The Magnificent Monday edition of MRM’s Daily Bite includes news from CAKE, SHIRU CAFE, KFC, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream and OpenTable.
Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at email@example.com.
Restaurant Resiliency from Natural Disasters
In 2017, the U.S. has been hit with hurricanes, flooding, state-wide fires and other natural disasters. Surprisingly, according to recent data from CAKE, natural disasters don’t always have a long-term negative effect on business. In fact, most restaurants showed resiliency in these times of crisis when looking the effect on revenue and average bill size in hurricane vs. non-hurricane years.
Data suggests many restaurants are able to recover quickly when a natural disaster strikes, presenting an opportunity to help their local communities and forge relationships in the wake of disaster. Restaurants can show their support by handing out free, easy to produce meals, like sandwiches; offering meal deals while the town or city rebuilds; and even providing temporary shelter for those displaced from their homes.
“We see and hear a lot about the devastation that comes with natural disasters, and we recognize that an impending disaster can be very stressful for restaurant operators, Mani Kulasooriya, CEO of CAKE. “However, our data shows that as a whole, the restaurant business is resilient in the wake of such events. Operators facing a natural disaster situation don’t necessarily need to panic. What’s more, after a storm, restaurant operators are in a strong position to assist the community and build deeper ties – whether it’s offering free meals for displaced citizens or volunteer rescue workers, discounts and deals while the town or city rebuilds or even providing temporary shelter, the aftermath of a situation like this can be a time of relationship building for operators, rather than a time of declining sales and worry.”
Key findings from CAKE’s analysis include:
In 2014 and 2016 the southeastern United States (SC, NC and FL) experienced two large hurricanes: Hurricane Arthur and Hurricane Matthew. When compared with the same timeframe* in 2015, a non-hurricane year, restaurants reported a steady increase in average revenue per restaurant, as well as a steady increase in average bill size per restaurant.
Average revenue: $36,977.43
Average bill size: $16.41
Average revenue: $46,931.74
Average bill size: $17.30
Average revenue: $52,082.15
Average bill size: $17.59
In August of 2017, Houston, Texas was afflicted by Hurricane Harvey. When compared with the same timeframe in 2016, Houston restaurants reported very similar average revenue per restaurant, as well as nearly identical average bill size per restaurant.
Average revenue: $50,969.79
Average bill size: $19.80
Average revenue: $53,538.02
Average bill size: $19.68
Free Coffee Concept
ENRISSION AMERICA Inc., a cafe company specializing in free coffee for university students, will open its first U.S. branch of “SHIRU CAFE” on the Brown campus on February 19, 2018. ENRISSION AMERICA Inc. will soon launch SHIRU CAFEs on the campuses of Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University and Amherst College.
SHIRU CAFEs are financed primarily through the sponsorship of companies that aim to improve student life. At SHIRU CAFEs, students, faculty and staff receive free coffee, tea, and juice as they are provided with sponsors’ promotional materials. The cafes will provide comfortable study spaces equipped with electrical outlets and free Wi-Fi. SHIRU CAFEs seek to create spaces where students can learn about the professional world and envision their future careers.
Companies are able to support students by sponsoring SHIRU CAFE. Sponsorship allows companies to advertise on paper coffee cups, on digital displays set up in the cafe, and on the cafe’s website. Company representatives can also meet and interact with students in person at these cafes, as well as conduct recruiting activities in them. ENRISSION AMERICA Inc. has opened more than 20 SHIRU CAFEs around the world.
“Launching SHIRU CAFEs in the U.S. is an essential part of our vision,” said ENRISSION’s CEO Yusuke Kakimoto. “We’re excited about this new challenge!”
Have Yourself a KFC Christmas
KFC launched its new limited-edition collection, top photo, of quality fried chicken apparel and merchandise essentials on the brand’s e-commerce store, KFC Ltd. The collection debuts just in time for procrastinating holiday shoppers to pick up fried chicken swag for anyone on their gift list.
“Our finger lickin’ faithful deserve to celebrate the holidays by giving and receiving some fried chicken essentials,” said George Felix, director of advertising, KFC U.S. “The second round of KFC Ltd. has it all, even the wrapping paper. You’ll spend less time shopping, leaving you more time to enjoy a $20 Fill Up with your family this holiday season.”
With products starting at just $4, The KFC Ltd. refresh includes a mix of vintage-style apparel and prints, unique accessories, along with Colonel Sanders and fried chicken-themed wrapping paper:Like KFC Ltd.’s initial collection launch, the limited-edition items will be available only as supplies last.
KFC launched its e-commerce store in July to fill the void in the fried chicken couture marketplace, featuring apparel and goods, as well as one-of-a-kind, high-value products. This is the first time the collection has undergone a full refresh since its initial launch.
Bruster’s Continues Growth Pace
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream named Thomas J. “T.J.” Tranel vice president of Real Estate, as it continues to add franchised locations at a fast pace.
Most recently, Tranel was store development manager for Batteries Plus Bulbs, responsible for nationwide site selection at the 730-plus unit chain. He conducted market analysis to identify sites with the best sales potential, negotiated leases and managed all corporate build-outs. Before assuming that role at Batteries Plus Bulbs, he was the company’s construction and store-opening specialist, involved in construction of new corporate and franchised stores. In addition, he served as liaison between the corporation and new franchisees. Tranel also has held construction and logistics positions with Famous Footwear and Target Corp.
Bruster’s, which is best known in the Eastern and Southern U.S., is expanding into West and Southwestern markets, the result of an aggressive franchise growth strategy. The chain has commitments to open 30 new franchised locations throughout the U.S. There are nearly 200 independently owned locations in 20 states, Guyana and South Korea.
According to Bruster’s CEO Jim Sahene, finding good sites and negotiating leases is one of the biggest challenges franchisees face.
“Bruster’s has a reputation for providing excellent marketing and operational support to new franchisees,” he said. “By bringing T.J. onboard, we will be able to better support our new owners in the all-important site selection process. Ultimately, they will be able to open their shops faster and be more successful.”
“This is a very exciting time for Bruster’s,” Tranel said. “It’s a great brand with a unique culture, and I am really looking forward to helping Bruster’s and its franchisees continue to grow.”
OpenTable’s Top Restaurants in U.S. and Canada
OpenTable revealed its 100 Best Restaurants in America list for 2017. The list of the 100 Best Restaurants in America reflects the combined opinions of more than 12 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 26,000 restaurants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
From restaurants with world-renowned chefs to breakthrough newcomers, the complete list showcases a diverse group of restaurants in 24 states andWashington, D.C. California and New York are tied at the top of the list, each boasting 19 winning restaurants, followed by Illinois and Pennsylvania with eight, Washington D.C. with seven and Texas with five. Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, and South Carolina all boast three winners while Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia each have two. Alabama, Arizona,Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma andWashington are also represented.
While American, French, and Italian cuisine proved to be the most popular, there is a growing presence of globally inspired cuisines on the list, including Mediterranean, Japanese, Indian and Middle Eastern. The range of cuisines highlighted points to diners’ growing appetites for more exotic flavors and destination-driven offerings.
“While the winning restaurants this year are each distinctive, they all consistently deliver exceptional dishes, impeccable hospitality, and a meal to remember,” said Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “This year’s honorees have risen to the challenge of providing outstanding experiences time and again to a nation of discerning guests.”
The list is generated solely from diner reviews collected between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the “overall” category.
Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2017 according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at https://www.opentable.com/m/best-restaurants-in-america-for-2017/.
2017 100 Best Restaurants in America
1770 House – East Hampton, New York
Arethusa al Tavolo – Bantam, Connecticut
Atera – New York, New York
Barclay Prime – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Barrique Venice – Venice, California
Bavette’s – Chicago, Illinois
Benu – San Francisco, California
Bida Manda Restaurant and Bar – Raleigh, North Carolina
Bones – Atlanta, Georgia
BONDST – New York, New York
Buccan – Palm Beach, Florida
Café Monarch – Scottsdale, Arizona
Cafe Provence – Prairie Village, Kansas
Charleston – Baltimore, Maryland
Charleston Grill – Charleston, South Carolina
Chez Billy Sud – Washington, D.C.
chi SPACCA – Los Angeles, California
Coppa – Boston, Massachusetts
CRUST – Miami, Florida
Daniel – New York, New York
Del Posto – New York, New York
Double Knot – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fishing With Dynamite – Manhattan Beach, California
Frances – San Francisco, California
Gabriel Kreuther – New York, New York
Geronimo – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Girl & the Goat – Chicago, Illinois
Giulia Restaurant – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Gramercy Tavern – New York, New York
The Grill – The Ritz-Carlton, Naples – Naples, Florida
Halls Chophouse – Charleston, South Carolina
Harold Black – Washington, D.C.
Heirloom Cafe – San Francisco, California
Hersh’s – Baltimore, Maryland
Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham, Alabama
The Inn at Little Washington – Washington, Virginia
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – Multiple Locations
JUNGSIK – New York, New York
Kinship – Washington, D.C.
Koi – West Hollywood, California
Kokkari Estiatorio – San Francisco, California
L’Auberge Chez Francois – Great Falls, Virginia
La Grotta – Atlanta, Georgia
Lahaina Grill – Lahaina, Hawaii
L’Artusi – New York, New York
Le Bilboquet – Dallas – Dallas, Texas
Le Coucou – New York, New York
Le Diplomate – Washington, D.C.
Le Vallauris – Palm Springs, California
Linwoods – Owings Mills, Maryland
Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii
Marc Forgione – New York, New York
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier – Washington, D.C.
Marea – New York, New York
Market Restaurant and Bar – Del Mar, California
Mistral – Sherman Oaks – Sherman Oaks, California
The Modern – Bar Room and Dining Room – New York, New York
Momofuku Ko – New York, New York
Neighborhood Services on Lovers Lane – Dallas, Texas
Orchids at Palm Court – Cincinnati, Ohio
Oriole – Chicago, Illinois
Parc – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Per Se – New York, New York
The Polo Bar – New York, New York
Polo Lounge @ The Beverly Hills Hotel – Beverly Hills, California
PRESS – St. Helena, California
Quince – San Francisco, California
Raoul’s – New York, New York
Rasika – Washington, D.C.
Restaurant L – Cincinnati, Ohio
Riccardo Enoteca – Chicago, Illinois
Rich Table – San Francisco, California
RL Restaurant – Chicago, Illinois
RPM Restaurants – Locations
Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar – Galveston, Texas
Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Saddle River Inn – Saddle River, New Jersey
Saint Jacques French Cuisine – Raleigh, North Carolina
Shinsei Restaurant – Dallas, Texas
SHU – Sushi House Unico – Bel Air – Bel Air, California
Sotto – Cincinnati, Ohio
Spinasse – Seattle, Washington
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards – Santa Rosa, California
Steve & Cookie’s By the Bay – Margate, New Jersey
Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch – Santa Barbara, California
Sushi Nakazawa – Sushi Bar – New York, New York
The Table at Season To Taste – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Talula’s Garden – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Toscana – Los Angeles, California
Townsend – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
True Food Kitchen – Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Uchi – Dallas – Dallas, Texas
UMI – Atlanta, Georgia
Upland – New York, New York
Vernick Food & Drink – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Vetri Cucina – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Yvonne’s – Boston, Massachusetts
Zahav – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Zero Restaurant + Bar – Charleston, South Carolina
For the 100 Best Restaurants in Canada for 2017 the awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 500,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 2,000 restaurants across Canada.
Whether it’s the understated elegance of Bar Von Der Fels in Calgary or the authentic tastes of Damas in Montréal, this list illustrates some of the best restaurants in Canada’s elevated hospitality scene, as voted by OpenTable diners. Including establishments with multiple locations1, Ontario has the greatest number of restaurants included on the list with 55, followed by Albertawith 17, and British Columbia and Québec each with 14 restaurants.Newfoundland and Labrador is also represented on the list.
For the second year in a row, Italian restaurants proved to be the most popular among diners. French and Canadian cuisine placed second and third, respectively, while restaurants specializing in Japanese, Mediterranean and Contemporary American cuisines also ranked in the top 100.
“Canada has truly come into its own as a global dining destination and that is evident in the calibre of restaurants on this year’s list,” said Ziv Schierau, Head of National Accounts for OpenTable Canada. “This year’s honourees have excelled at providing world-class hospitality and the finest fare that is a reflection of the nation’s diverse cultural landscape and vast natural resources.”
The 100 Best Restaurants in Canada list is generated solely from more than 500,000 restaurant reviews collected between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the “overall” category.
Based on this methodology, the 100 Best Restaurants in Canada according to OpenTable diners are as follows (in alphabetical order):
100 Best Restaurants in Canada for 2017
Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar – Whistler, British Columbia
Atelier – Ottawa, Ontario
Bar Von Der Fels – Calgary, Alberta
Bishop’s – Vancouver, British Columbia
Blue Water Cafe – Vancouver, British Columbia
Bonaparte – Montréal, Québec
Boralia – Toronto, Ontario
Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant – Calgary, Alberta
Bridgette Bar – Calgary, Alberta
The Bruce Hotel and Restaurant – Stratford, Ontario
Buca Yorkville – Toronto, Ontario
Byblos – Toronto, Ontario
Campagnolo – Toronto, Ontario
Canis Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Canoe Restaurant and Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Carben Restaurant – Ottawa, Ontario
The Carbon Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Carisma – Toronto, Ontario
Chabrol Cafe – Toronto, Ontario
Chez Sophie – Montréal, Québec
Chiado – Toronto, Ontario
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill – Vancouver, British Columbia
Cucci Ristorante – Oakville, Ontario
Da Vinci Ristorante – Montréal, Québec
DaiLo – Toronto, Ontario
Damas – Montréal, Québec
Days on Front – Kingston, Ontario
Deane House – Calgary, Alberta
Earth to Table: Bread Bar – Guelph, Ontario
Eden – Rimrock Resort Hotel – Banff, Alberta
Ernest’s at NAIT – Edmonton, Alberta
Europea – Montréal, Québec
EVOO – Toronto, Ontario
Fishbone Bistro – Multiple Locations (Ontario)
Five Sails Restaurant – Vancouver, British Columbia
George Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Gotham Steakhouse and Bar – Vancouver, British Columbia
Grey Gardens – Toronto, Ontario
Gyu-Kaku – Toronto, Ontario
Harbour Sixty – Toronto, Ontario
Hawksworth Restaurant – Vancouver, British Columbia
Hoogan & Beaufort – Montréal, Québec
Hy’s Steak House – Toronto, Ontario
Ile Flottante – Montréal, Québec
Inn on the Twenty – Jordan, Ontario
Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse – Toronto, Ontario
Joso’s – Toronto, Ontario
Ki Modern Japanese + Bar – Toronto, Ontario
King Street Trio – Waterloo, Ontario
Kitchen76 at Two Sisters Vineyards – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
KOKO! Share Bar – Toronto, Ontario
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon – Montréal, Québec
La Banane – Toronto, Ontario
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa – Cambridge, Ontario
LaurieRaphael – Québec City, Québec
LaVinia – Toronto, Ontario
Le Baccara – Casino du Lac Leamy – Gatineau, Québec
Le Club Chasse et Peche – Montréal, Québec
Le Filet – Montréal, Québec
Lee – Toronto, Ontario
Lupo Restaurant & Vinoteca – Vancouver, British Columbia
Maison Boulud – Montréal, Québec
Mamakas Taverna – Toronto, Ontario
The Marc – Edmonton, Alberta
Mettawas Station Mediterranean Restaurant – Kingsville, Ontario
Miku Restaurant – Multiple Locations (British Columbia and Ontario)
Momofuku Shōtō (Counter Seating – Chef’s Tasting) – Toronto, Ontario
Morton’s The Steakhouse – Toronto, Ontario
Nightingale – Vancouver, British Columbia
Niko’s Bistro – Calgary, Alberta
Nuit Social – Toronto, Ontario
ONE Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Opus Restaurant – Toronto, Ontario
Osteria Savio Volpe – Vancouver, British Columbia
Patria – Toronto, Ontario
Peoples Eatery – Toronto, Ontario
Pigeonhole – Calgary, Alberta
Q Haute Cuisine – Calgary, Alberta
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery – Old Vines Restaurant – Kelowna, British Columbia
Raymonds – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Restaurant Le Continental – Québec City, Québec
Rickshaw Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Sabor Restaurant – Edmonton, Alberta
Salt Wine Bar – Toronto, Ontario
Scaramouche Restaurant Pasta Bar & Grill – Toronto, Ontario
Shoushin – Toronto, Ontario
Sorrel Rosedale – Toronto, Ontario
Tavola – Vancouver, British Columbia
Ten Foot Henry – Calgary, Alberta
TOCA – Ritz Carlton – Toronto, Ontario
Trius Winery Restaurant – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Tzin Wine & Tapas – Edmonton, Alberta
Vero Bistro Moderne – Calgary, Alberta
Villa Firenze – Calgary, Alberta
Vineland Estates Winery Restaurant – Vineland, Ontario
vivo ristorante – Westend – Edmonton, Alberta
Woods Restaurant & Bar – Toronto, Ontario
WORKSHOP kitchen + culture – Calgary, Alberta
Yuwa Japanese Cuisine – Vancouver, British Columbia
Zucca Trattoria – Toronto, Ontario
The complete list may also be viewed at https://www.opentable.com/m/best-restaurants-in-canada-for-2017/.