Starbucks will open or renovate 85 stores in low-income urban and rural communities over the next five years, bringing the total number of these community stores to 100. The chain will also work with the United Way to create job training and education programs in each store.
Cafes across the country are putting their own spin on the affogato, such as Caffe Panna in New York City, which turns the simple pairing of espresso and gelato into a sundae with the addition of whipped cream and other toppings. In San Francisco, Sightglass Coffee branches out with ice cream flavors such as candied honey lavender and sea salt caramel.
Chefs that were ahead of the curve in offering traditional vegetarian burger alternatives are seeing a greater demand for those offerings as plant-based burgers gain popularity at fast-food chains. A number of chefs have created meatless burgers made with whole foods such as potatoes, quinoa or beans as an alternative to processed plant-based patties.
The best wines have a point of view, and the best California syrahs in particular strongly reflect the people and the places where they were produced, Eric Asimov writes. Three of the best examples of these intriguing wines, which tend to surprise even sophisticated wine drinkers with their unusual flavors, are the Ojai Vineyard Santa Barbara County Syrah 2016, the Stolpman Vineyards Ballard Canyon Estate Grown Syrah 2016 and the Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah 2015.
As master taster for Brown-Forman's Old Forester bourbon, Jackie Zykan balances her time between in-house tastings and product development and on-the-road trainings and events. "It's still a male-dominated landscape, but the consumer base is increasingly female and you're starting to see a shift more and more in the different types of roles that women are playing in the bourbon industry," she notes.
Native Grill & Wings is growing in the highly competitive chicken wing business, with a business model that's focused on franchising. "[T]he great thing about our size is I don't have to worry about what Buffalo Wild Wings or Applebee's is doing. I just have to worry about what's going on in my backyard," said Dan Chaon, CEO of the 28-unit chain.
Foreign-born staffers make up nearly a quarter of the national restaurant workforce, according to the National Restaurant Association. The percentage is even higher in the Houston market, where chefs like Hugo Ortega, who came to the US decades ago and gained legal status under President Ronald Reagan's amnesty program, have risen through the ranks and contributed to the local culinary scene.
Restaurant chains including Shake Shack, Taco Bell and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers are experimenting with perks including four-day weeks and salary increases to keep store managers around longer. "The research is pretty clear that the higher the tenure of the staff person is, the higher the sales per square foot in that establishment," said Hudson Riehle, vice president of the National Restaurant Association's research division.
An alderman in Chicago has proposed a ban on the use of polystyrene takeout containers that would require restaurants to use recyclable or compostable containers for takeout and delivery orders. The proposed ordinance also calls for food sellers to have color-coded bins to separate recycling, compostables and trash.
A lawsuit filed by 14 states, New York City and the District of Columbia seeks to block federal rules that would create stricter work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries. Congress did not include the tougher provisions in the 2018 farm bill, and the lawsuit contends that the administration did not properly use the rulemaking process in implementing them.
- Page 1