FDA and USDA Collaborate and Typsy Goes Global

MRM’s Daily Bite has news from the FDA and USDA, Typsy, James Beard Foundation, Preoday and Urban Expositions/Clarion Events.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

MRM Daily Bite LogoUSDA and FDA Team Up

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. announced  a formal agreement aimed at making the oversight of food more efficient and effective by bolstering coordination between the two agencies. The agreement outlines efforts to increase interagency collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness on produce safety and biotechnology activities, while providing clarity to manufacturers.

“Today, Commissioner Gottlieb and I signed a formal agreement to promote coordination and the streamlining of capacities and obligations on shared concerns and jurisdiction,” said Secretary Perdue. “Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act and assigned responsibilities to the USDA and the FDA. The USDA has the knowledge and expertise to support the FDA’s work related to farming. We at the USDA have a motto: Do Right, and Feed Everyone. We believe this joint effort will help us move one step closer to that goal.”

The FDA and the USDA have worked closely over the years to oversee the nation’s food supply. The USDA oversees the safety of most meat, poultry, catfish and certain egg products while the FDA has authority over all other foods such as dairy, seafood, produce and packaged foods. The USDA and the FDA are partnering in many key areas, including the implementation of produce safety measures and biotechnology efforts.

“Secretary Perdue and I share a deep commitment to further strengthening our nation’s food safety system in the most effective and transparent way,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Over the last several months, the Secretary and I have worked closely and identified several areas where we can strengthen our collaboration to make our processes more efficient, predictable, and potentially lower cost to industry; while also strengthening our efforts to ensure food safety. This agreement not only formalizes this ongoing coordination, but presents a great opportunity to expand those efforts through better integration and increased clarity to the agriculture and food processing sectors. Our coordination with these sectors plays an integral role in helping to keep our nation’s food supply safe and secure.”

This agreement is the agencies’ newest initiative to expand those efforts and take new steps to streamline regulatory responsibilities and use government resources more efficiently to protect public health. It aims to increase clarity, efficiency and potentially reduce the number of establishments subject to the dual regulatory requirements of the USDA and the FDA. For example, when a facility, such as a canned soup facility, produces both chicken noodle soup and tomato soup, it is currently subject to regulation by both agencies. The agreement tasks both government organizations with identifying ways to streamline regulation and reduce inspection inefficiencies, while steadfastly upholding safety standards for dual-jurisdiction facilities. This can reduce costs on industry and free government resources to better target efforts to areas of risk.

The agreement also commits the USDA and the FDA to identify ways the agencies can better align and enhance their efforts to develop regulatory approaches to biotechnology, as each agency works to fulfill commitments outlined in the September 2016 National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products and the more recent Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report. These initiatives established a vision for increasing transparency, predictability and efficiency of the regulatory processes for biotechnology products.

The agreement also calls for the FDA and the USDA to enhance their collaboration and cooperation on produce safety activities. The FDA is implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which shifts the food safety paradigm from one of reaction to prevention of foodborne illness. Under FSMA, the FDA coordinates with state and/or territorial government agencies, which will conduct most farm inspections under FSMA’s Produce Safety rule.

Typsy’s Global Expansion

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) has signed on as Melbourne-based hospitality training platform Typsy’s largest client, as the company expands into Europe and the United States.

Typsy founder and CEO, Jonathan Plowright
Typsy founder and CEO Jonathan Plowright

Learning methods have evolved and today, digital access to knowledge is crucial to students’ learning objectives.

Based in Switzerland, EHL is widely recognised as the leading educational institution globally for hoteliers and boasts an impressive alumni network that includes executives and managers of the world’s top companies in sectors ranging from hospitality to finance as well as entrepreneurs and thought leaders. The partnership with Typsy will provide EHL the opportunity to significantly develop its blended learning program, which is offered to more than 2,800 students from 114 countries every year. EHL students will have access to Typsy’s services in February.

Commenting on the collaboration, EHL’s Executive Dean, Dr Inès Blal said “Typsy’s extensive course library, along with our planned custom courses, will provide our students with valuable practical knowledge in hospitality. Learning methods have evolved and today, digital access to knowledge is crucial to students’ learning objectives. With this in mind, EHL is dedicated to developing relevant programs available online, from operational tutorials to more management-oriented content. We are very excited to partner with Typsy, selected as one of the leading providers of online hospitality courses.”

Typsy founder and CEO, Jonathan Plowright, said the company was “thrilled to welcome a learning institution with an outstanding reputation and standing, and is looking forward to creating courses to better serve EHL students.”

The collaboration accompanies Typsy’s strong growth across the globe, which is on track to reach 500 per cent YoY sales growth in 2018, as the company looks to tackle the global skills shortage facing the hospitality industry. Typsy has received, to date, more than $5 million from private investors to ensure the product is well suited to the current and future training needs of the hospitality market.

According to the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association, the sector is under significant threat due to massive skill shortages. In Australia alone, the industry will generate an estimated 84,300 jobs by 2020, but hotels and restaurants will struggle to fill those positions and retain staff. Typsy is determined to address these skill gaps by providing students access to hundreds of bite-sized online courses, designed to complement their studies and upskill existing professionals. Instructors range from celebrity chefs such as Alastair McLeod, to world champion baristas such as Sasa Sestic. Teachers have the ability to tailor training to specific students and groups, create unique content and monitor progress.

Plowright believes helping students gain further access and exposure to occupational skills would help provide further inspiration and opportunity to graduates entering the workforce.

“We want to help young people see hospitality as a career; however, feedback from associations and employers in the industry indicates this isn’t necessarily the case. We believe online learning is the key to changing that. Through the power of video we can help show career pathways, share inspiration from role models and provide on-demand courses to help students develop a diverse range of practical skills,” he said. “By inspiring people to pursue hospitality careers, we can start to close the skills shortage affecting thousands of businesses. Employers tell us what skills they need staff to have, which allows us to produce relevant course topics to help develop those students’ knowledge base. Anything that helps expand a student’s employability is a win-win for the industry,” said Plowright.



Clare Reichenbach has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the James Beard Foundation (JBF). Effective February 20, Reichenbach, founder of CJJR Consulting and a former executive vice president of Strategy and Business Development at BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks, succeeds Susan Ungaro, who stepped down as JBF president at the end of 2017. 

Clare Reichenbach

“After an extensive search, the JBF Search Committee unanimously selected Clare to lead the James Beard Foundation and build on the thought leadership initiatives and ground-breaking Impact Programs implemented over the past 11 years,” said Frederic M. Seegal, chair of the culinary nonprofit organization’s board of trustees. and Emily Luchetti, JBF board chair emeritus, in a joint statement. “The decision was made with input from a wide range of internal and external stakeholders on who would be the right person to expand the impact and operational strength of the Foundation on a global level. In her previous positions, Clare has demonstrated the leadership and strategic vision to oversee the continuing evolution of the Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”

As CEO, Reichenbach, 44, will work with the JBF staff and the board of trustees in directing the strategic, programmatic, financial, and management operations of the James Beard Foundation. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the James Beard Foundation Awards; the JBF Women’s Leadership Programs; the James Beard House dinners and events around the country; the Foundation’s scholarship programs; and the JBF Impact Programs, which include the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change, the JBF Food Summit, and the JBF Leadership Awards.

“It’ll be a privilege to explore new ways for the Foundation to be at the forefront of the culinary conversation, advocate for its wide-reaching initiatives, and provide support to this unique community of change agents,” said Reichenbach, who will report to the JBF board of trustees. “I am greatly looking forward to working with the Foundation’s dedicated staff in strengthening its role as an indispensable organization for culinary leaders around the world.” 

Preoday Launches Hotline

Preoday launched its new Hotline functionality to enhance its mobile and online ordering platform. Hotline, an additional feature of the digital ordering platform, enables restaurants and cafes to take orders over the phone and enter them into the same system as those taken through a proprietary mobile or web app, provided by Preoday. This ensures that the kitchen receives all orders through the same interface, wherever they have come from, along with all order analytics.

Preoday Hotline
Preoday Hotline

When a customer calls the restaurant, staff are able to make the order through the Preoday platform. They can either take the payment details or enable the customer to pay on collection in any currency, with the option of sending a receipt to the client by email. Once the order is made, the operator is able to review, amend and cancel it at the customer’s request.

Although the trend for mobile and online ordering is growing, some customers continue to place their orders by making phone calls. Hotline means that businesses can ensure that orders are recorded with the same accuracy and result in the same level of customer data as if the customer had ordered directly via the mobile or web apps.

“Hotline will help restaurants bring their customer orders together, whether orders come from voice calls, or their mobile and web apps,” said Nick Hucker, CEO of Preoday. “Businesses will benefit from being able to gather even more customer data and the resulting operational and marketing benefits that brings. We’re looking forward to our clients embracing this new facet of our service.”

Hotline is available immediately to companies around the world as an addition to Preoday’s standard monthly digital ordering package.

Healthy Food Expo

Urban Expositions/Clarion Events will unveil Healthy Food Expo, a new family of tradeshows and conferences serving the healthy food component of the restaurant and foodservice marketplace.

The need for a stand-alone event was evident after our 2017 shows as 85 percent of buyers in attendance were looking to source healthy, natural, gluten free and organic products at the show.

2018 dates are set for August 18-21 in Los Angeles and September 6-8 in Orlando – to run alongside established events, the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and Coffee Fest (at the Los Angeles Convention Center) and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show (at the Orange County Convention Center). The event will debut in New York in 2019 co-located with the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York (March 3-5, 2019 at the Javits Center).

As restaurant and foodservice guests increasingly demand more healthful options, operators need to respond to consumer interest and demand with healthy and sustainable menu items, nutritional information, food safety and preparation techniques. The Healthy Food Expo has been established to serve that demand. 

“The need for a stand-alone event was evident after our 2017 shows as 85 percent of buyers in attendance were looking to source healthy, natural, gluten free and organic products at the show,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President for the Urban Expositions foodservice event portfolio. “Until now, there has not been a significant food and beverage-exclusive event serving this segment. And launching Healthy Food Expo alongside our existing events brings an already established buying audience who has exhibited interest in healthy food products.”

Healthy Food Expo West in Los Angeles will be anchored by The Avalon Group, the nation’s largest Organic Food Service broker, has secured space for their 50+ partner brands after the success of their participation in the Healthy Food and Beverage Pavilion at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in 2017.

“This is the place to be to introduce organic, fair trade and sustainable products to the food service market”, said Phillip Waring, President. The Avalon Group provides organic, non-GMO, fair trade and gluten free certified brands to the foodservice, vending, c-store and micro market channels. Waring added, “Our brands saw huge interest and success at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, and we are excited to be working with the Urban team to expand the reach of the Healthy Foods Expo and The Avalon Group brands in the Western U.S.”