SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Busy As Bees!

Posted by Emma Norbut

Sep 4, 2018 3:23:13 PM

Fall is approaching, which means that the SugarCreek bees are busily preparing for winter. Bees are often associated with sunshine, warm weather, and bright colorful flowers. In actuality, they have to work just as hard in the winter as they do in the summer!

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Topics: BeeKeeping, Sustainability

Celebrating Pollinator Week 2018

Posted by Emma Norbut

Jun 21, 2018 11:15:00 AM

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Topics: BeeKeeping, Sustainability

Act Small, Think Big: The Beginning of a Beekeeping Journey at SugarCreek

Posted by Emma Norbut

Apr 26, 2018 3:54:12 PM

When you think of bee boxes, planting clover and wildflowers, SugarCreek may not be the first thing that comes to mind. As a food manufacturing company, our priorities are health, safety, and .. well ..  makin’ bacon, right? Right: making a quality product for our customers is our number one priority, but the reality is that SugarCreek would not be able to do what we do without bees. So, to say the least, we owe them a lot.

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Topics: Sustainability, BeeKeeping

Sous Vide Protein Choices Make Fast Casual Service Even Better

Posted by Jeff Cowles

Nov 21, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In an era when fast casual growth is beginning to slow and the segment faces increased competition from QSRs, convenience stores and ready-to-eat grocery brands, fast casual restaurants must find new ways to regain their competitive advantage. Sous vide protein choices could be the answer.

Incorporating sous vide prep gives fast casual chefs and managers the time they need to focus on food quality, value, and overall dining experience — 3 areas fast casual outlets must get right to outperform their less expensive competitors.

Today, let’s take an in-depth look at how sous vide cooking can help your restaurant in each area.

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Topics: Food Service, Fast Casual, Sous Vide

3 Ways Restaurant Operations Can Improve Customer Satisfaction

Posted by Frank Barcelona

Nov 18, 2016 11:30:00 AM

No matter what the goals of your restaurant chain may be, rest assured that you won't achieve them without customer satisfaction. There's not enough volume to depend on one-and-done visitors, so each facet of the company shares responsibility for coaxing those visitors back. Smart managers understand that while most operational work is done "behind the scenes," that work has a large impact — positive or negative —on that all-important customer satisfaction metric. Operational managers at all levels need to incorporate customer satisfaction into their workflow decisions, even if their actions don't have any direct and immediate customer impact.

There are three basic areas where restaurant operations and counter-level customer service overlap.

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Topics: Food Service, Supply Chain

2 Ways to Use Sous Vide Protein Choices in the Restaurant Kitchen

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Nov 7, 2016 11:30:00 AM

QSR and fast casual restaurants face increasing competition from convenience and grocery stores. That’s because customers are increasingly drawn toward food they can buy and eat fast. Modern consumers are constantly on the go; they need meals ready to eat right out of the package. And quick-marts and convenience stores have learned the language that attracts them, according to QSR Magazine contributor Daniel P. Smith.

“Forget your grandfather. These aren’t even your father’s convenience stores,” Smith wrote. “There are menus touting spicy chorizo and smoked Gouda on ciabatta, baked tilapia and arabica coffee. There’s signage broadcasting terms like artisanal, organic and free range.”

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Topics: Food Service, Sous Vide

Sous Vide Protein Choices Could Help Struggling Restaurants

Posted by Steve Shutte

Nov 4, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Realistically, there are only so many proteins available to a restaurant, and so many ways to prepare those proteins in the time and space afforded to a busy commercial prep kitchen. So, what's an innovation-starved — pun intended— restaurant industry to do to woo jaded consumers? Believe it or not, the answer is actually outsourcing. When your kitchen is small, your protein choices are limited, and your prep time grows shorter as lines grow longer. The answer is to utilize the work of your suppliers to add value to your own plates.

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Topics: Food Service, Sous Vide

When It Comes to Sous Vide, Accept No Substitute

Posted by Alan Riney

Oct 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The complicated inverse relationship between time and flavor in quick service has spurred a number of kitchen innovations — like the conveyor-belt oven or new freezing techniques — that have been perfected over the years. With an audience of hungry customers who are low on time, but still toting high expectations, prep staff is having to work harder than ever to make their QSR chains stand out today.

Like most procurement and counter-delivered solutions in the fast food industry, for every true innovation, there's a host of pretenders to the throne, particularly when new and exciting trends emerge. Sous vide is one of those breakout game-changers, but restaurant managers must be wary. If you’re not getting the real deal, you risk falling short on both sides of the counter.

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Topics: QSR, Food Service, Supply Chain

2 Great Ways to Bring Your Restaurant Operations Up to Speed

Posted by Frank Barcelona

Oct 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In fast food restaurant operations, speed is everything. Customers make nearly instantaneous decisions — a long line at the drive-thru or walk-up window can mean the difference between a hungry customer pulling in or driving on to a competitor.

Menu items can’t take a lot of assembly time. Cook-to-order times can’t be very long. Asking customers to pull ahead and wait for their order to be brought out to them doesn’t work well — running orders slows down drive-thru times, and longer waits discourage repeat business. At the same time, modern consumers want fresh food prepared with premium ingredients. They want to be able to customize their orders. And they want their food at an affordable price.

So how can your QSR company stay ahead? How can it meet so many seemingly contradictory consumer demands? How can it be all things to all customers?

Let’s look at 2 strategies your restaurant could employ to speed up service, while meeting diners’ demands for fresh and inexpensive fare.

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Topics: Food Service, Innovation, Technology

Overcoming the Challenge of Managing Untested Kitchen Staff

Posted by Craig Fissel

Oct 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The path from your ingredient supply chain to your customer's plate is a winding one, with plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way. Balancing flavor profiles, designing an appealing menu, keeping both raw ingredients and finished dishes at the optimal temperatures — all that translates to a lot on your plate. If your kitchen is a well-oiled machine, your staff is the fuel that keeps it running, and many managers are so caught up with keeping issues like these at bay that they neglect the performance of that fuel. From sanitary best practices to sous vide, your employees should be able to handle it all without breaking a sweat, but what happens if untested staff is your only resource? There are three guidelines you'll need to incorporate into your operational approach.

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Topics: Food Service, Food Safety