SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Alan Riney

Recent Posts

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

Why Sous Vide Proteins Are the Best Choice for the Fast Food Industry

Posted by Alan Riney

Oct 3, 2016 11:30:00 AM

French is not normally a language that enters into the QSR menu conception and delivery process — unless, of course, you happen to be stopping by a location in Canada or France. Often associated with fine dining, and the high prep costs that come with it, protein preparations like sous vide are an unlikely source of inspiration for an industry bent on speed and consistency.

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Topics: QSR, Food Service, Sous Vide

QSR Companies Face Challenges When Trying to Tap into Another Daypart

Posted by Alan Riney

Sep 16, 2016 11:30:00 AM

There are apocryphal stories about immigrants in the 19th and 20th Centuries arriving in America having heard stories about “streets paved with gold.” They’re cautionary tales for us — they remind us to temper expectations and avoid buying into baseless hype.

There’s certainly a lot of hype about breakfast in the QSR industry right now. Luckily, it’s not all unsubstantiated. That the AM daypart is a growing sales driver is no mistake — morning fast food sales reportedly grew 2.3% last year, outpacing all other dayparts.

But taking advantage of the hot breakfast market takes more than throwing together a few breakfast burritos and open your restaurant doors. The road to breakfast profits isn’t paved with gold, and it does have a few hazards that you should be on the look out to avoid.

Today, let’s take a look at a few of the biggest challenges fast food companies might encounter when they decide to make the move into new dayparts.

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Topics: QSR, Food Service, Breakfast

The QSR Industry Will Face Major Challenges in the Coming Year

Posted by Alan Riney

Aug 8, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Despite a surge in breakfast traffic, the QSR industry is facing flat sales, and some new challenges in the coming year could spell more difficulty. From the growing demand for meal delivery services and food delivery to an overly saturated market and even the difficulties surrounding customers increased demands for sustainability, there are some potential problems looming ahead for the industry.

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Topics: QSR, Food Service

2 Characteristics of a Successful Breakfast in the QSR Industry

Posted by Alan Riney

Jul 5, 2016 11:30:00 AM

 

The right QSR breakfast does two things: It gets high quality, nutritious food into the hands of customers, and it does so in a hurry. Customers are actively seeking out breakfast options on the go, to the chagrin of cereal manufacturers. QSR locations have a clear opportunity to provide healthy food in a hurry for the 48% of consumers who seek out drive thru dining options each morning.

What drives fast food breakfast traffic — and which components matter most? Your menu and the convenience you are offering your customer play a key role in your success. Offering great tasting, quality food with a side of coffee ensures that your customers actively seek out and enjoy your offerings. Setting up systems that allow customers to quickly acquire easy-to-carry menu items without getting stuck in a long line or having to wait ensures that you are truly giving them a convenient option for breakfast each day.

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Topics: QSR, Breakfast, Food Service

3 Ways the Fast Food Industry Can Go Sustainable in Meat and Poultry Sourcing

Posted by Alan Riney

May 27, 2016 3:00:00 PM

We’ve heard a lot about fast food chains sourcing cage-free eggs, organic ingredients, non-GMO foods and sustainably raised meat. But another growing trend in the industry has been a move toward serving only antibiotic-free meat.

Late last year, for example, the deli sub chain Subway announced that it would begin transitioning to serve antibiotic-free poultry by the end of 2016, with a complete switch to antibiotic-free beef and pork by 2025. In doing so, Subway joined Chipotle, Chik-Fil-A and even McDonald’s (which has promised to source antibiotic-free poultry) in making a commitment to make such a switch.

Why the trend? Much of it has to do with consumers’ demands.

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Topics: QSR, Sustainability, Supply Chain, Proteins, Food Service

Fast Food Sourcing: Pricing, Premium Ingredients and the Future

Posted by Alan Riney

Apr 29, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Could the end of the ubiquitous dollar menu be nigh? Consumers, treated to an embarrassment of riches when it comes to dining out, aren't just focused on their wallets anymore. The artisanal food movement, anti-GMO sentiment and other food sourcing trends are compelling those in procurement to stay on top of their game and one step ahead of the competition. It's no longer about just adding a slice of cheese to a burger, it's about sourcing an ethically made cheddar that's not only affordable, but a favorite in focus groups as well. Once hyper-focused on cost at the expense of nearly everything else, the fast food supply chain is evolving — if only to keep pace with the customers it serves. 

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Topics: Supply Chain, QSR, Food Service

What Role Does Food Safety and Quality Control Play in Supply Chain Logistics?

Posted by Alan Riney

Mar 25, 2016 11:30:00 AM

What is the most important job of your food supply chain: getting items quickly, cheaply or safely? If you compromise speed or cost, you may lose some customers over pricing. However, if you compromise on the quality of goods for the sake of driving down price points, you risk losing everything — consumer perception, trust and loyalty. When considering new supply chain partners or assessing the suitability of existing ones, quality control checks should be a mandatory component of your supply chain logistics. If they slip up, you're also on the hook for every aspect of that mistake going forward, and those ripples can have a major impact.

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Topics: Supply Chain

Why It Pays to Invest in Food Supply Chain Data Management Tools

Posted by Alan Riney

Mar 4, 2016 9:30:00 AM

More than nearby suppliers, more than case pack options and even more than warehouse setup, time is the most precious commodity in the food supply chain. Therefore, using research and data-mining techniques to maximize efficiency in the least amount of time is a smart approach to improving fulfillment across the chain. With the right tools, data becomes just as valuable a commodity as a pound of meat or a crate of peppers — especially at the retailer level. 

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Topics: Supply Chain

3 Factors That Will Improve Your Next Food Safety Audit

Posted by Alan Riney

Jan 25, 2016 11:00:00 AM

These days, it’s all too common to turn on the evening news and see a food-associated health risk make the nightly headline. While not all of these outbreaks are, currently, preventable, at least some of these situations could have been avoided with right technology and processes. But while food safety is of vital concern to everyone in the food industry, not the only concern that should occupy your attention. A disruption of any kind in the food supply chain is threatening. Producers, suppliers, grocery chains and restaurants, not to mention consumers, all suffer.

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Topics: Food Safety