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Manhattan’s Peltz Gobbles 7% of Sysco In $1.6 Billion Deal The activist investor Nelson Peltz has emerged as the biggest shareholder in the food service company Sysco after buying a $1.6 billion stake in it.


eltz’s $10 billion hedge fund, Trian Fund Management, took a 7.1 percent stake in the company, which supplies food to school canteens, hotels and restaurants, according to a filing made last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The move comes on the heels of a failed merger attempt with US Foods.  In June US District Court judge granted the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request for a preliminary injunction to block the proposed merger. The deal would have united two of the biggest food distributors in the country, solidifying Sysco’s position as the reigning giant in an already consolidated industry. Sysco, whose trucks move millions of pounds of frozen food and kitchen supplies around the country, had projected the deal to increase its annual revenue by 46 percent, to $65 billion.  Trian has held discussions with senior executives at Sysco about the company’s operations, capital structure, its corporate governance and the structure of the board, the hedge fund said in its filing. In discussions with the company, Trian said Sysco had a competitive advantage but that its financial performance had “underperformed relative to its potential.” The hedge fund said Sysco should “adopt strategic and operating initia-

tives to improve operating margins, enhance working capital efficiency, consider the use of prudent amounts of incremental leverage to increase the amount of capital returned to shareholders, and take steps to better align management compensation with corporate performance,” according to the filing. Peltz acquires stakes in publicly listed companies that he thinks are undervalued, building up large enough positions to agitate for change. The firm has rattled the boards of other food companies like PepsiCo and Mondelez International. Charlie Wilson, a spokesman for Sysco, says the company “welcomes collaborative discussions with investors,” adding that it “recently engaged

with Trian and expects to continue a constructive dialogue.” “We believe Sysco is extremely well positioned to execute our strategy in a manner that will support the success of our customers’ profitably, grow our business and improve our return on invested capital,” Wilson said. This year, Sysco halted a planned $3.5 billion takeover of US Foods after a ruling by a United States federal judge halted the merger on grounds that it would lead to higher prices and worse service for its customers. Instead, it announced plans to buy back $3 billion worth of shares. The deal represents a return to his roots for Peltz who began his career as a sales person for his family’s food service distribution firm.

“We believe Sysco is extremely well positioned to execute our strategy in a manner that will support the success of our customers’ profitably, grow our business and improve our return on invested capital,” Charlie Wilson said.

Main Office: 282 Railroad Avenue Greenwich, CT 06830 Publishers: Leslie & Fred Klashman Advertising Director: Michael Scinto Art Director: Mark Sahm Contributing Writers Warren Bobrow Laurie Forster Morgan Tucker Fred Sampson Cindi Avila Staff Writers Deborah Hirsch Intern Alexis Robinson Phone: 203.661.9090 Fax: 203.661.9325 Email: Web:

Photo Credits: Christina Tosi Photos by Gabriele Stabile and Mark Ibold

Total Food Service ISSN No. 1060-8966 is published monthly by IDA Publishing, Inc., 282 Railroad Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830. Phone: 203.661.9090. This issue copyright 2015 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 Pittsburg, 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

September 2015 • Total Food Service • • 3



Baldor Announces Plans For Hunts Point Expansion In Bronx Baldor Specialty Foods, a fresh produce and specialty food distributor, will expand its facility by 100,000 square feet at Hunts Point Food Distribution Center in the borough of the Bronx, NY


he Hunts Point Food Distribution Center is one of the largest in the world and includes the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market, the Hunts Point Cooperative Meat Market and New Fulton Fish Market. The nearly $20 million expansion, funded entirely by Baldor, will create 350 new quality jobs in addition to 400 jobs the company has created since moving to

the Food Distribution Center in 2007. According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the expansion will allow Baldor to grow its fresh cuts manufacturing operation and increase its distribution to customers across the City and metropolitan region, including restaurants, hotels, retail food stores, corporate kitchens, nursing homes, hospitals and schools. The project will also serve

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to promote regional food distribution, adding capacity to Baldor’s current operation that already serves over 50 local farms and partners by distributing 40,000 cases of local product into the regional food system each week during peak season. “This expansion solidifies our Bronx location as the headquarters of Baldor Specialty Foods,” said TJ Murphy, Owner/CEO of Baldor Specialty

“This expansion solidifies our Bronx location as the head-quarters of Baldor Specialty Foods,” said TJ Murphy, Owner/CEO. Foods. “We are proud to make this investment in the Bronx, to strengthen our commitment to Hunts Point, and to continue to be a strong supporter of the area’s overall economic development.” Murphy is the son of the firm’s iconic late founder Kevin Murphy. Murphy began his food career in the 1980s at Balducci’s in Greenwich Village when he married Ria Balducci, daughter of

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Eataly Inks Pact To Current Home And Brings Marketplace To Financial District Eataly is officially shifting to new headquarters on West 23rd Street. The popular food market signed a 15-year lease for more than 14,000 square feet at 43 W. 23rd St., more than four times the size of its current headquarters right next door,


he deal was delayed because of Eataly’s uncertain plans to open a 41,000-square-foot marketplace at 4 World Trade Center. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and retail manager Westfield Group have reportedly been at odds over whether the Port Authority transferred the space to Westfield in proper condition. The two have since reached an agreement on the space, paving the way for construction to begin on the proposed Eataly outpost. Eataly will join Apple, Canali, Hugo Boss, John Varvatos, Mont Blanc and Breitling have all signed deals for the WTC’s main hall. The John Barrett Salon, Tiffany’s, Tom

Ford and Armani have either signed or are close to signing leases for other space in the complex. Over the last few years, an allout leasing war has been waged between Westfield and Brookfield Place, owned by Brookfield Properties, which is getting a $250 million face-lift and sits across West Street. Brookfield has a pair of key food service tenants with the French Market: Le District and the Institute of Culinary Education. Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace in the world, comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school. Eataly was founded by Oscar Farinetti, an entrepreneur, formerly involved in the

consumer electronics business, and collaborates with Slow Food. The name Eataly was coined by Celestino Ciocca, a brand strategy consultant who has worked for Texas Instruments as well as Ernst & Young. In January 2007, Italian businessman Oscar Farinetti converted a closed vermouth factory in Turin into the first location of Eataly. Eataly is located in the Lingotto district of Turin, and is easily accessible via the Lingotto metro station.  The stores combine elements of a bustling European open market, a Whole-Foods-style supermarket, a high-end food court and a New Age learning center.  Farinetti planned early on that additional stores would open elsewhere in Italy

and in New York. The Eataly in New York City is located near Madison Square Park debuted in 2010 and owned by Eataly in Italy and Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, a partnership including Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich. With some 50,000 square feet in size, Batali has described the place as a grocery store with tasting rooms. The chain has additional locations in Italy, Tokyo and Chicago. In 2012 Eataly opened in Rome its largest megastore, in the abandoned Air Terminal building near Ostiense Station. There is an Eataly in the Porto Antico area in Genova.

Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace in the world, comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school.

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Manitowoc Foodservice Names Muehlhaeuser New CEO The Manitowoc Company Inc. announced late last month the appointment of Hubertus M. Muehlhaeuser as CEO of Manitowoc Foodservice Inc. 


he Wisconsin based company has deep roots in the Metro New York marketplace. Its ice machine unit distributes product through United Refrigeration with offices throughout the Tri-State area. Manitowoc’s cooking equipment is represented by New Jersey based Performance Food Equipment.  “Muehlhaeuser is a dynamic leader with a demonstrated ability to drive strategic transformation throughout an organization. He has also established a proven track record of building and empowering teams to achieve enhanced performance. Hubertus’ multi-functional expertise, including operational execution, financial acumen, capital markets knowledge, and strong channel and brand management, will offer our Foodservice business a unique set of skills as it positions itself for long-term, sustainable growth. We welcome Hubertus to the team and have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead Foodservice through its planned separation from Manitowoc in the first quarter of 2016,” says Kenneth Krueger, Manitowoc Company board member. In his most recent corporate position, Hubertus was senior vice president and general manager for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East at AGCO Corporation, a global farm equipment producer, and was re-

sponsible for the strategic and operational performance of the company’s largest reporting unit, representing more than $5 billion in revenue. Through his seven-year tenure at AGCO, Muehlhaeuser held several other key leadership roles, including senior vice president and general manager of Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as general manager of AGCO’s global engines business. Next to these roles, Muehlhaeuser held the position of senior vice president of strategy and integration driving the strategic roadmap and change in AGCO for seven years.

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Before joining AGCO Corporation, Muehlhaeuser spent more than 10 years at Arthur D. Little, a global management consultancy firm, where he was a partner and member of the Global Executive Team at Arthur D. Little Ltd., serving as managing director of the Swiss operations and as the global leader of the Strategy & Organization practice. Over the last several years, Muehlhaeuser has also been involved as a board member and investor in several privately held businesses. “Muehlhaeuser is a strong addition to the Foodservice team. His combi-

New Manitowoc Foodservice CEO Hubertus Muehlhaeuser

nation of strategic leadership and operational successes will be imperative as the business looks to capitalize on the significant opportunity ahead of it. I look forward to working closely with Muehlhaeuser over the coming months as we transition into two separate, market-leading businesses,” says Glen E. Tellock, chairman and CEO of The Manitowoc Company.

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Anchor’s Award-Winning Innovation Delivers Solutions for Local Food Service Operators Panicking at the thought of having to get rid of all your foam food containers? Don’t. Michael Thaler says the new legislation outlawing it can actually end up boosting ROI for restaurants and foodservice operations.


he executive vice president of marketing at Anchor Packaging says his company has a rich history of responding to trends through a combination of research, innovation, “and especially, grassroots investigation with end users and consumers.” “In NYC, where people start the trends for the rest of the country, there’s been a shift towards organic food, non-GMO, looking for things that are closer to nature and “better for you,” Thaler explains. “And that tends to spill over into the belief that what’s good for the environment must be more natural and healthy, so the usage of foam containers is at odds with consumers wanting products that are better for them and the environment.” And that’s why the NYC legislation to outlaw the use of foam, as of July 1, comes as an opportunity, not a threat, for the operator and the foodservice industry as a whole. Your customers want better packaging! “We’re on the cutting edge of the foam replacement issue because we pay close attention to emerging consumer behavior and taste trends that ultimately drive the creation of food items.  Our role is finding a way to

handle -- and package -- those new food trends with our unique products. We’re looking into the future, as we monitor change, to stay ahead of the industry in the development of new packaging. Beginning in July 2015, certain expanded polystyrene items are banned from sale, distribution, or use in NYC. Thaler notes that though this legislation pushed the market along, the demand to get away from foam has been there for some time. He says it all comes down to the people who are

buying the food. Thaler admits the legislation was a shocking change.  “When that line in the sand was drawn on July 1 to get out of foam, operators naturally were in a rush to make sure they met the deadline and may have tried packages that don’t truly function well. “That’s where Anchor Packaging comes in.” Most Anchor polypropylene bases are made with 40% limestone; a perpetual resource used to minimize the use of oil-based resins.  With new manufacturing techniques, these

With the same inside food space as a 9” x 9” foam clamshell, the Culinary Squares™ product line from Anchor offers a truly affordable upgrade from foam.

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products are engineered to use less material while maintaining the same strength and functionality. “Our products are not only aesthetically pleasing but they’re reusable food storage containers for the consumer and recyclable curbside, which benefits the planet,” he points out. “So, as a way to help operators, we offer a lot of information on market trends and product specifications. In addition, we offer a Web-based tool where anyone can input a container they want to replace and it will show them instantly the Anchor product that is a similar size and shape,” Thaler says. The app is available online on Anchor’s homepage and can be accessed using a smart phone or any type of computer. “Our tool also helps in situations where an existing supplier may be having manufacturing issues and a customer is about to run out of product.  The customer, or the DSR, can use this tool to quickly find a substitute and this, in turn, boosts the DSR’s value to the customer, because they’ve prevented them from running out of product,” Thaler says. One of the key benefits of Anchor’s polypropylene containers is that food products can be prepared in advance of peak rush periods and staged under heat lamps or in a warming unit.  “And when they have those lunch or dinner rush periods, they can already have put together their most popular meals, that are staying nice and warm in a container that’s not going to melt, or deform,” says Thaler. “Serving customers faster means you can get more customers in and out of the store in the same period of time, and that boosts profitability.  You’ve got a product that’s environmentally friendly and recyclable at curbside, a container that a customer can eat

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re Resta e h

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TFS_09_2015_Layout 1 8/18/15 1:36 PM Page 1


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• Fresh & Frozen Meats • Provisions / Deli Meats • Fresh & Frozen Seafood • Farm Fresh Produce • Groceries & Dry Goods • Frozen & Refrigerated Foods • Domestic & Imported Cheeses • Full Line of Paper Products • Cleaning & Janitorial Supplies • Kitchen Equipment & Supplies




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Port Chester Mt.Vernon •Bronx Farmingdale Colonie Wholesale only • Not open to the public • Please bring your reseller’s permit on your first visit. Restaurant Depot – Supplying Restaurants & Caterers from Locations Nationwide. September 2015 • Total Food Service • • 15

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Often Copied, Never Duplicated

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Fisherman’s Pride® Fully Cleaned Calamari



Distributors of Frozen Calamari and other Seafood Products


Our Fisherman’s Pride® Calamari is 100% all natural, wild caught, and fully cleaned. Our offerings include domestic east coast Calamari as well as imported varieties from China, India, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, and Peru. They are flash frozen within hours of harvest to preserve their freshness and sweet flavor making it the perfect Chef’s ingredient for any seafood dish. Fisherman’s Pride® exceeds the highest standards of quality and is used by some of the most reputable Chefs worldwide. Supervised under HACCP guidelines and the strictest of quality control for consistency, excellence, and value with every pound purchased.

September 2015 • Total Food Service • • 17



Q&A with Ed Pecinka and Joe Ferri of Pecinka Ferri Jersey Based Rep Pecinka Ferri Moves To New Quarters To Deliver Enhanced Portfolio Of Services To Tri-State Dealer And Consultant Community


an you tell us a little about the history of Pecinka Ferri?

Ed Pecinka: The company started back in 1972 as McKeever and Dumbach Associates. McKeever was a direct factory rep for the Blodgett Company. George Dumbach had worked for Traulsen, then went to Blodgett as regional sales manager. They decided to put the two Blodgett guys together, gave them the Hatco line and that’s how the company started. George and my dad knew each other from the Traulsen days and my dad was looking to make a move. Traulsen was changing, he was given an opportunity and he decided to leave Traulsen after 38 years and go to work as a manufacturer’s rep. Joe Ferri: Nineteen years ago we started up the process of me buying out George’s heirs. Ed and I have been partners for almost 20 years! How has the role of the rep changed and evolved over the years? Ferri: Before our move to Fairfield, we spent a week discarding the remnants of that role, including order pads, fax transmittals, carbon paper, and catalogs & price lists. We saved only the few that had any historic value. Reps formerly had extensive

libraries, and we were the knowledge base. Now everything is online and digitized. Although technology has completely evaporated the way we did things, the concept of why those tools existed hasn’t changed. We’re still in the education and marketing business, but the mechanisms have evolved. Pecinka: Some reps have used the analogy that the rep is like a calculator. The calculator did simple tasks. Now the same calculator will do a ton of functions! Why, in a world of technology, has the rep become more important, rather than less? Pecinka: We represent many forward-thinking companies. They also

understand better than most that there is the need for manufacturing reps. No matter what we do in terms of the technology or how much of a role the Internet plays in the business, people still want relationships. Someone needs to take ownership of the customer when there’s a problem or issue. The game changer in sales is always going to be the relationship. Some may think it’s the bells and whistles, others price, but it comes down to the ability of that sales rep to answer those needs. Ferri: Terry Brock talks about e-commerce and r-commerce. e-commerce provides the tools but r-commerce is the relationship commerce. It’s all still part of the human interaction.

The completed new headquarters for NJ based Pecinka Ferri.

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Moving into your new home, how will it respond to this evolution of what you do? Ferri: One of the issues with ecommerce is the paucity of experiential sales because folks are so tied to their screens. We need to take it to the streets! So we started a program of Hatco road shows. Simultaneously we’re building an enhanced test kitchen with all the bells and whistles that technology provides. Also, we’re adopting the Starbucks model so that end users, dealers and consultants have a crash pad here in our offices with WiFi and coffee and all the accoutrements required to do business in today’s mobile world. We’re a waypoint on the mobile highway. Pecinka: One of the things we always tried to promote to customers in our prior facility was that it was their facility as much as ours. We had the test kitchen and training area but it was all done with what we had. Now we have a conference room for training where we can bring people in for training in a more professional environment. It’s the same concept in moving forward with our test facility.

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For All Your Refrigeration Projects

135 Little Nine Drive • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 1-800-24BALLY • Represented in Metro New York by: Pecinka Ferri Associates: (973) 812-4277 • • • 3 Spielman Road • Fairfield, NJ 07004 September 2015 • Total Food Service • • 19

// EYE


Restaurant Depot Founder Cohen Feted to Mark Firm’s 25th Anniversary Metro New York City has long been known as a hub for generating some of the more incredible business success stories. In the food service industry it would be difficult to find one more fascinating than Restaurant Depot and its founder Jerry Cohen. 


ollege Point, NY - As he toiled at a single unit cash and carry food outlet catering to restaurants and bodegas in Queens, the germ of a great idea was forming in Cohen’s head. He had seen the proliferation of Warehouse Store concepts in a variety of industries including home improvement and electronics. Cohen was convinced that the warehouse concept could work to provide restaurateurs and food service operators with a one-stop shop for both food and equipment/supply needs and Restaurant Depot was born.

(L to R) Jerry Cohen and son Larry enjoyed a light moment.

So last month many of Cohen’s friends, family, co-workers and vendors gathered to toast a man who has had an impact on the lives of so many over the past quarter century. Among those who spoke was Fran Moreira who talked about being one of the very first employees. Moreira has rocketed through the ranks at ‘Depot to guide the firm’s advertising and marketing efforts. Cohen’s dear friend Joe Lehr of Glissen Chemical presented a plaque that will hang in ‘Depot’s executive offices. His son Larry Cohen gave great insight into his Dad’s vision for what Restaurant

Jerry Cohen was presented with a commemorative plague by Joe Lehr of Glissen Chemical.

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Depot has evolved into. By the summer of 1994 Restaurant Depot was a division of Jetro. The Elmhurst warehouse had done so well, with sales volume of more than $100,000 a week, that the company began to open new outlets, including one in Pompano Beach, Florida.  Restaurant Depot offered no credit or delivery service, fielded no salespeople or displays, and did not advertise in the mass media. To become a member required a resale or business license. In addition to low prices, Restaurant Depot offered the convenience and flexibility of buying in odd

lots from day to day. Restaurant Depot offered restaurateurs savings of up to 30 percent on more than 10,000 items, ranging from produce to paper goods and flatware. About half of these customers’ savings came from eliminating trucking and delivery overhead, and the rest derived from high volume and a nofrills location with more than 55,000 square feet of selling space. These customers included delicatessen and coffee shop owners, as well as schools and other institutions. Staffers were helpful in advising customers on the kinds of equipment and products they would need to open their own businesses. At this time Restaurant Depot also was open to the public, with Cohen describing housewives as constituting five to ten percent of the warehouse’s business. Jeff Weinstein of the Village Voice visited the store in 1992, noting its ‘elephantine’ shopping carts and bargains such as 24 eight-ounce bottles of San Pellegrino water for $12.95. Cohen’s vision some 25 years later has evolved into a nationwide success story with 100 plus stores coast to coast servicing the needs of the restaurant and food service professional. 

Jerry Cohen poses with the Restaurant Depot team, family and friends. Jerry Cohen and his wife Naomi cut the ceremonial cake.

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Tony Mangano

Chairman of the Venture Board of HX, the Hotel Experience


ow do you turn a plain old trade show into the experience of a lifetime? Tony Mangano and his peers at HX, formerly the International Motel Hotel Restaurant Show, are getting ready to show the food service and hospitality world, how to do just that. What’s behind the new name? We’re trying to rebrand the show. Our main goal is to help exhibitors and attendees make connections. That’s what this show has always been about. We want to improve on that on a variety of levels. So we’ve

Tony Mangano

changed it from IMHRS to HX, the Hotel Experience.

Why did you change it? We wanted to make the show more exciting, more fun to go to, to hopefully keep the attendees on the floor longer and allow the exhibitors more time to make those connections. The show has always been about connections, and we wanted to improve on that. The original name was sort of old and long in the tooth; it didn’t really speak to the excitement and what the new concept would be. We went through a lot of brainstorming and “Rooms to Restaurants” is indicative of the breadth of the show. The experience talks about the actual feeling that you get from being in a place. When you go there, you should come away energized, with new ideas, go back to your job with some energy you derived from the experience you had there. That’s what the new name is all about. So what will show-goers be treated to? It’s not going to be like Disneyland! But we’re going to have Ted talks on the floor, music in the background. It

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“When you’re walking down an aisle, there’s not just static displays, things are going on. We’re recreating the culture.” was a kind of quiet show in the past and we’re setting it up to have more energy on the floor. When you’re walking down an aisle, there’s not just static displays, things are going on. We’re recreating the culture. You know, it’s like Broadway. Exciting. A lot to see. A lot going on. We’re trying to replicate that, something that keeps people on the floor, and that’s better for everyone. What other changes did you make? We used to do the seminars away from the show but now we’re doing them here. That gives someone attending the show a more efficient use of time. You don’t have to go find a meeting room somewhere else and sit through an entire seminar, you can pop in and out and still experience other exhibits. I always went to the show for 2-3 days, and there was always something going on but there were also dry periods in between.

The show now is quicker-paced, more like New York City, where something is always happening; something’s always going on. You can pop in and out. It’s better for the attendees. It accommodates the attendees’ scheduling a little better. Are there any talks you’re looking forward to? One of my favorite speakers is Randy Smith. I always go to him. He talks about the occupancy and rate trends for hotels and where they’ve been, where they’re headed. I also like the more consumer-oriented ones. We have a speaker who talks about things like gas prices. Sometimes you think one thing and find out it’s another, like gas prices, a while back, and thinking they lock people in. They’re not going on vacation. Then you learn the price of

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Front of the House® Servewise® Offers Full Portfolio Of Solutions For January 1st Compliance


he deadline may have been pushed back to January 1 but restaurants in New York City that use foam containers are still going to have to make major changes in the way they package their doggie bags and take-out food before then. Originally scheduled for July 1, and now starting with the new year, the city has banned restaurants from using plastic foam containers. This has created a mad scramble for many of New York City’s restaurants and foodservice operators and the manufacturers and distributors that serve them. Among the industry’s leading innovators is [Front of the House®], which offers a full line of aggres-

sively priced foam alternatives under its Servewise® brand, to the New York City foodservice operator. “The quality and flexibility of these products will make this transition as simple as possible for both our distributors and end-user,” says Simone Mayer, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of FOH, Inc., parent company of leading hospitality brands Front of the House® and room360° by FOH®. The company provides biodegradable Poplar Wood plates, utensils, boats, ramekins, cones, and platters, and recyclable PET lids under its Servewise® brand. “Servewise® is the eco-smart, ecochic, eco-responsible and pricedright serving option for all menus. It is made from poplar wood – a highly

Front of the House®’s Servewise® line has been embraced by Metro NYC’s foodservice operators and the distributors that serve them.

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renewable resource – and is biodegradable and compostable,” Mayer notes. “It’s affordable and guilt-free. No more polluting the environment with foam.” “These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio says. “We have better options, better alternatives, and if more cities across the country follow our lead and institute similar bans, those alternatives will soon become more plentiful and will cost less.” The mayor adds that the ban will remove nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from the city’s landfills, streets, and waterways. “While much of the waste we produce can be recycled or reused, polystyrene foam is not one of those materials,” explained Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “Removing polystyrene from our waste stream is not only good for a greener, more sustainable New York, but also for the communities who are home to landfills receiving the city’s trash.” According to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the ban will also improve the city’s rivers and waterfront, and, ultimately, conditions for marine life in the Atlantic Ocean. The ban, which will affect restaurants, city school cafeterias, and street carts, originally set for July 1, with a six-month grace period during which businesses won’t be fined for using the containers, now mandates

“The quality and flexibility of these products will make this transition as simple as possible for both our distributors and their end-user customers,” says Simone Mayer, president FOH. that this year is the last for foam containers. Businesses and nonprofits with annual revenue of $500,000 or less can be exempted from the ban, but will have to prove that the use of materials besides plastic foam would cause them financial hardship. Over 70 cities across the country including Washington, DC, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Albany, and Seattle have banned plastic foam. Bill de Blasio’s predecessor Michael Bloomberg first suggested banning plastic foam in New York during his final State of the City address in 2013. With sources to turn to led by Front of the House’s® Servewise® disposables, the transition can be seamless.

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// Q&A


Christina Tosi Chef, Owner and Founder of Milk Bar


ow did you start out in the food business? My family’s from Ohio and food was a really big central part of our daily lives. You meet up around food; you cook food and bring it to other people. Food continued to be a really big part of our family life so I fell in love with food and feeding others at a very early age. My parents were first-generation college grads so it was important for their kids also to go to college. But halfway through college I realized I didn’t want a normal 9-5 job and as I was going to college studying for classes, I would stay up till the middle of the night, baking! I would do it on a daily basis. In college I’d bake three or four recipes every night and I realized as I was pushing myself to finish my college degree that I was really obsessed with it. So, I got a job as a hostess at a microbrewery (that was the only thing they’d hire me for!) and I fell in love with every single part of the industry. Why do you think you were so attracted to this world? The feeling when you walk into a bustling restaurant, the feeling of being part of a food-service team, whether in the front or the back of the house, I just became completely obsessed. I forced my way up the chain. I would serve at night and come in and be the prep cook during the day. I couldn’t get enough of it. My parents weren’t incredibly pleased at first. I went to college and graduated,

but they were wary, “You have a college degree, why do you want to wait tables or work as a prep cook among a bunch of people who may not even have graduated from high school?” You can’t explain why you love something. But they could see the passion coming out of me. And they’ve come around. How did you end up in New York? I graduated from college a year early because I knew I couldn’t do anything until I graduated. In the summer a friend went to an island off the coast of New Hampshire, Star Island, and she got me the job as head baker running an entire bakery for the conference center, and doing that I realized I didn’t have the well-rounded skills I needed or wanted. So I went

online and found the French Culinary Institute, now the International Culinary Center. I knew I wanted to go to culinary school, I wanted that type of formal education as well as hands-on expertise, and finding a culinary school in New York was the best way to go -- school by day and get my hands dirty by night. Going to somewhere like the Culinary Institute of America, where you’re a student the entire time didn’t work for me. I knew I needed to be in the epicenter and I’m also really competitive. This is the most competitive place and I can ‘cannonball’ in. How did your career blossom? I would go to school during the day and at night I needed a restaurant job but the only restaurant job

Christina Tosi is the Chef, Owner and Founder of Milk Bar.

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I ever had was in Virginia, where my family moved after my dad got a job with the Department of Agriculture. I just dropped my resume off everywhere, and one restaurant hired me, Aquagrill, they hired me as a reservationist. I worked my way up to maître’d and the team there knew I was going to culinary school and one had a connection at Bouley. He told them, this girl really wants to do pastry but no one will let her in. It was 4-star dining, and he said, ‘I called my friend, and the pastry chef is waiting for you.’ So I went down one day after school and met Alex Grunert, the pastry chef, and he was one of the most amazing people in the world, so talented, so patient. He’d, run it in such a way you have to be hungry; you have to push yourself as much as he pushes you. I started there 2 ½ years, and just blossomed. It’s like working any profession. You have to get into it, you have to really get your chops there and for me Bouley was that, and under the direction of Alex, that’s what I got. Where did you go from there? I realized what I really needed was a place to refine my technique a bit more. I was curious about the technique of food and experimenting with food and had always been really, really intrigued by wd-50. I knew that I didn’t have much to bring to the table, because it doesn’t plug into the same clientele as Bouley. But I walked down there one day and said hey, I just finished at Bouley, can I come and stage for you? They told me there was no job opening, but they said, sure, you can come as many days as you want. You have to decide what you’re going to put in and get out so I staged there for about a year until one of the pastry cooks left and they offered me the job. While I was working there, I had to

find jobs to pay my rent, so I worked as an editorial assistant and in catering and food styling for friends who had their own established businesses. I actually found them on Craigslist. I would take any old food-related job and make friends, because I was still trying to figure out what I wanted. I worked at Per Se in the front of the house. I just liked being a part of it. I knew I wanted skills from wd-50 but I also knew it was not a paying job. In the end, in a really lovely way, I was able to round myself out, the back of the house, the nuances of experiencing the food industry. Did you learn anything special at wd50 as you were honing your skills? It’s a small team. Once you become a pro in this space, you have to find ways to push yourself so I asked Wylie Dufresne, when my weekend comes up, are there any projects I can help out on? One was writing a hazard analysis plan for the health department, how to use a Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) machine. I basically figured out how to write a HACCP plan and contacted the health department and got that rolling for Wylie. At the same time, Dave had opened Momofuku Noodle Bar and he and Wylie were friends. Wylie said, my friend Dave is having the same problem; can you help him on your next day off? So I met Dave and wrote a HACCP plan for him. I liked what Dave was doing. He didn’t serve dessert, but I loved the operation of it, his spirit, his team, that he had a refined technique and experience in the food space that he was delivering in a really casual way that people were responding to and that hooked me into it. I helped him do everything from HR to operations to management and I would bake at night at home and bring it in and he knew what my background was. He said, you have to start making desserts for a restaurant, this is a waste of your time, your love is in desserts. That evolved over time to dessert menus at the restaurants and part of Ssäm Bar was a laundromat. That

“You bake to share with people and people that love the Milk Bar brand love that. It’s a joyful place in NYC. It’s a little bit of a scene. It’s really accessible, it’s fun, it’s playful, it’s for anyone and everyone.” space became available and the only concept we had was a bakery so I opened Milk Bar, and that’s how it all began. As you opened your own place, what was different? Or was it natural and fell into place? By nature of how it came to be, so naturally, the day-to-day uphill battles of not knowing if we’d be busy or slow, that was scary in the beginning. But from the start we were very busy and we had to figure it out in the moment. OK, we’re going to sell three times what we thought we would, how are we going to do that? From staff to training to the flow of service, all of those things that you have to really love and think are fun and exciting and amazing to be in this industry, I loved it. How did it occur to you that you had to start your own business? It was one actually of those moments where I realized I had actually been training for it this entire time; I had the skill set to do it. I had always been student government leader and president of all the clubs in high

A Milk Bar in New York City.

school and college and it all came into place. I realized I had all the muscles I needed to flex to make it happen. In a funny way, if I had planned for it, I would have gotten into my own head, considered too many things. I learned to just push myself off the ledge and jumped and realized I was really suited for it. You’ve been able to create local bakery successes in wide range of locations. How have you done that? Part of it is a testament to what’s happened over the last 5-8 years, in terms of the nation’s enthusiasm for food. That’s been a big part of it, that enthusiasm that feeds the media machine, its ability to find and highlight really fun and interesting food concepts, has been really big for us. I’m a mover and a shaker. If someone talks about us on The Today Show or Regis and Kelly—one guest said she loved our crack pie and the next day we had 600 requests for crack pie®. I knew I wanted to develop a shipping or an ecommerce business but I was nowhere near ready. I spent the next three days, no sleep, figuring it out. It’s a little bit of an equation of multiple variables -- people’s enthusiasm and curiosity in food, what the media has done in highlighting what’s special and being able to understand your customers and that your customer base wants to grow and expand and just be there for them. You have an interesting idea about how baked goods can shape a life. It’s probably the most fun, delightful thing you can possibly bring to someone. You can’t ship pork buns to Kansas but you can ship a birth-

day cake, a chocolate malt layer cake. That’s been the really fun part of being able to have a customer base, a Milk Bar community across the U.S. What is a Milk Bar community? For me, it’s a vast group of people who understand, who grasp the concept of food bringing delight and happiness, and understanding the concept of celebrating the everyday ordinary. That’s what a baked good is, celebrating that everyday ordinary. It’s a very giving community. You bake to share with people and people that love the Milk Bar brand love that. It’s a joyful place in New York City. It’s a little bit of a scene. It’s really accessible, it’s fun, it’s playful, it’s for anyone and everyone. From a price point, entry is very, very low. We open the doors, from 8 a.m. to midnight. It’s a great community of sharing. It’s not a Starbucks, we don’t have tables where you can camp out with your latte and write a novel. It’s a bustling environment, created purposely in that way. It’s a loud, fun, vibrant place. What makes operating and succeeding in Manhattan different? Each market is different. Even if we think we have it all down in New York City, I love that uphill attitude. It will be a different game in D.C. I like that challenge. In New York it’s about understanding the variable of real estate prices meeting the concept meeting the customer base. Toronto is very different. There are similar variables but the weights are different. In New York City, it feels like things are equal parts. In Toronto it’s much more about location, not about how you pay the rent, though that’s a business reality, of course. It’s about customers in Toronto. They’re a different customer base; they want to know they have something that’s different, special, new. They want something they can participate in. They have different expectations. D.C. feels like homecoming to me. As much as I

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Q&A Christina Tosi, from page 29 know about the area and think about myself as a consumer, it’s still very different – a very political customer base. It’s a really thrilling thing. You try to consider as many variables as you can, but you know, the minute you open your doors, anything can happen. You have to see how your customers interact with your brand and understand your brand. I like that game, cat-and-mouse. That’s been my career, continually reinventing myself. This brand that you’re building, is it Christina Tosi or Milk Bar? For Milk Bar, it’s more about building the brand of Milk Bar. For me it’s about community, not about an individual. The hardest part of being a chef and owner is that people yearn for a name, a face, to connect with, and it helps them simplify and understand the process. For me, it’s a com-

munity, a team that makes it happen. I don’t make and create every single thing on the menu. It’s certainly my vision, I started it, and nothing goes out the door without me being part of the process. But it exists because it’s a community and as a customer base, it’s thrilling to be a customer and to love and be part of the brand because it feels like a community. For me it’s more about building out that mind set. At the same time, you can’t have a bunch of no-name, no-face people talking about the brand. That’s where I come in. I personally am a big proponent of what I like to participate in, whether it’s non-profit or being a female entrepreneur or a boss. Giving back to the industry is really important. That’s how I got to where I am. I’m in the middle of understanding how the two fit into one another. What role does the book play in

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building these brands and how does that relate to being on TV? The book plays into it all. Milk Bar Life is sweet and savory recipes that we love to make and bake, at least, when we’re on or off the clock at Milk Bar. None of the recipes help you walk into one of the bakeries and buy. The book celebrates embracing the spirit of how you feel when you’re eating a compost cookie® and why you have this deep connection to cereal milk™! It’s about the recipes but it’s also about the approach to it, the mentality behind getting a little goofy or being a little quirky and embracing really the simple, humble things in life. We’re talking about cookies, cakes and pies. Those are the most simple and greatest delights that we have in the baked goods world. Milk Bar Life is about celebrating the feeling of that and where it comes from and how we come up with it and why we come up

with it. It’s about celebrating why you love Milk Bar, why you love the spirit of Milk Bar. As much as it’s a bakery and a recipe, it’s a way of life, a lifestyle. What do you want people to get from the book, and TV? For me, the book is a recipe book, or a story book if you never get into the kitchen. It brings you a smile and a lightness in life. It’s a picture book -- if you don’t want to read, just turn the pages and giggle and understand the beauty and simplicity of being lighthearted, with an optimistic spin on life. With TV, it’s a different beast. It’s harder to translate that. When we do Late Night with Seth Meyers, or go on Conan, you get more of an opportunity to jump around and smile and

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Q&A Christina Tosi, from page 30 make something fun and have a good time. On Master Chef, it’s harder because it’s more about time spent in the kitchen. I think that’s the interesting juxtaposition behind running a bakery and being a chef mentor to amateur home cooks. What role does community involvement in charities have for you? They’re huge for me. I was raised by these women who love to bake. You bake to bring something to someone at the hospital or bring over when someone’s lost a loved one. That power, that missionary spirit, is something that I only ever have known. Giving back, that sort of selflessness of it, is just part of my make-up. It’s what I know and the only way I want to spend my free time is making people happy or giving other people support.

What role does the vendor community play in your ability to execute what you accomplish every day? How do you source what you need? It’s huge. As a small business owner, in theory, it’s a lot easier if you only have to write one check to one distributor! But that’s not the reality of creating clever, interesting food. The relationships that we have with our distributors are hugely important. We are constantly developing new recipes so our ability to form relationships with different vendors is mandatory in terms of knowing what’s out there and in terms of saying, “hey we need to find this, can you help us?” Whether it’s a vehicle for one of our bakeries or an ingredient, and as food and dietary trends change, our reliance on great vendors is huge. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without it. We train our staff to be polite, pay our bills ahead of time. Knowing what a

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bad relationship with a vendor does, doing the absolute opposite is a core competency! What about equipment? The equipment list in our kitchen is short. We live and die by our Hobart mixers. There are a lot of commercial mixers out there, but they are like tanks. They never stop mixing. They’re surrounded by a sea of stainless steel tables. We bake all our cookies in electric Alto Shaam combi ovens. They are the most accurate, in terms of consistency. We have tried out so many types of ovens and the one thing I’ve found to be a bakery that produces great products, you need great bakers. You can’t just set it and forget it. You need someone, it’s still a hands-on art and those combi ovens give us just the right amount of automation but the right stopping point of that human element-- is it re-

ally baked, or did the timer just go off and does it need another 30 seconds? We use combi function to make our bagel bombs. We also have a huge Hobart dishwasher to do the dirty work. We also have an enrober and packaging machine, new additions that are really exciting. But that’s kind of what we’ve got. What does the future hold? In general, a continuing of a deepening of the brand in the community and for us continuing to understand who we are as we evolve, finding deeper, more meaningful ways to connect with our customer base, whether through the store, or the cookbook or through TV, by making the right decisions that represent us and celebrate us and celebrate the people who love us and our customers. Not saying yes to everything, means we’ll continue to make it a really exciting brand.

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// SCOOP Insinger’s John Stern was a source of innovative new solutions as he hosted a recent plant tour for the “Little M. Tucker team” led by Morgan Tucker Scoop notes that M. Tucker’s Morgan Tucker took her “Little M. Tucker” team on a recent road trip. Tucker, Katie Lynne McNamara and Tess Rex toured the Insinger manufacturing plant in Philadelphia last month. “Our goal is to constantly be on the look out for solutions that we can bring to our customers,” noted Morgan Tucker. “Insinger is certainly one of the leaders when it comes to a commitment to R&D to create those solutions.”

INSIDER NEWS FROM METRO NEW YORK’S FOODSERVICE SCENE For over 120 years, Insinger Machine Company has been on the leading edge of commercial dishwasher innovation and technology. Insinger patented the first stainless steel dishwasher in 1935 and continues to wow its customers with the latest technological achievement, the VRS (Ventless Reclamation System), a heat recovery system that does not require a hood. Insinger designs and manufactures warewashing equipment for the hospitality, healthcare, education, corrections & military markets. Insinger is family–owned. The line is represented by New Jersey based Pecinka Ferri who works closely with the M.Tucker teams and dealers and consultants throughout the Metro NYC region.

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John Stern from Insinger Machine leads a tour of their manufacturing plant for the M. Tucker team of Morgan Tucker, Katie Lynne McNamara, and Tess Rex.

Harlem Soul Food Restaurant Expanding to Lower East Side Scoop sees that the chef of a local restaurant known for making his guests feel like family is opening up a second home on the Lower East Side. The new restaurant will be called “SpaHa Soul (too) 2” and it will have the same home-cooked soul food that is served on First Avenue, chef and owner Artist Thornton said. The second SpaHa Soul will be slightly bigger than the fourtable 465-square foot location in East Harlem. But not by much, the LES location has 550-square feet. “I think my niche is going to be small restaurants,” Thornton said. “It’s not about flipping tables, it’s about having guests come

back.” Thornton made SpaHa with his own two hands. He installed the floor, painted the walls, and renovated the shell that was left behind by the old tenant at 2270 First Ave. Once it opened, he was host, waiter, busser, chef, deliveryman, accountant, manager, and owner. The model-turned-chef charmed guests by speaking with every customer about what tastes they prefer and creating something individualized for their preferences. To help with the expansion, Thornton has hired four staff members — two for East Harlem and two for the Lower East Side. Although he has help with the kitchen, he still plans to renovate the new space himself and has given himself a one-month

timeline. “It’s part of the process,” he said. “My deadline is 30 days, I did this one in two months.” The food will be similar in both places; Thornton will still get fresh ingredients from the neighborhood and meat from a local butcher in East Harlem. He will buy in El Barrio and take it to the Lower East Side. The major changes will be the hours. SpaHa (too) 2 will be open for lunch, dinner, and late night. Thornton also plans to have a full liquor license. Expanding has been Thornton’s plan since opening SpaHa in September 2013. Before moving to New York he ran four restaurants in Mexico City. So far people have been very supportive of the expansion, Thornton said. He

has received congratulatory messages from people in South Africa, Mexico City, and California. “People here have said they are excited because they work downtown so they’ll be able to come for lunch,” he said. The move downtown seems to be contrary to the recent trend of downtown restaurateurs opening locations uptown. He wants to show that Harlem food can thrive in a neighborhood with an established restaurant scene. “I think a lot of people don’t look at Harlem as a place that has quality food and a place that has quality chefs and cooks,” Thornton said.

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Scoop, from page 35

US Open To Serve Good ‘Taste’ At Charity Foodie Event Scoop says the US Open will be serving up lots of delicious options starting with the annual Taste of Tennis, which brings together players and chefs at the top of their game. The series of foodie events opened with an Aug. 27 gala at the W New York, hosted by celebrity chef Marc Murphy, tennis pros the Bryan brothers and former “Bachelorette” star Andi Dorfman. “A portion of the proceeds will benefit chef Eli Kulp, of Philadelphia’s High Street Market, who was slated to open a New York restaurant before he was critically injured in the Amtrak train derailment,” said Penny Lerner, chief executive of AYS, which produces the events. Other events included the Celebrity Chef Tennis Challenge on Aug. 26 and Party with the Pros on Aug. 29.

Sotheby’s NYC Set To Host Inaugural Food Tasting Scoop is excited to note that the food will look as good as its tastes this fall at Sotheby’s. Presented by New York-Presbyterian, more than 20 Upper East Side chefs will create dishes inspired from Sotheby’s upcoming auction at the “Art of Food” festival. Hosted by chef Michael White and

fashion designer Nicole Miller, participating restaurants include Cafe Boulud, The Writing Room and Le Cirque. “For the first time ever, Sotheby’s will host a spectacular food event in its hallowed halls and will be curating art for each of the restaurant’s one of a kind tastings that night,” said sponsor Jeanne Straus, publisher of the neighborhood weekly Our Town.

Legendary Limelight Space Set To House New Chinese Eatery Scoop says after a nasty legal battle with his old partners at Philippe, Stratis Morfogen is launching another Chinese restaurant. His 275-seat Jue Lan Club, named after an old Chinese art society, will open in November in the historic church on Sixth Avenue that used to house legendary nightclub Limelight, and most recently retail shops and a David Barton Gym. Morfogen has signed former Lure Fishbar general manager Robert Collins as his partner, and says investors in the new eatery include Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Karlos Dansby. The restaurant will include historical Limelight features, including a Peter Gatien room, named after the former owner and filled with old

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club memorabilia. A unisex bathroom will remain, and a photo of Mick Jagger and Madonna coming out of that same bathroom will be used as a sign on its door. Morfogen had a nasty falling-out with his old partners at Philippe, resulting in legal complaints filed by both parties earlier this year. They have since resolved their differences. “It ended pretty badly, but I’m moving on. Philippe’s in my rearview mirror,” Morfogen said.

Donate to Charity and Skip Waiting for a Table at Restaurants with New Service

Scoop sees that CharityWait lets customers skip the line at restaurants while donating to charity at the same time. There can be nothing worse than when you’re hungry and there’s a wait for a table at the restaurant you want to go to. Enter CharityWait, a new service designed to not only get you seat-

ed right away, but also feel good while doing it. The concept is simple: pay a fee, which will get donated to charity, and skip the line. “I hate the concept of having to go and wait in line at a restaurant, so being able to find a way to skip that was something really appealing to us,” SmartLine CEO and cofounder Daniel Reitman said. “We came up with this idea that rather than just paying the host or a service fee, why not skip and pay some money and have the money go to something good.” CharityWait functions as a part of SmartLine, which is a computer program for restaurants to manage waits, checks and guest information. After a guest checks in, the program texts them with their wait time and offers the option to “donate and skip the wait.” CharityWait texts you the option to donate to a charity of the restaurant’s choice so you can be seated immediately. So far the feedback has been only positive since the program launched in April. “The people love it. We haven’t had any negative feedback at all from the consumers,” Reitman said. “Being able to give back to their local community or major charity and have the ability that if they don’t want to wait, they don’t have to wait. They can do something good and save some time.” For those worried about

stealing someone else’s spot, CharityWait accounts for that: the restaurants holds a table as a placeholder at the front of the line for the service. Only a certain number of spots are held a night, and a certain number of people not using the service need to be seated for another spot to open up so that these regular patrons aren’t waiting longer than they would have otherwise. Restaurants, which each pick the 501(c)(3) charity of their choice, are also on board since it allows them to use the SmartLine program for free, as opposed to up to $159 a month and, on average, guests who use the CharityWait program are spending 29 percent more per check, according to Reitman. Ten restaurants are using CharityWait so far, mostly in the New York area, but already a few thousand dollars have been generated for charity from the around $10 to $50 fee, of which 60 percent goes to the charity, and 40 percent goes back to SmartLine. The donation amount is based on an algorithm that adjusts for party size, length of the line and average entrée cost. “We could end up donating millions once more restaurants sign on,” Reitman said. “We’re really looking to push this over the next few months and get as many restaurants on board.”

McDonald’s Previews Future With Manhattan Experiment Scoop sees that McDonald’s was once the undisputed king of fast food. But with sales falling, franchisees reporting gloomy outlooks, and popular fast-casual chains like Shake Shack and Chipotle chipping away at its fast-food throne, McDonald’s has seen better days. A recently renovated McDonald’s in New York City may be the first concrete glimpse of the company’s extensive turnaround plan. The midtown location at 58th and 3rd Ave, which opened last month, features the city’s first “Create Your Taste” kiosks. The company boasts that you can craft the “burger of your dreams.” McDonald’s is approaching the changing market and now the brand may have a bright future. Upon opening the door, you’re immediately confronted by McDonald’s younger, hipper approach to the “Create Your Taste” experience: The walls are covered in enthusiastically trendy and bright New York-themed illustrations. This is part of McDonald’s broader attempt to appeal to local markets. There’s no sitting space on the first of three levels — the tall touch screen kiosks now line the way to the order and pickup counter. The counter itself hasn’t changed, with the menu above and cashiers ready to

help below, but there’s a whole new option now.

New York College Students Help Drive Local Demand Scoop notes that producers are finding college students a profitable new target market for New York watermelons. The Washington D.C.-based American Farmland Trust and other organizations are working to connect New York growers with foodservice institutions through a program promoting the purchase of New York foods involving State University of New York. Farm to SUNY is a pilot project of Farm to Institution New York State that is led by American Farmland Trust in collaboration with SUNY campuses in Albany, Oneonta, Oswego, and New Paltz. It sees demand from college students hungry for local watermelon and other locally grown foods. Since December 2013, Farm to SUNY has seen Albany’s campus increase local purchasing of fresh and minimally processed produce by 38%; New Paltz increased purchasing of local onions by 151%; and Oswego bought 1,660 pounds of peeled and cubed butternut squash in 2014, seven times more than in 2013.“Our hope is that through the Farm to SUNY pilot project, we’ll start to see more dining services from public

and private institutions following suit, looking to Farm to SUNY as a model for buying local on a larger scale,” Haight said. “When large institutions such as college campuses commit to buying local, they foster opportunities for farmers to grow their business, while connecting students and others they serve with healthy, fresh food.”

New Union Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza Fuels Garden State Growth

Scoop notes that Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the fast-casual artisanal pizza concept known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, recently announced that it opened its third New Jersey restaurant, in Clark. To celebrate the grand opening, the restaurant offered free build-your-own

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Coffee, the Restaurant Menu’s Step Child


hy doesn’t coffee get the same love and attention as all those mouthwatering appetizers and entrees on a restaurant menu? Coffee always seems to get treated as the menu’s stepchild! (No offense to the stepchildren of the world). You’re opening a restaurant, or redoing your menu, and for example you write a mouth-watering description: An organically grown, roasted Cornish Game Hen flavored with an array of spices and herbs sprinkled on the golden crispy skin, served over a bed of delicious spring vegetables….. $25.00

Then you get to the dessert or beverage section, and you write: Coffee $1.00 and Espresso $2.50 BORING!!!! If you just wrote: Cornish Hen…. You couldn’t sell that for more than $12-15. But add that description and you can command a lot more money for that dish. Well, the same goes for coffee. If you wrote: Coffee…. A harmonious blend of Brazilian, Colombian and Guatemalan coffees picked from mountain ranges at altitudes over 3,500ft. above sea level, lightly roasted to achieve its true flavor profile and perfectly brewed at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s “Gold Cup

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Standard”….. $4 People would BE HAPPY & EXCITED to try it! If you averaged 100 cups per day, and only charged $1.50 more per cup, you would make an addition $54,750 PER YEAR!!!!!!!! All because you wrote a coffee description!!! Some may say: “My roasters’ logo is on the menu and that’s enough.” Yes, it can give you credibility, but you should NOT rely on it alone. Make sure to have the menu description to get your customers excited about your specialty coffee. Coffee is typically the last product they will consume, so you want your guests leaving with the feeling of a positive experience at your restaurant!

David W. Mendez is a 4th-gen coffee professional for WB Law Coffee Co. ( Focusing on sales & marketing for Mid-Atlantic foodservice accounts, his expertise in coffee from seed to cup has helped develop, implement and maintain thousands of coffee & espresso programs.

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Build Pest Control Into Your Construction Plans By Win Higgins, Entomologist and Quality Assurance Manager, Western Pest Services


hen it comes to construction, pest management probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But whether you’re renovating an existing space or building a new foodservice operation from the ground up, it’s important to include pest management in your construction plans. If the right precautions aren’t taken, construction can attract unwanted attention from pests. Construction projects can disrupt the sanitation and maintenance pro-

Consider using proper building materials to help prevent termite activity and apply a termiticide barrier to the property.

grams you have in place at your establishment, which can affect the success of your pest control program. It can also displace pests from their habitats, causing erratic behavior such as rodents running around in broad daylight, completely exposed. The good news is that there are a variety of proactive measures you can take to help prevent pests from becoming a problem during construction. The first step you should take before construction even begins is meet with your pest management provider and contractor to discuss the role of pest management during the process and make sure everyone is on the same page. A licensed and experienced pest management provider can do several things: implement measures to help prevent pest issues, manage any pest issues that pop up during construction, and provide insights on building materials and locations that will be the least conducive to pests. A pest management professional can also help prevent your construction from becoming a source of pest infestation for your neighbors – if pests are displaced on your property, they may look for shelter in neighboring buildings.

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Here are just a few examples of the tactics your pest management provider may recommend: • Assess pest activity in the area prior to construction to determine what measures should be taken to reduce pest populations before, during and after construction. • Understand geographic conditions favorable to pests. For example, selecting a location for your facility near a water source might create additional pest pressures. • Sufficiently grade the property to prevent puddles since moisture attracts pests like mosquitoes and termites. • Inspect all incoming raw materials for pests before exposing them to the construction site. • Consider using proper building materials to help prevent termite activity and apply a termiticide barrier to the property. Getting your contractor on board is important because he or she will need to take the lead on keeping pest management a priority during the actual construction work. You’ll also need the contractor’s help to get the construction crew on board with precautionary tactics, including keeping construction sites as clean as possible.

Work with your pest management provider to conduct an on-site training session

All workers should be aware that food, trash and wood debris left behind can attract pests, and should be disposed of daily. In addition to your own property, don’t forget that construction at nearby properties can also cause pest threats. In places like Manhattan, where new high rises are consistently popping up, rodents are often displaced, which may lead them to your establishment. Be aware of the construction going on around you, and take extra precautions as needed to thwart the added pest pressure. Finally, when construction is complete, continue to work with your pest management professional to maintain an Integrated Pest Management program (IPM). An ongoing IPM program will help keep pests – and the threats they pose to food safety, customer satisfaction and ultimately your bottom line – away from your operation. Win Higgins in an entomologist and Quality Assurance Manager for Western Pest Services, a New-Jersey based pest management company serving businesses and homeowners in major Northeastern markets. Learn more about Western by visiting

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“Only through glass can the little pleasures of life truly become alive and delight all senses.”- NUDE Glassware


hen interviewed on Shari Bayer’s’ Heritage Radio Network show last month, I requested that ‘All in the Industry’ shift some of the tableware focus to glassware. Dinnerware and “the Art of Plating” has usurped social media in 2015, while other tabletop items seem to have been pushed into the background. With this in mind, I decided to focus my September column on the most intimate of all foodservice products. Let’s start with the basics: Glassware is made in two simple steps. 1. Raw materials (Silica sand and a myriad of chemicals) are heated and mixed and then 2. Formed and molded. Simple enough, right? Glass simply shapes its content and makes it visible. Most of today’s foodservice glass then receives some treatment to enhance durability or create a decoration. As a distributor, I don’t actually make anything. (My chef friends like to remind me of this on a regular basis…) However, a distributor has the unique privilege of bringing together manufacturers and skilled artisans with industry trendsetters who set the hospitality landscape. The lucky reps, like me, get to work directly with factories and customers to play an integral part in the creation process on both ends. It’s time we focus on the items that touch us. Here are some glassware trends that have me licking my lips.

NUDE Glass, a seductive new company born to create lead-free crystal for hotels and restaurants in the 21st century is designed to underline character without changing essence. “Nothing should detract from the skill of the chef or choice of the sommelier. The character of the restaurant should be enhanced by the elements it contains rather than dominated.” Created for the rigors of foodservice, the majority of the collection is machine made. However, just as the name alludes to, each piece is intended to subtly blend with its surrounding, honoring and adding to the ambiance in the most simplified fashion. Part of the Hospitality Glass Brands umbrella, just like NUDE, Forum Hand Crafted is a new collection that I have helped design with the Pasabahce team. Handmade glassware for hand crafted cocktails… #LookForTheHand on new shapes with unique metal accents.

In addition to adding gold or platinum decoration, we have the capability to mix material. Match is a new partner of ours that integrates pewter. For the most elevated presentation, engraving is also available. Looking to customize glassware at a more affordable price? Steelite encourages personalization on almost every one of their foodservice items, especially glass. Etching any item for just a $1 premium can be done in a few short weeks in New Castle, PA. Steelite changed the game with their lace and dots designs… now look out for further inventive collaborations at Star Chef’s 2015 ICC or create your very own. “In an ever increasing waste conscious culture, reusable water bottles are still a hot item.” Support an interactive and environmental trend with an extensive and innovative offering from Luigi Bormioli. Another new collection

“Nothing should detract from the skill of the chef or choice of the sommelier. The character of the restaurant should be enhanced by the elements it contains rather than dominated.”

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Morgan Tucker is senior account executive at the M. Tucker Company. Her sales and marketing team “Little M.Tucker” provides equipment and supply solutions for a wide diversity of restaurant owners and Foodservice operators in Metro New York City. Email her at

launching later this fall that I have been a part of? Chemistry from Libbey Glass. We have partnered with cutting edge mixologists to develop creative vessels reminiscent of days in the science lab. While Rosenthal may not be known for their glassware, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge deep color options from Arzberg. Bold pantones are not just for plateware this fall. Finally, Cardinal, synonymous with quality glass, has added new SKU’s to almost all of their existing collections. Just one small update can change an entire tablescape without spending more or sacrificing durability. I challenge you to question everything on your table, just as Ron Arad did when he created his collection for NUDE Glass with two-in-one stems. We now have the unique ability to source or create anything you dream of. Allow me to prove it. Visit

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Tri-State Food Service Operators Turn To Chef Works Latest In Search Of Signature Apparel Look Chef Works, a leading provider of culinary apparel to professional chefs and home cooks alike, unveiled late last month with several additions to its broad collection of stylish apron, chef coat, and kitchen/front-of-house shirt offerings.


he line made its debut at last month’s 2015 Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival as the company outfitted all participating culinary professionals. Building upon the 2014 launch of its highly popular Urban Collection, Chef Works introduced a variety of fashionable, yet fully functional, pieces that are highlighted by bold colors and designs; new fabrics and textures including canvas and a wet look among others; and such innovative features as added pockets for phones and tweezers, back-of-the-neck apron tabs, 2-way zippers, and stretch, mesh panels.   Highlighting the latest wave of offerings are nearly 60 new SKUs.  The new lineup includes an exciting array of new aprons. Dorset Antique Wash Aprons feature an antique wash finish, adjustable neck with industrial grommets, and riveted cell phone pockets.  Boulder “Wet Look” Aprons feature cotton denim fabric with a waxed finish look, towel loop and reverse fabric ties, adjustable neck with overall clips (full bib apron), double front pockets (half bistro apron), and tweezer chest pocket.  Rockford Pigment Dyed Canvas Aprons feature enzyme

washed canvas fabric, reinforced stress points, towel loop, and two hip pockets with saddle stitching details. Corvallis Crosshatch Aprons feature crosshatch woven fabric, reinforced stress points, adjustable neck with industrial grommets, and tweezer chest pocket. Each of the new aprons are available in multiple coordinating styles and colors. Chef Works latest includes a trio of much anticipated shirts. (note: the first is a coat) The Hartford (Essential) “Lite” Twill

Chef Coat with Zipper features a poly/ cotton “lite” twill fabric, Cool Vent™ sides and side seam slits, 2-way separating zipper, roll-up long sleeves with tab, back collar apron holder with engraved snap tab, and rounded thermometer and cell phone/notebook sleeve pockets. It is available in men’s and women’s. The company’s Trenton Long-Sleeve Shirt (Front-of-House and Back-ofHouse) featuring sanded distressed wash, back and front yokes, roll-up long sleeves with snap tab, pearl top

Chef Works has added 60 exciting new styles to its 2015 collection.

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metal snaps, and thermometer and cell phone/notebook sleeve pockets. The Women’s Server Shirt with Zip and Knit featuring stretch knit side panels, 2-way separating zipper, back yoke, and double needle topstitching. Commenting on the new product offerings, Chef Works Marketing Director Amanda Stuckey stated, “Culinary and hospitality apparel is no longer just about functionality; it’s also about presenting your staff in a way that truly reflects the individuality of your restaurant or culinary business. From comfort focused Cool Vent™ technology and unique fabrications to stylish embellishments and colorways, Chef Works constantly strives to set the standard for on-trend apparel for front-ofhouse and back-of-house staff.” Aimed at the culinary, hotel, restaurant and foodservice industries, Chef Works’ complete catalogue of culinary apparel and accessories are available online at Chef Works, Inc. is a worldwide culinary apparel manufacturing and distribution solution for the culinary, hotel, restaurant and food service industries. Offering cost-effective and efficient alternatives for companies of all sizes, Chef Works is the leader in uniform supply management, brand continuity, online ordering, on-site embroidery, personalized reporting, budget coordination and uniform design and distribution. Chef Works successfully manufactures and distributes culinary apparel in over 60 countries. They remain resolute in their mission to provide the best-quality products at the most competitive prices, focusing all of their efforts to ensure complete satisfaction and meet, or exceed, expectations for high-quality, well-designed, comfortable uniforms alongside superior customer service.

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Chadwick’s Executive Chef Sean Quinn Wins 5th Annual FoodFight Competition with Family Friendly Dish Orecchiette with Bacon, Corn and Ricotta

Joyce Appelman, is the National Communications Director for CCAP, Careers through Culinary Arts Program in New York, NY. She has

FoodFight held it’s 5th annual competition recently in New York, and Brooklyn’s own celebrity chef, Sean Quinn, was crowned the champion.

been instrumental in opening career opportunities for many young people in the foodservice industry. Email her at


ean battled for a good cause, and the proceeds from the event raised money to support FoodFight’s mission, to revolutionize the way people eat and think about food. Using schools as a platform, students, teachers, parents, and school staff are armed with the tools and knowledge they need to make healthier eating decisions and become role models and agents of change for their families and communities. The suspenseful FoodFight showdown pitted Sean Quinn, Chadwick’s Restaurant’s Executive Chef, C-CAP alum and a Food Network’s Chopped Champion against chef and author, Andrea Beaman, and Top Chef Contestant Dave Martin. The competitors were charged with creating a family friendly dish to feed four people for $20 or less that could be prepared in 30 minutes. “Food literacy is really important, especially for families with young children,” says Chef Quinn. “We need to keep our kids healthy and strong. Fast food and take out were never an option for me growing up. My parents both worked, and they cooked dinner for the family every night.” Sean is pleased to share the winning dish that he often cooks at home for his family. (*read on

for recipe). Chef Quinn, a native of Staten Island, attended Tottenville High School and was enrolled in Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). As a senior, he competed in C-CAP’s New York Cooking Competition for Scholarships, and he was awarded the coveted scholarship to attend the New England Culinary Institute (NECI). C-CAP is a national non-profit that works with public high schools to prepare at-risk students for college and career opportunities in the food and hospitality industry.

“When I compete, I play to win. It was a very friendly competition, but I never compete for second place, I need to win. I love a good competition, and I use my Award winning mentality to bring champion dishes to my Brooklyn restaurant,” said Chef Quinn. Sean Quinn’s Winning Recipe: Orecchiette with Bacon, Corn and Ricotta, serving 4 portions • •

1 lb hickory smoked bacon 1 lb orecchiette pasta

Chef Quinn, a native of Staten Island, won by creating a family friendly dish to feed four people for $20 or less that could be prepared in 30 minutes.

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• • • • • • • •

1 large Spanish onion 3-4 garlic cloves  1 bag frozen corn (organic)  8 oz ricotta cheese 1 small container of grated Pecorino Romano cheese EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)  Salt and pepper Fresh basil

1. Bring salted water to a boil. 2. Cook bacon until rendered and crispy. 3. Add pasta to water. 4. Remove bacon and reserve 1 tablespoon of the fat. 5. Add 2 tablespoons of EVOO and reserved fat. 6. Add onion and season to taste with salt and pepper for a few minutes until soft. 7. Add garlic cook for 1 minute. 8. Add corn, basil, and cooked bacon. 9. Add some pasta water and the cooked pasta. Toss to coat. 10. Plate equal portions. 11. Place small dollops of ricotta on each dish. 12. Sprinkle Pecorino Romano to taste and enjoy.

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Ice Safety: Reduce Contaminants and Food-Borne Illness How safe is the ice in food and drinks served in restaurants? There is no easy answer without having to explain how ice can be contaminated and in what conditions that ice can cause illness.


n general, we tend to view ice much the same way we do with drinking water coming out from the tap, and assume that both water and ice are “clean.” Ice must be treated like food, as both can be a source of foodborne illness if not handled safely. The FDA defines ice as food. Most pathogenic organisms do not readily multiply in ice in restaurants that’s used for food and drinks. However, scientific research has also shown that some bacteria and viruses can survive

cold or freezing for long periods of time. Therefore, it is important for restaurant operators to ensure their ice does not become contaminated. Contamination in the ice supply can be introduced by airborne particles, contaminated water supply, food handlers or dirty utensils. But the main cause of ice in restaurants, bars and hotels becoming contaminated

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is human error in how employees handle ice. Training your staff is critical to ice safety! Contaminated ice can cause foodborne illness. Reduce your risk with regular ice machine (and ice bin) cleanings, periodic thorough sanitation (by a professional), regular maintenance, and, of course, training. Note: If your commercial ice machine is in a high yeast

environment (pizzerias and breweries for example) or if you’re water source is from a well, you will need additional professional deep cleanings. Lack of regular inspections, exposure to poor hygiene and improper handling of ice will increase the risk of contamination. You don’t want your restaurant guests getting sick because of inadequate cleanings and sanitation of your ice machine! For more information, please read:

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City Tech Student Wins Global Taste of Korea Competition in New York Global Taste of Korea is the world’s largest Korean food cooking competition and promotes the ingredients of Korean cuisine.


ity Tech is pleased to announce that Marjorie Silva, Hospitality Management student, won the Global Taste of Korea New York preliminaries held at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan on July 18. As a finalist, Silva will travel to Seoul, Korea, later this month for a ten-day culinary trip and the opportunity to compete against 17 contestants from participating countries for a grand prize of $10,000. Global Taste of Korea is the world’s largest Korean food cooking competition and promotes the ingredients of Korean cuisine. The New York competition is an opportunity for US citizens of non-Korean ethnic backgrounds with a strong appreciation for Korean cuisine and a passion for cooking to present their culinary skills. A native of Venezuela, Silva prepared for the competition by visiting Korean restaurants, tasting a variety of Korean food, and researching the ingredients. Contestants were required to cook a Korean dish utilizing at least one of three main condiments: gochujang (red chili paste), doenjang (soybean paste), and ganjang (soy sauce). Silva managed to creatively combine techniques and products indigenous to South American food culture with two

Korean condiments. “I am thrilled to have won the New York preliminaries. It was an amazing experience. Not only am I representing my culture through my dish, I am also representing my adopted country—the United States. It’s what I had worked so hard for all these years,” said Silva. “I’m really excited to compete in Korea. I get to introduce dishes and ingredients that are new to Korean cuisine, and I’ll get training from the best chefs in Korea.” In her winning dish, Spicy Beef Bulgogi, Silva meshed Korean and Latin cuisine by adding plantains (tostones) and avocados—two ingredients not commonly used in Korean cuisine. Her preparation and pas-

sion paid off: At the competition, a well-known Korean chef, Jay Cho, approached her about cooking with him on his televised show while she is in Seoul. For now, though, Silva is busy creating and perfecting a new dish to present to the judges at the final competition in Korea. “We are thrilled and so proud of Marjorie’s accomplishment. Her contagious passion, creativity and culinary talent give her the upper hand as she prepares her new dish for Global Taste of Korea competition. She has deeply embraced Korean food and culture and captures the joy of being a New Yorker in her extraordinary dishes. We celebrate Marjorie’s dream and wish her the best of luck as she moves

“[Marjorie] has deeply embraced Korean food and culture and captures the joy of being a New Yorker in her extraordinary dishes,” said Professor Lynda Dias, Department of Hospitality Management.

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A native of Venezuela, Marjorie Silva won the Global Taste of Korea New York preliminaries held at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan.

to the next stage in the competition in Korea,” said Professor Lynda Dias, Department of Hospitality Management. Global Taste of Korea is sponsored by the Korean Cultural Service New York of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in New York, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea, Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, and the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation. KBS (Korea Broadcasting System), and KBS Korea World, one of the major television broadcasting companies in Korea is also a sponsor of the contest. The contest will be broadcast between September 26-29, on KBS Korea and KBS Korea World.

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Do Your Employees Require More Management Attention Than They Should? Read below for one tip to teach your staff to be more accountable, more independent and to constantly exceed your expectations without any extra supervision.

LeeAnne Homsey specializes in providing consulting / training services to the restaurant industry. As a 25-year veteran, LeeAnne has worked with a wide array of restaurant busi-


oes your restaurant staff require more supervision than you think they should need? Is it possible that you are unknowingly training your hospitality / customer service employees to need more management than you have time for? It is often forgotten in day-to-day restaurant operations that our job as a manager is to create manageable situations and that those manageable situations lead to higher sales and profits. From the people we choose to hire to the strength of our hiring process, the thoroughness of our training to the flow of orders to the kitchen, our jobs are to create as many manageable situations as possible, strengthen and inspire our teams and create consistently larger repeat clientele and cash flows for the business owner who pays us. While I don’t think it is impossible to create manageable situations while also managing the people responsible for operating within those situations, I feel it is much more proactive to inspire your staff to support and manage themselves and allow you to shift your focus to building client relations, fortifying your customer base and showing your

nesses ranging from casual to upscale

employees how to personally connect with customers to build the relationships and confidence that guarantee every customer’s return visit. I find the easiest way to inspire employees to require less management is to help them take ownership in their part of the business. To do this, after they have been thoroughly trained and tested, I make sure they understand that although this is not my or their business, that each and every customer who comes in to buy from us is a key to unlock more of what we want in life.

It is often forgotten in day-to-day restaurant operations that our job as a manager is to create manageable situations and that those manageable situations lead to higher sales and profits.

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The keys to unlock the things that employees want is delivered in the form of a paycheck but the real keys worth having are the keys to raises, promotions, benefits and career opportunities that simply don’t exist with average job performance or delivering an average experience to customers or just making an average sale today. Whether they are in it for the long haul or “just getting through school,” inspiring your employees to need less management is as easy as letting them know that now that they are trained in policy and procedure, the focus will now be on customer retention. Moving forward the focus will not only be today’s superior customer experience but also to make sure the customer will be back plus knowing exactly when the customer will return. This is an entirely different view of one’s job, the business and all current and future customers. Instead of the focus being their job and its positives and possible negatives, now employees need to keep their focus on current and potential customers and to learn and practice language skills that will help employees to achieve that goal. I recommend buying composition books for employees and starting a

dining establishments. For more information call 1-646-462-0384, e-mail or visit www.

competition for how many customers’ names they can collect and use in their greetings. Customers love being recognized by name and feel valued when they are recognized by employees. Giving employees a reason to get and remember customer’s names on a large scale through competitions and challenges will lead to a lifelong habit of networking that your employees can capitalize on to unlock amazing benefits like praise on social media network, promotions, bonuses, raises and new career opportunities. Help your staff brainstorm and use conversation starters that lead to discovering customer’s names, remembering them and then using them in greetings and conversations. With these new challenges and tools, focus being constantly on getting customers to return you will spend less time managing your employees and see a huge jump in your repeat clientele. Next month: “How To Inspire Your Employees To Remember Customer’s Names.”

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Playing Defense on the Job Take steps to avoid the high cost and high risk of employment-related lawsuits.


verexertion and falls on the same level account for more than 40% of the top 10 workplace injuries and cost companies as much as $25 billion that year, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index 2014. And yet, with a little extra effort and consideration, employers can take steps to minimize their risk. Almost 75% of all litigation against companies involve employment disputes and, of those, over 40% of the claims involve smaller employers (15100 employees), according to a study done by CNA, a national insurance carrier. From discrimination to wrongful termination, employment practice claims can carry a heavy price tag when businesses fail to have the right risk management procedures and insurance coverage in place. It is impossible to prevent lawsuits. However, you can take mitigating steps to reduce your business’ risk and high costs associated with employment-related lawsuits. Best practices to avoid employment practice liability: • Create policies and procedures. The first step is to create and implement concrete policies and procedures. Make sure that there are specific ways and means to address common on-thejob issues that could lead to a lawsuit. For instance, policies addressing hiring, promotions, evaluations, changes in status, training, harassment, and termination should all be considered. It is not about eliminating all employee questions, but

Robert Fiorito serves as Vice President,

instead about making sure that the employer and employee expectations meet reality. The best way to institute formal policies and procedures is to work with a seasoned employment law attorney to ensure that you’ve covered all your bases as an employer. For many employees, the employer/employee relationship is an at-will one, meaning it can be terminated with or without cause by either the employee or their employer. The employee handbook will become the closest thing that the employer and employee have to a contract, which is why it is so vital. An employee handbook is the best way to identify and outline the rights and policies. Make sure the handbook is a living, breathing document that is updated, reviewed and revised with counsel at least annually, as each year there is new case law, new legal issues that may not have ripe case laws and new considerations that should be included in the employee handbook. It is important to have each employee sign the handbook to show they are aware of and agree to the policies and procedures inside. Insurance companies follow claims and litigation trends so they ask a lot of questions in their underwriting process. Documented policies and procedures will enable you to examine exclusions or risks specific to your business and their impact/defense as it relates to employee liability. Working with an experienced broker will ensure all liabilities unique to your business are considered. • Document it. Keep a written log of disciplinary and

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absentee issues, complaints and anything that falls under HR’s jurisdiction. This documentation will serve as the first line of defense should an employee discrimination claim be filed against you, as you’ll have written proof of what happened with a disgruntled employee along the way. If you have to defend an employee termination, for example, based on their absenteeism, you’re going to have to build a case and documentation is going to be key. You’ll need to be able to say: the employee was 50 minutes late, 20 times and provide the dates and specifics. • Understand third-party risks. Look at your risks from a third party standpoint. Consider the legal ramifications of your vendors, clients, customers, potential employees and more being a potential liability. Make sure whoever is interfacing with third parties is trained and understands employment practice risks so they don’t cause a liability that could lead to an employment practices claim. In California, for example, businesses with 50 plus employees are required by law to train management and supervisory staff on harassment and discrimination every 18 months to two years. The better employers will train all employees to make sure that even the doorman knows to let everyone in whether they’re in a wheel chair and regardless of their ethnicity or gender. You don’t want third-party claims because you didn’t have policies and procedures in place to teach people how to help others and deal with customers.

HUB International Northeast., where he specializes in providing insurance brokerage services to the restaurant industry. As a 20-year veteran and former restaurateur himself, Bob has worked with a wide array of restaurant & food service businesses, ranging from fast-food chains to upscale, “white tablecloth” dining establishments. For more information, please visit

• Know your recourse as an employer. Employees aren’t the only ones that have legal recourse to file a claim. Employers (especially when they hold workers’ compensation policies through private insurers), have recourse as well. Employers have rights and shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if there’s a fraudulent claim and more. Make sure you have a conversation with your claims adjusters both before and during a claim to determine what your rights are as the employer. • Retain a comprehensive Employment Practices Liability (EPL) insurance policy. An employer is more likely to have an employment practices liability insurance claim than a general liability or property loss, according to studies conducted by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society. A good broker will determine which EPL policy is right for your business and, in the event of a claim, help you amend your policies and procedures for successful renewal.

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Chef Wilo Benet Owner of Pikayo, Varita and Paya restaurants in Puerto Rico


ost chefs know almost from birth that that’s what they want to be when they grow up. But for Chef Wilo Benet, it was his love of eating. “When I was a little kid, I had more of a love of eating than cooking,” says the owner of Pikayo, Varita and Paya restaurants in Puerto Rico. “My mother cooked from scratch, but I don’t have a story where I spent time in the kitchen with my mom. It was not like that for me.” No matter. Benet, who is also the president and owner of Museum Restaurant Group, found his way to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and his renowned style of cooking, just the same. Benet was the keynote speaker at the World of Latino Cuisine and talked about young chefs and how tradition should not be abandoned, how the fundamentals of each culture have to grow in time, “while not ‘unanchoring’ it or fusing it with another culture.” Benet says his initial interest was in professional photography. “But I didn’t finish and that led to dishwashing and that led to a pantry position at Fox Fire Inn in Jensen Beach, Fla.,” he says. “If I trace back to the one moment I knew I wanted to work with my hands, that the kitchen had a place for me, it was when I came back to Puerto Rico and was an apprentice on a non-paid basis at the Caribe Hilton Hotel.”

From there, he got a recommendation from executives to join the CIA in the winter of 1983. “When I went to the CIA, I wasn’t even aware of the grandness of that institution. In my eyes I just thought I was going to some culinary school,” he says. “Then I realized it was the very best culinary school on the planet. I didn’t go there because it was embedded in me. I went there because the chefs at the Hilton, who were all European, recommended it.” What the school did for Benet was instill the rigors and values of how to work a kitchen professionally. “How to be exposed to things that I’ve never even seen or tasted before. It certainly instills in you a philosophy, and other elements of discipline -- how to wear your uniform, how to understand the importance of sanitation, consistency, uniformity,” he says. “Those were the greatest contributions the school gave me.” Benet served an apprenticeship while at the CIA at Boston’s Top of the

Hub, then returned to school to graduate. “The Top of the Hub is known for quality food but what it was for me was exposure to how to handle 1,000 covers,” he recalls. While there, he was in the prep station, but it also gave him a shot at cooking. After graduating from the CIA, he went to work at the restaurant Maurice, at the Parker Meridien, and this was where he learned about the real world of foodservice. “It was a three-star restaurant, and although I had been exposed to a true apprenticeship at Hilton, I was a puppet, in a good way! But when I went to Maurice, I had the golden experience. The chef would scream at you for anything, and start banging on the window. I thought, oh my God. But all this I absorbed as part of the training, I never complained. I assumed it was just part of the training.” What he learned in that experience was further steps in the discipline he learned at school. “No, it has to be in this position, or ‘This is the diameter,

“Fusion is fine, but there needs to be an effort placed on things that are of value for the preservation of a culture.”

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Chef Wilo Benet

not this.’ We’re not interested in your opinion. That rigor, to have a true European experience of hand-crafting and discipline,” he says. Benet then went to work at Le Bernardin in the morning doing the pastry shift, took a break, then went off to the night shift at the Water Club. “That was 300 lunches in the pastry department and only five of us. It was just insane,” he remembers. “Then I did the fish station, 5-600 covers in a day. When you went to the Water Club in those days, it was really happening. You got to see how that classic skill had a strong hold on success in the restaurant business. There’s always space innovation, the latest technology. But steak and potatoes are going to be selling for a long time, past this conversation!” The Water Club introduced him to a wide variety of other cuisines, one of which was Cajun. “That was not the forte of the place but we were allowed to be a little more creative,” says Benet. “The guy who I shared the fish station

with was from Louisiana and he, loved Cajun. I learned from him.” Here’s where the story gets a little interesting, Benet says. “My wife worked at the governor’s mansion in Puerto Rico, and we had known each other from childhood. The working chef there was getting old and wanted to retire, and she remembered that I was in the business. I came and tried with a couple of things and he loved it and I was hired. It was such a contrast to a commercial situation because, where you make a reduction from wines you couldn’t afford to drink if important people were coming to your own house, or you have to stock a bunch of things just in case someone wanted something -- in those environments, you have to say yes and run and get it,” he says. Not only did Benet serve senators, congressmen, admirals, and royalty but celebrities, too, like Julio Iglesias. “When he comes to dinner, I’m wiping a table and he goes into the kitchen to say how much he loved something. That’s worth a million dollars.” Benet remembers other times when things weren’t quite so wonderful, like learning at 10 a.m. in one house that the governor was having a luncheon at 12 in another of his houses, or that he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich on the third floor when Benet was on the first and he had to run prepare it, then grab it himself, not even give it to the butler, to make sure it got there right at the moment. But all cuisine in Puerto Rico comes back to rice and beans. “That’s the nucleus of everything,” he says. “Some kind of rice and some kind of grain. It’s a triple-starch-based diet. Plantains, root vegetables, rice, beans, some protein, a little bit of vegetable, lots of intense veal flavor. When the American troops had settled in Puerto Rico, that’s when we started consuming sodium. They loved spam and corned beef in a can, and our

palates started loving sodium. That’s why everything was so highly seasoned from then on.” Benet says he loves corned beef. “I’ll eat it out of a can any time, but I’m a renowned chef, I can’t possibly have canned corned beef on my menu! So how can I reincorporate it without losing its authenticity? I make a biscuit, stew the biscuit, make it soft, stew it in grill sauces so I have exactly the same thing you would make in a can but a far better quality,” he says. Everything in Puerto Rico is highly seasoned. “Probably things that go against the nature of culinary school,” he notes. “You don’t season meat with salt the day before you cook it because you will draw the juices out of it. It does rid itself of some of the juices, but at the time, people liked their meat well-done, kind of on the dry side, and this provided for that and made for a tremendous potency in terms of flavor.” Benet left the governor’s mansion after two years. “I was home at 2 in the afternoon – I’m 26, this can’t possibly be my life. So I started looking for spaces, and I found one in the Old City that I liked,” he says. “That’s’ when I started Pikayo. I wanted to do something different because everything at that time was traditional old-school Italian, Spanish, paella. I decided I was going to do Cajun Creole because that had influenced me a little. I never lived in that part of the world but our cultures had some similarities. They had jambalaya, we had paella. They have gumbo, we have osso bucco. They like food that is highly seasoned. So do we. Here’s an interesting point. Not a single Puerto Rican recipe is intended to be spicy by heat, but by intensity.” In his first two years at Pikayo, Benet says he learned a lot. He did dishes with alligator sausages and chicken. “Some did not fly entirely,” he says. “As an administrator, never having owned a business, there was lots to learn. At the time

we had American wines only, sparkling wine from California, and that struck a nerve with the wine people. It was a small place, only 10,000 square feet. I was so influenced by the French experience but I thought, all that schooling, all that yelling and screeching, I’m not going to do that.” Then something he didn’t expect happened. “You know how life will drive you to the path you have been selected to follow? One day it was really slow at our 2nd location, so I started looking around again. Mofungo was an incredible transformation, it provided for me the opportunity to figure out how to invent, how to represent, how to bring to people the things of Puerto Rico within a menu that’s really a global menu. We have things from all over the world but we have a strong representation of fusion and classical dishes of Puerto Rico itself.” But once Benet and his partners capped off at the amount of what they were grossing, another opportunity arrived. “To move to a museum, a brand new $50 million museum. They provided everything, the facility, the décor, they gave me the structure and we tripled our sales,” he says. “It was a phenomenal transition. And we started to get real press. Jonny Apple came from the New York Times and he called Pikayo the best high-end museum restaurant in the world.” As the company, Museum Restaurant Group grew Benet had an office in the banking district, with 14 people in administration, and he started opening and managing restaurants. “I had a payroll of 200 people. Some restaurants we closed, some we sold. I traveled a great deal, I had a TV show in Argentina and was featured on different shows in the U.S. It was a good limelight time.” Then he was offered his current location, a brand-new steakhouse, which has now been open six years. How have diners’ tastes changed,

Samples of Chef Benet’s cuisine.

over the years? “You can’t be everything to everyone,” he says. “We have had an evolutionary process. You look at things you painted 24 years ago and now you’re embarrassed. It’s been a very gradual evolution. You embrace everything. You can come to this restaurant and see things that are current, what’s going on, local farming based. We have customers who come to these restaurants every single day, and from time to time they say; you have to change the menu. Constantly we are making changes to the menu. It’s not like we haven’t had a stretch of 25 years of accomplishments. Benet has written several books and has his own TV show, “1 2 3,” that airs in all of Spanish-speaking Central and South America. Benet says he is all about preserving traditions and customs. “Fusion is fine,” he says, “but there needs to be an effort placed on things that are of value for the preservation of a culture.”

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Updating Your Restaurant’s Energy Strategy For The Colder Months It is always important to plan ahead whether you are a home owner or business owner. With the summer coming to an end, and the sun and fun behind us we must look ahead.

Peter Kaplan has served as Chief Operating Officer and President of United Energy Consultants since 2005. Behind his leadership and 20+ years


n the energy world looking ahead means preparing a season or two in advance for the weather patterns that Mother Nature may bring us. The fall and winter’s weather patterns of late, have been getting more extreme and with that bringing severely cold weather, and some very large storm. At United Energy Consultants’ we always council our clientele to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Preparation going into the seasons can help reduce your natural gas bill and electric bills by not only saving the restaurateur money but also keeping customers and your staff cozy and warm. We put together some fall / winter energy-saving tips that we pass along to our customers seasonally. Natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful forms of energy in our day-to-day lives. More than 60% of homes in the country use natural gas as their main source of heating. As the winter season comes near, prices increase since there is a greater demand for energy. While you can’t control the weather outside, you can control several things inside to make a big difference in your bill. Save money and stay cozy with these energy-saving, room-by-room tips.

of de-regulated energy and risk

We suggest that you have a professional inspect your gas furnace at least every other year, and do any recommended maintenance. As we tour the trade shows, we see how cost efficient it has become to invest in a digital programmable thermostat for more savings and better comfort. This allows you to save energy by setting your restaurant to a lower temperature upon closing. Each degree warmer can increase energy cost by 3 %. It always amazes us as to how much a foodservice operator can save by simply re-sealing. Seal air leaks with caulk, spray foam or weather strip-

Investing in a digital programmable thermostat allows for more savings and better comfort.

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ping to keep comfortable air in and uncomfortable air out. Start by sealing leaks in your restaurant’s basement and crawl spaces. Next, seal around windows, doors, ductwork and electrical outlets. Don’t hesitate to ask your landlord to help you, because it is going to benefit both of you. We have seen many restaurants move towards the use of compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. You can lower your lighting bill by converting to energy-efficient, low-wattage lighting and fixtures. There are also many programs that are now available from your restaurant equipment dealers that enable you to replace older appliances with ones that have high energy-efficiency ratings. Note: these may be eligible for federal tax credits or rebates. We also have found several ways that you can save energy in your restaurant’s dining areas. Keep shades and drapes open during the day to let warm sunlight in, and close them at night to reduce chill from cold windows. If you have ceiling fans run them at a slower speed to circulate warm air. For those of you that have the ambiance of fireplaces double check that the flue is closed when not in use. It’s amazing how a little com-

management experience, United Energy Consultants has developed several proprietary procurement and software systems that are a benchmark in the industry. Email him at

mon sense like keeping furniture, drapes, and other objects from blocking radiators or heating vents can add up to significant savings. It also makes sense if you are not busy on a “Monday” night, why not just close off unused dining areas. When it comes to your kitchen there are a number of opportunities to maximize your energy efficiency. Cleaning gas stoves and ovens extends the life of the appliances and makes them more energy-efficient. I’m not a chef but it would make sense that you could reach the desired temperature more quickly when heating food by using lids or covers. The basics also include defrosting frozen foods in the refrigerator to reduce cooking time. Why not defrost refrigerators and freezers before ice buildup becomes 1/4 inch thick. Frost makes your unit work harder and wastes energy. Let’s hope for a mild winter but we are here to help.

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Micro Greens, Micro Mints, Micro Herbs, Micro Flavor Crystals! Just Think!


’ve been writing every so often about products and services that really make a difference in my life. I’m naturally attracted to the craft food business, probably because I used to be a cook and manufacturer of fresh pasta. Back when I lived in Charleston, SC-pre-Hugo, I co-founded the only manufacturing company of fresh (not frozen or extruded) pasta in South Carolina. It failed after the hurricane. That’s why I champion small business, because I cannot change the past, nor would I want to, so to make going forward easier I reflect on the past with a smile and give kudos to small businesses that I really like- all in the spirit of giving. It’s my way. Bartending taught me to be insightful and attentive to people. There is Zen in bartending. And that brings me to the wonderfully expressive products from Fresh Origins. From the moment that I opened the box, brimming with goodies from their farms in San Diego I knew that my job was going to be easy. Mint is my passion. Growing up on a farm belonging to my family in New Jersey taught me to appreciate the seasons of growing. I was particularly interested in growing fresh herbs with seeds that I brought back from my travels around the world. As a former cook I made good connections in restaurant kitchens because I spoke the language of food. Maybe not the kitchen Span-

ish, but certainly the feeling that food comes from the heart. I would bring chefs fresh mint and fennel from my garden. No one in NYC it seemed in the 80’s was working with fresh herbs, but times have certainly evolved since then with every variety of micro-green available in 24 hrs. or fewer to anywhere in the world. Cocktails for me are the same thing and the ability to turn an idea into a finished drink comes easily to me. I love flavor and color. Balance is everything- right down to the garnish. Fresh herbs are the same thing. They change from season to season. Their terroir is unique to the place and they speak a language of passion to the creative chef or free-spirited mixologist. When I discovered Fresh Origins I knew in my heart that whomever is growing these carefully packaged herbs and harvesting them, do so with a smile. You can feel it the moment the box is opened. The package was a large, well marked cardboard box, lined with Styrofoam with two freezer bags wrapped in paper (that’s old fashioned a/c for ye!) and I was immediately taken by the product. Each one certainly has a terroir. I love mint… I tasted through all the varieties that I’ve been sent and immediately got thirsty.. And hungry… I wanted to make pesto out of the Mint Licorice and mint juleps out of the Mint Lemon™

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and Absinthe Frappes out of the Micro Mint Lime™ and that wasn’t even before I discovered the Mint Apple Tops and then I started thinking about the marvelous rimmers that they included in my package. There are just so many things that I’m not sure where to begin! Talk about generous! Thank you! The marvelous herb, flower and fruit rimmers are crystalized and infused in pure cane sugar. They are unique in the marketplace as I’ve never seen (or tasted) anything like them. Here are some of my tasting notes: Mini Herb Crystals® Basil. Just like dashing through a basil patch carrying a mint julep in hand Mini Herb Crystals® Mint. Freshly cut mint infused into pure cane sugar.. Oh yum! Mini Herb Crystals® Cilantro. Margaritas will NEVER be the same. Sweet and savory and TANGY Mini Fruit Crystals® Cranberry… reminds me of being in New England. Can you say Rum? Mini Flower Crystals® Fennel… I’m suddenly transported to Little Italy and the gravy is flowing! Mini Flower Crystals® Hibiscus.. I don’t know how they do it.. sweet, tangy, amazing. Mini Flower Crystals® Rose…. This my friend is a trip down the Bosphorus without a passport. A cocktail? Certainly I shall.

Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog The Cocktail Whisperer and the author of nearly half a dozen books, including Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktail and Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails- his most recent book.

Anatolian Steamy Evening Ingredients: • Mini Flower Crystals® Rose - for rim • 2 oz. Raki • 2 oz. Fresh Carrot Juice • 1 oz. Carpano Antica Bianco (Dry Vermouth from Italy of the highest caliber) • Bitter End Moroccan Bitters • Large ice cube Preparation: 1. Coat rim of Old Fashioned glass with lemon 2. Dip into a plate scattered with the Mini Flower Crystals® Rose 3. Add large ice cube to the Old Fashioned glass 4. Add Raki 5. Add Carpano Antica Bianco 6. Top with Fresh Carrot Juice 7. Dot with 3-4 drops Bitter End Moroccan Bitters Serve with a smile and then make yourself one…

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Manhattan A Foodie’s Fantasy This Fall Faith Hope Consolo is the Chairman

New York City and its dining destinations are world-renowned. This fall, a bevy of palatepleasing additions will whet your appetite and have you ready to make reservations. Read on to learn about the most delightful new restaurants our city has to offer.

of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group. Ms. Consolo is responsible for the most successful commercial division of New York City’s largest residential real estate brokerage firm. Email her at


ver on the Upper West Side, a restaurant that’s been a staple for a decade now has received a crowdpleasing revamp. Dovetail, at 103 West 77th Street, recently renovated its dining room and traded in its a la carte service for two tasting menus and prix fixe options. The fresh space and great dining make it worth a visit. Following the success of Blue Ribbon on Sullivan Street, The Ribbon joins the stellar restaurant roster at 20 West 72nd Street. Ask to be seated in one of the hot spot’s cozy leather booths. Midtown West is attracting diners near and far. Two years after leaving The Modern, Gabriel Kreuther has returned with this eponymous restaurant, serving up cocktails and FrenchAmerican fare at 41 West 42nd Street, inside the Grace Building. New addition Lupulo is also nearby at 835 Sixth Avenue, bringing casual Portuguese eats to the city in a friendly, rustic setting. Upland is a real draw, at 345 Park Avenue South, in Murray Hill, beckoning foodies with its Californiainspired fare with an Italian twist. Be sure to book those reservations in advance or drop in for a seat at the bar.

The Meatpacking District is packing an extra punch this fall. Danny Meyer fans have been flocking to make reservations for Untitled at the Whitney, the glass-enclosed museum restaurant designed by starchitect Renzo Riano at 99 Gansevoort Street. Over at nearby 820 Washington Street, diners can enjoy Italian cuisine under the High Line at Santina. In Flatiron, Italian awaits at La Pecora Bianca, 1133 Broadway, Mark Barak’s new restaurant, just beneath the St. James Building. There’s also The Clocktower, Stephen Starr’s elegant restaurant inside Ian Schrager’s Edition Hotel, at 5 Madison Avenue. British star chef Jason Atherton makes his stateside debut at the eatery, which serves up dishes on surprising and photo-opp worthy dishware. Gramercy is delighted to welcome O Ya, at 120 East 28th Street. This highly anticipated sushi spot is the second location for the restaurateurs, who also have diners saying “o ya” at their sister establishment in Boston. Journey to the East Village for some of the city’s most talked about eateries. Among them is Bruno Pizza, at 204 East 13th Street. A collaboration from designer Demian Repucci and chefs Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gu-

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lino, this place features wood-fired thin pizzas and the praise has been piling on for all of them -- including some of the more unique ones, such as the peaches and ham pie. While there, check out former Del Posto pastry chef, Brooks Headley’s, Superiority Burger, at 430 East 9th Street, for affordable, delectable eats. Be sure to visit Virginia’s, a relaxed American restaurant by several Charlie Trotter alums, at 647 East 11th Street. Other must-visits include David Chang’s Fuku, at 163 First Avenue, which has quickly become a critic darling, and modern Korean Oiji, brought to 119 First Avenue by two veteran chefs from Bouley and Gramercy Tavern. Mexican lovers should also take note of Rosie’s, at 29 East 2nd Street, which features a wraparound bar where patrons can watch the chefs cook on a comal, a smooth, flat griddle used to whip up tortillas and sear meat. In the mood for Polynesian? You’re in luck. East Village Gin Palace, 95 Avenue A, was recently replaced by Mother of Pearl, a Hawaiian inspired restaurant complete with a tiki bar and tropical drinks to go with it. In Nolita, there are two delightful additions: sustainable seafood restaurant Seamore’s, by The Meat-

ball Shop’s Michael Chernow, at 390 Broome Street and Rebelle, at 218 Bowery, a modern French offering from Patrick Cappiello and Branden McRill, who also co-own Pearl & Ash next door. The Lower East Side now is home to Wildair, at 142 Orchard Street. The chefs that brought us Contra are serving a la carte dishes in a relaxed atmosphere, including fried squid, a steak for two and littleneck clams on toast. On to Alphabet City, where Babu Ji, a beloved Melbourne chain, offers shareable small plates of Indian cuisine and curried dishes in a chic setting at 175 Avenue B. In Soho, Sessanta, at 60 Thompson Street, the sister restaurant to retro eatery the Gordon Bar, serves up sensational Italian fare, including seafood and Sicilian classics, inside the Sixty Soho hotel. Battery Park City has become a delicious destination thanks to Parm Restaurant, which opened its third and largest location at 250 Vessey Street. Be sure to check out the new items exclusive to this locale, including a special sandwich added in tribute to late food writer Josh Ozersky. Happy fall and happy dining!

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Anchor, from page 14 right out of, without the disadvantages of foam, and when the customer’s all done, they can either recycle it or throw it in the dishwasher and reuse it just like the food storage containers they pay a premium for when they go out and buy them.” Anchor’s products can hold hot food in a heated case, under heat lamps, or at room temperature and, when steam hits the lid, the container still remains clear, due to a proprietary anti-fog process. “Without anti-fog, when condensation forms, it’s like trying to look through a tropical rainforest. All our containers -- whether holding hot or cold food -- stay completely clear. We’ve put integral anti-fog into each lid, so that doesn’t happen,” says Thaler.  “The packaging stays perfectly clear, so that appealing look, that presentation, the ability to capture that consumer with the eye, it’s all there. 

And with the food being visible to an operator trying to move things quickly, this ensures order accuracy, because you can see exactly what you’re handing the customer. “With our packaging, the operator can see the food and get the order right, which saves them from having to give out refunds for the wrong order. It also improves customer repurchase rates.  A customer is more likely to come back if they’ve gotten that right order and gotten it in a good container that didn’t leak and performed well for them,” Thaler says. Perhaps the biggest attraction of Anchor’s products is that all containers are leak-resistant, and for people eating in the car or the office, that can be vital.  “There’s no spillage in the bag, or on consumer clothing, or in the car. Another advantage of this packaging is that a customer can put the container back in the microwave to reheat it if

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New polypropylene containers have ergonomic design and anti-fog technology, are microwavable, and boast consumer-friendly hinged and tear-away lids.

they can’t finish the whole meal in one sitting. If the consumer pulls it out a day later and throws it in the microwave, you don’t have to loosen the lid because the containers are vented and meant for microwaving,” Thaler says.  “You can leave it in the container you buy your meal in, then just stick it in the microwave the next day, and presto! You’re done.  No transferring the food to other containers. “The right presentation of food will drive more

sales and potentially drive sales at a higher price point,” says Thaler. “If you’re selling more and getting a higher ring for it, then our packaging is doing what it was designed for.  Consumers will tend to buy a larger portion if they know they can reheat the food in the microwave right in the container.  There’s ROI in all of that. For more information, go to or call 800-467-3900.

September 2015 • Total Food Service • • 69

The design team has specified and installed the nation’s first ever Electrolux Island suite to maximize the creativity and productivity of Chef Jonathan Waxman’s culinary team. (Photo by Clay Williams.)

Jams Restaurant at 1 Hotel Central Park, New York, NY Culinary Depot’s Posen Leads Kitchen Build Out Of Prestigious NYC Hotel


eil Posen is used to working on challenging projects, but moving a large piece of equipment up 17 stories in New York City, only to set it back down on a third-floor roof was a definite first. It was moments such as these which the regional project manager for Culinary Depot dealt with while coordinating

the entire outfitting of the new kitchen that now serves the Jams Restaurant at 1 Hotel Central Park. Described as a luxury eco-brand hotel, the premises are not only meant to be – and have - everything a guest could possibly desire while under their roof, but it also boasts a Jonathan Waxman restaurant. Along with design-

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ers Clevenger Frable LaVallee, the esteemed Chef Waxman had input with the deliberations and hand-picked much of the equipment currently being used throughout the restaurant. “They designed it how they wanted it, and it was up to us to make sure it came out exactly that way,” says Posen. “We worked hand-in-hand with

this celebrity chef to make sure he had everything he needed.” Posen says his company works very well with Clevenger Frable LaVallee. “They do an amazing job on design,” he says. “There’ a lot of time spent on my end, reviewing what they designed, what they want to see. So we work hours on end, making sure everything

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is exactly what they want to see, that everyone understands together, and correctly, what they’re getting. We provide drawings as detailed as humanly possible, and we sit down with the GC to make sure everything specified can work, and, once it’s installed, functions the way they intended it to.” Going off of just a written spec and drawings, Posen goes to work. “They say, ‘We want an Electrolux oven with these accessories.’ We quote it out, and the customer comes back to us with a contract. Then we go to the manufacturers, create drawings that we input into our layout, with as much detail as possible – one drawing that everyone can understand. We also provide utility and plumbing, and once we input and account for all of the supporting work, we do occasionally catch something which would provide us with an outcome which was not what we wanted – then it goes on to reworking the drawings with all of the information until we are left with the perfect layout.” That’s where Posen really swings into action. “I have to bring it up with the customer, and then investigate it to see if any changes are made. If anything has changed, I need to then consult with the customer to ensure the new drawings properly provide what he wants, and are correct.” Once everyone reviews the drawings and sends them back with approval, the ball starts rolling. “I go in and work with the contractor side-by-side, making sure that everything is in the correct location, and all of the dimensions are accurate, because we do have a lot of equipment that’s custom-fit and we have to coordinate properly,” says Posen. “Can all the large items fit in the doorways? We actually installed a cooking suite from Electrolux, the only unit in the U.S. currently. Electrolux is trying to expand into cooking suites,

Sodir from Equipex was specified by the design build team to give Chef Waxman’s culinary team at Jams the flexibility to generate consistency and stay ahead of the high volume demands of the restaurant. (All restaurant photos by Clay Williams.)

and this is the first time they’ve made a cooking suite and shipped it to the US.” Challenges in getting this suite unit were many, and intense. “Since this is the first time anyone in the U.S. has this equipment, there’s no UL listing on it,” Posen points out. UL listings are used to prove the unit has been certified, tested, and inspected before being put to use. “Anything being installed has to have a UL sticker if it’s connected to power. We had to have a UL inspection; it took some time, but, we passed it with flying colors. Thanks to all the great help by Electrolux,” says Posen. There were also challenges getting the unit in place because it weighed 5,000 – yes, five thousand - pounds. That’s roughly the size of 5 male polar bears. “It was large in size; we had to work to get it in properly. We didn’t

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want to get it in too soon because we didn’t want anyone stepping on a $100,000 piece of equipment -- and not too late because we had to get it in correctly. It was all about coordination, working with everyone, getting everything in correctly. Since this was the first time this equipment was made and installed, we had to do a lot of research. What does it look like, where is it going to be installed, where will the power sources be?” says Posen. “Luckily, everything worked out. You have to not be afraid to step out of the box, to ask the questions that need to be asked. Our main goal was to see, ‘If this unit is to work, what can it serve, what can it do, is it what the customer needs?’ That’s all my responsibility getting the utilities, to bring it up and call it out. If it can’t be used properly for our functions, it’s useless.” One of Posen’s biggest challenges

was installing the Josper Wood Stone oven. “It’s an oven of solid steel, and ultimately, we ended up having to install and use a completely separate exhaust system, which goes all the way up to the roof,” he stated. But, the most important aspect of this kitchen? Being energy-efficient. “A lot went into this. Decisions were made on the equipment systems based on that. We had a Nor-Lake walk in. ColdZone did the refrigeration system - that was extremely expensive. They put a compressor rack system indoors, and did a Glycol loop chiller outdoors to use less energy. It was green, ecofriendly, and more efficient. We had to lift a 2000 lb. unit over 17 stories and have it put back down on a setback roof on the 3rd floor where the unit went. Now that was not easy to coordinate, but in the end, it worked. And that’s the whole point.”

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Creating A Tabletop Strategy For Fall


ate to say it, but Summer is almost gone. Going, going, almost gone are long days and warm nights. BBQ hamburgers and light salads served with crisp white wines and beer are soon to be replaced with hardier fare. What does it mean? In the most simplest terms, it means the return of patrons from the Hamptons and backyards to restaurants, allowing us to reinvent ourselves anew for trends and new looks. Shapes are not changing much. Squares are waning in popularity, mostly due to poor performance

(nothing more unsightly than being served on a plate with broken corners). Long narrow rectangles somehow seem summery to me, and Triangles just never caught on. But there seems to be an influx of interesting organic shapes, neither round not oval, but somewhere in between. These interesting shapes work for entrees as well as salads and appetizers while adding a new updated look to your tabletop. Best part is that you can add one or a few as a lift to your tabletop without a large investment. Organic shaped dishes are available in white and colors, china and

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…..PLASTIC. And the plastic is high end and really nice. Do not think of these as your old hospital green 9” narrow rims plates. These are truly high end. Some of them also have the added advantage of being “green” and have bamboo mixed in giving them color and texture. I love the thought of extending patio season with heaters and some natural-colored organic shaped unbreakable plates.  Beige and browns work well with most food, especially the richer foods that we crave as the weather gets colder. They just seem to enhance fall flavors. Along with the organic shapes, we

Liz Weiss is the President and coowner of Armonk, NY based H. Weiss Co. She is known nationally as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on tabletop design. The Michigan State graduate is also actively involved with WPO-Women’s Presidents Organization. Comments may be sent to

continued on page 90

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Heartland Brings Visionary Solutions To Metro NYC Restaurateurs In Search Of October 1st Chip Card Compliance If restaurants are worried about the move to implement Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) technology for credit card payments -- and the liability that may come back to haunt them if they don’t -- come October 1, there’s no need to panic.


MV is a global payment standard that entails putting a microprocessor chip into debit and credit cards, making them less vulnerable to counterfeit fraud for in-person transactions. Because EMV uses better card data security and is used globally, this standard is being adopted in the United States. According to Mike English, vice president of product development, of Heartland Payment Systems, the most important element for restaurateurs to understand is the big difference between EMV and breach protection. EMV combats counterfeit, lost and stolen cards acceptance. But, he cautions, “Implementing EMV does nothing for a restaurant to stop them from being breached.” English recommends that, in addition to the new technology to accept these “chip cards,” restaurants implement POS systems that have end-to-end encryption and use tokenization, as well. “This results in taking clear text card data out of the restaurant by encrypting it in the secure payment device,” he explains. “When small restaurants are breached but encrypting all card

data, hackers can’t tell what is and what isn’t card data, so the restaurant can’t be harmed. EMV alone does not protect restaurants from a card data being stolen and monetized.” Do restaurants immediately need to switch over to EMV? Not necessarily, says English. “When a restaurant is looking at upgrading to accept EMV, they should go to their point of sale (POS) dealer, and say, ‘In addition to implementing EMV, how can I take clear text card data -- that puts me at risk -- 100% out of my business?’ That dealer should have solutions that will allow the restaurant to accept EMV cards and eliminate clear card text data as well.”

Mike English, Vice President, Product Development, of Heartland Payments

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And the best way to do that? “Encrypt within a secure acceptance device, whether it’s a pin pad or signature capture pad or attended terminal,” he points out. As for wait staff, they don’t need to get all worked-up about the changeover either. “Even when EMV comes, there’s no rule that the wait staff or associate in a quick service restaurant (QSR) cannot handle the card. While EMV cards are designed to be rung by the cardholder – there’s nothing to say in the U.S. that prohibits the wait staff and associates from handing the customer’s card to complete the transaction. A lot of restaurants can keep their same process. Bring the portfolio to the table with all the information on the check and have that card inserted in the folio, then take it back and run the sale, just like a mag stripe card.” Another way patrons can pay under the new payment system is for restaurants to implement a “’payat-the-table’ solution where the device is brought to the patron and the card never leaves the presence of the cardholder,” English notes. “Restaurants need to understand what’s going to work in their envi-

ronment. It really depends on the restaurant type – a counter service and QSR are going to have different requirements than a table service restaurant. A majority of EMV cards being issued in the U.S. will be “chip and signature” vs the “chip and PIN” cards used in Canada and many parts of the world. ” For a table service restaurant, it’s really about chip and signature but in a QSR there may not be any customer verification method. “So you might do what you do with a mag stripe – instead of someone swiping the card, they will insert the EMV card and conduct the transaction, without a receipt printed,” English says. Choosing an EMV payment solution also depends upon the POS system or the payment acceptance needs that merchant has. “There’s certainly going to be times when the POS system has to be upgraded to accept EMV and that cost might be prohibitive for a restaurant. In that case, it’s up to acquirers and processors such as Heartland, to provide alternate solutions, like stand-beside payment terminals that can do EMV. In Europe’s restaurants’ POS systems, payment is not typically integrated with the POS. It’s a terminal they bring to the table, you insert your card, they run it right there with you entering your pin or signing the receipt,” says English. Some restaurants may feel overwhelmed by all the changes that may be coming, like a $15 minimum wage and pooled tips, and now this. But rather than making the job harder for restaurateurs and wait staff, history shows that people tend to tip more using pay-at-the-table payment solutions. “Some believe you have to tip at the time of purchase but with EMV, that’s not necessarily true, even

with a chip and PIN transaction. A restaurant can adjust it afterwards. With EMV chip and signature, you’re printing the receipt, which looks much like today -- tip line, total line, and signature line -- so you can adjust that transaction afterwards,” he says. As for what can be used to facilitate this new system, handheld and tablet devices are used. “The tablet provides the ability to take an order and once you hit the enter key, the order is transmitted right to the kitchen or the bar and it actually reduces the issues with, ‘I didn’t order that’ or ‘It’s done medium-well and I wanted medium-rare.’ And it also reduces the amount of steps the wait staff has to take.” In the past, English notes, the wait staff had to take the check to the table, then take the credit card and check back to the POS, run it through and bring it back, then collect the signed receipt. “With pay-at-table, those steps have been significantly reduced. They bring the terminal and when the patron’s ready to pay, they can complete the transaction right there and even have the tip entered by the customer. What’s been most surprising is that a lot of restaurants that have implemented pay-at-table in Canada have seen the average tip amount increase. It’s a real benefit for the wait staff.” What about debit cards? “There will be a continued growth of debit cards, as there’s actually more of them being issued than pure credit cards. A patron can use a debit card and run it as an EMV signature transaction or if the POS in the restaurant is implemented with EMV PIN Debit, they can run it as a PIN transaction as well, English says. “Both patron and restaurant get flexibility.”

Surprisingly, less than 1% of cards run at restaurants are fraudulent. “Typically, lost, counterfeit and stolen acceptance are not a big issue for restaurants. Electronic stores or gas stations are a lot more susceptible to counterfeit, lost and stolen cards. But that’s no reason for restaurants not to take precautions.” But as good as EMV is, it’s not a solution without including encryption and tokenization, English says. “While EMV can reduce the opportunity for fraud – a card could be counterfeit, card data could be monetized after the restaurant is breached. Encryption and tokenization as well as using secure devices for all payment acceptance within restaurants, remove clear-text card data,” he says. “We’re recommending that the restaurant use Payment Card Industry security standard for PIN entry devices that are secure and cannot be violated. “Heartland Secure combines encryption, tokenization and EMV, so whether you’re doing mag stripe or EMV card data inputs or even key entry, that card data is encrypted within the secure payment device and sent through the POS system and restaurant’s network up to the acquirer processor where it is safely decrypted in our data center. By doing that, you’re taking clear text card data out of the equation so if someone has breached your business, they can’t get anything because they can’t distinguish between what’s card data and what’s not,” he says. Speaking of tokenization, if you have to do adjustments to a transaction, or a void, you can use that token instead of clear text card data. “The mission is to take all that clear

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Heartland, from page 77 text card data, whether EMV or mag stripe, out of the restaurant environment,” he says. Every EMV card issued in the U.S. will have a mag stripe on it so restaurants will still be able to accept payments even from the mag stripe on the EMV card. “Visa, who issues the largest percentage of cards in the US, has stated that there’s no sunset date for mag stripe cards so they’re going to be around for a while,” English says. Restaurants also need to know their level of risk. “Do you accept a lot of international cards? Do you have a well-trained wait staff? Do they match signatures with the names on cards, and ask for ID?” Heartland offers a variety of payment solutions to restaurants. Endorsed by the National Restaurant Association and 46 state restaurant associations, the company offers a series of payment options, includ-

ing out-of-scope or semi-integrated solutions that can interface with POS systems. “We try to make implementation of EMV seamless. There’s a lot of coding and certification restaurant POS providers would need to make on their own to support EMV, as well, that we can help with,” English says. Heartland has knowledgeable people available to anyone – customer or not – with questions about a system, or their risks, 24/7 365, he adds. “The more knowledge you have about upgrade costs, about your real risk, and your options, you can approach this as an actuary,” he says. “I can implement this when I need to or I can implement a stand-beside device or I can just upgrade to a mag stripe and a hybrid reader that has a mag stripe and EMV reader. “That’s what restaurants need to understand. Knowledge is power.”

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Scoop, from page 37 artisanal pizzas to anyone who followed Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. The highly anticipated opening was the third New Jersey location for Blaze Pizza, which debuted in Paramus this past November, followed by a second location in Wayne’s Willowbrook Mall in March. The new Blaze Pizza restaurant, which features a thoughtfully designed 2,700 square foot interior with seating for 60, is located at Clark Commons. Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint”, serving up artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. Since its first restaurant debuted in 2012, Blaze has quickly become one of the nation’s hottest restaurant concepts, with fans lining up each day for the custom-built pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. Each restaurant features an interactive openkitchen format that allows guests to

customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal ingredients – all for about $8. The generously-sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just 180 seconds. Restaurants make their own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (the “Pizza Whisperer”), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature lightas-air, crisp crust. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. “Our mission at Blaze is really simple – we’re taking pizza back to its roots,” said Jim Mizes, president & COO of Blaze Pizza. “By making dough in-

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house, carefully sourcing ingredients, and cooking by fire, we’re giving guests a great way to enjoy artisanal pizza without the wait. It’s changing the way people think about and eat pizza.”

TFS News TFS is proud to welcome Mark Sahm to its team. In his role as the publication’s Art Director the Glassboro, NJ native will be responsible for the production of Total Food Service. With over 15 years of graphic design experience, Mark brings a deep background of success at a number of stops including client work for Hunter Douglas Hospitality, Sotheby’s, and most recently at Starwood Hotels. The Hofstra University graduate has built an outstanding industry reputation for his meticulous nature and a zest to produce results with websites, logos, graphics, and animations.

BSE Marketing’s Jeff Hessel had what he described as the thrill of a lifetime last month. The Long Island based equipment and supply rep had the opportunity to compete in the Maccabi Games in Berlin, Germany. Hessel who is known as a fierce competitor both in business and on the links represented the United States in the Master Golf competition at the world event.

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Increasing Health Inspection Scores And Profitability


he food service industry is complicated! Restaurant personnel are responsible for sales, menus, profitability, hiring staff, training staff, staff retention, brand image, food safety… and health inspections, which many find intimidating. However, health inspections, which are based on the FDA Food Code, don’t need to be something to dread. The key is to be informed about the rules, ensure your staff is following proper protocols and train personnel across your organization. The primary function of any health inspection is pretty straightforward: to protect the public and keep those from becoming ill (or worse) by ensuring eateries maintain sanitary standards for food safety set forth by the regulating authorities. They accomplish this by confirming that food establishments are following proper food safety rules. So how do you keep your health inspector happy, keep that inspection score up, and keep those customers coming back for more? Get back to basics. • Get your managers formally trained in a Certified Food Manager course. This will remind them of the importance of the critical rules and regulations that they learned when they initially began in the business. Sometimes, a busy day or being short-staffed distracts managers from following the basic rules, and

a “refresher” course can be a helpful reminder of the fundamentals. • Train your employees using a Food Handlers program. This will provide your team with basic (but critical) food safety knowledge. The more educated your team, the more profitable your organization. • Conduct self-inspections. This will enable you to catch small issues before they become big problems. For example, if you just received a delivery and it was not stored properly, this gives you the opportunity to take corrective action and remind staff of proper protocols. Otherwise, there could be a spoilage issue, a cross-contamination or cross-contact problem, or other challenges that may not have been noticed until it was too late. • Use temperature logs. This is a valuable tool that will assist you with spotting temperature issues before they become a cost factor or a liability concern. By utilizing temperature logs, you have the ability to take corrective action prior to having to waste product; therefore, decreasing food cost and increasing profit margins. This valuable tool aids in finding temperature issues prior to the health inspector writing them up as code violations; but, most importantly it’s a proactive means to keeping your patrons healthy. • Hire an agency to conduct third party audits. More often than not,

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bringing in an objective third party will boost your profits and increase your health inspection scores. Another set of eyes from the “outside” will see things from a different perspective, which can be invaluable. They can review key elements that the health inspector will be assessing, and point out possible infractions. Be certain to hire someone reputable, someone that knows the business, and someone that genuinely cares about your outcome. • Implement an Active Managerial Control Program. The purpose of Active Managerial Control is to focus on controlling the five most common risk factors for foodborne illness: • Purchasing food from unsafe sources • Failing to cook food adequately • Holding food at incorrect temperatures • Using contaminated equipment • Practicing poor personal hygiene • Do your due diligence. Realize that there is a lack of consistency across the nation – even within individual states - when it comes to health inspections. Operators are responsible for knowing what regulations are applicable within their jurisdiction, so be sure to do the appropriate research. • Attend food safety classes of-

Francine L. Shaw, CP-FS.FMP, is President of Food Safety Training Solutions, Inc., which offers a robust roster of services, including food safety training, food safety auditing, responsible alcohol service training, writing HACCP plans and more. The Food Safety Training Solutions team has more than100 combined years of industry experience in restaurants, casinos, and convenience stores. The company has helped numerous clients, including McDonald’s, Subway, Marriott, Domino’s, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dairy Queen, and Omni Hotel and Resorts, prevent foodborne illnesses. Additionally, they work with restaurants of all sizes, schools, medical facilities, convenience stores, hotels and casinos.

fered by your local health department. This way, you can learn how to meet the standards for your local health department. If you put the above practices in place at your establishment, you’ll be on your way to not only achieving a noteworthy health inspection but operating a successful business as well!

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Egg Shortage: Scrambling for Solutions


he effects of the Avian Flu outbreak that started in April have caused a ripple in the egg market that will continue to be felt in the industry. Price increases in egg products in multiple forms (shell, liquid, frozen, dried) have hit businesses hard across the country. Additionally, companies using products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, cake mixes, pastas and breads are also feeling the pinch. While prices have de-

creased some in recent weeks they are not considered stable and experts are warning that record high prices may be on the horizon later this year. There are several components that contribute to the stabilization of the supply and demand of eggs. Statistics show that as many as 48 million chickens and turkeys either died or were euthanized as a result of the spring outbreak. This has caused a large drop in egg production of compared to last

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year. With the decline in the number of birds it will take time to build egg production levels back to normal. The USDA is working to prevent a return of the virus this fall however the demand for eggs is set to increase soon as the holiday baking season kicks in. The prospect of egg prices remaining elevated has caused operations to get creative in looking for solutions. Some of the options being used include: price increases, product sourc-

Kevin Paider has over 25 years of management experience in the food service industry. He has trained implementation and use of POS and back office software programs, and has opened restaurants as both a manager and trainer. Kevin is currently a Training Manager with ChefTec specializing in on-site trainings, food cost and food safety presentations.

ing, menu and recipe revisions, and cost analysis. Many are choosing to raise menu prices, either permanently or temporarily, on egg items and instituting surcharges on menu items that are heavy in egg content. Most companies are closely comparing vendor prices and some egg dependent companies are considering importing eggs

from foreign farmers. Other options include changing menus to phase out egg dependent items, and altering recipes to reduce eggs as an ingredient or include egg substitute products. Some operations are looking closely at menu engineering as a way to steer their product mix in a different direction or offering deals on non-egg

menu items. From the smallest establishments that have posted signs for customers explaining their predicament to the largest companies utilizing technology and software programs to analyze their costs it is apparent that all will be feeling the effects of this virus for some time.

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I Thought So At the risk of sounding smug, I was not surprised when the Food and Drug Administration announced it was changing the effective date for the posting of nutritional information for those restaurant companies with 20 or more units. Fred G. Sampson is the retired President Emeritus of the New York State


hy was I so sure it would be delayed? Because the requirements are difficult, time consuming, and expensive for various industries to meet. While my interest focuses on the foodservice industry, the regulations include supermarkets, pizza parlors, vending machines, convenience stores, amusement parks, and the alcoholic beverages, which are on menus and menu boards in food establishments. Mixed drinks at the bar will be exempt. This entire proposition can be mindboggling and will require that operators be as exacting as possible in describing the size of beverages, portions, and ingredients. Then there are the questions of who is going to enforce the regulation and what type of penalties will be involved. There is another problem facing the FDA. Legal attacks are sure to take place by those industries, which continue to seek exemptions, such as supermarkets, vending machine operators, and convenience stores. What is really interesting about this issue is its requirements were included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) / the Obama healthcare legislation, and it did not get the attention, which other portions did. The posting delay is welcomed by those operators who are covered; the new effective date is December 1, 2016. I pause here to make an observation. Why am I writing about a law, which, while cumbersome, impacts only the

larger operators and not the independents? It is part of a national trend by consumers who seek more nutritional information about what they are eating, and they are being told by various health groups that “meals away from home” are the most difficult to measure nutritionally and thus, on balance, probably are not as healthy. Did you ever think you would have to identify an item on your menu as containing too much salt, regardless of how many units you operate? You will, if a proposal before the New York City Council becomes law, and like menu posting for chains, it will go national. If supermarkets, convenience stores, and vending machines will have to inform consumers regarding nutritional value to the degree that they, the consumers, come to expect, foodservice industry operators will have to respond no matter how many units you have. Not only will this problem resemble the no smoking issue, but you now have social media to deal with. Undoubtedly, if social media had been in place then, no smoking in restaurants would have been a fact 7 to 10 years before it finally happened. The question of what Americans are eating and the types of foods available are hot topics. Mark Bittman writes mostly about food for The New York Times’ Opinion Pages and he is the magazine’s lead food columnist. My purpose in quoting him is to give you an insight into how much attention is

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being given to what we eat as opposed to what we should eat. Already this movement has had an effect. Trans fats, menu posting, and the FDA and labeling laws are all products of those endorsing this policy. In a Feb. 2015 column Mr. Bittman made the following observations dealing with the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a nutrition panel which helps update and revise federal dietary guidelines. The title of the column is “How Should We Eat?” “The recommendations are perhaps more complicated than we’d like, but they must stand up to Big Food, which will fight, deny, complicate and more, just as it’s fighting the Food and Drug Administration’s better-labeling laws, and just as it’s trying to roll back advances in school lunches. Industry’s job is to confuse every issue, to make sure that what we eat is profitable regardless of its value. In short, Big Food wants the corn-and-soybean status quo. “At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think it would help if we had an overarching statement defining ‘food’ and our rights regarding it, something like ‘All Americans have the right to nutritious, affordable, sustainable and fair food.’ That would signal intent, and a recognition that although the science may never be entirely clear, people’s rights should trump industry’s ‘needs.’ “Policy can make things much simpler. Michael Pollan’s justifiably famous

Restaurant Association. He began working with NYSRA in 1961. Within the next four years the NYSRA more than tripled its membership and expanded from one regional chapter to eight. Sampson played roles in representing restaurants on issues including paid sick leave, minimum wage, liquor laws, a statewide alcohol training program and insurance plans. Comments may be sent to

seven words—‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants’—get at the root, and a more detailed explanation could be executed in just a couple of paragraphs. Many other countries are learning from our mistakes, and beginning to develop national food policies that have some teeth.” “Food policy pits the profits of the very few against the needs and rights of many. We can whittle away at those profits, but it would be faster, healthier and even more delicious if we brought about a transition with more urgency.” The above comment is proof positive of the existence of groups dedicated to insisting that American consumers not only change their eating habits, but also how they should change them. This means that suppliers such as Big Food companies, multi-unit foodservice outlets, and so on will be under continuing pressure to comply, and ultimately, so will independents. Be prepared.

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TFS Features Day In The Life Of NJ Sonic Franchisee Luke Marchigiano


ou’ve seen them, the two guys having a great old time as they eat and drink Sonic products in their car. But it’s not all fun and games at the brand and Luke Marchigiano will be the first to tell you he and his brother, Justin work very hard to keep it fresh and a place people want to go all the time. The co-owners and managing partners opened their first Sonic six years ago and now have two locations, Elizabeth and Newark, with a third coming up in Ewing. Marchigiano says it’s easy to see why they’ve been so successful. It’s all the hard work. “My family has been in the restaurant business for 40 years,” Marchigiano says. “We’ve been with other national restaurant brands, and when my brother and I got involved in the family business, we were looking to expand the brands we were with. We had little opportunity to expand there so we sought out another brand and chose Sonic.” Marchigiano says the two looked for a brand that had significant expansion opportunities and also had some history to it. “We wanted a brand with deep roots, that had survived good and bad economic times, knew how to navigate,” he says. “We wanted someone who had a large advertising campaign, like Sonic. Having the national campaign, with the pent-up demand in markets that hadn’t been penetrated yet, some of the better markets in some of the more densely populated parts of the country, like the New York metro area, were very attractive to us.” Marchigiano says the Sonic brand resonates. “It has nostalgia to older peo-

ple but relevance to the younger generation, too. Sonic has done well at toeing that line and remaining relevant to both age demographics,” he notes. At its core, the business side is serious, of course, but the concept is also fun and a little silly, Marchigiano says. “When I first signed on with the brand, the whole point of the video we saw was to encapsulate what the brand was about. The clip showed people having fun with the brand and not taking themselves too seriously. It’s not just the customer being comfortable in his or her own skin, but also the employees. Everyone’s free to be the way they are and order the food the way they want it. After all, the brand allows you to order what you want, the way you want it. Its aim is to make things you can’t have at other places. That was part of the reason we were intrigued by the brand in the first place.” Marchigiano says the Sonic brand is about two things. “One, having that experience, the Sonic experience. Everyone points to the car hops and the menu, but it’s not just those little things, it’s also about the overall experience – the spirit of the experience. It’s an adventure; it’s not just a transaction. But, at the same time, you can’t just be a novelty. It has to be something that you can become part of, something that’s not just novelty and kitsch, but convenient, something that can be part of someone’s every day routine,” he says. “That’s how you become a successful brand. You find people who make you part of their routine. You find people who patronize you on a regular basis. You’ve got to toe the line between making sure everyone has that experience, while still

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being convenient enough, with service fast enough, and locations positioned well enough, that you can become part of the fabric of people’s lives.” Marchigiano says what’s so unique about Sonic is that customers can experience it in a variety of ways. “If people want an expanded menu, they want the novel experience. Or they can do the drive-thru, if they want a quick service restaurant. The convenience factor lets people order at their own pace and leave at their own pace. Now we’ve incorporated limited service inside, people ordering at the counter and having their food delivered by the car hops. We’re not any one particular category; we’re all of them. We let the customer choose what experience they want.” As for employees, Marchigiano says he and his brother look almost entirely internally for their managers. “It allows us time to feel them out and for them to make sure it’s something they want,” he says. “It takes time to see if they’re someone we want to invest in, and if they want to invest in us. Once that’s mutually understood, we do general manager training and if things go well, we offer them the ability to become a managing partner, with up to 10% equity in the business.” A large portion of the brothers’ success is having such consistency with its management staff. “We take a lot of time to develop them and make sure they’re someone we’re proud to have represent us,” he adds. “If we want to hold on to someone, we don’t lose them. It all started with my dad. He always reinforced, when you find someone good, someone you enjoy being around, you hold onto them.”

A big part of holding onto people is supporting them, not just monetarily, but with continued development, Marchigiano says. “It’s the everyday. If they have a problem, they can come to us. We work in the restaurant every day. My brother and I wake up around 6:30, and call each other to lay out our schedule for the day. No matter what, one of us is in the stores or both of us, from the start of the day till the end of the day and being there with your managers, dealing with things as they happen, is key. Seeing what they’re seeing has been a major part of our success in keeping them happy and making sure we’re all on the same page.” Marchigiano says they do it all. “We’re not above cleaning toilets and working the fryers, but it’s more about addressing the issues as they come up, not letting them fester. If there are problems with employee attendance or one of our distributors, something we can handle right then and there, it frees up our managers to focus on operations.” And is the new focus on healthy eating hurting a brand like Sonic that’s known for its French fries, burgers and shakes? “Our biggest challenge initially was explaining to customers what we were,” he says. “A lot had never seen Sonic before. Educating people on the idea of a quarter-pound burger, fries and a Coke is something that can be had anywhere. While our quality is higher here, they can also customize absolutely everything they eat and drink. Educating people as to what’s so special about this

continued on page 100

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Weiss, from page 74

are seeing a resurgence of dark colored chinas. Rich blues, olive greens, and charcoals. These colors work well with stews, soups and other hardier fares that come with the changes in seasons.  They put us into the mood to nest and return indoors. We’ve noticed that weight of china does not change from season to season. However darker colors signal more weight in both the food and the plate. Those new colors are rich and dense; often plates are actually more than one color- mixture of tones to come up with rich dense colors that blend with interior décor rather than match. Olives, beige, charcoal, denim blue, and amber- darker and richer.

But not flat single tones. Blended tones, like blended tastes and flavor in soup, stews, and sauces. Summer we think of combinations (Tomato and pesto) or standout flavors, as opposed to fall is blends and combinations. This year, china is mimicking this. New reactive glazes allow manufactures to achieve this both in standard (shiny) finished and matte. The matte finishes are “newer” and fresher. While the glaze is as durable as the shiny glaze, most are done on less durable porcelains. Usually these newer looks are not manufactured on the least expensive wares on the market. Not that this is an expensive way to

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update your look, but it definitely is a step up from throw-away china. For many food service operators, Fall brings an uptick in special functions including weddings and parties. A special item can be served on decorated china, but we normally leave highly decorated and densely colored china out from catered affairs as they can interfere with party color selection. However, colored napkins, small throwaway tasting plates (cocktail hour) are nice. It is also important to focus on the preparing your beverage service for Fall. We suggest clear tasting plates and shot glasses for soup shots. They are wonderful and allow the rich col-

ors of the harvest to show through. Glass is also less expensive than china. If you save money on these items, it allows you to spend money on some of the newer more fashion forward items. Texture is a big thing. Reactive glazes that almost look “pitted” in texture. It is also a blend of a few colors so they have a lot of life. No 2 plates are exactly the same. They have an individual look that lends itself to organic shapes. The colors are organic in look – not jewel tones. Rich and hearty and in contrast to the bright white of porcelain- but nice contrast. Don’t hesitate to write or call us. We would be happy to help you review your Tabletop plan for Fall.

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New Foodservice Soups Help Tri-State Operators Serve Classic Flavors Patrons Crave


ith almost half of today’s consumers selecting a restaurant based on their soup menu, Golden Ladle™ launches two new restaurant soup flavors: Cream of Tomato and Cream of Potato. These appetizing soups provide operators with the traditional favorites that patrons expect during the winter season. With soup season right around the corner, Golden Ladle™ makes it easy for operators to provide delicious soups with the scratch-made flavor that patrons crave. Featuring more than 35 premium soups, Golden Ladle

offers operators a wide variety of options from a traditional Chicken Noodle Soup to the two new latest additions: Cream of Tomato and Cream of Potato. Made with high-quality ingredients, these chef-inspired soups de-

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liver a smooth, consistent texture in a boil-in-bag format to allow easy prep. Featuring an already extensive lineup of foodservice soups and sauces, Golden Ladle makes it easy to cater to patrons’ cravings for comfort foods.

Made from chef-inspired recipes, these premium bulk soups boast an authentic taste in a boil-in-bag format that is simple and quick for operators to serve. “At Golden Ladle, we’re firm believers in soup always being in season,” said Tim Shaw, brand manager for Kerry Foodservice Brands. “Potato and tomato soups are a menu staple, and we wanted to make it easy for chefs to add these classic flavors to their menu.” The new Cream of Tomato Soup

continued on page 100

BRAND NEW NAME. PROVEN FLAVORS. Introducing Golden Ladle, a young brand born from a rich legacy of quality and simplicity. Fast, easy, and delicious, our frozen soups and sauces are crafted to serve the demands of your kitchen and the desires of your customers. Ready-to-serve with effortless boil-in-pouch preparation, there’s nothing to add but a great deal to gain. For a free sample, call 1-800-325-3383 or visit

©2013 Kerry

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Baldor, from page 4 the gourmet retail store’s owner, Andrew Balducci. He was trained in every department, learning the food business from the ground up. He expanded and finally took over Balducci’s small wholesale division called “Baldor” in 1991. Mr. Murphy moved the company to a tiny warehouse in the Long Island City section of Queens, NY, and ran the operation with one van and a couple of delivery trucks. Upon his father’s death in 2013, TJ Murphy and their firm’s visionary Vice President of Sales Michael Muzyk have turned the firm into one of the nation’s fastest growing produce and specialty distributors. Currently, Baldor occupies a 193,000 square foot warehouse distribution facility with over 1,000 employees located on 13 acres in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, which it leases from the City. The lease amendment will allow Baldor to expand its facility and relocate its parking spaces to the adjacent Halleck Industrial Development site. Baldor was selected through a public Request for Proposals issued in 2013. The project is consistent with the goals of the Hunts Point Vision Plan to catalyze food-related industrial uses and create local jobs. The majority of Baldor’s current employees are Bronx residents. To fill the jobs generated by this project, Baldor will utilize NYCEDC’s HireNYC program to create a targeted hiring plan. HireNYC is a free City program that connects the City’s workforce development services to economic development projects to provide job access to local, low-income New York City residents. NYCEDC will work in partnership with the Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Workforce1 Career Center to source and screen local candidates for the available positions. “Hunts Point is home to one of the largest food distribution centers in the world, and Baldor Specialty Foods’ significant investment and expansion will create hundreds of more qual-

ity, local jobs for the people of the Bronx,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “Baldor and the rest of the Hunts Point markets are a hub for food distribution and a center for good jobs, enhancing New York City’s connections to regional food networks and bringing fresh produce to dinner tables across all five boroughs.” “The expansion of Baldor Foods to make its home in Hunts Point is another sign that the Bronx is where businesses want to be,” said New York

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State Senator Ruben Diaz. “Baldor Foods’ investment will not only help their company expand through New York’s communities, but the hundreds of jobs that will be created will benefit many families here in the Bronx. I look forward to working with Bronx elected officials and businesses to keep our community growing and our families a strong part of the work force.” Together, approximately half of the food in New York City stores and restaurants passes through the NYCEDC-

managed Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The cluster of wholesale markets sits on 329 acres and support 115 private wholesalers that employ more than 8,000 people. In March 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City will invest $150 million over 12 years to enhance the capacity of the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, strengthen existing businesses, and attract new entrepreneurs, generating nearly 900 construction jobs and approximately 500 permanent jobs.

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Pecinka Ferri, from page 18 You brought on a really bright young chef with your test kitchen. Last year you had a Greek dinner. You have a unique ability to understand the menu needs of your consultants and dealers and then their end-user customers. Talk about how you see that growing out of what you’re doing. Ferri: Nick Mercogliano is a 23-year old certified executive chef. His latest experience before us was with a major health care institution, so he brings us an incredibly varied knowledge base on culinary trends, despite his young age. Nick was just at the ACF conference in Florida as the youngest president of his local ACF chapter, and he’s very active with the health care association, AHF as well. He gives us that window into culinary trends and the lowest-hanging fruit for foodservice and equipment, which is the health care market. It’s the largest growing segment. What kinds of cooking trends should readers be aware of as we move into the new year? Ferri: In pan-Asian there are still a lot of openings going on. Pizza, surprisingly, makes a comeback but a blending and morphing of different concepts. One of our lines, Irinox, has been a key growth instrument for us because of raw and vegan initiatives. We’ve been hearing about these culinary trends for a while, but they’re still very much upon us. With raw food there’s an enhanced need for proper refrigeration and handling. The cooking equipment guys have to recognize its importance in culinary trends. Pecinka: People don’t even think about refrigeration solutions. It’s just a cold box. But being able to hold the proper temperature and being able to get the product to the right temperature rapidly is an invaluable solution for all of those food trends that are the next thing. On a monthly basis we still get calls about wanting to open a burger place. It continues

to be the comfort food. Being that we do have so much experience with our frying business, we’re fortunate to be involved in all of that. Sounds like we have mini-trends that have become not just fads but here to stay. As a rep you need to address that as each of those market matures. Ferri: What we’re seeing is the food hall concept coming into the hinterland. We’re seeing blends of all of those and I was just out on the West Coast in Portland where they have the pod concept. It’s a blend of food trucks/mall food court, where trailers are assembled around a common area. Here in New Jersey we’re working on a few of these food hall concepts. In New York City tons of celebrity chefs will do those next year and all of those are a blend of various concepts. Millennials want an incredible selection of different food products at one seating and that’s why retail grocers are starting to do much better with meals ready to eat than in the past. Home meal replacement has skyrocketed there. It’s the blend of all the concepts and the various permutations of those blended concepts that you’re going to see take over the industry.


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So the rep needs to be able to do a job with a non-traditional, foodservice operator as well as a traditional one? We need on the fly to go from that Mediterranean concept to a Vietnamese concept to a coffee concept. You name it, particularly with our set-up, now that we’re in Fairfield, we’re going to continue to promote these vignettes in our facility where you can visualize the hardware needed to produce any one of those concepts. How can people get in touch with you? Go to or visit us at. PecinkaFerri September 2015 • Total Food Service • • 97

Thirsty environments. Cold Solutions. The cold, hard fact is, keeping beer or other drinks at the perfect temperature for serving makes a difference in customer satisfaction. That’s why we’re raising the bar on “cold” with Back Bar Coolers that offer superior performance needed to keep bar establishments running at peak efficiency. In other words, our Back Bar Coolers beat the others COLD!



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Mangano, from page 24 gas has nothing to do with it. Americans feel they deserve a vacation. That’s why you go to these shows; it validates what you’re thinking or corrects your thinking and gets you back on the right track. That’s a critical thing to do. You can go on the Internet and see all this information. But once you get out there and talk to people, get information directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, the Internet loses its punch. How will the changes in the show make HX more attractive to exhibitors? Having more of the seminars and Ted talks happening on the floor will keep people up there longer, instead of letting them bounce back and forth. It keeps the attendee closer to the exhibitors and gives exhibitors the opportunity to show off their stuff and talk one-on-one. The longer the people are on the floor,

the better it is for the exhibitors. It’s back to the Internet. What can’t be accomplished online is the look and touch and feel. You have to be there and see it, smell it and touch it and taste it, or you don’t know what you’re getting.

it and touch it. There’s been tremendous change in restaurants. You’ve got to go there and see what the cutting edge stuff is. There’s nothing better than seeing it all at one time in one place and getting exposed to it.

What’s the real advantage of the show? We can do our own research on the Web but subconsciously; we filter it to match what our mindset already is. When you go to a show and are exposed to things, it’s unfiltered. Everything’s right there in front of you. There’s always something that takes you by surprise. Hopefully, you’ll walk away from a show like ours, not with one or two new ideas but 12. I didn’t know that product existed, I didn’t know how it could help me, I didn’t know how to search for it. And it’s right there. Whether it’s a food ingredient, or equipment, you can see

Do you think the show can really compete with the Internet, social media, the way people get information today? You can’t talk to someone on Facebook. The digital revolution has certainly changed the way we do business but it’s still a relationship and knowing people and understanding from an exhibitor’s viewpoint what the consumer wants and from the attendees’ point of view seeing what’s out there, what you’re not exposed to. There’s nothing like seeing it firsthand. You can watch a Broadway show on TV but it ain’t nothing like going!

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Sonic, from page 88 brand was what we needed to do.” Sonic’s birth was in the South and Marchigiano agrees there are some big differences compared to the metro New York market. “There’s a very strong part of becoming part of customers’ everyday lives, in the South. In the South, Sonic is a very important part of the fabric of the community. It’s where people go before and after football games, birthday parties. We never initially identified with that up here, but now we’re trying to be more and more part of the community.” Sonic in New Jersey has a community garden on-site. It donates food to the local homeless shelter, works with the Boys and Girls club, a women’s shelter, the YWCA, and holds car washes and fundraisers for local charities, “That’s the fun part of our job,” says Marchigiano. “Not only does it make you feel good, it gets the crew energized. It’s a plus, not just being out in the community but it helps focus the crew.” What advice would Marchigiano offer someone thinking of opening a franchise? “I would recommend they do it but go in with your eyes open. Our brand has done exceedingly well at positioning itself with Baby Boomers and Millennials. We’ve weathered economic storms better than almost any restaurant brand in the country,” he says. “Not too many brands can say, after 60 years, we’re still relevant. There’s a ton of opportunity out there, great markets to be opened. But unless you have an operating partner with extensive restaurant experience who wants to be in the restaurant every day, don’t do it. This is not a passive investment. “Sure, it can be done that way but for us, this is a full time job and we enjoy it because it challenges us in a lot of ways,” he says. “But never forget – it’s something that takes work.” We’ve been told that SONIC® is still growing in the New York metro area and is seeking qualified franchisees. For more information, visit Sonic’s website at

Golden Ladle, from page 92 features the perfect balance of real tomatoes and a blend of herbs and spices. Delivering a smooth, consistent texture every time, this tomato soup mix is neither too thin nor too thick. On the other hand, the Cream of Potato Soup is crafted with large cuts of potato for authentic, scratch-made flavor. Highlighting a delicious thick and creamy texture with a hint of pepper, this hearty potato soup will keep patrons coming back for more.

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Beyond using high-quality ingredients to produce proven flavor, Golden Ladle offers the boil-in-bag format to allow for easy prep and keeps pots clean to help reduce high labor costs. Leftover soup can also be stored and reheated within a 24-hour period to reduce waste. Available in 8-pound pouches, Golden Ladle soups for foodservice yield 1-gallon per individual bag. Kerry provides the foresight and

technology to help develop, manufacture and deliver innovative taste systems, functional ingredients and integrated solutions that delight and nourish consumers across the globe. Kerry has more than 30 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Kerry’s food and beverage brands include Golden Dipt®, Golden Ladle®, Wingers® Hot Sauces, DaVinci Gourmet®, Big Train® and Oregon Chai®.

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September 2015  
September 2015  

Total Food Service's September Digital Edition featuring exclusive news and interviews with Metro New York's hottest chefs.