Waitressing my way through college, I spent some time in a restaurant kitchen, but when FSR launched in 2012, I had my first official kitchen tour. The Angus Barn in Raleigh, North Carolina, offered an impressive introduction into the inner workings of a multi-million-dollar operation.
If you’re a regular reader of QSR, you know that we’re betting on an emerging segment known as fast casual 2.0. With everything from chef-created menus and superior beverage programs to responsibly sourced ingredients and an emphasis on hospitality, these are the players who are taking the lead in limited service and giving casual dining a run for its money.
Mark Verge received two angry phone calls. One guy called him “Mr. Perfect.” They wanted Verge to step off his pedestal and back into the trenches. They also happened to be fellow restaurateurs.What could Verge have said to turn his desk into a complaints center? He told the truth.
Sprinkled throughout this story are suggestions and innovations from restaurant owners and operators, culminating in a presentation of 100 Best Practices to consider for 2017. We thought this list would be a fun and productive way to kick off the New Year, but a list that could be just as important is what not to do.
Dear dedicated FSR reader,Welcome to a fresh online FSR experience! I’m excited to introduce you to FoodNewsfeed.com, our new digital home for FSR magazine and your one-stop-shop for foodservice news and insights.
There’s only one thing better than eating in a farm-to-table restaurant—that would be eating on the farm itself. I was treated to this very experience when I visited Hope & Harmony Farms in eastern Virginia, on a food tour hosted by the National Peanut Board.
Hurricane Matthew has taken a tragic toll in North Carolina, the state we call home, and as I write this column our friends at Chef and the Farmer are watching the Neuse River rise just blocks from the restaurant.
I was into the gig philosophy long before it became the hip lifestyle and economy wave of the future. I’ve valued it from both sides of the paycheck: Hiring talented contract columnists and freelancers to contribute to FSR and, years ago, as a footloose editor who preferred to write on the fly, sometimes in the midnight hours.
I learn something new in every interview, especially when I’m talking with leaders at the top culinary schools. One of the most interesting takeaways from this issue is the concept of teaching chefs to taste—an idea introduced by Peter Lehmuller, dean of the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University.
Funny how we can rewrite history to suit romanticized notions of what might have been. We see that now, as relations with Cuba have shifted and many want to reinvent a nostalgic period that—quite possibly—existed more in the imagination than anywhere in the island nation.
I’m going to bet the first place every reader goes in this issue is page 40, our story on the Top 100 Independent Operators. Everyone wants to see who’s on the list, and who’s not.Then there’s the next obvious question: Why state capitals? Because that ensures we recognize leading independent operators in small and mid-size cities throughout the country—something we endeavor to do throughout the year, but especially in our annual tribute to Top 100 Indies.
This job has a lot of perks, but one of the best is seeing how restaurants and chefs around the country work to help their communities. I’ve long been a fan of the Share Our Strength chef dinners held to support No Kid Hungry—I attended one hosted by Chef Ashley Christensen at her flagship restaurant, Poole’s Diner, back in 2014.
A few months back when we were in the throes of planning and writing this issue, the U.S. Beverage Industry Expo was underway in Washington, D.C. Out of that conference came the suggestion that the industry has entered a “new normal” in beverage alcohol, driven by “disruptive” consumer behavior.
Authenticity. That’s the word that kept coming to mind as we polished off this issue. In most instances, the conversation about authenticity involved food—the integrity of the food supply, the healthy attributes of dishes, the purity or simplicity of techniques in preparing food.