February 15, 2013
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Sequestration threatens meat, egg and poultry sales
With sequestration looming, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is contemplating furloughing food-safety inspectors for two weeks to meet budget requirements. Industry representatives have stated their fear that this plan, which Vilsack says is "the last option," could lead to a shortage of meat, poultry and eggs because producers cannot sell such products without inspection. Supermarket News (free registration) (2/14)
Chef Schenk obviously knows great steak. But he also knows his way around great potatoes. Proof? This clever side or appetizer can even be made with leftover baked Idaho® Potatoes and still stand up to the high caliber steaks at Strip House. Visit IdahoPotato.com for this and other creative recipes and menu tips.
Restaurant News
Bill banning municipal food rules passes in Miss. House
The Mississippi House of Representatives has passed a bill that would prohibit cities and counties from setting up food regulations and restrictions, including requiring nutritional information on menus or limiting portion sizes. The state Senate has passed a similar bill. The Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.)/The Associated Press (2/13)
Applebee's may intro fast-casual option systemwide
Casual dining chain Applebee's has expanded tests of its "Express Lunch" fast-casual option to 23 locations, and will decide in six months whether the concept is popular enough to roll out systemwide. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (2/14)
Other News
Happy Hour
Leading Voices
Joe's Crab Shack's campaign finds its voice
The menu at Joe's Crab Shack has been changing for several years, and the new "100% Shore" campaign from McCann Erickson reflects the true voice of the brand, says CMO Robin Ahearn. "When we go out and get food inspiration, we never go to a casual dining competitor. We go to the lobster shack in Cape Elizabeth or the place in Charleston that’s down the dirt road, where they serve bug spray with the tray of oysters." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (2/15)
Former BK executive turns sights to salad
Veteran Burger King executive Julio Ramirez has turned his attention to produce, with an investment in Miami-based Giardino Gourmet Salads and big plans to expand the eight-unit chain through franchising. "There is a niche for our concept in the marketplace and we can see how it can evolve in the changing landscape of food in the 21st century, where health, taste and customization are coming together at a tremendous pace," he said. FastCasual.com (2/14)
Can eateries take a bigger role in reducing food waste?
Restaurants can play a key role in helping consumers stop wasting food, starting with reducing portion sizes and encouraging patrons to take home leftovers, writes sustainability consultant Nancy Himmelfarb. Eateries are also in a position to create regular dialogues to educate customers about the negative impact of wasting food. GreenBiz.com (2/14)
Culinary Spotlight
Chains trot out meatless meals for Lent
Quickervice chains are increasingly adding non-meat dishes to the menu to please the 34% of Americans who observe Lent this time of year. While fish and seafood feature prominently, there are other options including the deep-fried Mac & Cheese Nibblers at White Castle. "Operators who are proactive are in a much better position than those who are reactive or don’t do anything with Lent," said Technomic's Darren Tristano. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (2/14)
Movers & Shakers
Food for Thought
In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it; they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it.
John Ruskin,
British art critic

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