Monday, July 26, 2010

Cracker Barrel Sucess

Cracker Barrel CEO: Success comes from ignoring discount mania!
By Triangle Business Journal
Copyright: American City Business Journals, Inc.

Michael Woodhouse, president and CEO of Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, is proud of how the chain of 594 restaurants – including five in the Raleigh-Durham area – has weathered what’s being called The Great Recession.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Aboard the Privateer Lynx

Chef Johnny and Steward Beau Churchill aboard the Privateer Lynx in Toledo, OH on July 25, 2010. The Lynx Educational Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization, dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America's struggle to preserve its independence. The maritime challenges during the War of 1812 are taught aboard the American Privateer Schooner Lynx utilizing a comprehensive, interactive program designed to enrich personal achievement through teamwork and the discipline of sail training. The Privateer Lynx was use to teach sailing to the crew and cast of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean staring Johnny Depp. To chart the Privateer Lynx's travels go to our Blog Links.
To follow the story of the Lynx's arrival in Toledo...Click Here for Toledo Port Authority

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Federal Agencies Announce Progress...FOOD SAFETY

Federal Agencies Announce Progress in First Year of Implementing Food Safety Working Group Recommendations

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius today commended federal food safety agencies for their accomplishments supporting the charge of President Obama's Food Safety Working Group, which advises the President on how to upgrade the U.S. food safety system for the 21st century. The Food Safety Working Group, chaired by Vilsack and Sebelius, recommended a public health-focused approach to food safety based on three core principles: prioritizing prevention; strengthening inspection and enforcement; and improving response and recovery.

"I'm proud of the significant progress that has been made to protect public health since the Food Safety Working Group announced its key findings last July," said Secretary Vilsack. "There is no more basic role for government than ensuring safe food and completing the Food Safety Working Group's executive actions is an important step in strengthening the U.S. food safety system."

"HHS and USDA are focusing on public health as we work to improve the safety of our food supply, said Secretary Sebelius. "Our farm-to-table prevention approach acknowledges the complexity and diversity of all the people and organizations involved in food production."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Georgia Firm Recalls Frozen Chicken Nugget Products That May Contain Foreign Materials
Mon, 19 Jul 2010 18:07:44 -0500

Perdue Farms, Inc., a Perry, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 91,872 pounds of frozen chicken nugget products that may contain foreign materials.


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Monday, July 19, 2010

Do restaurants really want feedback?

Feedback...Is it wanted?
INSIDE SCOOP...The Bay Area Source for Breaking Restaurant News

Communication between customers and restaurant owners should be open and direct, yet that’s not always the case. I’m frequently copied after the fact on letters or emails sent to restaurants when the owners refuse to respond; some of them are very successful restaurants. Here is a recent email from a reader wondering whether restaurants even want to listen:

I started a Yelp account a while ago as some friends of mine and co-workers wanted to know what I thought about places. I didn’t write many reviews, and they were evenly placed across the spectrum, and I was filtered out.

Anyway, I don’t really care that much for having people read my thoughts, but frequently I would like to let a restaurant know what I enjoyed, what I thought could have been better, or to say thanks. I wouldn’t ever send flatly negative criticism, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to point something out unless you have a possible suggestion for improvement.

I noticed that Acme Burgerhaus has a feedback system where you can text them immediately. I wish more restaurants would take up this system. Additionally, my question is: do restaurants even want to hear directly from customers unless it is a serious misstep or a transportive experience?

It’s stupid for any restaurant to ignore customer complaints or praise, but most of the time, people are only motivated to write after a negative experience. In this climate, customers like the one who wrote above are golden; they aren’t really looking for revenge or paybacks, but simply want to help.

Used to be the restaurants could file the complaint in the trash, but now everyone is a reviewer and can Yelp their grievances. Many restaurant chefs and owners also have Twitter and Facebook accounts, which become avenues for making your voice heard. Also, just about every restaurant has a website with contact information. However, how they respond is all over the board.

About 18 months ago Julian Guthrie wrote a story about Yelp, including how Doug Washington of Anchor & Hope responded to a negative review. He was so upset, he tracked down the reviewer at his office and asked him to explain. It may be a little in your face, but Washington and others take these criticisms seriously. Of course, not everyone does.

For restaurateurs: What makes you pay attention or ignore an email?

For consumers: If you’ve complained, or praised a restaurant with a direct letter or email, how has that been received?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fresh Express announces Recall

Fresh Express Recall...FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --July 13, 2010 Salinas, California – Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling certain Romaine lettuce salad products with expired Use-by Dates of July 8 - 12 and an "S" in the Product Code because they may have the potential to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. No other Fresh Express salads are included in the recall.

No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. The precautionary recall action is being conducted to reach retailers as well as consumers. Consumers should check their refrigerators for Fresh Express Romaine salads with Use-by Dates of July 8 - 12 and an "S" in the Product Code (see separate listing). Retailers should check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers. Fresh Express customer service representatives have already contacted a majority of retailers and are in the process of confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Northrop Grumman to Shutdown 3 Louisiana Yards

Copyright MarEx Newsletter

Northrop Grumman Corp., plans to close its Avondale, Louisiana shipyard early in 2013, along with two smaller yards at Tallulah and Waggaman as it consolidates its military work on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

5,000 people are employed at the Avondale yard and will find themselves without a job after work is finished on two Navy amphibious assault ships.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fish Tacos a hot growth trend for 2010

Fish Tacos a hot growth trend for 2010
Copyright: USA Today

Not even the Gulf oil spill contamination has put a dent in one of the restaurant industry's hottest growth trends for 2010: fish tacos.At a time many consumers are looking to cut calories and costs, fish tacos are hitting the mainstream as they spread rapidly from the West Coast eastward. California Pizza Kitchen just put them on the menu. They're top sellers at The Cheesecake Factory and BJ's Restaurants. El Pollo Loco recently began to test fish tacos. Two Southern California chains, Rubio's Mexican Grill and Wahoo's Fish Taco, are eyeing East Coast locations. And Taco Bell plans to test fish tacos in its stores next year. "You'd think people would run away from fish today with the oil spill," says Warren Sackler, hospitality professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. After all, 54% of consumers recently surveyed by the University of Minnesota say the spill will have them rethinking their seafood consumption. But the spill hasn't affected sales of fish tacos, according to their largest national sellers.
Consumers are requesting fish tacos because they perceive them as healthier than meat — and restaurants want to sell them, Sackler says, because they're very profitable.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Woman sues McDonald's, alleging bone in burger!

Woman sues McDonald's

Copyright: The Chicago Tribune

A McDonald's customer sued the fast-food giant in Cook County Circuit Court on Tuesday for allegedly serving her a double cheeseburger that contained a bone or bone fragment. When Millicent Brown bit into the burger on July 8, 2008, the bone caused "significant damage to her teeth," which required a root canal, tooth extraction, bone graft and implant, according to the suit.


Was there really a Mr. Lea and Mr. Perrins?

Yes, there were two gentlemen that produced the now famous Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire sauce. In 1835, Lea and Perrins were running a small drugstore in Worcester, England when Lord Marcus Sandys came in and asked whether they could duplicate an Indian sauce he had enjoyed while in Bengal. The two of them mixed up a batch and the Lord did not like the smell nor the taste. They threw it in their cellar and forgot about it. Until, two years later they came across it and gave it a try. They were surprised by its different smell and flavor created by the aging. Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire sauce is now one the the most popular steak sauces in the world. Since that time, the recipe has changed very little from the original. The recipe is made up of anchovies, tamarinds, molasses, garlic, vinegar, chiles, cloves, and shallots. The mixture is still aged for two years before the solids are removed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"You can't do it unless you can imagine it."
-- George Lucas, director

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Michigan Firm Recalls Beef Jerky Products Due to Mislabeling and Undeclared Allergen
Tue, 06 Jul 2010 17:43:27 -0500

M&K II Co., a Macomb, Mich., establishment, is recalling approximately 8,000 pounds of beef jerky products. Click here for the full story from the FDA.
The NOAA reports that the east coast of Florida has a far greater chance of oil washing ashore than the southwest coast of Florida.
Click Here for rest of story.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Colorado Firm Recalls Bison Products Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination
Fri, 02 Jul 2010 22:14:15 -0500

Rocky Mountain Natural Meats, a Henderson, Colo. establishment, is recalling approximately 66,000 pounds of ground and tenderized steak bison products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

CLICK HERE...All the facts from FDA.

Friday, July 2, 2010

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008.
Get the rest of the story from the CDC...CLICK HERE.