Food & Beverage

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Ocean Casino Resort’s Big Game Cocktails

Ocean Casino Resort Offers Big Game Cocktails

by David Klemt

Group of Big Game cocktails at Ocean Casino Resort

Ocean Casino Resort, Atlantic City’s award-winning oceanfront casino and resort, is ready for the Big Game with four cocktails that team with the theme.

Now, by “Big Game,” we all know what I’m talking about. We know the sport, we the know the league, and we know precisely which game is under discussion.

However, due to very “enthusiastic” attorneys, we also have to talk like we’re spies or actors in a mob movie. We wouldn’t want to tempt anyone to file a lawsuit now, would we?

And I’m going to encourage you to continue following this childish way of speaking about the Big Game. When you’re promoting your Sunday, February 12 event, don’t use any trademarked terms, logos, images, etc.

Alright, the Big Game legalese is out of the way. Let’s talk themed cocktails!

Big Game Cocktail Inspiration

Midway through last year, Ocean Casino Resort showed us all their marketing prowess. When news of the Choco Taco’s demise made headlines, Ocean created a cocktail homage: the Chocotini.

To ensure the LTO could be enjoyed by most guests, the cocktail was available at four venues on the property.

Now, Ocean Casino Resort is tackling the Big Game. (Note: I’m legally required to include sports puns when writing about any major game.)

Guests have four specialty LTO cocktails from which to choose. Two representing the team from Philadelphia, two for the team in Kansas City. Each drink is available at venues throughout the casino resort, including their Topgolf Swing Suite (largest in America), Nola’s Bar & Lounge, and the Gallery Bar Book & Games.

In news that should appeal to you and your bar team, these drinks are quick to make. That’s a relief when you plan to be slammed on a particular day.

Of course, you don’t have to attempt to replicate these cocktails. They serve as excellent inspiration to motivate you and your team to come up with your own liquid homages and LTOs.

In case you’re wondering what to charge, Ocean is charging $14 each for the Brotherly Love, Hurts So Good, and Big Red cocktails. The Arrowhead carries a price tag of $15.

Ocean Casino Resort Philadelphia cocktails

Philadelphia

Ocean Casino Resort Brotherly Love cocktail

Brotherly Love

  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Midori
  • 0.5 oz. Lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. Lime juice
  • Club soda to top
  • Lime wedge or wheel to garnish

You and your bar team can build this cocktail in a rocks glass. Add ice, then add the first four ingredients. Top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge or lime wheel.

Ocean Casino Resort Hurts So Good cocktail

Hurts So Good

  • 2 oz. Dark rum
  • 4 oz. Ginger beer
  • Lime to garnish

Another simple cocktail that you can make in the glass. Grab a Collins glass and add ice. Add the dark rum, then add and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge and lime wheel, then serve. If this sounds like a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, that’s because it is one. And like the Big Game’s actual trademark name, be careful using that drink name for legal reasons.

Ocean Casino Resort Kansas City cocktails

Kansas City

Ocean Casino Resort Big Red cocktail

Big Red

  • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. Silver tequila
  • 2 oz. Pomegranate juice
  • 0.75 oz. Triple sec
  • 0.75 oz. Simple syrup
  • Lime to garnish
  • Cherry to garnish
  • Salt, cinnamon blend, or spicy salt blend to rim (get creative!)

Prepare a Martini or cocktail glass by adding a rim. This can be a simple salt rim, a cinnamon blend rim, a spicy salt mixture, or even a barbecue seasoning-style rim. Opt for chilling these glasses ahead of time if you prefer. Add ice and then the first five ingredients to a shaker. Shake until well chilled, then strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lime wedge or lime wheel, plus a cherry.

Ocean Casino Resort The Arrowhead cocktail

The Arrowhead

  • 1.5 oz. Rye whiskey
  • 4 oz. Ginger beer
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 squeeze of Lemon juice
  • Lemon wedge or wheel to garnish

Prepare a Collins glass by adding ice. Add each ingredient, garnish with lemon wedge or wheel, and serve.

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Images courtesy of Oceans Casino Resort

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: February 2023

5 Books to Read this Month: February 2023

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

This month’s engaging and informative book selections will help you hone your culinary, beverage, and operational skills to dial in your business.

To review the book recommendations from January 2023, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Cheers!: Cocktails & Toasts to Celebrate Every Day of the Year

As long-time KRG Hospitality readers know, we enjoy helping operators and their teams program around unique holidays. This book takes a similar approach to restaurant and bar promotions.

Philip Greene’s Cheers! suggests a specific drink and toast for each day on the calendar. There are, of course, the mainstream holidays each month. But like us, Greene also focuses on lesser-known holidays. With consumer behavior shifting toward occasion-based drinking, this book can certainly come in handy.

In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain

Last year, In the Weeds was nominated for the 2022 BookTube Prize in Nonfiction. It’s understandable why this book was given such a nod: it takes the reader behind the scenes with Chef Anthony Bourdain.

“From the outside, the job looked like an all-expenses-paid adventure to places like Borneo, Vietnam, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Libya. What happened off-camera was far more interesting than what made it to air. The more things went wrong, the better it was for the show. Fortunately, everything fell apart constantly.” Grab this book now on Amazon.

Meehan’s Bartender Manual

There are certain books that people in this industry simply need to read. Meehan’s Bartender Manual—written by bartender, educator and author Jim Meehan—is one such tome.

This award-winning book is a must-read for all bar professionals, whether you own a bar, work behind a bar, or are a server. Not only will you find 100 recipes in Meehan’s Bartender Manual, you’ll learn about bartender techniques, service, hospitality, and bar design. Pick it up today!

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

Much like Meehan’s Bartender Manual is a must-read for bar owners and bar teams, Setting the Table is required reading for restaurant owners and teams.

Restaurateur and chef Danny Meyer shares the lessons he has learned that helped him survive and thrive in a challenging industry. Certainly, our industry is changing. But there are still lessons to be learned when we look into our recent past.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

To say Brené Brown is an expert in leadership is an understatement. The professor, researcher, educator, and author has been teaching about leadership for years.

Brown’s 2018 book Dare to Lead focuses, in part, on two crucial keys of true leadership. One is taking personal responsibility. The second is how to recognize potential in others. Without these two elements, becoming an effective leader is essentially impossible. Pick up Dare to Lead on Amazon today.

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Program for Unique Holidays: February 2023

Program for Unique Holidays: February 2023

by David Klemt

"Think about things differently" neon sign

Do you want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Change how you think about holiday promotions.

Several holidays are set against every date on the calendar, and February is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to esoteric.

Pay attention to the “weird” or unique holidays to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing? Why program only around the same holidays as everyone else?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, strange or otherwise. Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

You’ll find suggestions for promotions below. However, the idea behind our monthly holiday promotions roundup is to inspire you and your team to get creative and come up with unique programming ideas.

For our January 2023 holidays list, click here.

February 6: Pride In Foodservice Week

I’m not gonna lie: This is the first I’ve heard of this week-long celebration of foodservice. That’s fairly embarrassing given that this holiday dates back to 1991.

As you’re probably assuming, Pride in Foodservice Week celebrates foodservice professionals. So, highlight your team on social media (with their approval, of course); do something special to show your team you appreciate them; and find a way to celebrate the foodservice pros that visit your restaurant, bar, or hotel this week.

February 7: National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

Is this holiday unusual? No. Is Fettuccine Alfredo in any way bizarre? Of course not.

But you can certainly tap your kitchen team to do something unexpected with this classic dish. Stuff bao buns or dumplings with Fettuccine Alfredo. Create deep-fried Fettuccine Alfredo bites. Find a way to serve it on a stick. Just get creative and own this food holiday.

February 8: Kite Flying Day

Now, I’m not expecting you to somehow create a promotion around actually flying kites. Although, if you have the space and resources, go for it.

Instead, consider focusing on a particular cocktail, like the Plastic Kite or Paper Plane. Is a paper plane a kite? It can be if it’s designed as one, so the cocktail should be fair game on this holiday.

February 10: National Umbrella Day

North America has been slammed by freezing weather and brutal storms. Your guests can probably use an escape from the cold temperatures.

One excellent way for them to transport themselves elsewhere (at least in their minds) is tropical drinks. And tropical drinks tend to be served with the iconic cocktail umbrella. You know what to do: Perfect your tiki or nautical cocktail recipes, create an LTO menu, and draw in your guests.

February 15: National Flag of Canada Day

There’s nothing weird about the Canadian Flag. In fact, it’s one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable flags on the planet.

So, this is your day to celebrate Canadian spirits, beer, and food whether you operate in Canada or anywhere else. Tap your reps, get your hands on Canadian spirits and beer, focus on a few Canadian delicacies, and put together a mouth-watering LTO F&B menu.

February 18: National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day

To be clear, I’m including this holiday because it’s so specific. Obviously, this calls for an LTO or special based on one dish. I’ll give you one guess which dish it is.

February 20: Hoodie Hoo Day

If you’re somewhere it won’t bother too many people, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to yell, “Hoodie hoo!” Did you do it? Did it put a smile on your face?

It’s basically impossible to yell those two little words and not be happy afterward. Well, that’s the whole point of this holiday: happiness. We could all use a dose of happy these days, and this holiday can certainly provide it.

February 25: World Sword Swallowers Day

There are a couple ways to celebrate World Sword Swallowers Day. But for the love of your bottom line, don’t let any of your guests attempt to swallow any swords, cocktail or otherwise!

Instead, dig into the recipe books and find some classics just look right with garnishes skewered by cocktail swords. Or, serve up the Swinging Sword cocktail by Buchanan’s:

  • 1.5 oz. Buchanan’s 18-Year-Old Special Reserve Blended Scotch
  • 0.75 oz. Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. Grenadine
  • Fresh mint sprig for garnish

Add ice and all liquid ingredients to a shaker. Shake well, strain into a coupe, garnish, and serve.

February 27: Telecommuter Appreciation Week

This is another week-long holiday I didn’t know existed. And again, it’s not new—this holiday was first celebrated in 1993.

However, I think it’s more relevant than ever. Rather than encouraging people to work from home on this holiday, celebrate your WFH guests. If your WiFi can handle it, encourage your guests to work from your restaurant, bar, or hotel. And make sure to create LTO food and drink menus to incentivize to do so.

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Image: Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

4 Takeaways from Resy’s State of Dining

4 Takeaways from Resy’s State of Dining Report

by David Klemt

Guests enjoying an array of dishes at a restaurant

The State of Dining and What’s To Come in 2023 from Resy is an informative report that highlights several key developments to watch this year.

In fact, Resy’s report shines a light on ten trends and predictions for operators to consider. However, I’m going to address the four that stand out the most (to me).

For those who may be unfamiliar with Resy, the company is an online reservation platform. While Resy mostly serves major American cities, it does have a presence in Toronto, Canada, and London, UK.

Most importantly, the platform has a unique view of the industry. Resy looks at the industry through the lens of reservations, meaning they collect data concerning consumer behavior in real time.

So, let’s start with some compelling revelations based on reservation data. To view this report in its entirety, visit Resy via this link.

1. 5:00 PM

According to Resy, one reservation time is standing out from the rest. In comparison to 2019 and 2021, 5:00 PM reservations grew by two percent in 2022.

Now, two percent may seem like insignificant growth. However, given Resy’s reach and the platform’s number of active users, the opposite is true.

A two percent increase equates to hundreds of thousands of reservations.

Now, think about your restaurant or bar and consider your reservation distribution. Do you know which hour sees the most reservations? Not an assumption—do you have the data and therefore know the time?

If not, that’s information you need. Not only is this important for scheduling and controlling costs, it’s the benchmark you need to know if you have any chance of tracking change.

2. The Return of In-person Dining

This is one prediction that multiple industry (and even non-industry) publications are making for 2023. It’s the same for hospitality industry platforms: Companies see 2023 as the year restaurants and bars really come roaring back.

But when Resy makes this prediction, they’re using their reservation data to back it up.

First, last summer represents the single busiest season in the platform’s nine-year history. Second, a specific event, a dinner with chef-operator Massimo Bottura, sold out via Resy in a minute.

Third, October 2022. Why is this month worth pointing out in particular? By October, more Resy users had visited restaurants in 2022 than they had during the entirety of 2021.

Clearly, Resy expects this trend to continue and strengthen in 2023. Given their access to reservation data, this seems like a well-informed prediction.

3. Miami

In December of last year we checked out the best states in America for starting a business. Pennsylvania stood out to us for obvious reasons: our Northeastern office is in Philadelphia, with Kim Richardson at the helm.

Overall, Pennsylvania holds the number four spot on the Forbes list. For comparison, Florida slots in at number 45.

However, Miami appears to be an outlier for restaurant and bar entrepreneurs when it comes to Florida.

Per Resy, the restaurant footprint in Miami grew fourfold from 2017 to 2022. Moreover, Resy is seeing continuous growth in Miami. Going even further, this growth is coming from local and outside operators.

In fact, Resy describes South Florida as “white hot for high-profile sequels.” An operator has a top-tier concept? They’re likely to expand into Miami.

4. TikTok

Last week I addressed Datassential weighing in on photos versus videos. According to the F&B research firm, video is now dominating social media engagement.

And also last week, I explained the importance of discovery functionality. Operators who are considering adding a platform to their tech stack should consider whether it will help people discover their restaurant, bar, or hotel.

Resy is a platform that doesn’t just offer discoverability, it’s a core feature. So, when they say that TikTok appears to be a powerful discovery tool for restaurants and bars, that’s likely true.

Now, a poll Resy cites in their report reveals that traditional word of mouth is the top method of discovery. However, the same poll cites that TikTok is the top discovery platform for 43 percent of Gen Zers. Or, in other words, video, or digital word of mouth.

Should operators jump on TikTok? That’s something only individuals can determine is good for their business.

But if they’re courting Gen Z, well…they may need to add TikTok to their social media toolbox.

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Image: Meredith Jenks for Resy

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Datassential: The Flavors of 2023

Datassential: The Flavors and Menu Items of 2023

by David Klemt

Basket of hot chicken wings

Food and beverage market research agency Datassential has some data-driven thoughts on the flavors and menu items that will define 2023.

Featured in their latest Foodbytes report are 20 items for operators to consider this year. There are ten food items, drinks, and ingredients Datassential predicts will be on basically every menu.

And there are another ten food items, drinks, and ingredients the agency feels could suddenly hit in 2023.

For you own copy of Datassential’s 2023 Food Trends, click here.

Prolific Performers

As Datassential refers to them in their report, these are the items “that will be everywhere” this year.

Food

  • Birria. This one makes sense as birria only appears to be capable of continually growing in popularity.
  • Mushroom. In Datassential’s opinion, we should expect more menus to feature mushroom snacks. Also, expect to see (or add yourself) lesser-known, rare, and exotic mushrooms on menus.
  • Salsa macha. Over the past four years, according to Datassential, salsa macha as grown a staggering 339 percent on menus.

Drink

  • London Fog. A compelling earl grey tea latte.
  • Mangonada. Salty, tart, fruity, and bold, the Mangonada is a flavorful frozen drink.
  • Ranch Water. Simple, timeless, and refreshing. In 2022, per Datassential, Ranch Water was the fastest-growing cocktail.
  • Soju. According to Datassential, soju is the third fastest-growing spirit on restaurant and bar menus.

Ingredient

  • Spicy maple. As the image atop this article suggests, expect spicy maple to replace or at least give hot honey a run for its money.
  • Ube. A striking purple yam from the Philippines.
  • Yuzu. Datassential predicts this citrus fruit will start showing up on many chain restaurant menus.

Promising Performers

In Datassential’s data-driven opinion, the following items need to be on every operator’s radar.

These are the items that have the potential to “hit it big” in 2023.

Food

  • Pickled strawberries. Interestingly, this matches up with Technomic’s trend prediction for the US, Canadaworldwide, really.
  • Savory granola. Not only on its own but as an element of savory, healthy bowl.
  • Sisig. A Filipino delicacy with pork belly, pig’s face, and chicken liver as key elements.

Drink

  • White coffee. As Datassential states, “there’s always room for coffee innovation on menus.”

Ingredient

  • Black tahini. The appearance of black tahini is quite striking, making for dramatic presentations. And as we know, striking presentations are perfect for social media marketing and engagement.
  • Cannabis. The legalization of recreational cannabis use in almost half of US states is leading to innovation in this space. And as more markets legalize public consumption in the form of F&B items on-premise, restaurants and bars will add cannabis-infused items to their menus.
  • Cherry blossom, or sakura. It seems that cherry blossoms are poised to take off in the US market.
  • Chestnut flower. Per Datassential, this ingredient is gaining popularity for use in winter baked goods.
  • MSG. For decades, restaurants proudly proclaimed “no MSG” or “MSG-free” on menus due to misconceptions. Now that consumers are better educated about ingredients, restaurants are proudly proclaiming their use of MSG.
  • Verjus. An ancient juice made by crushing unripened wine grapes. It can be an ingredient in a sauce, as a condiment, or to deglaze a pan.

There you have it—20 items to consider adding in your next menu update, featuring in your next LTO, or at least keeping an eye on in 2023.

Image: Scott Eckersley on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

This Year’s Big Trend: Personalization

This Year’s Big Trend: Personalization

by David Klemt

Foam art cap on top of coffee

Ripples, the beverage-top media brand, is predicting that 2023 will be the Year of Personalization with a focus on in-person interactions.

Last year, the bev-top brand behind the Ripple Maker II Pro, named moderation as one of the top trends. When we look at the ubiquity of low-ABV drinks, we see that Ripples was right. And when we consider the proliferation of non-alcohol brands, Ripples appears downright prescient.

In other words, Ripples continues to be proven right about moderation.

Three revelatory datapoints and one generation are partly responsible for the brand’s accurate 2022 prediction. First, in comparison to 2019, zero-alcohol products were up 166 percent. Second, the non-alcohol category grew four times faster than its low-ABV counterpart. Third, non-alcohol spirits have grown by over 113 percent since 2020.

The generation Ripples believes is responsible for non-alc’s growth? Gen Z. In part, this is due to social media and the generation’s aversion, speaking generally, to being embarrassed by drunken behavior in front of the world.

So, proven right about last year’s prediction, it’s wise to take Ripples’ 2023 prediction seriously.

Year of Personalization

As Ripples explains, personalization has long been the strength of digital platforms. Be it an online retail platform or music streaming service, personalization is king.

And it’s easy to see why. Using online shopping as an example, think of the typical customer journey.

A shopper signs up, they click around or search for specific items, and they make their purchases. Soon, the platform is emailing the user about sales. Then, emailing the user items they think they’ll like, based on the individual’s data.

The more the user shops, the more targeted the platform’s suggestions and interactions become. Before the user knows it, they’re signing up for a loyalty program, earning rewards, and giving the platform more of their money.

Well, personalization is no longer only shining in the digital space. Now, businesses are engaging with their customers in the “phygital” space. That is, the physical space as well as the digital one.

As Ripples states, “Nothing beats real human interaction for building connection and loyalty between brands and consumers.” One way to leverage this new relationship between consumers and brands? Experiential activations.

Ripples knows a thing or two about this type of engagement. The bev-top media company partnered with Guinness Korea for a campaign involving 100 bars. Consumers scanned a QR code, selected a design via the Ripples app, and the design was printed atop a pint of Guinness.

You Need Data

Personalization is a long-standing element of the hospitality industry. It’s one of our keys to success: we cater to guest preferences.

However, we can’t do that effectively without collecting guest data. And interestingly, Ripples’ prediction falls in line quite neatly with another 2023 prediction.

As you may be aware, 2023 is also likely to be the Year of the POS System. That is, a tech stack “revolution” is expected to take place this year. One crucial element of a powerful, worthwhile POS system is customer relationship management, or CRM.

Of course, if a POS doesn’t offer a CRM module, the best systems make it easy to integrate with the best CRM platforms.

Either way, CRM is the key to personalization in the digital, physical, and phygital spaces. It’s difficult to effectively personalize the guest experience pre-, during, and post-visit without guest data.

Regardless of whether Ripples’ prediction is accurate—and it’s likely they are—savvy operators need to make sure they’re responsibly collecting and utilizing guest data. If this is the Year of Personalization and the Year of the POS System, the reality is that 2023 is really the Year of CRM.

Image: Hannah Wei on Unsplash

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Global Trends 2023: Technomic

Global Trends 2023: Technomic

by David Klemt

Shawarma stacked with fire in the background

Not content to focus solely on North America, foodservice research firm Technomic is predicting foodservice trends that will span the globe in 2023.

As the firm points out themselves, making predictions is a best-guess proposition. Many of Technomic’s 2022 predictions for Canada, the USA, and the globe have proven true. However, a handful of their trend predictions have yet to manifest.

Further, not all trends will work for all operators and their concepts. Chasing every passing fad or trend is great if you like to watch your costs spiral. Doing so is also an excellent way to confuse guests and stress staff.

So, when considering any trend, make sure it works with your concept, has some staying power, and will resonate with your guests. Speaking to that last point, this is one reason it’s crucial to collect guest data. Making important menu and guest-impacting operational decisions without data just doesn’t make sense.

When you’re done with this article, take a look at our examination of Technomic’s other predictions. The firm’s Canadian predictions are here. And you can read the American trends by clicking this link.

For your own copy of Technomic’s international trends report, click here.

Operations

For 2023, Technomic is making predictions that certainly appear plausible. A number of them pertain to operations.

Kicking things off, sustainability. Driven in part by the global impact of the pandemic, the health of our planet is top of mind for many people.

For example, Canada’s single-use plastics ban is now in effect. England plans to move forward with a similar ban by October of this year.

Alongside such bans, Technomic believes operators—small independents and global chains alike—will implement entire sustainability strategies. These will range “from packaging and restaurant operations to marketing and menu development.”

Does your concept have a dedicated pickup window? Perhaps a takeaway counter? Maybe even a drive-thru? If not, 2023 may be the year you make that change. Not only that, you’ll likely want to position them front and center.

Per Technomic, many consumers are done with delivery. From rising costs outweighing convenience to delivery failures, pickup may become more appealing. Pickup is still convenient, it’s less expensive, and the consumer is in control.

Additionally, many people are well aware of how costly third-party platforms are to operators. In fact, Technomic identifies these platforms and their fees as “the biggest industry villain” of 2023.

Menu

One of Technomic’s predictions is particularly enticing: Lebanese street foods. To clarify, the firm believes all manner of street foods from around the globe will perform well in 2023.

However, they feel Lebanon’s street foods will stand out from the rest. So, think shawarma, labneh, kibbe, and pickled vegetables. That last item, by the way, follows Technomic’s prediction that pickling and fermenting will be hot trends in the US and Canada.

Of course, there are other items that Technomic thinks will shine in 2023. If the firm is correct, there’s a new “holy trinity” to keep an eye on and consider for your menu: sushi, poke, and ceviche. According to Technomic, each performs very well when it comes to takeout.

Interestingly, the research firm suggests that this particular holy trinity will spawn new virtual brands. If Technomic’s predictions prove accurate, some of these brands will focus on fried chicken or plant-based versions.

Speaking to that last point, Technomic is predicting that plant-based will “evolve” in 2023. This evolution will focus on more traditional meat counterparts. Providing examples, Technomic suggests that avocado, modern takes on black bean patties, cauliflower, tofu, tempeh, and seitan will be this year’s plant-based rock stars.

Are this year’s 2023 Technomic predictions going to prove accurate? It’s far too early to tell. However, one thing I can say with confidence is this: their predictions are rooted deeply in data. When Technomic makes a “guess,” it’s always an informed one.

Click here to read Technomic’s report in its entirety.

Image: Slashio Photography on Unsplash

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American Trends 2023: Technomic

American Trends 2023: Technomic

by David Klemt

Pink pineapple against pink background

Foodservice research firm Technomic has some interesting predictions for the hospitality industry in the United States of America this year.

On the topic of operations, Technomic foresees more negotiating power among workers. Additionally, the firm looks at both the economy and pent-up guest demand.

When it comes to food, the US and Canada have a trend prediction in common. And as the image atop this article signifies, a particular color may be a hit on menus in 2023.

Before we jump in, Technomic’s 2023 Canadian trend predictions are here. Last year’s Technomic predictions for America are here. Curious readers can review the firm’s 2023 predictions in their entirety here.

Okay, let’s go!

Think Pink

I want to address this prediction first. According to Technomic, pink is going to be the F&B color of 2023.

As they explain, the color is fun, nostalgic, and photogenic. Yes, operators must still consider the Instagram-worthiness of their menu items. That may change one day, but it’s not today.

Per Technomic, pink also signals that a food or drink may have antioxidants.

Some of the items the research firm names specifically: pink pineapple, pink salt, pink celery, cara cara oranges, and schisandra berries.

Pickle It

This is the culinary trend that, per Technomic, Canada and America will share in 2o23.

Along with fermenting, pickling gives the kitchen and bar teams a unique experimentation method to explore. So, encourage these teams to get creative and add pickling and fermentation to your next menu update.

Of course, that’s not the only reason to consider putting pickling front and center. For many, these preparations indicate a healthy F&B choice. Think kombucha, as an example.

As we know, healthy choices continue to be top of mind for many guests.

One more note: Technomic suggests being transparent and identifying the pickling and fermenting processes your team leverages to produce each menu item.

Economics

For those looking for a bit of optimism in these trying times, Technomic may have what you’re looking for. This year’s report, What We Foresee for 2023, says the following about the possibility of a recession:

“There is reason for optimism in the coming year, however, as any recession is expected to be relatively mild.”

Yes, that’s just one source’s opinion. However, Technomic is known for their voraciousness when it comes to data. So, if this firm is optimistic it could be a solid sign that things are looking up in 2023.

“Pent-up consumer demand” and variations thereof have been making the rounds since 2o21. However, it’s still a relevant phrase.

As it pertains to 2023, Technomic believes on-premise dining may “bounce back” this year. In fact, the firm suggests that people want to socialize and dine in person now more than ever.

Also, delivery and pickup times appear to be growing. So, plenty of people will see in-person dining as the more appealing option in 2023.

Operations

In part due to legislation addressing minimum wage and workplace conditions, employees may have the upper hand this year.

Add the fact that many people seeking work know many operators are dealing with a labor shortage and their negotiating position looks even stronger.

So, we could finally be in for a significant change when it comes to how the industry looks at compensation. More and more workers—and the guests they serve—are taking issue with tipping. Instead, many people outside and inside of the industry want to see operators pay staff a competitive, living wage.

Of course, there are also the hospitality professionals who prefer tips to minimum wage. In 2023, the industry could experience the start of a sea change. Time will tell.

For more predictions and this Technomic report in its entirety, please click here.

Image: Alex Gruber on Unsplash

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KRG Makes First Addition to Team for 2023

KRG Hospitality Makes First Addition to Team for 2023

KRG Hospitality Licensing Program logo

Jared Boller joins the KRG Hospitality team, serving as the agency’s in-house beverage educator, trainer, and menu developer.

TORONTO, ONTARIO—Today, KRG Hospitality is delighted to announce a new addition to their team. Jared Boller, a professional mixologist with two decades of experience, will be available to the agency’s clients for beverage menu development and training. He’ll serve as KRG’s master mixologist for North America.

Boller’s creativity, passion, and humility as a professional mixologist have led him on a journey around the globe. He has established himself as an industry leader, developing award-winning beverage programs in restaurants, bars, hotels, and casinos in several markets, including Denver, New York, Florida, Toronto. Throughout his career, Boller has won several cocktail competitions, educated teams for brands and industry organizations, and appeared in numerous publications.

“Restaurants, bars, hotels, and hospitality are in dire need of not only great employees but educated employees who can execute an owner’s vision,” says Boller. “I look forward to the next stage of my hospitality career with KRG, helping to inspire the future generations in everything related to beverage. My life’s journey has led me to the perfect opportunity with the team at KRG to collectively build future and existing brands.”

Additionally, he was the featured guest on episode 12 of the Bar Hacks podcast. People curious to learn more about Boller can listen to his Bar Hacks episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

With a growing list of accolades and numerous publications to his name, Boller most recently spent three years as the national whiskey ambassador for Proximo spirits. He prides himself on educating consumers and future bartenders on artistry behind the bar and providing history lessons to everyone that will listen. Boller is eager to share his extensive knowledge of spirits, cocktails, menu development, beverage innovation, and service.

“It’s an exciting time for KRG Hospitality, adding to the team just days into 2023,” says David Klemt, director of business development at KRG. “With Jared on the team our beverage programming, menu development and curation, training, and consulting will be even stronger. I know we’re all looking forward to our clients having the opportunity to work with Jared.”

About KRG Hospitality

KRG Hospitality is a storied and respected agency with proven success over the past decade, delivering exceptional and award-winning concepts throughout a variety of markets found within Canada, the United States, and abroad since 2009. Specializing in startups, KRG is known for originality and innovation, rejecting cookie-cutter approaches to client projects. The agency provides clients with a clear framework tailored to their specific projects, helping to realize their vision for a scalable, sustainable, profitable, memorable, and consistent business. Learn more at KRGHospitality.com. Connect with KRG Hospitality and the Bar Hacks podcast on social: KRG Twitter, Bar Hacks Twitter, KRG Media Twitter, KRG LinkedIn.

Image: KRG Hospitality

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Canadian Trends 2023: Technomic

Canadian Trends 2023: Technomic

by David Klemt

Tortilla with beans, cotija cheese and egg

Restaurant, bar, and hotel operators will find this year’s data-driven trend predictions from Technomic for 2023 insightful.

Interestingly but perhaps not surprisingly, some operators may be looking beyond North America for inspiration.

Per Technomic, Central and South American cuisines could influence menus in Canada this year. Other food trends that might take hold are “retro” health items, and all manner of pickled foods.

Of course, not every Canadian trend prediction involves F&B. According to Technomic, tech and the guest experience will play important roles.

To review last year’s Technomic predictions, click here. Now, let’s jump into Technomic’s 2023 predictions.

Guest Experience

Certainly, the guest experience should always be top of mind for operators, their leadership teams, and their staff.

In this instance, Technomic isn’t suggesting that the guest experience in general will be a trend. Obviously, with as important as it is to the success of any business, it’s a cornerstone.

Rather, Technomic predicts that guests will continue to feel the need to rein in their spending due to ricing costs and prices. However, the foodservice research firm also believes there’s still heavy desire for social interaction.

So, both those financial and social influences translate to the following: overdelivery.

Operators and their teams must ensure they position their brands well; make guests feel special every visit; and really dial in the guest experience. Specifically, Technomic suggests focusing on younger generations and menus with at least a couple specialty items that aren’t easy for a guest to replicate at home.

In other words, do whatever it takes to entice guests with memorable experience and quality menu items, and keep them coming back for more.

Technology

Multiple industry sources believe that 2023 is the Year of Tech for the hospitality industry. In particular, some sources believe that POS systems will receive significant attention from operators looking to upgrade.

Compellingly, Technomic sees the situation a bit differently. In particular, they’re suggesting that QR code menus may find themselves on the sidelines. Traditional menu, according to Technomic, will make their comeback this year.

Also making a (possible) resurgence? Per Technomic, in-person ordering for carryout and in-person dining.

As far as tech innovations that Technomic expects to take off this year, they see the following as standouts:

  • loyalty programs;
  • enhanced/upgraded cooking equipment;
  • automated inventory software/platforms; and
  • digital menu boards for back of house.

Culinary

As hinted at above, Central and South American cuisines are expected to take off in Canada, per Technomic.

The research firm provides specific—and delicious—examples:

  • Honduras: Baleadas tacos
  • Dominican Republic: Wasakaka sauce
  • El Salvador: Curtido slaw or relish
  • Peru: Aji amarillo and rocoto peppers
  • Bolivia: Saltenas, similar to empanadas

Another culinary trend Technomic predicts will perform well in Canada? Pickled everything.

Okay, maybe not everything. However, Technomic expects “pickling, fermenting, dehydrating and freeze-drying” to “increasingly pop up on menus.” The firm expects that operators will offer a wide range of “unusually pickled items outside of the typical veggies, including proteins and seeds.”

So, if you’re an operator reading this, it may be time to motivate your back-of-house staff to get creative with their pickling ideas.

Finally, pandemic-driven, health-based trend foods like turmeric and ginger may start to fade in popularity. Instead, predicts Technomic, items with “classic” health descriptors such as “natural,” “real,” “free,” “reduced,” and “lower” will get attention from guests looking to eat and drink healthier.

For your own copy of this Technomic report in its entirety, click here.

Image: Roman Odintsov on Pexels

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