Actor Cameron Diaz and businesswoman Katherine Power, friends who introduced their vegan wine brand Avaline last year and watched it earn $9.5 million in a funding round in May, talk about launching their brand during a pandemic, setting goals for the company and taking part in an industry where female founders are few and far between. "[W]e felt like being women was just a really great opportunity because we were speaking to our consumer, who is largely female," Diaz said.
Save time and labor in the kitchen Many restaurants are still working with below-average staffing levels due to the pandemic. Fully cooked meatballs are a time-saving solution that can help operators keep up as restaurant visits ramp up. This interactive infographic illustrates the popularity, versatility and labor-saving potential of meatballs.
Mindfulness can be practiced in almost any situation to improve your focus, regulate your emotions, set better goals and be more grateful, writes LaRae Quy. "At its core, mindfulness allows us to observe our interior thoughts and external circumstances with compassion and a lack of judgment, no matter how harsh the reality," she writes.
The already growing category of ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages surged 26.4% last year, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, amid pandemic-related bar and restaurant closures. Brands including Molson Coors and Bud Light launched new hard seltzers last year and non-alcoholic beverage brand AriZona Beverages teamed with Heineken to develop hard seltzers.
PepsiCo's latest diversity, equity and inclusion report offers insights into the company's progress on promoting women and people of color and tackling bias in the workplace. "This means further evaluating our recruitment, development, and retention practices, reshaping the workplace culture to foster inclusion, and better mitigating unconscious bias and stereotypes," says Ronald Schellekens, executive vice president and global chief HR officer.
Earlier this year, McDonald's set a goal to have 35% of its leadership roles filled by people from underrepresented groups by 2025, and the chain is also planning to grow diversity among its largest suppliers. By 2025, McDonald's plans to have one quarter of its US supply chain spending be with diverse-owned suppliers, an increase from current levels of about 23%.
Partake Foods has opened the application period for its second virtual internship program as it works to elevate students from historically Black colleges and universities in the industry. "Fellows have the opportunity to work with and learn from a company that is really walking the walk of what it means to be a diverse and welcoming and inclusive workplace," said CEO Denise Woodard.
B&G Foods aims to support diversity in the culinary industry by issuing five $10,000 scholarships to students from different backgrounds attending The Culinary Institute of America each year for the next eight years, for a total pledge of $1 million. "Food is a universal language, and B&G Foods believes that the culinary arts are made infinitely more powerful with a diverse blend of people and perspectives," said Jordan Greenberg, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of B&G Foods.
Franchisee Ampex Brands' purchase of Au Bon Pain last month marks the beginning of a plan to grow the bakery-cafe brand with a combination of traditional units and new formats designed to keep younger consumers engaged with the brand after college, said Ericka Garza, brand president. "We're looking at all different types of formats to modernize. We find that food trucks and ghost kitchens could be a good solution," Garza said.
Emma Alexander, beverage director for the Denver-based Bonanno Concepts restaurant group, says she felt like a "unicorn" when she started bartending in the late 1990s, so she hopes that, as a Black woman, she can inspire others aiming to work in the industry. Alexander, who also serves as co-president of the Colorado chapter of Women Who Whiskey, works with Bonanno businesses' bartenders and managers to shape drink menus that complement each concept's atmosphere and food offerings, and she's always on the lookout for the latest drink trends.
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