Epi curean retailers in the first few years. The line was promoted through events, functions, and family gather ings. “That summer my wife lit up see ing some of our family drinking the mixers with just water and said I could appeal to a much larger audience. Be fore I knew it, larger businesses were coming to me looking to do mocktail menus and we’ve now created 9 total flavors.”

32 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
“Our goal is that both your Monday and Saturday
bartenders
who bring a very different skill set to your team can confidently and efficiently create the same drink.”
Ken MacKenzie
BEVERAGE MENU STRATEGIES By Claudia GiuntaNEWS continued on page 114
Ruggiero Seafood, Inc. PO Box 5369 Newark, NJ 07105 - info@ruggieroseafood.com - www.ruggieroseafood.com

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ARE ENTERING PRIVATE CLUBS

Tory Eulenfeld is a chef and National Director of Member Services and Programs with the National Golf Course Restaurant Association. I sat down with her to find out how technology and artificial intelligence is entering the private club industry.

As we all know, club chefs don’t have much time to kill. Everybody wants to get in front of them to sell their prod ucts or services. Eulenfeld sees herself as a gatekeeper. “Technology compa nies can sell to me. When I visit the chef, I want them to know I’m bringing something fun and/or a saving them money. I ask all the questions, take notes, negotiate, and then educate the chef. The chefs win as they don’t have to take the time out of their busy day to learn more and finding out after all that it isn’t relevant to them.” she stated.

Another goal for Eulenfeld is to

teach chefs and clubs how to save money outside of their food and bev erage purchases through many av enues, including artificial intelligence and technology.

Bear Robotics is a new company that created a hospitality robot called Servi (pictured below). The robot can bus tables, deliver dirty dishes to the dishwasher, deliver birthday cakes, and more. It works well with the men’s locker rooms; if no male servers are available.

It is the only robot of its kind made in the United States and US-owned. NGCRA has a three-year contract with Bear Robotics, and a club can lease the robot for $499 a month. Bear Robotics covers the warranty and maintenance. They deliver it to your club and pro gram it for you. The robot has 360-de gree sensors and will be programmed to go the routes you want. Learn more at bearrobotics.ai.

Instawork is a web-based temp agency for contract workers. It is built

for service workers, dishwashers, prep chefs, and line workers. The program is profoundly background-checked and paid the same way Uber drivers are. For example, if you don’t have a dishwasher, you can request a worker to be a dishwasher for the days and times you need them. You can put the request out, and a person can ac cept the bid, or you can fill holes as needed with area workers on the app. A club can favorite workers as well. “You wouldn’t use it for sous chefs or chefs, but you can move everyone up and fill in a dishwasher. It can be a part-time gig for full-time workers.” Eulenfeld expressed. Learn more at instawork.com

FoodBAM is a purchasing software program that allows access from your distributor to your purchasing pro gram. You will no longer have to enter codes whenever you want to update your order and pricing. FoodBAM can live-update pricing into your webbased system to save you hours and

is the President of Golf Kitchen Magazine. She has traveled to 48 countries searching for the finest culi nary teams in the Private Golf and Country Club Industry. The Golf Kitchen portfolio includes a 568-page coffee table book, a bi-annual magazine, the Golf Kitchen Culinary Excel lence Awards and Invitational at GlenArbor Golf Club, and the new Certification of Culi nary Excellence. She resides in Stamford, Connecticut.

hours out of your week. FoodBAM allows the club to live-price recipes. It may be pennies the difference, but it all adds up if you are trying to stay within your food costs. Learn more at foodbam.com

BenefitHub is a website for mem bers. A club signs up for BenefitHub, allowing members, staff, and employ ees to log in and get discounted goods and services, events, concerts, and more. Learn more at benefithub.com

“There are so many new things evolving, and I spend hours research ing and speaking with each company; I can then put the technical terms into layperson’s terms to save time for busy club professionals and chefs.”

To contact Tory or learn more, please email benefits@ngcra.com

34 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
WITH DIANA DELUCIAPRIVATE CLUB INSIGHTS
Tory Eulenfeld
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 35

DARIO WOLOS

Founder, Tacombi

Dario Wolos founded Ta combi in 2006 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico as a beach side taco stand, with a global vision to share Mexi can hospitality through restaurants and products, while investing back into Mexican communities. Today, Tacombi operates more than a doz en limited service taquerias across the New York City, Miami and Great er Washington, D.C. markets. In 2015, Dario founded Tacombi’s first

CPG (Consumer Product Goods) business - Vista Hermosa - because he couldn’t find authentic products for the taquerias. Vista Hermosa is a line of high-quality products, made from simple, non-GMO and organic ingredients that are used across the Tacombi menu and sold in retail.

The line includes tortillas and toto pos (tortilla chips) that are available at over 1000 retail locations and ex panding, with more doors and more product innovation planned for lat

er this year.

Additionally, Dario’s commitment to invest in and support Mexican communities is met through The Tacombi Foundation, a certified 501(c)3 charitable organization.

The Tacombi Community Kitchen, an arm of the foundation, provides food for people in need by donating thousands of quality and reliable Mexican meals prepared by the ta queria kitchens.

Total Food Service sought out

Dario to share his vision for creat ing a unique dining experience and at the same time giving back to the community.

For those who don’t know you, can you share a little about your back ground?

My mother is from Monter rey, Mexico. My father was born in France and he was a Ukrainian refu

36 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com EXCLUSIVE FOODSERVICE INTERVIEWQ&A
continued on page 38
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 37

gee in France. He ended up in Mexico in the 1970s. My parents met and they were married and then I was born in upstate New York. My father was working for an American company which was based there and then they moved back to Mexico, I grew up in Monterrey. I lived between Mexico and abroad, and I would spend sum mers next to the water. I’ve found that that’s where my thing is. Also, I think because of my upbringing, food, Mexican food has just been central to my whole life, and this eventually led me to Tacombi.

Walk us through how we got to where we are today.

I went to Cornell University to study economics and that’s where I wrote the first business plan for Tacombi. I realized back then that there was this opportunity to share a perspective on Mexico that wasn’t known yet around the world. I saw that Taco Bell, Chipotle and Old El Paso and all these legacy brands of

Mexican food weren’t connecting people to this side of Mexico. I start ed to learn from my friends in the hospitality program. I didn’t under stand that what I was going to build later would be a hospitality business.

What I learned in the process was that Mexican hospitality was actually what we were going to share with the world, it wasn’t just Mexican food, it was how Mexican hospitality con nects people to that tradition and that culture.

What defines Mexican hospitality?

I like to describe it as a dance that is very polished and professional. We welcome people into our homes,and put out the best China, ‘mi casa es tu casa’ comes from how Mexicans treat each other. Hospitality in Mexico has more of the old-world thread run ning through it unlike the European type of hospitality where it’s profes sional, it’s a career.

Those things embody the cultural values of Mexico and how people take

care of one another. I think Mexico is one of these very special countries in the world, where that love that peo ple share with each other every day, is just central to how Mexico exists.

That love comes through in its food, and its culinary traditions, it comes through in the care people have for each other in their com munities and that bond of Mexican community and family at the center.

I started to really look at it through the lens of how are we going to share this with the world. Because I think when I travel around the world, no matter where I’ve been, I think these people would like this, right? Whether it’s Brazil, Tokyo, London or the United States, I think people re ally love this aspect of Mexico, and it would therefore drive appreciation for Mexico, which would support my mission, which is Tacombi’s mission, which is to invest in Mexican com munities.

How did a business plan you wrote

as a student at Cornell, evolve into this vision?

When I started selling tacos out of this VW bus on the street in Mexico many years ago, my plan was to in vest our profits in education. Even before the business became profit able, we would donate to charities and different cultural events. In 2018 we were able to formalize the founda tion and today, it is really focused on addressing food insecurity. This year, our foundation will donate around 400,000 meals and we’re doing that in the three cities in which we oper ate our 14 taquerias. In Miami, we’re making meals and delivering it to ad dress food insecurity in each market, and they’re making these at each Ta queria, and each Taqueria is respon sible for their own amount of meals delivered. Each Taqueria team mem ber writes a handwritten note of en couragement which is just beautiful.

How does Tacombi today differ from the original business plan?

Remember I wrote it as an eco nomics student, so it was much more technical. The plan detailed an overview of both the Mexican restau rant and CPG (consumer packaged goods) Mexican food marketplace. I saw an opportunity for the next level up of Mexican food to come into the market and that business was called Taco Rex. I have somewhere a pic ture of that original business plan. Taco Rex, with dinosaur wearing a hat. Right after Cornell, I shelved the plan and took a job in London at an internet startup, that was really fun. I soon realized by that my passion was that plan I had written.

How did you pivot back to the origi nal Mexican Food/Restaurant idea?

While I was living in London, I went on a vacation to Playa del Car men and a friend of mine gave me some really good advice: “Dario, if you really want to do this business, you’ve got to do it in Mexico.” His logic was that it would be much more affordable in Mexico than in the UK.

on page 40

38 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
DARIO WOLOS , from page 36Q&A continued
One of the
top
dishes at Tacombi
is the
Al Pastor Taco:
pasture-raised certified
Berkshire pork,
thinly
sliced
and
marinated
in a special chilies and spices marinade, slow-roasted on a trompo. The meat is then sliced off as it is cooked and topped with cilantro, diced onions and pineapple.
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 39

He was right, I had no idea what I was doing, I’ve only been a customer of food. And it was hard and it contin ues to be hard but I love it. This same friend introduced me to his cousin who lent me his couch in Playa Del Carmen, I was going to move in from London. And I was staying on this guy’s couch, trying to figure out how this was going to happen, and then eventually, the name Tacombi kind of resonated with the actual mission that I’ve had in my heart, which is from a very young age trying to ad dress this issue.

What does Tacombi mean, and how did you find the bus that has become such a big part of the brand?

Combi is a VW bus. I combined the VW bus and taco. I went looking for a VW bus and I found a num ber of clubs of Volkswagen aficionados, that exist all over the world and restore old Volkswa gen Beetles, buses. I found this one club in Mexico City where I found a gentleman who was selling his 1963 green mini bus.

I went to buy the bus for $3,000, which I think was 30,000 pesos at the time. And it was missing three of its windows, it only had the front bench. I drove it from Mexico City down basically, towards Puebla, which is like the first stop on the way back to Playa del Car men. I went over this huge mountain pass that goes next to the volcano in Mexico City. And I thought I was go ing to die, it’s like a death trap, every time a truck passes by, it was shak ing! And you couldn’t go faster than 20, 30 kilometers per hour. It broke down in Puebla, and we towed it a lit tle bit further and eventually, we got to Playa del Carmen. We arrived just in time for Hurricane Wilma, which came through and stayed on top of Playa del Carmen for like three days. I figured out how to cut open the Ta combi so I could make tacos out of it. I wanted to get it started but I didn’t know how. And then my dad came and visited me. And at this point, my

parents were like, you’ve lost it! But being loving parents, they gave me $20,000. And I think I had $25,000 of my own to get started, it wasn’t much. I opened it on February 6th of 2006 never having done this ever be fore. That was 16 and a half years ago, and we’ve been learning ever since.

What led to the launch in the US?

In 2008, I had been open for just two years when the swine flu hit Mex ico, it pretty much closed down tour ism in Mexico for about six months. I had just opened the second location which we had to shut down. I packed up that bus and in 2009 I was com mitted at that point saying, if I don’t take it somewhere outside of Playa now, this will never happen. London was at this point way too far away so I was looking around the United States and Miami, Austin, Los Angeles, New York, trying to fig ure out where I would do the first one in the United States. And I decided on New York, I think for the same reasons that I chose Playa originally. It was one of the more interna tional destinations in Mexico, and then in this case, in the United States, if not the most international city. And I thought, I’m building a global brand, New York has got to be the place to go.

Why New York, not exactly a Mexican food/restaurant hotbed?

New York City is all about neigh borhoods. You can get around on the same subway or even on a bike. It is also all about the communities within those neighborhoods which creates a great opportunity for a res taurant. In hospitality, as I’ve learned over the years, whatever you put into the community, you get it back many times over. In building Tacombi in New York, we fully understand our place in the community so that we can contribute to the community and be part of it over the long term.

40 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
continued on page 42 DARIO WOLOS , from page 38Q&A shop.gourmetsweetbotanicals.com @gourmetsweetbotanicals ELEVATE THE EXPERIENCE SHOP AT GOURMET SWEET BOTANICALS ™ MICROGREENS, EDIBLE FLOWERS, TINY VEGGIES™ & MORE Ships Directly from the Farm SCAN TO VISIT OUR RECIPES PROUDLY OFFERING FRESH ORIGINS PRODUCTS MICRO CILANTRO ON SESAME GARLIC NOODLES CREATED BY CHRISTINA ROSE
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 41 Never worry about sales tax again. Integrates with your existing POS. Easy 5-minute set up. Ever miss a state sales tax payment? Or pay it late? Ever worry about having enough money set aside to pay your sales tax or wonder why you’re paying so much for a bookkeeper? If so, DAVO is for you. Sets aside sales tax daily. Files and pays, on time and in full. Ensures you receive on-time filing discounts where available. Automate your sales tax Start a free trial First month FREE

As an operator, you need to under stand that the brand kind of fades away when the customer is in our restaurant, and it becomes all about the customer experience.

Where was the first location in New York and how did pick the spot?

It was luck. I rode my bike around downtown trying to find this first lo cation in New York, I knew I wanted to be downtown. It resonated with me. I was on my bike going through SOHO and I ran into this man hang ing a sign on his storefront that said, for rent, and when he did that, I knew it was my opportunity to sit down and speak with someone and explain to him what I really wanted to do. On a handshake, he literally let me push the bus into the space and I was lit erally pushing the bus all over down town New York doing events, trying to promote it. And, we agreed that it would be three months and I had

three months to get the money to gether to do this, it took six months. We signed the lease in March of 2010 and opened in September of 2010 and this became a full-service indoor dining concept, from a street taco stand where you could place orders and sit down to this indoor dining that could operate all year. Eventu ally we got a beer license and a liquor license which made dinner viable. Having at least the option of alcohol was important and that allowed us to operate 11a.m. to midnight every day, one menu, full service sit down where people could consume a beer or Margarita at nighttime or on the weekends. It started to really round out what that could be.

How did the retail/grocery tortilla line come about?

We found our niche and began to grow steadily with a new Taqueria in New York City every 12 to 18 months.

With my love of the ocean, we even opened in Montauk. In 2016, be cause we were making our own prod ucts for consumption in the restau rant, so need based, we couldn’t get quality tortillas that we wanted, we started making our own tortillas. The tortillas were so good that they were sold at Whole Foods. We had already architected the brand to tell the story of Mexico. Whole Foods gave us a new vehicle to tell that story. That side re inforced our supply chain for the res taurant which made the food in the restaurants better. From 2015 to 2020 our food just got better and better as we were focused on the ingredients. Our hospitality and our systems got better and better until 2020 when like everybody else, we had to figure out how to survive. We’ve also been able to tap in to the expertise of Gary Hirshberg who founded Stonyfield yogurt. He runs the Hirschberg In stitute and twice a year mentors en

trepreneurs in the food space. He has invested in a number of businesses like ours and has helped us fine tune our CPG strategy.

How did you decide between corpo rately owned stores and franchising to grow the Tacombi brand?

I had decided many years back, that I wanted to pursue a company owned model. As we grew Tacombi and as we revisited the conclusion remains to fund/finance growth cen trally. Different than other restaurant brands, Tacombi is a 360 concept of the Mexican experience that needs to flow through this one lens of the brand. With our work and access to Danny and the EHI team, we are now taking a Shake Shack approach to our global growth potential. I believe a large part in today’s world an impor tant aspect is globalizing early if you don’t get it into your DNA as you’re young in the company, the United States is so big, you’ll never get it. So, I wanted to make sure that we took a licensing strategy to our interna tional vision. Shake Shack has some of the best partners in the world in their operation. Coincidentally many of the same partners that have grown Starbucks around the world. We are having those conversations now for international licensing, trying to bring Tacombi to Korea, Singapore, Middle East, and airports in the Unit ed States. You can’t really do it on your own.

From a simple nuts and bolts stand point, how do you build out the supply chain resources needed to grow across the US and Internationally?

You can get pieces for Mexican food and Mexican ingredients from a num ber of sources from SYSCO to Baldor etc. But to accomplish our goal, it re quires a number of specialty suppli ers. We also skew heavily towards or ganics, hormone and antibiotic-free. We’re actually very much deep in the middle of building those resources now. One of the biggest parts of what we make and sell are tortillas, it’s just

on page 44

42 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
DARIO WOLOS , from page 40Q&A continued
Vista Hermosa was formed by spirit and resolve inside the sturdy brick walls of Tacombi. The tortilla is the golden foundation of a quali ty taco and without local sources who met their quality standards for freshness and flavor they decided to make our own, the traditional Mexican way. From scratch. Every day. The Totopos are Non-GMO and Gluten Free and made from 100% nixtamalized corn tortillas. Vista Hermosa totopos are made the same way you would find in the markets of Mexico by cutting our tortillas into four golden triangles and lightly frying in sunflower oil.
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 43

fundamental to everything we do. And so, for these tortillas to get the organic certification for Whole Foods, we had to build a supply chain of sourcing the corn. With that in mind, a lot of what we are doing at Tacombi, is from scratch. We get these ingredients in and then we manufacture them to get to the quality standard we have set.

If we’re going to South Florida, cen tral, Mid Atlantic and Chicago, we have to figure out how to make this work. That’s the question I’m talking about today with my partners Dieter Wiechmann (Chief Creative Officer) and Johnny Hill (President).

What is your approach to marketing the restaurants?

We look at brands like Hershey’s and Starbucks in their early days and how they went about just building custom er loyalty. With our mission of excel lent Mexican hospitality, our market ing goal is to find a way to share our catalogue of adventure and experienc es through stories. We haven’t focused on sharing that content because, we wanted to make sure we got the food and customer experience right.

Our goal is to really tell stories that make sense within the context of con necting people to Mexico. So, we will basically build a platform that really tells how we work to reinforce these principles in the stores, and then we

can figure out how to use them to raise awareness. It could be done with social media and /or traditional advertising. For our CPG products, we definitely do supermarket coupons, personal samples of the food, and demos are a big thing.

The crystal ball question, as you look ahead, will this ultimately be a CPG brand or a restaurant brand?

Has anyone ever done both success fully in the way that we’re going to do it? I don’t think so. General Mills and Darden did it to some extent in the 80s and 90s. More recently Starbucks has had some success in both.

We’re actually going to have three businesses. The CPG business, the restaurant business, which is half an ecommerce business, because 40% of our revenue is through the market places and tacombi.com and all that, direct to consumer and content. And I really do think we’re going to be a content player, because of how we’ve evolved. By the time we go public, we’ll have those two businesses al most equal size growing in the United States. CPG and the restaurant busi ness, and I think we’ve figured out how to do it because we grew into it organi cally in a way that makes sense for our business.

All photos courtesy of Tacombi

44 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com DARIO WOLOS , from page 42Q&A
The interior of the Tacombi Bleecker Street location in New York City.
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 45

TASTE

WELLNESS

Organicity is a project that promotes organic prod ucts of European Union producers on USA and South East Asia markets: Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand.

European Union makes us stronger!

The project will last until the end of November 2023 and it is co-financed by EUROPEAN UNION and it is real ized by Polska Ekologia and our part ner Italian organic organization Bio agricoop, which contributes to the promotion and development of organ ic farming, producing and processing of organic food both at national and international level.

In this way we can propose a selec tion of organic products from two dif ferent countries with a different kind

of production (Mediterranean/middle Europe) and the same passion for organic production.

Objectives

1) To improve the awareness of con sumers as well as operators in each target country of the labels containing the Community logo of organic farm ing and increase consumers’ knowl edge so that they are able to search, recognize and choose products from EU organic farming in a clear and con scious way. In this sense, the project aims to encourage the consumption of organic foods.

2) To increase the trust of consumers and trade operators contacted in each target country in EU products com ing from organic farming, by spread ing the wide knowledge about organic

products and production in EU

3) To increase the confidence of the target groups (consumers, importers, distributors and restaurateurs) con tacted in each target countries in EU organic products, by informing them about the intrinsic characteristics of organic farming products.

International Fairs and beyond

The participation to International Fairs is preminent, but it is different than having an individual participa tion. The Organicity logo is an official framework recognized by European Commission that comprehends dif ferent companies. In this way, with a collective promotional effort, every company becomes stronger.

Every project activity aims to the ex pansion of the European organic mar ket and to the establishment of the members in the target coun tries through promotional activi ties and awareness campaign.

• EU organic weeks in POS: special event that will prefer the high-quality supermarkets, hy permarkets and shopping malls. The targets of these actions are the high-income consumers who will have the possibility to taste the products.

• Networking dinner: will be targeted to the most interesting operators met during the Fairs and the promotional activities, as well as the main media operators of the countries. Food Bloggers will be also invited, for their rele

vant role of opinion leaders. There will be a cooking show with high-quality chefs.

• Online & offline promotion: web site, social networks, press office and press advertisement. The promotion of every single brand is part of an of ficial framework guaranteed by the European Commission. This coop eration is even stronger thanks to the opportunity to be part of an interna tional network.

• Incoming: Incoming missions will be arranged in order to realize meet ings with sector operators, as buyers, HORECA, retail purchasing managers, wholesalers, catering managers, im porters, reporters and opinion leaders. The aim of this activity is to follow up the most promising relationships.

Communication and Marketing

All the best ideas need to be shared in a proper way or nobody will notice them. We strongly believe in the power of communication. A perfect visual identity will be together with a spon sorized campaign created for each country. Social networks will be used to spread information on the project, on the companies, on the products. A practice tool to create social connec tions. There will be promotional and educative videos and an interactive App about the organic world, to in form and spread information about the products with direct connection to the POS.

46 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
ORGANICITY-
THE
OF EU ORGANIC FOOD! 2019-2023 GLOBAL PRODUCE INITIATIVESNEWS * Due to the Covid pandemic, the program was interrupted from April 2020 to March 2022
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 47

RAK PORCELAIN BRINGS FULL PORTFOLIO OF TABLETOP SOLUTIONS TO RESTAURANT AND FOODSERVICE PROFESSIONALS

It is true that the ambiance, the service, and the taste of the food combine to elevate the dining ex perience. But perhaps the element that seals the deal is the tableware. Not only must it be a sophisticated reflec tion of the establishment, but it must also do the job right. Too little and the food falls off and too big and you think the establishment is being stingy. Like Cinderella’s proverbial slipper, it must fit just right.

With the right color, texture RAK Porcelain understands the impact of the right tabletop design to the dining experience. “Our products are truly unique, and design driven specifically for the hospitality market. Our prod ucts are durable and operationally sound as they were designed with the commercial customers’ needs first,”

said Jeffrey Castor, Sr VP Hotel & Gam ing of RAK Porcelain USA.

With its origins in the Middle East, RAK Porcelain is spreading its wings westward. “In the US we are strategic distribution partners with Stolzle and Sola cutlery allowing us to provide a total tabletop solution. Being some what new to the US allows restaurants etcetera, to entertain their guest with products they have not previously seen. Being different is a key strength for any chef. Although new in the US, we are a staple in the rest of the world giving chefs the confidence in the brand. We are one of the world’s largest dinnerware manufacturers. Our products can be found in hotels, restaurants, airlines, and cruise ships globally,” Castor added.

No doubt there will be many get-

togethers as we head into our first holiday/catering season since the pandemic. With this robust party ing season around the corner, Castor forecasts that from RAK Porcelain’s inventory, there will be an abundance of colors and textures to choose from. “Over the past 20 years we’ve seen the industry trends go from plain white plates to what we have now. Currently

tomer levels. Neutral earth tones re main hot as they don’t take away from the overall focus on the food. Blues and greens are hot and black contin ues to be a key go-to color. Again, all these innovations are exciting and cool but will only be a viable solution if they are designed and engineered to meet the needs of the fast-paced and often not delicate needs of the hospi

48 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
TABLETOP DESIGN STRATEGIESNEWS
“Currently the desire for textures, colors, different finishes and feels in all tabletop categories is very prevalent at all customer levels.” — Jeffrey Castor
continued on page 114
Karen Jones
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 49

FALL FOOD TRENDS FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES AND EVENTS

With the arrival of fall comes all the seasonal holidays — and accompany ing celebrations, which typically include food and beverage. When it comes to serving a sumptu ous spread this season, follow the trends! Food trends are often led by seasonal produce and the harvest includes a wide array of delicious and versatile items for fall events and parties.

Whether serving a meal for the family or hosting a large holiday gathering, the food should always be a memorable part of the expe rience. Food connects people in many ways and is generally a fun (and scrumptious) way for people to bond. There are multiple options when it comes to how food is served as well. For example, the traditional sit down dinner with full service is great for a formal event. However, it limits socialization to the people seated at each table. Buffet style dining allows guests to serve them

A fun way to serve buffet or selfservice meals is to create “stations” built around a central theme — such as baked potato and soup sta tions, dessert and drink stations or carving stations (with full service, of course). Having fun with the way foods are served and presented makes for a memorable event. Hav ing passed appetizers and beverages at the beginning of an event encour ages guests to mix and mingle with others while enjoying light nibbles and sips as the party gets rolling.

Regardless of how meals are served, incorporating some fall trends into any event will surely make it memorable. Here are a few

restaurant menus and at holiday events all season long.

Aside from popping up every where including clothing and home décor, unique and specialty mush rooms are having a moment on menus. The New York Times even named the mushroom its 2022 in gredient of the year. This could be due to the combination of many people choosing a more plantbased, less meat-centric way of eating along with seeking healthy, natural ingredients. Mushrooms have long been used in ancient so cieties for medicinal purposes and today varieties such as lion’s mane, shitake, trumpet and blue oyster

Mushrooms also have a “umami” flavor that makes them savory while also completing the profile of a number of dishes. Their versatility also makes them very user friendly in a variety of meals. In addition to serving mushrooms as a main or a side dish, mushroom cocktails are a hot new thing this fall and winter. Instead of using the same old but ton or portobello, get adventurous and try out different mushroom va rietals.

Speaking of cocktails, mezcal lov ers have some creative concoctions to look forward to. Mezcal cocktails

110

50 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
continued on page
CATERING STRATEGIESNEWS by
Hause, co-owner of Fabulous Food
Chantal Hause
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 51

ZERO HOUR’S PORTFOLIO OF SERVICES BRING HEALTH AND WELLNESS TO RESTAURANT AND FOODSERVICE COMMUNITY

Even as the COVID pandemic dwindles, and life returns to semi-normalcy, healthcare and safety remain on the forefront of everyone’s minds. With her decades of healthcare experience and a superb team of healthcare ex perts and practitioners, Roslyn Stone and her company Zero Hour Health provide much-needed medical sup port to a wide range of restaurant clientele. Total Food Service spoke with Stone to discover how Zero Hour Health can fit into the daily operations of a restaurant, and how its services provide support amidst a health crisis.

As CEO of Zero Hour Health, Roslyn Stone built the company on the back of a long career working in healthcare administration. She watched a former employer whose primary business model is to support major corpora tions, turn away smaller companies with similar medical needs as larger ones. Seeing demand for supporting smaller and mid-sized organizationss, she began Zero Hour Health. From its humble origins providing resources such as flu shots to chains like Out back Steakhouse has ballooned into a sizable portfolio of restaurants with a diverse range of medical needs.

Now Zero Hour divides its resources between preventing medical crises and responding to the ongoing medi cal emergencies of its clients. The company assists corporations – par ticularly growing chains that are out lining their first large-scale operations requirements – in drafting thorough crisis plans that aim to prevent, for example, the outbreak of highly con tagious diseases such as norovirus or

the flu. However, as Stone quipped, “medical emergencies are inevitable.”

Therefore, Zero Hour also assists their clients in the management of ongoing crises by providing support like vac cinations, on-site nurses, disinfection kits, and symptom surveys that mini mize infection spread. After all, Stone forewarns, “you’re only as good as your last health inspection!”

Zero Hour’s business model and support system was well-equipped to provide much-needed guidance to its clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For Stone and her team, COVID became a concern in Janu ary 2020 as she prepared to send a response team of nurses to the Super Bowl. Years of developing illness re sponse tactics meant that the com pany was carefully observing the bur geoning health crisis in China and its spread abroad; as a result of their fore sight, the team added temperature screening to their already thorough Super Bowl food service worker health checks. Just a few weeks later, Stone lamented, “our offices closed; they’re only just reopening two years later.”

For Stone and her company, adjust ment to this so-called ‘new normal’ has been difficult yet rewarding. Their

diverse client portfolio meant that Zero Hour needed to cooperate with thousands of health departments, each of which drafted their own CO VID standards: “we started taking on sixteen-hour workdays, seven days a week,” she says of the toll of increased demand for medical support. On the other hand, the pandemic helped Stone to expand her business, and reaffirmed the importance of clean liness and health to her clients’ em ployees. The biggest problem facing her clients nowadays? Mental health.

“90% of Americans believe we’re in a mental health crisis,” a fact that has only worsened as a result of the pandemic and the lockdown, Stone states. She finds that providing re sources to support the mental health of her clients’ employees is equally as important as maintaining a clean and sanitary workspace: “The newest data suggests that issues related to mental health contribute to almost 90% of turnover – specifically stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse –because employees feel disconnect ed.” While support structures, such as Employees Assistance Programs (EAPs) exist to deal with mental health crises, they are severely underutilized.

A significant part of Zero Hour’s mental health initiative is simply connecting employees to these re sources: “mental health is such a com plex problem, and employers need a toolkit,” explained Stone. For many of her clients, that toolkit contains a newly launched service called Navi gate, which takes a subset of pre-ex isting clinical teams and trains them as mental health navigators. “We’re giving employees simple tools to get through today,” Stone proudly de tails. By asking employers to invest in the mental health of their employees, Zero Hour helps maintain a safe and welcoming workspace.

Partnering with Zero Hour and im plementing their programs into daily operations is a simple and effective process. Because the company sup ports such a diverse portfolio of res taurants and, after all, “no corpora tion is the same,” Zero Hour interacts with and operates inside of a wide range of departments, including Hu man Resources, Legal, and Adminis tration. The roll-out process typically begins with a team curating and pre senting a pitch to a multidisciplinary group of client higher-ups to sell into the company. On a local level, roll-out typically entails meetings between Zero Hour and location employees to discuss protocol and develop strin gent standards, because “excellence of operation is what helps prevent crises in the first place.” For Stone and Zero Hour, it’s the little things that can say a lot about how a restaurant is run: “the cleanliness of a bathroom, for

52 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
HEALTH & WELLNESS STRATEGIESNEWS
“We’re giving employees simple tools to get through today. By asking employers to invest in the mental health of their employees, Zero Hour helps maintain a safe and welcoming workspace.” — Roslyn Stone
continued on page 126 By Jackson Hart

Navigate

It’s Not As Simple As How Much You Pay Your Bartender Anymore

3 out of 4 employees are more likely to stay in a job that offers high-quality mental health resources.

Navigate by Zero Hour Health is built to keep foodservice and hospitality employees happier, healthier, and working their best.

Let us show how we can help your workforce.

Scan the QR code or check us out at navigate. zerohourhealth. com

November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 53
by Zero Hour Health

NOW WE’RE SIPPING SHOCHU

Along with elected officials shuffling seats this month after the midterm elec tion, it should be noticed that laws and policies change. Even when it seems inconceivable.

For those of us 55 and younger, we’re waking up post-pandemic to realize that the broken business model that’s guided the hospitality industry is no more immutable than the protections guaranteed under roe v Wade. One positive way that’s all been driven home very visibly recently is the addition of a new law passed in New York on July 1st en abling Japanese shochu to finally be sold as shochu.

Previously any shochu sold here was required to be labeled as soju. That’s problematic because that’s a misnomer; soju comes from Ko rea. Shochu is a heritage product with roots stretching back hundreds of years in Japan. And they are very different libations.

When Governor Hochul signed New York Assembly bill A.8620/7913 into law amending the Beverage Con

trol Act it leveled the playing field for Japanese producers and opened up vast opportunities for guest educa tion and business expansion. This amendment means that for the first time in New York the shochu category is recognized as unique and Japanese Shochu (24% ABV or under) can be sold under a beer and wine license.

Chikako Ichihara, of the New York Japanese Restaurant Association (NYJRA), explains why this legislation is so important to the category, and to American bars and restaurants. She says, “We have always wanted to put the shochu name on the label to avoid consumer confusion. There are two completely different products in which the process and production is different; soju is from South Korea and shochu comes with an over a 500-year-old history of being made in Japan.”

Just getting the name right is only the first step. Shochu faces a few more hurdles beyond naming rights, and category recognition, and Ichi hara and her association members know there are also great rewards to

be seen by beverage managers who embrace shochu and can add a spir its education component to the guest experience. Being the restaurant or bar that offers guests something new is a big plus for business.

Chikkako explains, “Many people think shochu is the same as sake, but it is different. Sake is brewed wine. Shochu is a distilled spirit. It’s a huge difference. There are over 286 ways to make shochu – there’s not other spirit making that kind of complicated process.”

That complicated process starts with any one of a number of ingre dients. Or, to be a bit more precise, over 46. It’s mainly rice and potatoes, but Ichohara points out that they also have shochu made with pumpkin and ginger and other ingredients.

Honkaku shochu and awamori shochu are the two main kinds of shochu you’ll find. They are both traditional pot still distillates, and because it’s a single distillation pro cess - they are only distilled once- the spirit maintains the rich taste of its base ingredients.

Honkaku shochu uses grains, po tatoes, brown sugar, etc. as a main base ingredient, and koji and water as raw material. Koji is a fermented product made by treating rice with mold. In Saké production the mold is introduced to rice, in shochu pro duction it’s introduced to rice as well as ingredients such as barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat and more. Koji contains enzymes made by the koji mold which break down the main in gredient and the koji itself into sev eral components.

There two kinds of koji used most often- black and white- with yellow being used as well to produce sho chu. The koji itself impacts the final flavor of the shochu. When training bartenders about shochu, whether it’s his brand, SG, or on the cat egory itself, Joshin Antone, Director

Francine Cohen is an awardwinning journalist covering the business of the f&b/hospital ity industry, and a proud native Washingtonian (DC). In addi tion to her work as a journalist she keeps busy fundraising for Citymeals on Wheels, Les Dames d’Escoffier, NY Women’s Culinary Alliance, and the USBG Founda tion and serves as chief storytell er and brand steward for clients in the food and beverage sector by providing them with strategic marketing and business growth guidance. She has never met a cheese or beverage she does not like, and lives with her husband in New York; leaving him behind to visit New Orleans every summer. (Except 2020-21. Darn pandem ic.) You can reach her at francine cohen@mindspring.com

of Brand & Product Design, the SG Group, explains, “Shochu is a Japa nese single-distilled spirit using koji in the fermentation process. The koji and single distillation contribute to a complexity and expressivity in flavor that very few spirits offer.”

He continues, “Shochu is gener ally made from either rice, sweet po tato, or barley, the flavors of which are distinct and offer a diverse range of authentic flavors. Depending on the variety the cocktail applications vary- light, crisp rice shochu can be used similar to vodka or gin, while sweet potato shochu with a full body and rich aromatic profile can be used in cocktails to replace rum or tequila. Barley shochu, if aged in barrels, can be used similar to Japanese whisky or brandy.”

Tetsuro Miyazaki, General Manager of Iichiko USA, describes his brand as representative of the category as he notes, “Iichiko Shochu is the native spirit of Japan – a white spirit that’s incredibly rich in flavor, yet smooth and easy to drink with food. Iichiko, pronounced EACH-ko, derives from a dialect spoken in the Oita Prefecture of Japan and translates to ‘it’s great.’

continued on page 56

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WITH FRANCINE COHENSPIRITED NEWS + VIEWS
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 55

Iichiko is a true expression of a pris tine natural environment; crafted in Oita Prefecture on Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island – a region fa mous for its clean air, lush greenery, dense cedar forests, mountainous terrain, and geothermal springs.”

Ichihara points out that geography is yet another difference separating shochu from other spirits, “It’s very regional – most of shochu is made on the southern island, sake is made up north.” She continues, “Everybody feels spirits can’t pair with food, but shochu can. Smooth, subtle and it is very easy to pair with food during dinner. It’s like a wine.”

Chef Fred Sabo, Executive Chef, Restaurant Associates concurs, “What is interesting to me as chef is the funk factor in shochu. Using cit rus flavored shochu to cure salmon for example is a way to add another layer of flavor and depth of umami. Paired with food it is very adaptable because it’s easy to drink. I like it particularly with fried foods. Shochu

can stand up to strong flavors with out overwhelming them, co-mingling on the palate to create smooth taste experiences.”

Creating great taste experiences is what drove Samuel Boulton, Manag ing Director of The Pineapple Club Cocktail Bar -the 44th Best Bar on the UK Top 50 Bars List- to add mul tiple shochu options to his back bar and menu at Pineapple, and his other bar, Shibuya. Though they just start ed adding shochu to the inventory earlier this year, thanks to customer request there’s a full commitment to the category with 35% of menu drinks at Shibuya and 20% at The Pineapple Club including shochu.

Having shochu on the menu is a great opportunity for guest engage ment. And bartender education. He shares his approach, “We keep it simple (unless they ask for more in formation) - we tell them it’s a spirit from Japan what it’s made from and what to expect in the cocktail. More than not, we have to explain the dif

ference to Soju, as I think most con sumers are more familiar with the Korean spirit.”

Boulton makes sure his bartenders understand it fully and he hopes all bartenders will grasp the versatility of shochu. He remarks, “We’ve been playing with it for a while now and it’s amazing to see how you can use it; some will overpower a cocktail easily, some are fruity and light, some you really have to really work to extract it’s flavor like Kome Shochu.”

Boulton encourages bartenders to experiment and explore the catego ry as he advises, “I think bartenders need to understand there’s over 50 ingredients you can use to make Sho chu and each ingredient have many varieties within them. Sweet potato for instance can be umami heavy and rich or taste of lychees and Violet. In the Uk we have a great selection, something I’m keen to keep explor ing and finding more.”

That should be an easy task for Boulton, and bartenders everywhere,

as there are over 1700 producers of sake, honkaku Shochu, awamori, and hon-mirin in The Japan Sake and Shochu Association (JSS) - which was established in 1953 as the larg est non-profit organization in Japan. And there are over 270 shochu dis tilleries throughout the country, pro ducing more than 2000 brands today. Really it couldn’t be more timely for bars and restaurants to embrace, understand, and utilize shochu for the great delight of their guests. And to build a more interesting bar business.

And, in keeping with the Japanese traditions of respect, now that sho chu can be labeled correctly in NY it is encumbent upon us to make sure we are giving it its due as Antone concludes, “Shochu is often confused with Korean soju or the Chinese shaojiu. While these spirits share an etymological root, they are different spirit categories, and therefore we need to make sure we are pronounc ing the words correctly.”

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JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF KUSH

How do you open a vegan soul food restaurant dur ing a recession, keep it go ing, and against all odds, still succeed? I spoke with Chef Gregory Brown and Naijha WrightBrown, the dynamic husband-wife team behind the vegan soul food eatery, The Land of Kush, to learn more about the challenges and inspiration behind their ground breaking restaurant. But first, a little information about the founders.

Chef Gregory is no stranger to the Baltimore food scene. Besides be ing the co-owner/chef of The Land of Kush in Baltimore, Maryland,

he is also a board member of both the Black Veg Society and the Visit Baltimore Education and Training Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to developing Baltimore’s workforce and strengthening its tourism com munity.

Naijha Wright-Brown, the restau rant’s marketing director, is an ex pert on vegan and plant-based eat ing. She is the co-creator of Vegan Soulfest and the Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week, as well as the ex ecutive director of the Black Veg Society, an organization committed to educating predominantly Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BI

POC) communities, on the benefits of holistic living, plant-based eat ing, and veganism.

Why did you decide to open The Land of Kush in an economically depressed section of Baltimore dur ing the height of 2008 recession?

The Land of Kush opened in an economically depressed section of Baltimore to provide a solution for accessibility to healthier soul food options in Black and Latino communities. The fact that it was opened during a recession just hap pened to be because that was the time Gregory Brown wanted to open it. It wasn’t planned. It was during a time when everything came togeth er for him to open the restaurant in terms of financing, partnership, and the ideal location. When it came to the location, our goal was to be in a neighborhood that needed better food options. The 840 North Eutaw Street location just fitted everything in terms of proximity to economi cally challenged areas in terms of food options. It also met our budget.

Imagine you’re briefly trapped in an elevator with Oprah Winfrey. In one minute, how would you de scribe to her what your restaurant Land of Kush is like?

The Land of Kush is the ultimate vegan soul food experience! We are VeganSoul! Since 2011, we’ve been Baltimore’s premier vegan restau rant – serving the likes of Stevie Wonder, Angela Davis, and many others. We invite diners to celebrate a new way of life by allowing us to in spire them to feed their spirits. Our

Cherry Dumaual is the Partnerships Director, The Monday Campaigns / Meat less Monday. She oversees PR and partnership develop ment for the initiatives of The Monday Campaigns (TMC), in cluding Meatless Monday. She has forged partnerships with leading organizations, such as C-CAP (Careers for Culinary Arts Program), the American Institute of Cancer Research, and New Jersey Healthy Kids Initiative, Prior to joining TMC, Cherry served as svp for lead ing PR agencies and worked with major food and healthcare clients. Passionate about learn ing and cooking international cuisines, Cherry has traveled to more than 50 countries where she and her husband explored local food markets and restau rants. She earned her commu nications degree cum laude at Hunter College, CUNY.

customers experience great food and a healthier way of living. We are more than just a restaurant. We are a social enterprise serving up barbe cue rib tips, collard greens, candied yams, mac and cheese, award-win ning crabcakes, fresh smoothies, and juices...all 100% vegan. We service an economically depressed area in Baltimore by hiring people from within that area and educating them on business, health, nutrition, and the vegan mission overall.

How does Land of Kush keep its vegan audience happy and coming back for more while also attracting meat-loving diners?

The Land of Kush keeps our vegan customers happy by simply serving

60 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
WITH CHERRY DUMAUALPLANT BASED NEWS + TRENDS
Chef Gregory Brown and Naijha Wright-Brown, marketing director, co-owners of the Land of Kush, Baltimore’s premier vegan restaurant.
Chef Gregory Brown and Naijha Wright-Brown share their experience about opening their first vegan soul food restaurant, despite major challenges at the start
PRESENTED BY: continued on page 62

ESSENTIAL LESSONS IN HOSPITALITY for every business and finding magic in the hard work we do, from the former co-owner of legendary restaurant Eleven Madison Park.

AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD

“Will Guidara is one of the very best in the hospitality business . . . his insights on how to be a great entrepreneur cut through the noise.”

—DAVID CHANG , founder of Momofuku and host of Ugly Delicious

“An exceptional book for anyone or any organization aiming to excel at human connection.”

DANNY MEYER , CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and author of Setting the Table

November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 61

delicious vegan food that ca ters to a wide variety of pal ates. We work hard to make the food really exciting and tasty. It also doesn’t hurt to have a proprietary loyalty re wards program to keep our re peat customers coming back. We initiated this program two years after our restaurant opened.

As far as attracting meatloving diners, we serve food that is close in resemblance to meat dishes, but we also make food that’s very appetizing and delicious. We have had meat eaters come in and try the food and really love it so much that they cannot believe it isn’t meat. We don’t put any pres sure on them to change their entire lifestyle. We simply give them an option to eat some thing that’s a bit healthier al though slightly different from what they are used to.

How do you plan your vegan soul menus? What are your top three selling dishes?

Naijha recommended the “vegan soul food” idea to reach our target audi ence. Prior to transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, Naijha loved soul food and thought veganizing popular soul food dishes would be better received, so I saw cook ing vegan soul food in terms of an African-American perspective. As we advanced and my palate began to grow, I started looking at food across the equator in terms of Af rican dishes, Caribbean dishes, In dian dishes, and Asian dishes. The thought came across my mind to combine those and I’m looking to add traditional Latin dishes. I’ll be working to add those dishes to the menu, one at a time, or maybe do ing a special menu. We also offer catering so we get an opportunity to customize specific themed-type of catering. We enjoy preparing those.

The top three selling dishes on the menu are the barbecue rib tips, the

mac & cheese, the kale salad with garlic avocado dressing, and we must add a fourth, our award-win ning vegan crabcakes.

How do you help your community through your restaurant and why is this such an important component of your business?

We help our community by offer ing healthier meal options, while also providing educational services where we go out and speak to differ ent community organizations about healthier food choices, specifically vegan and plant-based foods. We talk about how to cook these foods and we hire from within the com munity. We hire youth and educate them on what books and educa tional material to read. We assist them in dealing with real-life is

sues and how to develop themselves and grow personally and profes sionally. We can’t make employees develop themselves, but we do the best we can with the resources we have to assist them. We try to create a positive environment where an individual can grow and learn from us.

It’s important for restaurants to get involved in their community because it’s not just about being a business, or in business, all about making money and profiting. It’s also about having a partnership with the people and organizations that are around you whether it be schools, churches, or hospitals. Businesses should be there to sup port these individuals and organiza tions as best as they can.

How does using Meatless Mon day in your community pro motions help you and Land of Kush?

The Meatless Monday initia tive helps The Land of Kush in a couple of different ways. It engages those to meet up at the restaurant who may not nor mally come to the restaurant on any other day. We also have a long-standing partnership with an organization called Food Rescue Baltimore that distrib utes produce and plant-based grocery store items in front of our restaurant every Monday. It’s been running strong for five years. It gives us more exposure because we have long lines of people in the community com ing to pick up the free produce being given away. It’s a way for us to give back and be a social enterprise.

Congrats on your forthcom ing second restaurant! What are your hopes for your second Land of Kush?

It’s simple. We just want to be bigger and better in our next space on the east side of town. The second location will allow us to do more on-site events at the restaurant which customers have requested in the past. The space will allow us to ex periment more with the menu and put out some items that we are un able to prepare and offer at the cur rent location. We’re really excited about opening a second location and getting to the next level.

For more information on the Land of Kush, go to: https://landofkush. com/

For a free toolkit to introduce a Meatless Monday program to your restaurant operation, download the Meatless Monday Restaurant Pro gram Guide: https://www.monday campaigns.org/meatless-monday/ package/restaurant-program-guide

62 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
Land of Kush’s award-winning vegan crabcakes with kale salad and potato salad
from page 60PLANT BASED
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 63

AVRAMAR BRINGS SIMPLE AND CONSISTENT SEAFOOD SOLUTIONS TO U.S. RESTAURANTS AND CHEFS

Aversatile seafood prod uct that can be used as an entree, sashimi, poke, or ceviche… For the restaurant chef it seems too good to be true, yet AVRAMAR, the largest producer of Mediterranean fish is offering just that: consistent ly delicious high-quality seafood with the flexibility that its custom ers are looking for.

The name AVRAMAR, coming from “avra” meaning “breeze” in Greek and “mar” meaning “sea” in Spanish, is the unification of four aquaculture companies Androm eda, Nireus, Selonda and Perseus. These companies have been at the forefront of sustainable aquacul ture for decades, with the Mediter ranean being their core market in Greece, Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal. They were the first to es tablish the offering of Branzino,

also known as European Seabass, in North America. Virtually unknown 15 - 20 years ago, Branzino has seen a 25% increase in imports year af ter year, establishing its value as a menu addition. North America is now 10% of their sales with a fore cast of 15% - 20% within the next 35 years. Now, as one united compa ny they will be able to offer the best quality Mediterranean fish to differ ent parts of the world. With exports to 40 different markets, AVRAMAR is looking to expand to Northern Eu rope, the Middle East, and Asia.

Thor Talseth, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, has over 20 years of experience in the international seafood and aquaculture industry as an investor, senior executive, and sector-focused banker. He explains why the unification of these com panies has created Superior Taste Award winning Mediterranean fish. “Historically speaking, aquaculture has been very fragmented, primar ily family-owned companies with limited financial flexibility, and a limited talent pool,” Talseth said. “Combining these companies was a way to create an industry champi on that has the financial backbone to develop the category, to partner with our customers, to develop new products, and hire people that can take us to the next level.”

AVRAMAR has earned the trust of the Culinary Institute of Ameri ca and the “Menus of Change Uni

64 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
MENU STRATEGIESNEWS By Cristina Mercedes AVRAMAR CEO Thor Talseth continued on page 118 A fresh caught Avramar Whole Kranios - Greek Stone Bass (top) can be prepared in many ways, including roasted with seasonable vegetable
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 65 Simplot Good Grains™ Cilantro Lime Rice & Fire-Roasted Corn Fiesta Nutritious whole grains and colorful vegetables in delicious combinations. Eclectic menu, you say? Simplot Harvest Fresh™ Avocados A premium topping that you can upcharge for.©2022 J.R. Simplot Company potatoes | avocados | fruits | vegetables | grains Get a FREE sample and recipe ideas at www.simplotfoods.com

UPDATES TO NEW YORK STATE AND NYC COVID-19 GUIDELINES BRING WELCOME RELIEF FOR HOSPITALITY EMPLOYERS

Over the last few months, New York State and New York City have an nounced a number of significant changes to the rules im posed on New York employers to ad dress COVID-19 in the workplace.

New York State Relaxes Quaran tine and Isolation Periods for COVID-exposed Workers

For hospitality employers, the change that may have the biggest impact is the elimination of quar antines after coming into close con tact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

On September 14, 2022, the New York State Department of Health confirmed that going forward New York would adhere to the rules and regulations issued by the United States Center for Disease Control (“CDC”). Under those federal guide lines, now adopted by New York State, if asymptomatic individuals suspect or can confirm exposure to COVID-19, they are no longer re quired to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status. Before the September 14, 2022 update, only fully vaccinated and boosted indi viduals in New York could bypass the quarantine period (so long as

they were asymptomatic). Now, all individuals must wear a mask for 10 days upon being informed of expo sure, wear a mask anytime they are around other people, and get tested at least five-full days after their last exposure, even if they remain as ymptomatic. Only if someone tests positive do they need to isolate in accordance with the below.

In addition, New York follow ing the CDC guidelines results in a shortened isolation period for indi viduals who are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19. Previously, these individuals were required to isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms (or if as ymptomatic, the date they tested positive). Now, individuals must isolate for a minimum of 5 days, provided their symptoms are im proving and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medi cation. After ending isolation, individuals must wear a mask when interacting with others through day 10, regard less of their vaccination status, however, with two negative tests tak en 48 hours apart, in dividuals may remove their mask sooner than day 10.

Nija M. Davis-Pedlar is an Associate in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Elle noff Grossman & Schole LLP in New York City. Ms. Davis-Pedlar has experience representing management in traditional labor relations, em ployment coun seling, and wage and hour claims. Before joining Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, Ms. Davis-Ped lar was an associate with The Realty Ad visory Board on Labor Relations, where she aided in defending employers in the grievance and Arbitration process, and partook in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements on behalf of employers.

Valerie Bluth is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Group at Ellenoff Gross man & Schole LLP. For more than thirteen years, Ms. Bluth has exclusively represented and advised clients in employmentrelated matters, with a particular focus in the hos pitality industry.

Above all, Ms. Bluth works tirelessly to ensure clients are in compliance with an ever-changing landscape of federal, state and local employment laws, espe cially with respect to COVID-19 compli ance, pay practices and employment policies, and to devise practical solu tions for any employment problems that might arise.

Nija M. Davis-Pedlar (ndavispedlar@ egsllp.com) and Valerie Bluth (vbluth@ egsllp.com) can be reached via phone at 212-370-1300.

That said, employees are not re quired by CDC or New York guide lines to obtain a negative test to re turn to work after testing positive, and should not be encouraged to do so – if the employee continues to test positive, they would need to continue isolating through day 10 instead of returning to work after day 5 with a mask on. And, depend ing on the size of the employer, the employee may be entitled to ad ditional paid COVID-19 sick leave if they continue to test positive, at least through the end of 2022.

continued on page 126

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FROM ELLENOFF GROSSMAN & SCHOLE LLPLEGAL INSIDER
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 67

CABBAGE, THE UNSUNG HERO

Happy November! We’ve moved past the post-sum mer autumnal excitement, and now are compelled to embrace and appreciate the mid-sea son temperatures before the cold of winter sets in. With the holiday season is fast approaching, we know it’s time to get those special menus in gear. With rising food costs and crop insta bility, there’s one type of produce we all know we can count on, no matter the temperature or season – cabbage!

Cabbage, in all of its varieties and possible preparations, is a bedrock of the culinary world. Look to any culture and every world cuisine, both histori cally and in the modern day – whether haute or humble – and you will find cabbage playing an important role… even if it is a supporting one.

How Has Cabbage Come to be Such a Culinary Staple?

Let’s start with the basics: cabbage is a crop that grows year-round. There are both winter and summer varietals with significant yields that provide sustained and substantive nutrition, but we’ll get to the health benefits of

this cruciferous vegetable a little later.

Cabbage is not a finicky crop – it can withstand high heat and deep freezes, which means that no matter the farm ing difficulties of a particular season, cabbage survives. It also has a long shelf-life, and is ideal for preserving – whether through pickling or fermen tation, and can even be frozen.

A Cabbage for All

There are many varieties of cabbage, each with their own special merits, in cluding the most well-known – and therefore, most popular varieties like Cannonball – or Green Cabbage, Red – or Purple Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, and Chinese Cabbage.

Cabbage – no matter the type – is part of the Brassica genus, and have some pretty famous relatives: broc coli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, and brussels sprouts – to name a few.

Not all cabbage is created equal, though all are culinary stars in their own right. Some cabbages have flat leaves, other are curly or crinkled; some are round, others are oblong; some cabbages are green, some white, and others a gorgeous reddish-pur

ple hue. Some cabbages are sweeter, some more savory, and others bitter; some are better for pickling and fer menting, some are better for cooking (braising, roasting, stewing, steaming, sauteing, etc), and others better for raw consumption, just as they are.

However, no matter the cabbage you choose to use, they are all incred ibly good for you!

Cabbage on the World Stage

Since antiquity, you can find cab bage mentioned in ancient Greek, Ro man, and Egyptian texts, and many others still. Cabbage is such an impor tant crop, in fact, its origin is actually explained in Greek mythology!

According to the myth, an intense battle took place between Dionysus, the God of Wine, and Lycurgus, the Prince of Thrace, who destroyed all of the grapevines in the Dionysus’ gar den. Upon seeing the damage to his precious garden, Dionysus flew into a rage and condemned Prince Lycurgus to be bound to a grapevine for the re mainder of his years. The prince was devastated by his punishment and began to weep. As his tears fell the

Chef Maria Loi is an Entrepre neur, Greek Food Ambassador and Healthy Lifestyle Guru. The author of more than 36 cook books, she is also the host of The Life of Loi, with its broad cast premiere on PBS nation ally in December 2022, which aims to build an inspirational and educational movement around the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Her Loi Food Products, a specialty brand built on traditional ingredients from Greece, includes pastas, beans, botanical herbs, refrig erated dips, honey, holiday cookies, and olive oil sold on QVC, at Whole Foods Markets and in other stores. The name sake of Loi Estiatorio in the heart of Manhattan, she also has the Loi Specialty Shop at The Plaza Hotel (open through January 2023) Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Instagram and Facebook, and learn more about her food phi losophy at loiestiatorio.com/ chef-loi/.

ground, they took root and became tiny cabbage plants.

While this was a creation myth of sorts, what transpired from it was a common belief that if you ate cab bage before drinking, you would avoid intoxication, because the tears of Lyc urgus were the antithesis of Dionysus’ grapes. From this myth, many other beliefs regarding the health benefits of cabbage sprouted, such as a gen der prediction test using red cabbage, or cold cabbage leaves were ideal for soothing post-natal mastitis. In the modern day, while we know those to be less than accurate, there are a tremendous number of real benefits gained by regularly incorporating cab bage into your diet!

Healthful Cabbage for a Healthy Life

Historically speaking, cabbage pro vided well-round nutritional benefits

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WITH CHEF MARIA LOIMEDITERRANEAN MENU TRENDS
continued on page 70
What begins as decorative cabbage heads in the garden becomes a culinary star once peeled and chopped.
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 69

to populations all over the world dur ing times of agricultural distress, when their other crops failed, and it’s easy to see why…

All varieties of cabbage are full of vitamins and nutrients, such as vita mins C and K (as well as A and B6), but red cabbage in particular is especially high in vitamin C, due to the presence of beta-carotene and other carotenoid antioxidants!

Speaking of antioxidants, cabbage is full of them, including polyphenols, which are the kind present in extra vir gin olive oil, helping clear free-radicals from our systems.

Cabbage is also full of fiber – both soluble and insoluble – which means it’s excellent for digestion as well as lowering cholesterol. Cabbage has also been proven to reduce overall in flammation, abating many chronic ill nesses caused by inflammation.

Cabbage is a ‘gut friendly’ vegetable that is particularly suited for fermen tation; when consuming cabbage in a fermented form like Kimchi, there is an additive effect helping our re spective gut biomes to flourish with healthy, good-for-you bacteria.

Before Cabbage Patch Kids were a Thing…

Like most families, cabbage dishes have always been a part of our story. I remember my papou (grandfather in Greek) always getting in ‘trouble’ with my yiayia (grandmother in Greek), because he would always try to sneak some of her Politiki Salata (a simple pickled cabbage slaw) before it fin ished pickling…He would always do it when she could see him sneaking into the vessel on our counter, and would laugh and smack him playfully with her wooden spoon to deter him.

My yiayia was a magician when it came to turning simple ingredients into delicious creations, with her Lachanodolmades me Avgolemono (stuffed cabbage with egg-lemon sauce) being so popular, all of our cousins would invite themselves to come for dinner when they heard she was making them.

Yiayia’s cabbage leaves were always impeccably cooked – the ribs had a bit

of crunch to them, but the leaves themselves were silky and buttery soft. The filling was usu ally rice and more cab bage with an assortment of herbs cooked to per fection, but sometimes she would surprise us by adding a little bit of meat when we had some. And, her egg-lemon sauce was the best there ever was –rich and creamy from the eggs, bright and excit ing from the lemon, and married the whole dish together beautifully.

We also made all kinds of lachanosalates (cabbage salads), with whatever bounty our farm and garden provided at the time; we made lacha nosoupa (cabbage soup) – not like the ‘famous’ Cabbage Soup Diet, but real soups that nourished the body and the soul, like a garden in your bowl. Some times, we would make lachanorizo, or (cabbage and rice), which was simi lar to Yiayia’s stuffing for lachanodol mades, but here she would make the dish in more of a steeped ‘risotto’ style – I still crave this dish, and think of her every time I make it.

We All Have Cabbage…It’s What You Do with It That Counts

What makes cabbage so special –beyond everything I’ve talked about – is its culinary versatility. Yes, it’s cost effective, aesthetically pleasing, nutri tious, and substantive, but seeing its varied applications in cusines around the world is what raises cabbage to true hero status for me.

In Korea, you find kimchi, the most quintessentially Korean food item there is, used for and with mostly everything served in Korea. In Ger many and France, you find sauerkraut

and braised red cab bage (sometimes simple, sometimes a sweet and sour variation), for ex ample. In Eastern Eu ropean cuisine (often identified as Jewish), you find stuffed cabbage that is both sweet and savory, braised cabbage, pickled cabbage, and more. In Ireland, you find the re nowned corned beef and cabbage, as well as col cannon, the Irish answer to the Greek lachanopita ( or cabbage pie). In Chi na, you’ll find stir-fried cab bage, cabbage dumplings, noodles with cabbage, buns with cab bage – just about everything includes cabbage. And here in America, what could be more iconic than coleslaw, made with shredded cabbage?!

The list goes on and on, but one thing is clear – cabbage is the worldli est vegetable of them all. So this holi day season, be sure to celebrate this unsung hero of the culinary world by including cabbage on your holiday menus, and sing its praises for all your family and friends to enjoy!

70 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
Stuffed Cabbage with Bulgur Wheat and Fresh Herbs Lachanosalata me Patzaria - Cabbage Salad with Beets and Hardboiled Eggs Yiayia’s Politiki Salata - Grandma’s Shredded Pickled Cabbage Salad
from page 68MARIA LOI
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 71

THE 19TH ANNUAL VICTORY FOODSERVICE TRADE SHOW AT TERRACE ON THE PARK

The “New Normal” come back has been marked by the return of the restaurant and foodservice industry’s trade shows. The Victory Foods fami ly once again brought their very spe cial brand of customer service to the Bronx based firm’s annual show late last month.

Metro New York’s foodservice community was treated to a magnifi cent day of sunshine which greeted show guests at the iconic Terrace on the Park in Queens. The show’s aisles were packed with creative new menu ideas. The independent broad liner food distributor’s 19th annual show featured a vast array of in-restaurant and take out and delivery solutions for the food service professional.

“We are so appreciative of the trust that our customers have put in us to bring quality to their guests every day,” noted Victory’s Sunder Luthra. “We know that the key to our success has been to build a team from our network of drivers, warehouse per sonnel, sales and customer service representatives.”

Among the industry’s top ven dors at this year’s event were David Goldstein of Smithfield, Farmland’s Darren Schochner, Nestor Lorenzo of Furmano’s, Endico’s John Hanna and Spanish Food Solutions Mark Armendariz.

Victory’s show at the iconic Ter race on the Park brought some of the marketplaces most creative restau rant entrepreneurs under one roof. Victory’s show-goers had a wonder ful time. The show had a real feel of family and many attendees, vendors and the Victory team welcomed each

72 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
Nikos Zavolas of Kontos Foods was on hand with a full portfolio of creative menu ideas (L to R) The Mike’s Amazin’ team: Emily Torrez, Rick Kepniss and Nicole Acrish (L to R) Victory’s Mike Davioitis and Sam levine of Epic/Simoniz (L to R) Victory’s Chris Economides, Bill Mihalopoulos of Kings County and Morcon’s Jason Saunders Victory Foods has expanded its fresh produce offerings (L to R) Daniel Burns of Elmcore Foods and Clemens/ Hatfields’s Scott Paklaian Simplot’s regional manager Craig Martin Stratis Foods’ Richard Piskun
continued on page 110 FOODSERVICE EVENT COVERAGEEYE
The Victory Foods management team led by (L-R) Gus Tyras (President), Mike Tyras (CEO), and Sunder Luthra (General Manager)
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 73

SHFM AWARDS RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE IN INDUSTRY

Recipients honored at national conference

The Society for Hospital ity & Foodservice Man agement (SHFM), the only association focused on Workplace Hospitality and Ameni ties in the Foodservice Industry, recently announced the recipients of the 2022 President’s Award and the Robert Pacifico Award. A new award, presented for the first time was the 2022 President’s Mentor Award. These prestigious awards were announced at the SHFM Presi dent’s Banquet during the 2022 SHFM National Conference. SHFM also presented the previously an nounced SHFM Directors’ Awards at events throughout the year. Each year, SHFM honors the very best in the industry and recognizes our special honorees that have gone “above and beyond” to serve the as sociation and better the industry.

The 2022 recipients include the following:

Robert Pacifico Award: Jeanine Cosgrove-Albert, At Your Service Staffing

Given to a deserving Supplier Member in recognition of ex tended, exemplary and dedicated service to the Society, his or her community, and the corporate foodservice and workplace hos pitality industry.

President’s Mentor Award: Bob Wolkom, Innovative Hospitality Solutions

The SHFM President’s Men

torship Award is a special recogni tion given to honor an individual for their career-long mentorship of the SHFM President. This award is intended for special occasions and is intended to highlight the impor tance and value of long-time rela tionships. The Award recognizes an individual who has consistently served as a mentor, providing per sonal and professional guidance, and creating a trusted relationship as an experienced advisor.

President’s Awards: Jenna Calhoun, Sundae Tucker Consulting and Davin Wickstrom, Vivreau Advanced Water Systems

Chosen by the SHFM President to honor an individual who has been instrumental in the career of the President, assisted the President throughout his or her term or has

served the organization as a whole and dedicated his or her time to betterment of SHFM.

Previously announced Directors’ Awards recipients: Community Service Award: Marti Gorum, Marti Gorum Consultants, LLC

Given to the SHFM Member that has gone above and beyond to help support the corporate foodservice and workplace hospitality industry, as well as their local community.

Spirit Award: Jenna Calhoun, Sundae Tucker Consulting

Presented to an individual who consistently demonstrates the qualities of loyalty, dedication and enthusiasm for the Society.

Rising Young Professional: Michael Moore, Restaurantware Recognizes an emerging indi vidual who has been a stand out among our newest members, sup porting the initiatives of the Society through his or her active engage ment and participation in SHFM committees and activities. Through his or her actions and career trajec tory, this recipient is poised to be a future leader in the corporate food service and workplace hospitality industry, as well as the Society.

Leadership Award: Sharon Eliatamby, World Bank Group

Recognizing an individual whose work on behalf of SHFM and the corporate foodservice and work place hospitality industry has re sulted in the demonstration of out standing leadership qualities.

Richard Ysmael Distinguished Service Award:

Shayne Varnum, Hobart Corporation

Given in memory of Richard Ysmael and reflects how he lived and delivered his philosophy of life in the best and most chal lenging moments of his career and personal life. Richard was a founding member of the Soci ety, and his dedication, leader ship and integrity throughout his career continue to inspire not only the Society’s member

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INDUSTRY AWARDSNEWS By Keesha Joseph continued on page 112
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 75

BIGWORK BUILDS RESTAURANT AND FOOD BRANDS WITH CREATIVE VIDEO STRATEGY

It is true that the ambiance, the service, and the taste of the food combine to elevate the dining ex perience. But perhaps the element that seals the deal is the tableware. Not only must it be a sophisticated reflec tion of the establishment, but it must also do the job right. Too little and the food falls off and too big and you think the establishment is being stingy.

For the foodservice industry, the use of video has become a very pow erful tool to promote a restaurant, showcase a new menu item, or to give their clientele an inside look into their operations. Social media platforms such as TikTok, You-Tube, and Insta gram have given us easy access to tar get audiences based on interests and demographics.

BigWork understands the features that make each company and their brand special and unique with that ability to uncover those bells and whistles they have built a track record of striving creating video based on the clients’ needs in order to engage and move the audience.

That approach came from the child hood experiences of the BigWork’s

founder: Tim Gannon. He has fond memories of watching horror movies with his mother. “After my sister and I had gone to bed, my mom would wake us up late to watch scary mov ies with her to keep her company be cause she didn’t want to watch them alone,” Gannon said. “When I saw the original Invasion of Body Snatchers, I was so scared. I looked under my bed for a week thinking there was going to be a pod under there! This early exposure to movies is what first got him interested in film. When I think of the movies that made an impression on me, the first that comes to mind is ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’, ‘The Black Cat’, and ‘The Incredible Mr. Limpet’.”

One day, while watching ‘Deliv erance’ and discussing films with friends, Gannon’s friend mentioned that he was enrolled in film school. “You mean you can actually learn to make them?” he said. “It was a revela tion; I enrolled the very next day.”

After graduating from film school, Gannon got his start as a production assistant on commercials and corpo rate videos. He was invited to work on

a feature film in NYC and spent the next three years traveling back and forth between NYC and Minneapolis advancing his career. This eventu ally led to a position as a cameraman on Law & Order for five years. After a screenplay that he wrote was op tioned, he landed a job directing and producing for a company. When two of the producers were laid off, he real ized it was time to move on and that’s when he created BigWork.

His first BigWork project was to cre ate a new hire orientation video for Rabobank, a large Dutch agri-finan cial bank. Gannon and a crew of three others interviewed Rabobank’s most important clients such as premier grape producers, wine producers, and Earthbound Farms over the course of five days in California through Ba kersfield, the Central Valley, and Napa. Rabobank still shows the video as part of their new hire onboarding process and over the course of a seven-year period they created fifteen more vid eos for them.

Gannon’s approach when suggest ing what kind of video would work best with the clients’ specific needs is simple: he asks a lot of questions. “Questions about their process, their sales cycle, their audience, their culture, etc. With the information gleaned from these questions I can create a video that reflects the brand

and engages an audience”.

Among the latest work in the Big Work portfolio is the creation of high lights of the L Sashin/TFS Virtual Breakfast series. “Tim has been able to capture the magic of guests like wellknown restaurateur Stratis Morfogen and chef David Burke, to enable our audience to take those tips back to their own operations,” noted L Sash in’s Larry Sashin.

BigWork’s diverse portfolio have given Gannon and his team a unique perspective of how video should be produced and packaged to maximize the growth of a brand. He believes that a video should be as long as it needs to be without losing the story. “Striv ing to make a video shorter is always a goal, but not at the expense of losing the story,” he explained. “If you lose the story, then you’re not servicing the client or doing your job. If a video tells the story in the right amount of time and with the proper content, the audi ence will respond. The story the client wants to be told dictates the length.”

Cinematic high-quality video isn’t all that BigWork can do, they also create radio ads, web design, menu boards, event content, and print.

If you’d like more information on BigWork, you can check out their web site at www.bigwork.digital

76 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
VIDEO MARKETINGNEWS
“[I ask the client] questions about their process, their sales cycle, their audience, their culture, etc. With the information gleaned from these questions
I can create a video that reflects the brand and engages an audience.” — Tim Gannon
By Cristina Mercedes
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 77

PENTAIR EVERPURE INTRODUCES NEW EZ-RO TECHNOLOGY FILTRATION

One of the most pivotal mindsets businesses in tend to keep post-covid is a mindset and business structure that keeps the customer’s safety in mind. With a growing con cern for cleanliness and sustainabil ity, businesses are reevaluating their systems in place to ensure a quality experience comes from the result of strategic innovation.

Foodservice providers are reviewing major components of their business that play a large role in the outcome of their products. Water is at the top of that list and cleaner water can be easily evaluated and ensured through Pentair’s new Everpure EZ-RO reverse osmosis system.

Water is arguably the most vital in gredient in foodservice and Pentair Everpure is getting ready to celebrate 90 years of their brand’s success in 2023. Not only does the company help provide cleaner water to original wa ter-using equipment manufacturers, but they help consult with business es within the marketplace to find a custom solution.

“We are primarily focused in the commercial space and do a lot with foodservice applications, noted Erin Bartelson, Pentair’s Global Channel Marketing Manager. We help with systems that cover anything from cof fee to steam, to drinking water, and more. The company started with wa ter filtration and water treatment, still a core part of the business today. We do everything from point of entry with water softeners, point of use water filtration systems, and now have an increased focus on ice machines with the purchase of Manitowoc Ice.”

While the pandemic brought a pause in filtration needs, Bartelson comments that there is still a need

and even more so after the pandemic. “We needed to make sure that clients knew to flush their systems and get them those replacement cartridges they needed to ensure their business was up and running when cus tomers came back on site.

We were on top of mak ing sure our clients had what they needed for that capacity post Covid.”

When discussing the popular focus on green and sustainable versus cleaner and clearer, Bartelson said:

“There’s always been a need for green and safety, and we look at it as an opportu nity to reduce wastewater.

EZ-RO fills that gap with reverse osmosis systems primarily from foodservice applications. Typical Re verse Osmosis (RO) systems have a 1:4 ratio but EZ-RO bends more in the direction of sustainability with a 1:1; there’s less water to drain than the standard RO system.

In building the EZ-RO system, Pen tair Everpure knew even prior to Covid that there was a need for more direc tion in a single SKU ordering system.

Typically, you order a system, tank, and installation kit all separately, but with EZ-RO there is one single SKU.

“Everything is in that one kit so with that plug and play accessibility it’s easy, efficient, and expandable. It’s easy for installation, efficient for the sustainability aspect, and expandable because we offer a variety of different tanks, but at the same time our cus tomers can utilize the same existing footprint and swap out membrane

sizes to make it larger overall. It’s a modular aspect we’ve constructed.”

In terms of different uses for the EZ-RO system, the company recom mends a different system for each application. “For coffee, you want a blended RO, but for a steam oven you do not. This is because for coffee you want to blend back some filtered water to boost mineral content for optimal coffee extraction and ensure quality and taste with that water. With applications like steam, the presenc es of too many mineral in the water, minerals can impact extraction and potentially cause issues like scale and corrosion in equipment, which is why steam applications would use nonblended.” Pentair Everpure’s team of

sales and support profession als are available every step of the way from installation to replacement to ensure the right EZ-RO application.

Regarding additional capi tal expenses, other than the purchase of the unit itself, the only additional cost is the in stallation service and main tenance cost. “We have our own service program called Total Water Management (TWM) which provides cus tomers with the opportunity to have us come out to com plete a water test and site sur vey, and make sure this is the best service for them. There’s the opportunity to have it in stalled, serviced, and main tained by any of our certified independent service provid ers so there’s no worry about doing that themselves.” Pen tair Everpure additionally can provide cartridge chan geout services so customers aren’t stressing about if they remembered to change them every month. Visit Pentair.com/TWM for more information.

EZ-RO not only replaces a standard RO system but gives users the oppor tunity to have a smaller footprint that is modular which allows users to grow with their system as new demands and needs enter the marketplace. Ad ditionally, the unit itself has zero elec trical needs as it uses water pressure to ensure water through the unit- the only electric need is if customers use the atmospheric tank which uses a pump.

For next steps for interested buyers visit Foodservice.pentair.com and ex plore available dealers on the website.

78 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
“There’s always been a need for green and safety, and we look at it as an opportunity to eliminate wastewater. EZ-RO fills that gap with reverse osmosis systems primarily from foodservice applications.” — Erin Bartelson
WATER PURIFICATION STRATEGIES By Claudia GiuntaNEWS
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 79

A REMINDER ON CHANGING NEW YORK CITY SALARY TRANSPARENCY LAWS

On November 1, 2022, all New York City employers with four or more em ployees and employment agencies of all sizes must state the salary range or rate of pay when ad vertising a job, promotion or transfer opportunity. A similar law is expected to take effect for all New York State em ployers early next year.

On December 15, 2021, as previ ously noted, New York City enacted a salary transparency requirement and the New York City Commission on Hu man Rights (City Commission) issued guidance to assist employers in com plying with the new salary transpar ency requirement. The guidance indi cates that the law is to be interpreted to reach as “broad a geographic scope of opportunities as possible” and to cover all types of announcements for such jobs.

The law requires most private-sec tor employers to include a good faith salary range in advertisements for work opportunities that can or will be performed in whole or in part in New York City (this also includes all remote jobs that may be performed in New York City, even if the business is locat ed outside the City). Advertisements are broadly defined as “a written de scription of an available job, promo tion, or transfer opportunity that is publicized to a pool of potential ap plicants.” For example, employers will need to comply with the requirement when posting on internal bulletin boards, internet advertisements, dis tributing printed flyers at job fairs, in

newspaper advertisements, and in online and social media postings. While advertisement is broadly construed, the law does not prohibit employers from hiring without using an adver tisement or require employers to cre ate an advertisement in order to hire.

When determining what to include as a salary range, the law requires that employers provide what, in good faith, at the time of the posting, they believe they are willing to pay for the adver tised job, promotion or transfer op portunity. If there is no flexibility you can state “$20 per hour” or “$60,000 per year,” but if there is flexibility em ployers must provide a salary range, such as “$18-$22 per hour” or “$50,000

- $70,000 per year.” However, the sal ary range cannot be open-ended (i.e., “$20 and up”).

Under this law, employers are only required to provide a salary range for the base salary or base wage that they plan to offer. They do not need to include in the advertisement other forms of compensation or benefits, such as bonuses, commissions, in centive awards, health insurance and gratuities.

The City Commission has enforce ment authority to investigate entities covered by the law and employees may file a private lawsuit in civil court that can result in potential monetary dam ages or civil penalties up to $250,000.

The City Commission will not assess civil penalties for an initial violation if the issue is fixed within 30 days of re ceiving the City Commission’s notice of the violation.

In addition to the requirements un der the New York City Human Rights Law, all New York State employers will likely be subject to a similar sal ary transparency requirement as a comparable bill has passed the New York State Legislature and is expected to become law. Further, all New York employers operating in Upstate New York (i.e., north and west of Westches ter County) will need to contend with a higher minimum wage that becomes effective at the end of this year.

The New York State Legislature also passed a salary transparency bill, which is expected to become law 270 days after it was passed on February 28, 2023, as long as it is not vetoed by the governor. The New York State law would require employers to disclose salary range or hourly rate on postings for jobs that can or will be performed in New York State. The law would also require employers to include a job de scription (if one exists) and a general description of other compensation offered (e.g. fringe benefits, bonuses, stock options, commissions) in job postings. In addition, the law poses a record keeping requirement. Employ ers must keep the history of compen sation ranges and any job description for each opportunity advertised.

Please contact our Alliance office for additional information included about wage increases.

80 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
Andrew Rigie is the Execu tive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, a trade association formed in 2012 to foster the growth and vitality of the industry that has made New York City the Hospitality Capital of the World. Learn more at https:// www.thenycalliance.org/
FROM THE NYC HOSPITALITY ALLIANCE
If there is no flexibility, you can state “$20 per hour” or “$60,000 per year”. But if there is flexibility, employers must provide a salary range, such as “$18-$22 per hour” or “$50,000 - $70,000 per year.” However, the salary range cannot be open-ended (i.e., “$20 and up”).
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 81

ASBURY LED LEGACY ADDS ADMIRAL CRAFT TO E&S PORTFOLIO

Formerly titled Asbury Food service Equipment Co. (aka Asbury Worldwide), The Legacy Companies brings a zing to the Food and Beverage In dustry with their uniquely extensive portfolio of top-tier brands: Avanti, Bevles, Blakeslee, Chef’sChoice, Ex calibur, General, Legion, Maxx Cold, Maxx Ice, Maxx Scientific, Omega, Sapphire, Vinotemp, Vinturi, West Bend, Yonanas, and Zeroll.

You may be unfamiliar with some of these brands, but you’ll likely recognize this next one. In light of recent setbacks during the pandem ic, adding to this catalog, CEO and President Neal Asbury welcomes Admiral Craft Equipment Corpora tion into the Legacy family, planning to expand the company with Admi ral’s CEO, Rick Powers, as part of the group. With Admiral Craft, Lega cies now welcomes six warehous es, with a new location in Florida. In an interview, Asbury compared Legacy and Admiral, expressing his

regard for their like-minded values and motto. “Admiral Craft is a fam ily business: it’s a private entrepre neurial family business, and we are a private entrepreneurial family business,” he explained. “So if you look at [their] culture and our cul ture, it fits beautifully.”

Established in 1952, Admiral Craft Equipment Corp. has served as a leading national manufacturer and distributor of “equipment, uten sil and supplies to the commercial foodservice industry.”

Admiral’s merger with Legacy has proven to be a favorable decision for CEO Rick Powers. In past com ments, he expressed his thoughts by saying, “I believe Legacy’s stew ardship and complementary busi nesses will be beneficial to both the customers and employees of Admi ral Craft. Joining forces with Legacy will allow our combined team the opportunity to use their decades of experience and industry knowl edge to better serve customers in

the food service and hospitality markets.”

These words illustrate Legacy’s influence in the Foodservice Indus try, but how exactly did this compa ny come to sprout its wings to such an extent?

Well, it all started in an Eastern continent commonly known as Asia.

Dating back more than 20 years ago, Neal Asbury founded Asbury Worldwide seven years after relo cating to Asia. Asbury Worldwide soon became one of the largest in ternationally based American com mercial. It represented many other American businesses throughout Asia and the Middle East–even go ing as far as owning manufactur ing facilities in the Philippines that produced kitchens for the rapid ex pansion of McDonalds throughout the Asia, Pacific, and Middle East regions. Its era culminated once it was sold to Middleby in 1999 un der CEO Dave Riley. Thankfully, the Asbury Co. story did not end there. Soon after, Neal Asbury returned to the United States and established The Legacy Companies.

Despite this ambition, returning to his own country after working for half of his life in Asian manufactur ing proved a tricky task for Asbury. Business in the New World revolved

around brands, a term that Asbury had not needed overseas. Still, he did not shy away from such a chal lenge and slowly started building his portfolio with the Maxximum brand, Maxx Ice and Maxx Cold.

Over the years, from 2009 to today, Legacy has acquired 18 companies. Asbury points a significant portion of his success toward this Merger & Acquisition (M&A) technique.

“That M&A strategy, as an entrepre neurial business acquiring 18 com panies over the last, say, 12 years, has given us all kinds of firepower with customers and products, and manufacturing facilities, and in

82 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
“Admiral Craft is a family business: it’s a private entrepreneurial family business, and we are a private entrepreneurial family business,” explained Legacy CEO and President Neal Asbury. “So if you look at [their] culture and Legacy’s culture, it fits beautifully.”
ACQUISITIONS By Keesha JosephNEWS
Neal Asbury has built the Legacy brand with key acquisitions including the recent addition of AdCraft
continued on page 108
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 83

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MAKLER LED INNOVATION REFUNDS BRINGS SIMPLE ACCESS TO ERTC FUNDS

The COVID pandemic has undoubtedly dealt res taurateurs quite the blow. Facing employee short ages and reduced business, many restaurants struggled to turn profits and support payrolls. However, In novation Refunds, started by savvy entrepreneur Howard Makler, aims to change that. With a stellar team of attorneys, Innovation Refunds helps restaurateurs and small busi nesses alike to use pandemic relief programs to access important tax rebates.

The company began as a special ized firm whose goal was to provide client companies access to tax re fund credits as part of pre-existing government programs, even prior to the creation of pandemic assistance programs such as the Payroll Pro tection Program (PPP) or the Em ployee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). The majority of Innovation Refunds’ business centered around white la bel service on behalf of CPAs by pro viding their clientele with Research and Development (R&D) credit as part of a government program initi ated in the 1980s.

Essentially, that program refund ed corporations a portion of their income tax relative to the amount they spent on R&D programs. Few management teams, however, were aware of the credit back benefits: “it’s useful,” explained Makler, “be cause almost every company en gages in some form of research and development activity qualifiable under the program guidelines.” With the intent of helping small sized companies earn back a little of their hard earned revenue by taking

advantage of IRS programs, Makler began Innovation Refunds.

Makler’s business boomed dur ing the pandemic thanks, in large part, due to the emergence of gov ernment assistance programs like the PPP and the ERTC. Already a savant in the realm of IRS support programs, making the shift to help alleviate companies’ pandemicinduced payroll difficulties seemed natural. With an investment from a consortium of 150 banks looking to enter into the ERTC rebate busi ness, Innovation Refunds became fully involved in using pandemic relief funds to assist small business es. Interestingly, the ERTC program had existed for a long time prior to the outset of the COVID pan demic, but recent modifications to its guidelines made by Congress in April of 2021 increased the scope of its coverage and made qualification much easier.

As a result, Innovation Refunds has enjoyed increased business, and restaurateurs can now benefit from significant increases in their tax refunds through the program. As the sister program of the PPP, restaurateurs could originally only claim benefits from either the ERTC or the PPP as part of the previous guidelines; moreover, to qualify for ERTC assistance, a business had to record a 50% or greater reduction in annual profits. Recent program

amendments now mean restaurants can enjoy the benefits of both pro grams, and do not need to experi ence any reduction in revenue to qualify for the ERTC.

Together, these changes mean big rebates for small companies. The current ERTC provisions indicate that businesses with fewer than 500 employees can earn $7,000 per fulltime employee for the first three quarters of 2021 in addition to the $5,000 per full-time employee for all of 2020; summatively, restaurants can earn back tax credits worth $26,000 per employee. Makler has only praise for the benefits provid ed under the ERTC guidelines: “The money back helps small restaurants a lot, especially with expanding business or purchasing new appli ances, because it’s not a loan and is not taxed – it’s purely money back.” The ERTC, he has found, has been a boon for the smaller mom-and-pop restaurants that were affected most by the pandemic shutdown and workforce instability.

It is clear that both Makler and his firm have years of experience and success under their belts which, he admits, is not the only reason clients should choose Innovation Refunds when looking to get back tax credit. The most important rea son companies should turn to him? “We use tax attorneys,” he stated with utmost conviction; “A CPA’s

loyalty lies with the IRS and its tax code, while an attorney’s loyalty lies solely with their client.” He explains that tax attorneys warranty their work against audits whereas CPAs do not, meaning that an attorney can defend their client if legal trou ble arises.

Moreover, Innovation Refunds dedicated significantly greater time to each case than other firms in volved with providing tax rebates through the ERTC. “Ask anyone do ing this for you,” Makler urges, “Is a tax attorney doing and signing off on calculations? If so, how many cases are they handling?” Many other companies, he warns, have become “tax mills,” dedicating little time to each case and using algorithms that often produce errors. Innova tion Refunds, on the other hand, employs tax attorneys who spend countless hours on each case, per form calculations without inflexible algorithms, and do not charge legal fees until after the refund has been provided to the client.

Innovation Refunds work has clearly made a significant impact on the food services industry. By helping clientele to access rebate programs to earn back more than $25,000 as provided by recently amended pandemic relief pro grams, the company has proved itself to be a lifeline for small busi nesses. With a 100% success rate in winning clients back some of their hard-earned revenue, it is clear that Makler and Innovation Refunds are determined to help.

For more information about the firm’s services, visit www.getrefunds. com.

86 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com
“Is a tax attorney doing and signing off on calculations? If so, how many cases are they handling?” — Howard Makler
FINANCING SOLUTIONS By Jackson HartNEWS
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 87 → COVID take a bite out of your business? See if your restaurant qualifies for the Employee Retention Credit. InnovationRefunds.com Learn More

CHEF BLESSING CREATES INSTANT CLASSIC WITH NEW NORCAL SEAFOOD EATERY

In 1976, the first Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar opened at the cor ner of Scott and Lombard in San Francisco, CA hence the name. After the opening of seven other successful locations, Scott’s in Folsom came into existence in 1999 when John Cook discovered the Greenback Lane location be came available. He acted quickly to bring Scott’s to the Folsom Com munity and instantly became a local favorite.

In 2012, John Cook read about Jerry Bernau’s plans to replicate the Historic Railyard on Sutter Street and thought the Roundhouse would be a perfect location to carry our wonderful relationship with the great city into the distant future. Unbeknownst to John, Jerry had al ready pitched Scott’s Seafood to the Folsom City Council to occupy the space while looking for project ap proval. After a long and much an ticipated wait, John and his wife,

Suzanne Cook, opened Scott’s Sea food Roundhouse in the summer of 2020, during the COVID-19 pan demic. “Bringing along favorite art work from local artists to give a nod to the past, we are looking forward to a bright future,” noted John Scott.

Scott’s has always had the fresh est of seafood delivered daily from regional fisherman and around the world, served by a well-trained, knowledgeable staff in a comfort able atmosphere. A key to Cook’s success has been the ability to build a team that share their vision. Once again with the new Folsom, CA loca tion they have recruited a duo with culinary credentials that point to success and a great dining experi ence for each guest.

Seasoned Chef Nicholas Bless ing is at the help of the restaurant’s kitchen. His love & passion for cook ing began in the kitchen beside his mom learning recipes from the age of 3. At age 15, Nicholas was eager to begin working in a professional kitchen. His culinary journey began as a dishwasher/prep cook at a lo cal Italian fine dining restaurant located in Nevada City. There, the Executive Chef took Nick under his wing and showed him what it re ally meant to be a Chef. A year later, Nicholas’s diligence, hard work, and dedication named him Sous Chef.

Chef Nick grew up in Grass Val ley California, a small town about an hour away from Sacramento.

“As long as I can remember I have been drawn to food and cooking, going back to when I was just five learning to make simple things such as scrambled eggs and mac

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CHEFS’ HIGHLIGHTS
continued on page 116
Chef Nick Blessing Octopus Queso Birria Tacos
“This dish was inspired by my deep love of Mexican food and heritage. I eat tacos literally every day and have a taco tattoo.”
— Chef Nick Blessing
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 89 METICULOUSLY AGED AND HAND-CUT BY MASTER BUTCHERS © 2021 The Chefs Warehouse, Inc. All Rights Reserved Shop Online: allenbrothers.com - or - For Chefs: chefswarehouse.com

HOSHIZAKI AMERICA, INC. ANNOUNCED EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP CHANGES

SCOOP learned that Hoshizaki America, Inc. announced two changes within the organization. Daryl Erbs has joined as Vice President of Inno vation, a new position for Hoshizaki Amer ica and Scott Meyer have joined Hoshizaki as Vice President of Sales over the US and Canada Regions.

Hoshizaki has been known for innova tive products in the marketplace for de cades and, with Da ryl’s leadership, plans to take it to the next level. “Daryl brings industry experience, technical expertise, understanding of in dustrial design and a passion for mak ing a positive im pact” declared Chris Karssiens, President of Hoshizaki America and the Americas Re gion. “His leadership and depth of experi ence will be a great addition to our team.”

Scott is a seasoned member of the food service industry, with over 16 years in the industry and 20 years collectively in sales. “Scott’s track record of revenue growth, relationship de velopment, innovation, process improvement, and career advancement will serve us well as we continue to challenge ourselves for significant growth and improved organizational efficiencies” commented Allan Dziwoki, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

JARS CERAMICS OPENS SHOWROOM IN NYC

SCOOP learned Jars opened a permanent show room at 41 Madison Avenue in NYC featuring all the Jars collections. Jars’ story began in 1857, in a small village in the Drôme, in the south of France. Pierre Jars creates a workshop made of a collec tive of ceramists: a community of craftsmen who make each piece by hand, with a sure, precise and controlled gesture. It is by the hands that is car ried out the transmission of know-how, from year to year, from one craftsman to another. Jars is rec ognized by the French Ministry of the Economy for the excellence of its craftsmanship.

Jars’ expertise is recognized by the finest Mi chelin-starred chefs and trendy concept stores in over 50 countries around the world. Chef Daniel Humm and its Eleven Madison Park restaurant in NYC, Bloomingdales, Williams Sonoma, and chefs Anne-Sophie Pic, Pierre Gagnaire and Pierre Her mé are among the prestigious clients of the brand.

Located in 41 Madison, the showroom opened

on the occasion of the Table Top Show, that took place on October 18-21. A strategic location in a world-renowned building for the Tabletop indus try. The permanent showroom will feature all the Jars collections and will welcome interior design ers, retailers, chefs, media and other tabletop pro fessionals from around the world.

IN MEMORIAM: COLIN ALEVRAS

SCOOP was saddened to report that chef-som melier-entrepreneur Colin Alevras has passed away. His East Village restaurant, the Tasting Room, was hugely popular and influential in its focus on farmers’ market ingredients. Alevras also worked at DBGB Kitchen & Bar, Má Pêche (David Chang’s midtown restaurant) and Red Hook Win ery. He taught at De Gustibus in 2006 and 2007. He will be missed.

NEW BILL PASSED TO ENSURE NYC BARS STOCKED WITH ANTI-OVERDOSE KITS

SCOOP learned that NYC Mayor Eric Adams is set to sign Intro 56-A into law today: The bill — which would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide harm-reduction tools like naloxone, the opioid reversal, free of charge to nightlife spots, as well as associ ated training — was first introduced by Council Members Chi Ossé and Keith Powers earlier this year and passed in September. It is an ex tension of the Narcan Behind Every Bar pro gram that debuted last December, spearheaded by nightlife mayor Ariel Palitz.

on page 92

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continued
INSIDER NEWS FROM THE FOODSERVICE + HOSPITALITY SCENESCOOP Do you have the SCOOP on any foodservice and hospitality news? Send items to SCOOP Editor Joyce Appelman at tfs@totalfood.com
A sampling of Jars ceramics Scott Meyer Daryl Erbs
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 91

SODEXOMAGIC ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH EAST ORANGE SCHOOL DISTRICT

SCOOP learned that SodexoMagic, the joint venture between Magic Johnson Enterprises and Sodexo, Inc., has announced its new partnership with East Orange School District in New Jersey. Through this partnership, SodexoMagic will be providing the students and staff of East Orange School District with nutritional services, includ ing breakfast and lunch, for the next five years.

RATIONAL ICOMBI PRO NAMED 2022 BLUE FLAME PRODUCT OF THE YEAR.

The RATIONAL iCombi Pro is a state-of-theart cooking intelligence solution. Humidity, air speed, temperature, and steam injection are all coordinated precisely within an appliance that anticipates, learns, remembers, monitors, and adapts. The logical work steps have clear, interac tive instructions displayed on each unit’s durable touchscreen and guide users through the produc tion process so that our customers can get consis tent, quality results every time.

The RATIONAL Group is the world market and technology leader in the field of hot food prepara tion for professional kitchens. Founded in 1973, the company employs more than 2,300 people worldwide. RATIONAL is listed on the Prime Stan dard of the German Stock Exchange and is includ ed in the SDAX.

To learn more about RATIONAL products and services, attend a RATIONAL CookingLive event to see how RATIONAL products help commercial kitchen operators do more with less space, waste, energy, cost, and stress. To reserve your place, vis it rationalusa.com.

SHFM RISING YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD RECOGNIZES EMERGING INDIVIDUAL IN INDUSTRY

SCOOP learned that as part of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management’s goal to engage and support young professionals, espe

cially those participating in the SHFM Rising Star Program, SHFM recently hosted its third annual Young Professionals Summit at the American Ex press World Headquarters in New York City. SHFM announced the recipient of the 2022 Rising Young Professional Award at the SHFM 2022 Young Pro fessionals Summit.

This year’s recipient is Michael Moore with Res taurantware. The Rising Young Professional Award recognizes an emerging individual who has been a standout among our newest members, support ing the initiatives of the Society through his or her active engagement and participation in SHFM committees and activities. Through his or her ac tions and career trajectory, this recipient is poised to be a future leader in the Workplace Amenities and Foodservice industry, as well as the Society.

BSE REPS LAUNCHES COAT DRIVE FOR UKRAINIAN REFUGEES

SCOOP learned that RATIONAL USA, the lead ing manufacturer of intelligent commercial food service equipment, received the 2022 Blue Flame Product of the Year Award for the iCombi Pro from the Blue Flame Alliance Consortium of the Energy Solutions Center.

“It is an honor to receive this award and be recognized as an innovator in the industry,” said Simon Lohse, Executive Vice President of North America. “All of our gas-run products are Energy Star-certified, and RATIONAL is very proud of this. We take special care to ensure all our units are as efficient as possible. We know our custom ers care about this, too, especially with rising en ergy costs.”

The iCombi Pro not only saves up to 70% on energy costs, but it also improves kitchen opera tions by saving our customers’ time, space, and raw ingredients compared to conventional cook ing technology.

SCOOP heard that BSE Reps, The New Hyde Park based Manufacturers Representative & Dis tribution organization serving the Foodservice industry from New York to Virginia, has proudly partnered with Bethany Slavic Church in an effort to receive donations of new and gently worn coats for the Ukrainian refugees in Ukraine, Poland and even the Tri-State region. Your donation is greatly appreciated and will help keep refugees warm as we head into the winter months. Donations of new or gently worn winter coats for children, women and men can be shipped to BSE Market ing, and if needed, BSE can send a UPS call tag for the coats to be picked up. Please email avargas@ bsereps.com if a call tag is needed and we will send via email. We appreciate your support and generosity.

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INSIDER NEWS, from page 90SCOOP continued on page 94
Michael Moore (C) won the 2022 SHFM Rising Young Professional Award
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 93

KIMPTON INTRODUCES “FAMILY MEAL” CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF NON-PROFIT PARTNER NO KID HUNGRY

Hound Kitchen & Cocktails in Phoenix, AZ. Each event was hosted by the restaurant’s executive chef and will offer guests a special multi-course dinner and pairing experience complete with live entertainment.

2022 NEW YORK MICHELIN STARS AND BIB GOURMANDS

SCOOP extends its Congratulations to the 19 new restaurants joining the 2022 Michelin Guide New York with star ratings and the 18 new Bib Gourmands! View the lists here: https://guide.mi chelin.com/us/en

INDIGO ROAD HOSPITALITY GROUP APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF CULTURE

moved into the general manager position, over seeing day-to-day operations and set an example of professional, comforting, and charismatic hos pitality. Eventually, he returned to his roots, re joining the O-Ku Atlanta team as general manager in early April 2020, assisting the restaurant in re opening its doors and welcoming patrons back to their beloved West Midtown sushi spot.

He graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, with degrees in culinary arts and food service management. Following gradua tion, Amato worked at Jean-George’s Spice Market in New York City before relocating to Atlanta and joining Ford Fry’s team. During his tenure with Fry, Chris worked at The Optimist prior to open ing St. Cecilia in Buckhead and Superica (previ ously The El Felix) in Alpharetta’s Avalon develop ment.

SCOOP heard that Kimpton is making every night a family affair with Family Meal, the brand’s new holiday program in support of the non-profit organization, No Kid Hungry. As part of the initia tive, select Kimpton Restaurants & Bars will bring Family Meal to life via special prix fixe menus and featured menu items reflecting personal recipes and familial dishes curated by members of each restaurant’s culinary team, not just its executive chef. Family Meal will seek to reinforce the im portance of in-person experiences and storytell ing that can only be had when gathering together. Select Kimpton restaurants will also personally give back to their community by donating a Fam ily Meal to a local shelter.

Standout menu offerings from participating restaurants across the U.S. include a roasted chicken, udon noodle and butternut squash dish from Peruvian-born Chef Alexander Diestra at King Tide Fish & Shell in Portland, Chicken Tajine with Congri and plantains at Area 31 in Miami which merges Chef Sezer Deniz’s Mediterranean roots with the restaurant’s Latin locale, and a Reginetti dish with pork ragout, curly kale, man chego cheese and butternut squash butter from South Dakota born Executive Chef Kristin Bering son at Henley.

To celebrate the launch of the campaign on No vember 3rd, Kimpton hosted a special one-night Family Meal event at select restaurants, Ange line’s in Charlotte, NC; King Tide Fish & Shell in Portland, OR; Henley in Nashville, TN; and Blue

SCOOP learned that The Indigo Road Hospitali ty Group (IRHG), which owns, operates, and man ages restaurants and boutique hotels throughout the country, has appointed Christopher Amato to the newly created position of director of culture. His responsibilities include working alongside the company’s existing leaders to ensure they’re dem onstrating and upholding IRHG’s standards of internal hospitality, while also introduc ing these foundations to new IRHG employ ees.

“Culture has been a key component of Indigo Road’s busi ness strategy from the start,” said Steve Palmer, founder and chief visionary offi cer of IRHG. “As we continue to grow, we need more focus on creating a culture that develops successful restaurants and hotels. When we decided it was time to create a director of culture position, we knew it had to be someone who not only understands our culture but lives it. Chris checks all the boxes, and we’re looking for ward to his contributions to improving our amaz ing culture.”

Amato first joined the IRHG in 2015, serving as a vital member of O-Ku Atlanta’s opening team, opened another Indigo Road restaurant, where he took on the role of assistant general manager, then

BLACK TAP CRAFT BURGERS & BEER HIRES JOHN BRISCO AS PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISE DEVELOPMENT

SCOOP learned that internationally lauded and fast-expanding burger and shake joint, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, owned by husband-and-wife team Chris Barish and Julie Mulligan, named in dustry expert John Brisco as President of International Fran chise Development.

Brisco joins the Black Tap family with over 30 years of in ternational and do mestic development expertise, holding ex ecutive positions at a myriad of established, beloved brands. He spent seven years at Tony Roma’s where he ultimately served as President and CEO, collectively eleven years at Ruby Tuesday’s where he expanded its franchise base to 38 countries within five years, successfully led Sbarro’s international development opening approximately 100 new stores per year, served as VP of International Development at TGI Fridays

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INSIDER NEWS, from page 92SCOOP continued on page 96
Christopher Amato John Brisco

customers’ trust

November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 95 Your
is in your hands So put your hands in Elara brand gloves elarabrands.com Show guests you care about their health. Protection you can count on, from the brand you trust. For each case purchased, Elara donates a meal for a person struggling with hunger in America Sold through authorized distributors

across 75 countries, and most recently sourced franchisees and finalized agreements worldwide as VP of International Franchising for Twin Peaks. Starting as a 15-seat counter bar in New York’s Soho neighborhood, Black Tap now brings its downtown vibe to the global kitchen with multiple locations in NYC, the Vegas strip, Downtown Dis ney District® at Disneyland Resort, Bahrain, Sin gapore, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with four new locations opening in Nashville, Miami, Dallas and Kuala Lumpur, Ma laysia by 2023.

HOTEL EMMA ANNOUNCED

NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF

SCOOP learned that Hotel Emma at Pearl, nes tled in the heart of San Antonio’s culinary-led dis trict of Pearl, welcomed Jorge Luis Hernández as the Executive Chef. With over 15 years of extensive Michelin training alongside celebrity chef José An drés, the San Antonio native launches a new menu at Hotel Emma’s American eatery, Supper, today. Delivering a multicultural dining experience that fuses exquisitely with his Texan roots, Hernández leads a new epicurean journey in the UNESCO City of Gastronomy. In addition to Supper, Hernández will oversee the hotel’s renowned culinary desti nations including Sternewirth bar and clubroom, Larder (fine groceries and provisions), curated banquets, as well as in-room and poolside dining.

PERRY LANE HOTEL APPOINTS

NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF

SCOOP learned that historic downtown Savan nah, GA, luxury property Perry Lane Hotel has ap pointed Dan Herget as the Executive Chef. Herget, who has over two decades of industry experience, was most recently at The Standard Spa Miami Beach. He has already launched new brunch and dinner menus at Perry Lane’s signature restaurant, Emporium Kitchen, with highlights that include lobster croque madame and vegan biscuits and gravy.

AJINOMOTO FOODS OF NORTH AMERICA LAUNCHES NEW CRUNCHEROS ROLLED TACOS UNDER ITS POSADA® BRAND

SCOOP heard that globally-inspired foods are

what consumers want from their favorite restaurants.

New Posada® Cruncheros are bold, exciting, and cra veable rolled tacos bringing together a trending fusion of flavors in a crunchy rolled taco shell that stays crispy and craveable longer than traditional tortilla.

“Posada is a brand that foodservice operators know and trust for extraordinary Latin flare. Our new Crun cheros line is loaded with exciting flavor fusions and spicy goodness,” says Mi chael Castagna, Vice-Presi dent of Marketing for AFNA.

“Bold, exciting, craveable rolled tacos that are as easy as heat and serve to save time and labor is a major benefit to opera tors. Cruncheros are ideal as a shared appetizer for dine-in customers and have excellent hold times for takeout, delivery, or catering.”

A recent consumer survey by Datassential found that 75% of customers are looking forward to new foods and beverages on restaurant menus this year.

The Nashville Hot Style Chicken Rolled Tacos are stuffed with seasoned chicken, tomato paste, habanero, jalapeño, cayenne, paprika and cilantro and wrapped in a cayenne-flavored flour tortilla.

The Chicken, Cheese and Hatch Chile Rolled Ta cos are filled with seasoned chicken, Hatch green chiles, and jalapeño cheddar cheese. The freshly made flour tortilla is battered and filled end-toend with the craveable filling.

The Korean BBQ Style Beef Rolled Tacos are filled with seasoned beef, gochujang sauce, sesame seed oil, soy sauce, onions, and red chile peppers. The freshly made flour tortilla is coated in a seasoned batter and filled end-to-end with the sweet-heat filling.

A new Datassential survey of consumers found that more than half of Gen Z consumers are ea ger to try a new menu item just because it sounds exciting, and nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials want dishes that feature a fusion of flavors. Posa da Cruncheros are the easy way to serve up new globally inspired menu items with unique flavor combinations that attracts Gen Z and Millen nial customers. Cruncheros are available through broadline distributors.

Ajinomoto Foods North America makes it easy to menu the flavors of the world with premium fro zen appetizers, handhelds, entrees and sides. With trusted industry brands that save time and labor, our products meet the needs of every operation.

We offer a wide breadth of diverse products, fla vors and platforms that serve an extensive range of operators and consumers. Our brands include: Fred’s for Starters® conventional appetizers, Posa da® Latin menu items, Golden Tiger® Asian foods, Bernardi® Italian foods, as well as The Original Chili Bowl® and Whitey’sTM chili items and now Revel Eats, chef-inspired, elevated appetizers.

Ajinomoto Co. is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, bever ages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals, and specialty chemicals. For many decades, Ajinomoto Co. has contributed to food culture and human health through wide-ranging application of amino acid technologies. Today, the company is becoming increasingly involved with solutions for improved food resources, human health, and global sustain ability. Founded in 1909, the company now oper ates in 30 countries and regions.

ALPHARETTA RESTAURANT RECEIVES GEORGIA RESTAU -

RANT ASSOCIATION AWARDS

SCOOP learned that the Georgia Restaurant Asso ciation (GRA) announced the winners of their Res taurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards. All finalists are peer-nominated, ensuring the most deserving in the industry are recognized. Winners are chosen by the GRACE Academy, com prised of former GRACE finalists and honorees as well as current GRA Board members. Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant owners took home two of these prestigious awards, including Restaurant Manager of the Year (Pepe Fundora) and the Hall of Fame award (the late Tony Fundora).

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INSIDER NEWS, from page 94SCOOP
Some of the delicious Cruncheros from Posada
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 97

Famous track athlete Steve Scott said it best, “If you find something that works, double down on it”. He was most likely referring to his very suc cessful career as one of the greatest mile runners in history, but at Mo tion Technology Inc., we think those powerful words apply perfectly to our equipment.

When we first introduced the Au toFry in 1990, expanding our prod uct line was always a goal. Double fryers quickly became a top priority, knowing how limited space can be in foodservice settings meant cre ating a fryer that was high volume, ventless, and compact.

Fast forward to 1998 to the launch of our very first double basket fryer, the AutoFry MTI-40E. Capable of supplying up to 12 pounds of prod uct per cycle, this heavy-duty fryer was also our first floor-model de signed especially for high volume locations. Today, the MTI-40E can be found in large stadiums and are nas like the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls & Blackhawks.

Skip ahead seven years to 2005 and we say hello to our first coun tertop double basket fryer, the Au toFry MTI-40C. This model allows customers to enjoy the benefits of a double fryer even if they don’t have the floor space. Like its larger coun terpart, the MTI-40C’s throughput is quite impressive, generating up

to 6 pounds of product per cook cy cle. This automated fry cook can be seen in fast paced environments the like theatre chain, Regal Cinemas.

As we continue to develop and grow, we found our customers needed an even smaller double bas ket unit so in 2018 we introduced our smallest double basket fryer, the AutoFry Mini-C. This single-serve model is both compact and effi cient, created with fresh, made-toorder, concepts in mind. The Mini-C is equipped with an oil capacity of 1.375 gallons per side making a to tal of 2.75 gallons and can be spot ted in convenience store chains like Rutter’s.

No matter the size of the fryer, one of the most beneficial features of the double basket models is the ability to cook two orders at once, essentially doubling your output, and reducing your wait times. An other benefit of two-sided deepfryers is the division of the oil pots. Each of these models have two separate oil pots which allows own ers and operators to utilize one side of the AutoFry for raw product like breaded chicken, and one side for frozen premade items like mozza rella sticks or fries.

So, what do you think? Is your business ready to double down on foodservice with the AutoFry? Head to www.mtiproducts.com today to learn more!

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continued on page 130 FOOD FOR THOUGHT: BENEFITS OF A DOUBLE FRYER RESTAURANT OPERATIONSNEWS MTIproducts.com | Ventless Kitchen Solutions | 800-348-2976 EASY INSTALLATION AND OPERATION UNPARALLELED COMMITMENT TO YOUR SAFETY AVAILABLE IN MULTIPLE SIZES | FLOOR & COUNTER MODELS FOOD MADE SIMPLE AUTOFRY & MULTICHEF: VENTLESS FRYING & HIGH SPEED OVENS
November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 99

TECH IN DINING – FRIEND OR (DESIGN) FOE?

You’ve been looking forward to this all week. A chance to disconnect from the blue light of your work screen and connect with the ones you love. There’s no better way to do so than by sitting down for a couple of inten tional, uninterrupted hours of con versation over dinner at your favorite restaurant. You and your party are seated and a sticker on your table in structs you to pull out your phone to view the menu. You look around and realize that every table either has a guest holding their device or has a de vice sitting next to them on the table. Instead of people engaging with each other they’re instead looking down, glued to their screens. Phone lights are going off with notifications through out the restaurant. People are clicking away. The anticipated scene bursting with human-to-human connection is lost and you wonder how and when did the landscape of dining change?

This might be an exaggerated, dra matic telling of a dystopian restaurant scene, but it’s hard to overemphasize the intrusion that phones can play on a dining experience. What was once considered a faux pax whilst dining with company has gotten a major pass due to the intensified need for contactless options during the height of the pandemic. As restaurants navi gated uncertain times, they looked for ways to reassure guests that they were taking Covid protocols seriously. A common approach was employing QR codes to view web menus on their phone in lieu of touching a potentially germ-infested physical one. While we now know it’s unlikely Covid can be transmitted from surfaces -- and other high touch items like condiment bot tles, which are back on tables -- some restaurants have chosen to keep the

QR code option available to guests either as the sole means of menu viewing or in addition to an in-hand version.

Beyond the consideration that QR codes give to cautious guests, they also benefit the restaurant by cutting out printing costs and allowing for daily specials and last minute menu changes. And with that, phones have become the newly socially acceptable “plus one” at everyone’s table.

With the rise of social media and influencers, we can’t entirely blame the phone focused dining shift on QR codes. This trend has been on the rise for a while as guests often will snap a quick shot of their dish before even having a bite, sometimes even docu menting every course while posting and captioning in real time. But as we’re increasingly accepting this shift and promoting it to our guests, have we considered what we are losing?

Although QR codes may make a restaurateur’s life easier, guests over whelmingly prefer paper menus. A recent Technomic survey found that about 88% of respondents said they

preferred paper menus to digital QR codes and about 66% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they didn’t like QR codes because they involve pulling out your phone as soon as you sit at the table. (source: CNN.com)

Besides negative guest sentiment, restaurateurs lose out on an impor tant guest touchpoint when they tran sition to QR codes. The “science” of

menu design plays an integral role in the dining experience. The moment a guest walks through the door, a res taurant prepares a journey of surprise and delight and should jump at every opportunity to better communicate its brand story. From the choice of pa per color, size and weight to its layout, illustrations, and use of eye move ment patterns, there are specific de cisions made throughout the design process to capture the guest and draw their attention while thoughtfully leading them through the restaurant’s identity.

Second Sight Design (SSD) prides itself on creating menus so delectably designed you can almost taste it with your eyes. When Q and A in Oceans ide, California requested brunch menus, they set out to create one that would match the energy of the city the restaurant was inspired by. By print ing on white paper bags with illustra tions and typography reminiscent of the beignet sacks from Café du Monde commonly seen in the hands of locals and tourists alike walking the streets of New Orleans, they captured the es sence of the brand to create a memo rable visual experience for the guest just short of being in the lively city.

When it came to creating their din ner menus, Second Sight sourced handmade leather books by local ar tisan, Bryer Made, to emphasize the transition to Q and A’s upscale evening dining experience. The pages with in the thick weight of this beautiful menu book were thoughtfully layered to add dimension and a storybook feel while also highlighting the oysters, the restaurant’s most coveted item. The brand tale continues with NOLA land

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CT RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION TO HOST ANNUAL AWARDS GALA ON DEC 5 AT FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO

The Connecticut Restaurant Association (CRA) recently announced the award win ners and finalists for the 2022 CRAzies Awards Gala presented by Sysco, LLC. Each year, the CRA zies recognizes the exceptional ability and talent of Connecticut’s restaurant community at this prestigious awards gala. Restaurant owners, operators, chefs, vendors and more will come to gether to celebrate the success of the industry at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Monday, December 5. Last year’s CRAzies Gala brought more than 1,100 guests together at Foxwoods and saw more than 20,000 online public votes made to choose winners across nu merous categories.

“We are extremely excited to cel ebrate our industry at the 2022 CRA zies, and to highlight the many in credible Connecticut restaurants and caterers that serve as a backbone of their local and regional economies,” said Connecticut Restaurant Associa tion Executive Director Scott Dolch. “This year’s CRAzies is positioned to be our best yet, and we can’t wait to bring everyone together on December 5. Congratulations to our 2022 award winners and nominees, plus a special thank you to the efforts of the nomi nating panel who provided valuable insight throughout the selection pro cess.”

The CRAzies selection process be gan in August with an online public nomination process and state-wide chef panel. Subsequently, more than 35 food writers, critics, bloggers, and social media influencers sat down to finalize the list of honorees and final

ists for 2022. Finally, the nominees for Restaurateur of the Year, CT Hos pitality Hall of Fame, and Friend of the Industry were brought to the CRA Board of Directors, where the overall winners were selected in each of these three categories.

For the remaining categories, the public can now vote by CLICKING HERE through the end of November for each category: Chef of the Year, Baker of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Server of the Year, Caterer of the Year, People’s Choice, Restaurant Newcomer, Regional Restaurants of the Year and Overall Restaurant of the Year. Winners will be selected from not only the public vote, but also from our nominating panel members.

The full list of honorees and nomi nations can be found below. Log onto www.craziesawards.com today to

learn more about the finalists, vote for your favorites, purchase tickets or be come a sponsor. For additional infor mation, please contact them at info@ ctrestaurant.org.

2022 CRAzies Award Honorees & Nominations

• New for 2022, the CT Restaurant Association will honor Jacques Pépin with the CRAzies first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Pépin is one of the most famous and celebrated chefs around the world, as he is a French chef, cookbook author, television host (who cooked alongside Julia Child), Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and 16-time James Beard Foundation award winner. Since 1976, he has called Madison, Connecticut his

home and his impact on the Con necticut culinary community has inspired so many chefs and res taurateurs for almost fifty years.

• The 2022 Restaurateurs of the Year are Phil Barnett & Mike Hamlin of Hartford Restaurant Group, who own and operate ten Wood-N-Tap restaurants throughout Connecti cut and Que Whiskey Kitchen (Southington).

• The Connecticut Hospitality Hall of Fame inductees for 2022 will be Blackie’s Hot Dogs (Cheshire) and Sally’s Apizza (New Haven). The 2022 Friend of the Industry Award will go to Speaker of the House Matt Ritter and our Vendor of the Year finalists are Copps Island Oysters (Norwalk), Gulf Shrimp Company (Plantsville), Seacoast Mushrooms (Mystic) and VerTerra Dinnerware (Norwalk).

• Highlighting our finalist cat egories, one of the most coveted awards is Chef of the Year. The five finalists for 2022 include David DiStasi from Materia Ristorante (Bantam), Jared Falco from Ro sina’s (Greenwich), Jared Sippel from L’Ostal (Darien), David Stan dridge from Shipwright’s Daugh ter (Mystic) and Renee Touponce from Oyster Club (Mystic).

• The Baker of the Year finalists are Kevin Masse from Small State Provisions (West Hartford), Pier luigi Mazzella from Fatto a Mano (Monroe), Selene Tepatzi from At ticus Bakery (New Haven), David Vacca from Nana’s Bakery & Pizza

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THE DIGITAL INNOVATIONS DRIVING A DRIVE-THRU REVOLUTION

With every year it be comes more evident that drive-thrus are the future of QSRs. This year’s QSR Drive-Thru Report revealed that customers expect speed of service and convenience over anything else, and drive-thru has become the undisputed cham pion of seamless and speedy cus tomer service. Fast food chains are competing to become best-in-breed for drive-thru experiences and great customer service. Accordingly, businesses that invest in digital in novations – be it digital app orders,

mobile point of sale or even artifi cial intelligence – will revolutionize the drive-thru experience, and rise to the top.

What’s changing the game?

One factor driving QSR success is their ability to create a personalized digital experience in the drive-thru process. Artificial intelligence is be coming less of a gimmick and more of a central business tool to create client-focused customer experi ences. Some drive-thrus are imple menting AI-powered digital menu boards, with voice assistants to sug

gest foods that are popular accord ing to the area and weather.

AI rarely requires human inter vention: it can deal with unusual menu items, and understand differ ent accents. Where customers from all walks of life feel they are being heard and attended to, a brand be gins to generate uniquely personal experiences that ultimately result in customer satisfaction and long term loyalty. Digital innovations al low QSRs to make the most of data insights and provide the most per sonalized experiences possible, for example with loyalty programs

that leverage AI to identify specific customers and suggest menu items based on previous orders. The cus tomer is left feeling like the brand truly knows them, and the brand can use this data to spot upsell op portunities.

Greater demand for speed of ser vice comes with a greater demand for staff, and this is another area where innovation is redefining the drive-thru experience. Every year, customers expect an even higher quality experience. Businesses are struggling to keep up with expec tations for improved speed and convenience because of staff short ages. However, conversational AI technology is being implemented in restaurants to plug this gap and make drive-thrus as frictionless as possible. Using AI boosts order ac curacy and significantly decreases the likelihood of multiple car lanes and congestion, which would oth erwise lead to long and tiresome wait times. 85% of consumers will consider leaving a perceived long line, and those businesses that uti lize new innovations to increase ef ficiency will not have to suffer the cost of unsatisfied customers.

Artificial intelligence is now ca pable of greeting customers, tak ing orders, and transferring orders to point of sale (POS) systems, amongst other beneficial func tions. This will cut out employees from the order-taking process while maintaining near-perfect order ac curacy, allowing them to focus on other tasks. Hospitality technol ogy is allowing businesses to op timize efficiency and productivity

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IMPROVING WORKER PERFORMANCE AT YOUR RESTAURANT

An efficient restaurant is a successful restaurant and a restaurant cannot run efficiently if employ ees are not doing their jobs correctly. It is im portant for restaurant owners and managers to identify who is effec tively doing their job and who is not. The best way to figure this out is to utilize techniques that evaluate performance and help you identify what your team is doing right and what they are doing wrong. Using per formance management techniques will help you figure out which workers need to be put in lead ership positions at your restaurant and which ones need to be retrained or let go. As a business consultant with over 30 years of ex perience I have worked with many restauranteurs to help them run a successful business. Here are a few techniques to help you manage per formance at your restaurant.

Install the right restaurant tech

A modern restaurant will not function without installing the right point-of-sale system to help you evaluate the performance of your restaurant team. A good POS system will track sales, customers, turn over rate, inventory, and efficiency of staff members by tracking their sales via their employee number.

Tracking these number via your POS will simplify managing your restaurant and help track items that make money while eliminating un necessary cost.

Inspire your team

Motivating your team is not something you do yearly. Leader ship should be leading by example every day and inspiring your work ers to perform to the best of their albitites. Your restaurant will oper ate more efficiently when your team sees you holding them and your self to the highest standard. A good work ethic flows down to the rest of the team so promote one.

Owners and your management team are responsible for fostering a productive team environment. Help employees know that their indi vidual contribution helps the team, which helps the restaurant succeed.

Set a standard

Every restaurant owner should have realistic expectations for your management team and staff. These expectations help get the most out of your team. Employees without expectations will often fall short in their performance. Give every member of your team short and long term goals while they are em ployed at your restaurant. Ensure

that any team meetings or training you conduct are conducive to achiev ing these goals. Meet with individual members of your team once a month to see if they are meeting their goals.

It is important that managers monitor key performance indica tors to assess how each member is doing. A good POS system can gener ate detailed analytics on your employees so you can develop actionable insights. These can be number tables served, how quickly they can turn tables, specials sold per table, and customer satisfaction with reviews. Employees who are meet ing their goals should be offered better incentives. Display a performance dashboard in the employ ee breakroom so team members see each other’s performances. Your management team should make sure this dashboard is updated weekly.

Award good work

Management should evaluate and speak with employees every week. This provides you and your team with constant feedback that will help everyone do their job better. If an employee is consistently per forming above expectations then you should reward them. Employee

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tellectual property– all the things I was lacking when I first came home. So, that’s kind of how Legacy got to where it’s today, which is roughly a $400 million business.”

In addition to the Legacy’s suc cess, Asbury provides a story of his own as a podcaster and author. “I have a nationally syndicated radio show with Radio America. It’s called ‘Made in America’,” Asbury stated.

from page 104DRIVE THRUS

while giving more stimulating and relationship-focused tasks to staff - improving the experience for both employees and customers. In this way, customers are surprised and delighted by their data-led digital interactions with a brand, and staff are freed up to concentrate on the ways that they can surprise and de light with a human touch.

The Post-Covid Drive-Thru Delivery and drive-thrus became customers’ main source of restau rant dining during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, despite the emer gence of a mostly vaccinated popu lation, drive-thru popularity has not declined to pre-pandemic levels. 74% of people have visited drivethrus the same amount or more of ten than usual since the start of the pandemic. That’s a 43 percent rise

Additionally, his second book, Map ping America, was Co-Authored by bestselling National Geographic author Jean-Pierre Isbouts, and his first book, Conscientious Eq uity, was reviewed by the New York Times. His love of American history has motivated him to build one of the most extensive collections of antiques maps, and engravings in the United States. In the future, he

plans on donating his valuables to Museums and Universities to con tinue sharing his passion.

Neal Asbury will continue to pave the way in the food service industry with The Legacy Companies while taking pride in his global business background. Because, as he con cluded from experience, “Once an entrepreneur always an entrepre neur.”

For more information about The Legacy Companies, visit www. thelegacycompanies.com/ our_company.

Additionally, for more informa tion about Admiral Craft, visit www. admiralcraft.com.

from the peak of the pandemic in April, 2020.

Initially, the pandemic forced people to prioritize contactless service when accessing restaurant food. Since then, customer habits have changed and people are em bracing a digitized new way of life. In a world where consumers can have almost anything they want at the touch of a button on their phones, why would they settle for anything less? In our current age of digital transformation, consumers have become used to instant results and they therefore expect an effec tive and speedy service as an abso lute minimum.

Ultimately, businesses risk los ing revenue and customer loyalty if they fail to center their business strategy around a digital experience that caters to their customers’ need

for efficiency and convenience. In the drive-thru space, the battle to do this is fierce. Those who embrace a digital transformation journey in this brave new world will rapidly climb the QSR ladder. And those who don’t will wish they did.

Matt Pacyga is a digital prod uct specialist with deep ex perience in the intersectional ity between QSR/ Restaurant and retail technology. He’s had the honor to work with such brands as Dairy Queen, Jamba Juice, and McAlisters, to name a few. Matt bridges the gap between business, technology, and product ensuring that customer ex pectations are met and businesses

grow. He believes it’s critical to align a brands Omni-channel strategy with their retail technology strat egy. Connected customer experienc es thrive when brands can connect multiple systems seamlessly to ex ceed guest expectations. In his spare time, Matt mentors food tech start ups through TechStars Farm to Fork program.

Bottle Rocket is a digital experi ence consultancy that provides strat egy, product, design, and technology services that drive business results and exceed customer expectations. Bottle Rocket is part of the Ogilvy Experience worldwide network. To learn more about Bottle Rocket, please visit www.bottlerocketstu dios.com or drop us a note at hello@ bottlerocketstudios.com.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

incentives can mean increasing pay, extra bonuses, or extra vacation time. Determining the best incen tive is up to you as the owner.

Establish a performance based culture

Creating a performance based culture keeps you team working at a high level because they know they will be rewarded for high perfor mance.

Create a chart or dashboard that list every staff member. You can create category for every position

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in your restaurant. Servers should have: number of tables served, turn over rates, and customer satisfac tion. Kitchen crew should account how long it takes to cook food, and prep time. This chart will let every member of your team know where they stand and how everyone can improve.

Management must also be on these charts to ensure staff knows their leadership can hold them selves accountable.

Strong performance by your staff will help your restaurant succeed.

A team that performs will creates happy customers, which creates more money. Using these perfor mance management techniques will keep your team performing at a high level provide you with a better understanding of what drives suc cess at your restaurant.

John Waters is the Principal of Wa ters Business Consulting Group, LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an ex pert at helping business owners and management grow their business.

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from page 82LEGACY/ADCRAFT
John Waters
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financing deals in the restaurant and foodservice industry. “RFDC follows the ebb and flow of the res taurant, financing, and franchising space, making it a mirror to what is happening in the foodservice world and the broader capital markets,” Lockyear continued. “Over the years you’d feel the temperature of deal making in the halls – you see the rise of IPOs, the influx of private-equity, the sophistication of franchising, M&A, and the surge of strategic ac quisitions. In recent years, you see more and more emerging brands at RFDC, as younger concepts look to raise capital early, and growth through franchising continues to be

FALL CATERING TRENDS

are popping up everywhere and are the hot sip for fall and winter par ties. Rather than include it in a mar garita or paloma, mezcal’s smoky notes are a perfect pairing for fall flavors like apple, pear, cinnamon and honey. Blood oranges also pair well with mezcal thanks to their sweet and bitter — plus they have the perfect visual for fall mezcal cocktails. Apple cider or hot toddys made with mezcal can also level up cold-weather sips.

Comfort food with a twist is an other trend hosts may want to consider for their fall and winter entertaining. Warm and sooth ing comfort food that Mom used to make is always inviting, but this trend is leveled up with some eth nic flare, giving a once-simple sta

an avenue for rapid expansion.” Highlighting this year’s speakers at the Las Vegas event is Tim Tebow. The two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, firstround NFL draft pick, and a former professional baseball player and best-selling author. Also address ing this year’s attendees will be Aus tan Goolsbee, Chairman, President Obama’s Council of Economic Ad visers and Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business. From the culinary side, RFDC will be addressed by Wolf gang Puck Famed chef, restaurateur, whose name is synonymous with the best of restaurant hospitality.

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ple a global glow-up. Macaroni and cheese infused with truffles (there are those mushrooms again!) and fall soups (hello butternut squash or roasted pumpkin bisque) are excel lent choices. And rather than serve Nashville hot chicken or chicken and waffles, why not try banh mi fried chicken sandwiches or chick en sandwiches served with Asian flavors such as lemongrass, daiko, cucumbers and cilantro.

Vegan and vegetarian entrees served as the main event rather than an afterthought continues to trend through the fall and winter seasons. Produce of the harvest will make their way into menus and likely show up in the comfort-foodwith-a-twist trend. Mushrooms are vegan and vegetarian friendly as

Rounding out the keynoters is John Coleman, Managing Partner, Sov ereign’s Capital and Author of the Harvard Business Review Guide to Crafting Your Purpose. The Elliot Group is among many companies that have used the gath ering to cultivate the relationships the are integral to their growth. “We are privileged to be a long-time sup porter of RFDC, John Hamburger and his team, and we’re honored to host an event there for the past nine years along with our co-hosts,” Lockyear added. “Elliot’s executive search and advisory work goes deep within the investment community, from family offices to private equi

ty groups, and we love this time to gather our orbit around the table to break bread. Along with our restau rant clients – from large to emerg ing, and franchisors to franchisees –we put together an eclectic group to celebrate together. It’s about hospi tality. It’s about people. There’s time to make deals, and there is time to have fun and build relationships. At our event, we have fun!”

The conference always provides a read on the direction the industry is set to take. Keep an eye on this year’s annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference (RFDC) to provide that vision.

other warmly. It’s one of the indus try’s few events where baby carriages are welcome. The breadth of Vic tory’s success in many ways is a re flection of the number of languages that were heard at the show. Victory’s ability to create a sales and support team that speaks so many dialects has endeared them to all segments of

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the Metro New York City foodservice community.

Victory’s roots date back to 1983 when two brothers Mike and Kos tas Tyras started the firm, which has evolved over time to where today the business and fleet of trucks operate out of a modern multi temperature distribution facility in the Bronx.

well, so they are sure to pop up in fall menus. Chickpeas are also ev erywhere right now in vegan din ing as is vegan bacon, plant-based chicken and jackfruit (which can be recreated to mimic non-vegan foods such as pulled pork).

Tropical island flavors as well as sweet and spicy combos are also hot for fall and winter food and bever ages. Flavors like mango habanero, candied jalapeño and chili rasp berry will blur the line between sa vory and sweet in both entrees and desserts. Pineapple slices sprinkled with tajin also provide that sweet, salty and spicy juxtaposition for cocktails and tropical-inspired dishes.

All in all, a well-executed event, complete with a varied menu that

can please a variety of taste pref erences as well as dietary needs, is sure to be remembered. Food is always a memorable part of events so get creative, make it exciting and don’t be afraid to offer new and ad venturous trends when it comes to ingredients and how they are served.

Chantal Hause and her husband Skip own and operate Fabulous Food in Phoenix, Arizona. Since 1996 Fabulous Food has been providing its clients in the greater Phoenix area with complete upscale catering services for corporate events, wed dings and other social gatherings. Fabulous Food can be reached via phone at (602) 267-1818 or website at https://www.fabulousfood.net/

Victory Foodservice is one of Met ro New York’s premiere independent broad line food distributors, offer ing over 5,000 food and food related products to restaurants, institutions, caterers, markets, hotels, and delis. The offerings include fresh and fro zen meats, seafood, vegetables and desserts; produce; dry and canned

groceries; disposables and deter gents; small wares and small equip ment. Victory’s tradition of a family operated and oriented business is based on service, variety, and reli ability by providing all products with assured quality, and a prompt delivery.

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VICTORY FOODS SHOW 2022
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ship but foodservice professionals in all facets of our industry. This Award recognizes an individual who has been diligent in service to cor porate foodservice and workplace hospitality and who has consistent ly demonstrated the ideals of dedi cation, integrity, professionalism and leadership to the Society and to which Richard aspired.

Jay B. Silverstein Lifetime Achievement Award: Jerry White, Retiring from Plate magazine

Recognizing a lifetime of contri

butions and service to the corporate foodservice and workplace hos pitality industry. This prestigious award has been renamed to honor long-time member and past presi dent Jay B. Silverstein, who passed away this year. Jay was one of the most active SHFM members, whose contributions to the Society define a lifetime of achievement.

SHFM recognized the Innovation Showcase exhibitors with the most innovative product or service and presentation featuring new and/or future forward ideas.

The winners for the People’s Choice:

• Most innovative or forwardthinking product or service – Pep siCo, Inc.

• Most sustainable or forwardthinking exhibit – Nutrislice

The winners for the Best of Show Juried Panel:

• Most innovative or forwardthinking product or service – Uni syn, Inc.

• Most sustainable or forwardthinking exhibit – The Foodware Group

The Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management is the only association focused on Workplace Hospitality and Amenities in the Foodservice Industry. SHFM em powers its members to create safe, productive and engaging workplace environments by providing mentor ship, fellowship and access to seg ment specific education covering an array of innovative shared services, concepts and powerful peer connec tions. For more information, please visit www.shfm-online.org.

SHFM and SHFM Foundation Launch New Branding and Website

The Society for Hospitality & Foodservice Man agement (SHFM), the only association focused on Workplace Hospitality and Amenities in the Foodservice Industry, recently announced it has launched new branding and a new website for the association. The new branding extends to the So ciety for Hospitality & Foodservice Management Foundation, which has a presence on the SHFM website.

Rob Gebhardt, the SHFM president stated, “This is an exciting time for SHFM as we seek to enhance our brand recognition in the market place,” he continued by saying, “our new website will extend the accessibility of SHFM to every one and serves as the “face” of the Society to the world”.

SHFM announced the new branding and web site during the 2022 national conference in Den

ver on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 to a positive reception from SHFM members. The new logo and sub-logos for the SHFM Foundation and SHFM programs is a sleek and modern design encompassing the forward-thinking nature of the Society. In addition to the new logo and website, SHFM has adopted a new positioning statement and tagline for the Society. In May, the SHFM Board of Directors approved the following posi tioning statement: The Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management is the only association focused on Workplace Hospitality and Amenities in the Foodservice Industry. SHFM empowers its members.

to create safe, productive and engaging work place environments by providing mentorship, fellowship and access to segment specific edu cation covering an array of innovative shared

services, culinary concepts and powerful peer connections.

In May, the SHFM Board of Directors also ap proved a new tagline for the Society:

Leaders in Workplace Amenities and Food service

Damian Monticello, SHFM Immediate Past President and the Branding Task Force chair, commented that “in addition the new logo and website SHFM is positioning itself for the future as the only association focused on Workplace Hospitality and Amenities in the Foodservice In dustry,” he additionally commented, “that as the only association in our space SHFM is leading the industry at this pivotal time as we as an industry, are innovating and reinvigorating following the global pandemic”.

from page 100SECOND SIGHT

marks and taglines decorating the menu pages.

While working with Rare Society in San Diego, the SSD team leaned into the nod to old school Vegas interiors of the restaurant when designing the dinner menus. Using layouts and ty pography pulled from vintage Vegas super clubs like The Copa Room at The Sands and Versailles at Riviera, a guest’s eyes are subtly transported back in time while scanning for their delicious selection. The back side of the menu continues the brand story

by mimicking artwork on the back of a playing card, arguably the most iconic feature of a casino.

But even if a visual experience isn’t important to a restaurant, their bot tom line certainly is. When designing a menu layout, the delicate decisions on the use of white space, boxes or colors can help attract eyes to high ticket items. For JRDN, SSD used yel low markups mimicking chef’s notes to draw attention to the Lobster BLT, Jumbo Sticky Buns and Avocado Toast, the restaurant’s most profitable items

on its brunch menu.

Although one could argue that web PDFs still allow a restaurant to show case an element of its menu design, because ADA accessibility is a top priority and phone sizes are limited, they aren’t optimal for web viewing. To avoid making guests endlessly pinch and zoom in on their screens, restau rants often must end up opting for a generic template of tabbed sections of one column scrolls to display their menu. Either way, you can’t replicate the feeling of importance of holding

a menu so thoughtfully tied into the aesthetic of the restaurant has on the overall guest experience. While cost and safety will always be valid consid erations that restaurants must weigh when executing their overall vision, we hope they don’t lose sight of the value that in-hand menus can play on the overall magic of a distraction free dining experience.

Learn more at https://www. findsecondsight.com/

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Castor and the RAK team also un derstand the implications of the sup ply chain issues that have challenged the restaurant and foodservice pro fessional over the past year. “Unlike many other companies in our indus try, importing from the same factories overseas, we have the unique oppor tunity to control our stock levels. Our factory remained opened during Cov id continuing not only to produce and ship current collections, but we also installed a new state of the art produc tion line allowing us to now produce bone China in our factory.”

He was also quick to point out that even though they are new to the party, they certainly know how to dance. “Being the new guy on the block, we knew that being as good as the current suppliers was not going to be enough for people to change their buying habits. We must be better. We strive to set the new standard with respect to product development, supply chain and most of all our ability to service our customers. Everyone from our team at Imperial - PA, customer ser vice and the management team truly care about our customers. No order is too small. Although we are part of a huge company, we all have the ability to make quick decisions to satisfy our customers.”

With some 60,000 jobs added to the sector during this past September (Bureau of Labor and Statistics), Cas tor acknowledges that “the hospitality

business literally went from a 1 to a 10 overnight. Hotels went from look ing for “covered” solutions to fit the safety needs, to returning to product norms. We continue to see the major hotel flags growing their room counts on a massive global scale which has skyrocketed demand for tabletop product.”

As the hotel operator gets ready to reset, numerous brands are rethink ing new tabletop versus returning to inventory that has not been used in two years. “In many cases hotels were forced to let their par product norms drop as COVID forced closures and shutdowns. As business quickly re turned, and products were needed properties found many current items they used were no longer readily avail able. This problem became an oppor tunity and chefs were given the green light to pivot and include new and exciting tabletop items,” Castor dis closed.

Castor also had advice for the large volume hotel and casino customer regarding restocking and upgrading. “The best advice is to choose unique collections that are available and tried and tested to be operationally sound. That means durable and for sure de sign-driven but does not detract the key focus away from the food. The product should also not be over de signed or too trendy as banquet table top is changed so infrequently you don’t want to be stuck with a collec

tion that is no longer in style in a short time. For outlets I think the key is to choose the right vessel for the menu item. The operator is no longer to be limited to a single pattern. There are so many cool products available in the market. Creativity and presenta tion are king with respect to outlets and bars.”

The RAK Porcelain difference lies in its approach to the production of the line. The company boasts a stateof-the-art factory with a competitive edge in production, research and development, and innovation. Ac cording to Castor, “Isostatic pressing commonly referred to as dry press ing, allows for producing product at a rate of one piece of 30 seconds with an overall yield of 97%. It is the most efficient way of producing product in the dinnerware industry. In addition to these benefits, this process forms product with less than 1% moisture, minimizing the warpage and diam eter variation from piece to piece.” That efficiency enables the company to price the line competitively.

The factory produces its signature high alumina dinnerware both in an ivory-colored body (Ivoris) and a high alumina body designed to look like bright white porcelain (Polaris). In addition, RAKStone and Bone China are all manufactured within our stateof-the-art ISO certified factory. “This enables complete control and moni toring of the manufacturing process

from raw material to finished goods.”

The hotel industry continues to make its comeback with the return of both business and tourist travel. “Ho tels are evolving, and we are here to help the plan for ’23 and beyond. We will do whatever is in our power to say, “Yes We Can” to whatever the needs may be.”

RAK Porcelain also understands the importance of the restaurant and foodservice professional and the dealers that serve them being able to touch and feel the product line. “Dur ing Covid we were lucky enough to take advantage of others pulling out of showrooms in New York. This allowed us to double our space. We have now added a showroom in Chicago and will continue to expand. If a customer has a hard time breaking away, we’ll bring the showroom to them. What we’ve found is that once someone uses RAK Porcelain, they will choose us again wherever they go.”

With the confidence in a product that has made an indelible mark on the industry globally, Castor conclud ed that “there is nothing we can’t make and since we are the factory, we can listen to the customers’ needs, and ideas and quickly react to produce in novative products. Call us, email us, request samples and plate up on the tableware. That is the best way to dis cover what RAK Porcelain can do for you!”

What makes the Fresh Victor prod uct unique is the freshness itself; it must be cold and kept refrigerated. The no preservatives mix means the average cocktail comes to roughly 150 calories. The brand proposition from day one was that the fresh product could be mixed with anything and win over a wide range of people.

When it came to trends in gen erational differences, MacKenzie recognized that millennials wanted complete transparency on company values and knowing the ingredients were fair trade. “Initially, 70% of busi ness was from on-premises use in bars, hotels, restaurants, etc. and 30%

was retail in grocery stores. My edu cated guess is that currently, we’re at 50% on-premises, 30% off, and 30% direct consumer sales from the web site. 15% of that is consumers asking for mocktails or low alcohol alterna tives and this is huge today because at one point it was 0%.”

The pandemic was the first time MacKenzie witnessed something allencompassing happen in two-weeks.

“We had no control over our destiny, something I am used to having as an entrepreneur. All contact with distrib utors within 48-hours came to a halt and we had to take stock for two weeks to strategically plan our business plan.

We refocused on two channels: gro cery and delivery and 20% of our busi ness were in delivery by the end of the year.” Additionally, Fresh Victor has the freedom of being a mixer meaning that on a state-by-state basis the com pany can regionalize programs.

MacKenzie believes the future is bright for on-premises locations. “There might be a lack of labor con cern out there, but my pitch is that this product is all fresh ingredients, so we help limit what you need to buy from distributors. Our goal is that both your Monday and Saturday bartenders who bring a very different skill set to your team can confidently and efficiently

create the same drink.”

MacKenzie and his Fresh Victor team, also bring access to a wide scope of cocktail trends across the country.

“It depends on the region; however, I am seeing a resurgence in Tiki drinks. On the supplier side, with Bacardi for example, they have taken our product and built specific cocktails in a variety of ways- on the rocks, shaken, stirredshowing clients how versatile our products are,” MacKenzie concluded.

Nightclub and bar, and Food and Beverage professionals can find com plete detail on the line at shop.fresh victor.com

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ness with a few drops of bitters.

A trusted cocktail ingredient for de cades, flavor- and aroma-laden bitters are especially effective in nonalco holic concoctions where they can add signature notes of spice, herbs, lico rice, mint, and more. They may also contribute an aromatic element, add ing a quaint and unexpected dimen sion to the cocktail.

Traditionally made by infusing a neutral spirit with herbs, roots, spices, and citrus, bitters may contain alco hol. However, this potent ingredient is used so sparingly that the amount of alcohol will likely be negligible.

When you add bitters to nonalco holic beverages, they’ll gain the so phisticated headiness of traditional cocktails, such as bitterness, spice,

and cheese,” Blessing noted. “I have always been amazed by taking such simple ingredients and creat ing amazing food with such vast flavors and origins all while using all the same ingredients. I started in the kitchen at the age of 15 as a dishwasher at a local Italian bistro. Within a year and a half, I was an understudy for the Executive Chef, just soaking in as much informa tion as possible. He named me Sous Chef, a title I was hesitant to take as I did not think I deserved it, but he said that my drive and work ethic inspired him and that I had such an ‘old school kitchen’ work ethic. At this point, nothing could stop me from reaching my dream of becom ing an executive chef and running my own restaurant.”

Some 8 years later, Chef Nick be came the lead Line cook at a French fine dining restaurant in Roseville, CA. “That is where I really started to blossom, getting my first experience in a real French kitchen. I caught the eyes of my Executive Chef and Sous Chef and they really tested my limits to see how I would do and no matter what they threw at me I succeeded. In just a year I had been made the Sous Chef and then a few

citrus, and herbal notes, without the boozy effects.

As with beverages and syrups, you can purchase bitters premade, or you can make them yourself by blending bourbon in a Vitamix® Commercial blender with aromatic ingredients, such as dried fruit, chopped citrus peel, tree bark, or herbs. You will also need to let the mixture steep over sev eral days and strain in a chinois.

Amplify with texture.

At this point, you may have achieved a balance of flavor and, if you want, you could stop there. But our sugges tion: Adorn your adult beverage with “flavor pearls,” small, brightly colored beads containing concentrated bursts of flavor from fruit, spices, or vinegar.

page 88

months after that my mentor — the Executive Chef — had given his no tice. With the trust of the owners of this restaurant I was named Execu tive Chef at the age of 24 and finally I had earned the right to call the restaurant my own. In his first year of running his own kitchen, he man aged to bring home the 3rd place “Best Chef” award, as well as 2nd place for “Best Restaurant”, both from the hip local Style Magazine.

“After a few years there I was hun gry for my next challenge and that was to open a restaurant as the ex ecutive chef. So I teamed up with Scott’s Seafood to open the beauti ful Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse in Historical Folsom. Throughout his 14-year culinary journey, Nicholas has opened a total of four restau rants. He is classically trained in French and Italian cuisine, with an emphasis of his own “style” of cook ing which he considers modern up scale, local farm to fork. Constantly furthering his education & experi menting with new techniques and methods of cooking like fermenta tion, dry aging, and curing. One of the keys to Chef Nick’s suc cess has been his ability to build a team that shares his passion. At the

You can purchase pearls in a variety of flavors from specialty retailers. Or, if you’re ambitious, try your hand at making them in house.

To make pearls, begin with a highly concentrated syrup that’s processed with thickening agents; then use a syringe to extrude the mixture, creat ing soft-shelled beads and dropping them in a calcium chloride bath. Stir these pearls into a nonalcoholic cock tail, and you have a beautiful beverage amplified with fun bursts of color and flavor.

Fun in a glass.

Pouring up a delightful beverage base that is enhanced with a flavored syrup, the lively notes of spices or herbs, and juicy textural elements cre

ates an experience that will not want for spirits.

Try it yourself by mixing a harmoni ous brew of flavor and refreshment.

For instance, serve a housemade lime ade on the rocks, laced with a ginger syrup, spicy bitters, and tart, fruity pearls. The result could be bold, sur prising, and utterly enjoyable.

Stephen Hosey is blending appli cation manager and culinary team member at Vitamix, where he assists commercial customers with kitchen and bar efficiency, recipe creation and menu development. Contact him at letstalkcommercial@vitamix.com.

new Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse has teamed with Chef Luis Madri gal and Sous Chef Robert. A key to accomplishing that vision has been building resources that can assist the trio in their quest to create culi nary magic. “With that in mind, we chose the Chefs’ Warehouse as our foodservice distributor. Blessing ex plained. They offered us a vast of fering of specialty ingredients that enable us to be consistent. Plus my Rep Brent Sotto is great, keeping up to date with the market trends and pricing, always checking in and see ing how I’m doing and providing samples and meetings with great quality companies. My favorite things to get from the Chefs’ Ware house are the black garlic molasses, whiskey barrel-aged shoyu and the vast variety of specialty cheeses.”

Blessing menu includes a number of creative selections. “With our Oc topus Queso Birria Tacos. We slow braise Spanish octopus with dried chiles, aromatics, lard, beef stock, and fire roasted tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Once done cooking, we chill overnight and strain the con sume. We then chop and portion the octopus, searing on the flat top. We dip the tortillas in the consume

and cover in queso Oaxaca, cilan tro, and diced onions. Once tortillas are nice and crispy we plate them with house-refried black beans and cilantro lime rice. Garnished with fresh lime, pickled onions, micro ci lantro, salsa verde, and a side of the wonderful consume. This dish was inspired by my deep love of Mexican food and heritage. I eat tacos literal ly every day and have a taco tattoo.”

When asked about the creativity that he has brought to Scott’s Sea food Roundhouse, Blessing shared his Ahi Poke. “We get fresh ahi tuna in daily that is cut into poke and tossed in a kimchi emulsion with compressed caramelized pineapple. It is then garnished with furikake, pickled watermelon radish, more pineapple, and micro cilantro. We serve it with a side of wonton chips. This dish was inspired by my wife who grew up in Hawaii and has in spired me with so many flavors and ingredients.”

With a great team sharing his kitchen and the support of a dis tributor that listens and responds to their needs, Chef Nick Blessing and Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse have quickly become a Sacramento are landmark.

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versity Research Collaborative” (MCURC) that gathers 70 of the most prominent universities in the USA. “We are the only aquaculture company admitted into this fold, because of our credentials in ESG, the nutritional value of our fish, and its role in the Mediterranean diet” Talseth explains.

The critical size of their opera tion means that they can invest in product development together with their customers. They even have their own team of food scientists working with product development teams across North America. “Our customers are really looking for a partner, not only a supplier – but a partner that can invest together with them in creating new applica tions. We can offer fresh, we can of fer frozen, we can offer smoked, we can offer fillets,” said Talseth. How ever, none of that matters without a quality product. The consistency and quality of AVRAMAR’s products can be attributed to their fully in tegrated system. According to Tals eth, AVRAMAR has its “own breed ing programs, we have our own feed production, we have our own farm ing operations, in-house processing capabilities, and good logistics.” They also have boots on the ground to assist their customers with any and all of their respective needs.

An example of how well their in tegrated system works is the vol ume in which they sustainably farm Stone bass, which was almost at the brink of extinction due to over fishing. According to Talseth, “it’s a pretty difficult fish to farm. You need extensive breeding, and you need to adjust your protocols to get consistent quality, but we cracked the code around ten years ago.

This fish is regarded as the best of the best locally in the Mediter ranean – in fact, many people call it ‘the King’. Loved and sought af ter for its many varied culinary at tributes, Stone Bass was on the brink of extinction in the wild due to overfishing. AVRAMAR nurtured it back to life with our innovative and sustainable farming methods, and we were able to help this regal fish not only survive, but thrive at our farms! Now, we are bringing this delicacy stateside for restaura teurs across North America to give

their guests a very special epicu rean treat. Chefs who have tried it so far, including Maria Loi, a colum nist at TFS, have fallen in love with our Stone Bass. When it comes to culinary versatility, other fish can’t compete.

I can go on and on about Stone Bass, but the question most com monly asked is what’s it like? I can tell you it’s absolutely delicious and nutritious! This gorgeous whitefleshed fish is full of Omega-3 fatty acids – at levels that rival (and su percede) salmon – but leaner and lower in fat, with high levels of high quality, essential proteins. Because it is responsibly and sustainably farmed with our own feed formula tions, it consistently has very low levels of mercury and pollutants. The thick-yet-light flake structure, and mildly sweet, lightly briny fla vor reminiscent of an ocean breeze pair perfectly with any and every in gredient you can imagine.”

Indeed, the magic of Stone bass is that it is very versatile. It can be used in raw preparations such as sashimi and ceviche, and in cooked preparations, whether grilled, panseared, baked, roasted, steamed, or poached, whether for appetizers, entrees, and/or hors d’oeuvres. It is a very forgiving fish that can be used in large production applica tions such as banquets and cater ing, and will keep its quality, mois ture, and flavor. This is great news for the restaurant chef that is look ing for a more substantial fish to use for large production events.

Even throughout the pandemic, AVRAMAR has seen rapid and con sistent growth. Talseth believes this is because people want to eat healthy. With the world moving into a more sustainable direction, farmed fish is the most sustainable animal protein. One cannot argue about the health benefits associ ated with eating fish. When asked why he thought Stone bass would be successful in North America, Talseth concluded, “First of all, you don’t know anything until you’ve done it and succeeded. Providing high quality and healthy Mediter ranean products worked when we introduced Branzino and will work equally well with Stone bass”.

118 • November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com from page 64AVRAMAR
“Our customers are really looking for a partner, not only a supplier – but a partner that can invest together with them in creating new applications. We can offer fresh, we can offer frozen, we can offer smoked, we can offer fillets.” — Thor Talseth
Avramar Lavraki with Red Pepper Relish Avramar Lavraki with Sesame-Spiced Potatoes

(Mystic) and Rob VanKeuren from Flour Water Salt Bread (Darien).

• The Bartender of the Year finalists are Sebastian Guerrero from The Port of Call (Mystic), Raasikh Mu hammad Joseph from Anchor Spa (New Haven), Juan Meyer from Rosina’s (Greenwich), Jamie Oakes from Millwright’s (Simsbury) and Dimitrios Zahariadis from Viron Rondo Osteria (Cheshire).

• The Server of the Year finalists are Lamott Britto from Grano Arso (Chester), Melissa Cannon from Restaurant Bricco (West Hart ford), Christopher Hodson from Materia Ristorante (Bantam), Jess Saunders from Dockside Brew ery (Milford) and Stefano Middei from Winvian Farms (Morris).

• The Caterer of the Year finalists are Delicacy Catering (West Hart ford), DORO Catering & Events (West Hartford), Gourmet Gal ley Catering (Stonington), Knot Norms Catering (Norwalk) and Shaken & Stirred Catered Events (New Haven).

• The 2022 People’s Choice Award, where the public selects their fa vorite dining establishment in Connecticut across any genre of food or style of dining. Finalists from this category are Dockside Brewery (Milford), Flanders Fish Market (East Lyme), HooDoo Brown BBQ (Ridgefield), Mecha Noodle Bar (Five CT Locations) and Sayulita (Glastonbury).

• The Restaurant Newcomer award highlights the best new restau rants in Connecticut. The 2022 finalists are Chef Jiang (Farming ton), Good Old Days Pizza (New town), L’Ostal (Darien), Materia Ristorante (Bantam) and Rosina’s (Greenwich).

The final category is Restaurant of the Year, where the CRA recognizes four different regional win ners, as well as an overall winner from the sixteen nominees.

• Finalists from the North Region (Hartford & Tolland Counties) are Arugula (West Hartford), Cora Cora (West Hartford), Max Down

town (Hartford) and The Charles (Wethersfield).

• The South Region (Middlesex & New Haven Counties) finalists are The Essex (Old Saybrook), Strega (Milford), Tavern on State (New Haven) and Union League Café (New Haven).

• The East Region (New London & Windham Counties) finalists are Oyster Club (Mystic), Ship wright’s Daughter (Mystic), Stone Row Kitchen & Bar (Willimantic) and TAO Asian Bistro & Lounge

(Uncasville).

• The West Region (Fairfield & Li tchfield Counties) finalists are Elm (New Canaan), Kawa Ni (West port), Swyft (Kent) and Tony’s at the J House (Greenwich).

The Connecticut Restaurant Asso ciation is a full service, not-for-profit trade association dedicated to sup porting every type and size of restau rant. We are advocates for the Con necticut restaurant industry, a hub for information and a platform for

networking. We commit ourselves to offering cost effective benefits and re sources you need to run a profitable business. The industry plays an inte gral role in Connecticut’s economy employing more than 160,000 food service workers and generating nearly $9 billion in annual sales. Along with the Connecticut Hospitality Educa tional Foundation (CHEF), the Asso ciation protects, advances, and edu cates the growing industry.

Learn more at ctrestaurant.org.

November 2022 • Total Food Service • www.totalfood.com • 119
from page 102CT RESTAURANT ASSOC AWARDS

enrollment.

2. Make Sure Plan Design Is The Best – The need to create an experi ence that your employees will value, in the workplace and beyond is a win-win for all. Utilizing HUB’s Per sona Analysis tool is a powerful ap proach to designing and delivering employee benefits. It uses compre hensive understanding of your em ployees’ real priorities to develop a truly customized benefits plan that enhances the quality of the employ ee-employer experience and helps you stay ahead in the competition for talent.

3. Explore a Professional Em ployer Organization (PEO) – A PEO helps to manage a company’s HR operations. The PEO handles pay roll, provides employee benefits, HR technology and compliance.

For smaller employers, the PEO underwrites the health insurance and if the demographics are favor able can save significant premium dollars. For companies without a true HR infrastructure and/or em ployees in various states, the PEO is ideal to assist with state by state complexities around mandates and taxes.

4. Voluntary Benefits – Offering voluntary benefits can help man age the labor gap in the hospitality industry and attract long-term staff. Funded by the employer or not, vol untary benefits have value to work ers in this highly competitive labor market. Here are some options to consider:

• Supplemental health: Employ ees are often stretched to cover out-of-pocket medical costs. Sup plemental health coverage pays benefits to members directly for treatments related to injuries, the costs of hospitalization or a covered critical condition.

• Accident insurance: If an em ployee or the employee’s family members suffer an accident away from the job, accident insurance helps pay for treatment. This cover

age can help reduce workers’ com pensation claims, as the funds en able employees to pay for treatment (rather than delaying it) if they are hurt.

• Legal services benefits: Group legal plans ensure access to pro fessional legal help for everything from traffic tickets and small claims to landlord and immigration is sues. They are good for employers on multiple fronts beyond recruit ment, helping reduce presenteeism and absenteeism.

• Early wage access: These pro grams give employees access to earnings that have accrued between paychecks. Early wage access can be an attractive option for food and beverage workers to help avoid predatory lending and other prac tices that can hurt their finances.

It’s also very important for that employees are aware of all their health care options, as those over the age of 65 may find it more af fordable to look into Medicare and purchasing a supplemental plan instead of taking the coverage pro vided by the employer.

Most importantly, shop the mar ket. Working with an experienced insurance advisor affords you the opportunity to vet out markets that may not have otherwise been avail able to you.

1. https://www.bls.gov/news.re lease/pdf/jolts.pdf

2. https://www.joblist.com/jobsreports/q2-2022-united-states-jobmarket-report

3. https://www.wtwco.com/en-US/ News/2022/09/us-employers-doubledown-on-controlling-healthcarecosts-enhancing-affordability

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need to be washed differently that your dishes to ensure they sparkle. Spotty glassware is a big turn off. There are specialized glass washer machines that are often installed under a counter, although there are larger pass-through models as well. These are ideal for stemware, mugs, and other glasses. For plates and other wares, an upright model is more effective.

With the challenge of a reduced BOH staff, the washing of pots and pans is an issue. Pots and pans are often washed and sanitized in a 3-compartment sink due to their size, but if a restaurant uses a lot of this size cookware, a pot washer may be a good investment. These have large openings and can save a lot of time compared to manual washing. If you have the space and other system requirements, a dish machine will never call in sick and will work non-stop until the job is done. This frees up your BOH staff for other work to ensure that that your guests are having a positive dining experience.

Energy and labor savings are key benefits to using dish machines. Today, many units are Energy Star Qualified which means the US En vironmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy have determined that the unit is an ener gy-efficient product. If you are look ing to replace an older model with one of these new, more efficient models, you will save on your ener gy expenses. As far as labor savings, dish machines vary in throughput and efficiency. An average compari son is a machine will wash a load in 90 seconds and that same load will take 20 minutes with manual wash ing, rinsing, and sanitizing. Another way to minimize costs are to ensure that your machine is working prop erly by having routine maintenance service calls.

As we work with our Imperial Dade customers, we have seen that hygiene and safety is a priority. We provide a full portfolio of warewash ing chemicals that ensure effective cleaning. Some operators are also

committed to sustainability goals and wish to use “green” products whenever possible. We have options available with third-party certifica tions that verify the products have a lesser impact on the environment and are safer for human contact.

Training is very important, whether an operator uses a manual process or automated. A good ware washing training program must in clude product identification and proper use, the processes of prepar ing, sorting, and loading wares into a machine for optimal performance, the dispensing of chemicals, and any mandatory safety training.

Our Imperial Dade team is ready to offer guidance on how to cre ate a warewashing program. Ev ery day our technicians and sales consultants help operators install new warewashing systems or help improve the performance of exist ing systems. The service techs will perform all that needs to be done to keep the system running smoothly as well as offer troubleshooting techniques for daily maintenance. This includes checking the clean liness of the machine and sur rounding areas, levels of detergent concentration, water levels and temperatures, stocking of necessary supplies, and review any challenges or issues.

The results include labor savings, cleaner and more hygienic wares, and peace of mind that we are avail able 24/7 for emergency service to ensure operations run as expected.

Contact us for a free consulta tion at https://imperialdade.com/ programs/environmental-serviceprogram.

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ucational and fun-filled activities, we are looking forward to raising aware ness of the important role that school nutrition programs play in student achievement.”

In New York City, food celebrities in cluding, Rachael Ray were asked to of fer their culinary insight to transform their food tray. Although some kids might sing the praises of the Lunch Lady who transforms one day’s meat loaf into the next day’s sloppy joes, there are students who find the meals a little less appetizing. To overcome that stigma, Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Bank cre ated New York City’s first-ever Chefs Council, which includes Rachael Ray as well as several other well-known chefs, authors, and advocates. The purpose of the council is to create “healthy and nourishing meals” while following health standards and re flecting local communities and their cultures. The Chefs Council seeks to create and implement plant-based recipes that can be cooked from

scratch in schools.

The “Peace, Love & School Lunch” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Associa tion and Kellogg’s. The campaign in cludes activity sheets and coloring pages for students and an infographic for parents on healthy school meals. Parents and students can follow the fun on social media using the hashtags #NSLW22, #PeaceLoveSchoolLunch and #SchoolLunch. Click here for more information on National School Lunch Week.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit pro fessional organization representing 50,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students.

For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/ SchoolMeals

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New York City Relaxes Vacci nation Mandate for Private Employers Effective November 1, 2022

Since the beginning of the pan demic, New York City has faced a number of challenges due to its vast population and residents living and working near one another. Accord ingly, once a vaccine became read ily available, former mayor de Bla sio enacted a COVID-19 vaccination mandate in December 2021 that applied to all private sector employ ers in New York City and required all employers to verify that individu als who physically worked at or on their job sites were fully vaccinat ed. Moreover, under the previous mandate, private businesses were prohibited from allowing unvac cinated individuals to work absent an accommodation. This vaccine mandate exacerbated an alreadyproblematic labor shortage in the hospitality industry, in that employ

ees who would not or could not be vaccinated against COVID-19 were not permitted at work.

Now, nearly three years after the start of the pandemic, the manda tory vaccine requirement for pri vate employers in New York City is ending.

On September 20, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that on November 1, 2022, the City of New York would no longer require private sector employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This means that private sector employ ers in New York City, including hos pitality employers, can now choose themselves whether or not to re quire their employees to be vacci nated, however, Mayor Adams con tinues to strongly encourage private sector employers to implement CO VID-19 vaccine requirements in ad dition to encouraging booster shots as the best way to promote a COV ID-free workplace and keep New Yorkers safe.

With the November 1 changes to the private employer vaccination mandate, private sector employers now have the freedom to hire un vaccinated individuals or bring em ployees who may have been put on unpaid leave, back to work. The lift ing of the mandate also brings with it some additional flexibility regard ing reasonable accommodations –previously, a religious accommoda tion required both always wearing a mask and weekly PCR testing. Now, an employer could relax the mask and/or test requirement, or switch to an at-home test instead of a PCR test.

Moving forward, private-sector hospitality employers should review their policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination and other health/safety protocols and are urged to consult with legal counsel to ensure they comply with the current and soon to be effective rules and regulations on both the state and city level, as applicable.

example, says a lot about a location’s priorities,” Stone explains. Her com pany, as a result, helps corporations – big or small – include these small details into their operations manuals to ensure their success.

For Stone and Zero Hour, maintain ing a workspace that is clean and safe is paramount. Even as the pandemic recedes, providing medical support to clientele is important, especially amidst the looming mental health cri sis. “The bottom line is that it’s good business,” Stone asserted, “If we don’t take care of our employees, we’ve got no place to go.” The company’s large and diverse portfolio of client restau rants, as well as its decades of experi ence, attest to Zero Hour’s success. It is clear that going forward, Zero Hour is a partner everyone should have.

For more information regarding Zero Hour Health and its resources, visit navigate.zerohourhealth.com.

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