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Mimi's Café to unveil new restaurant prototype

Mimi's Café to unveil new restaurant prototype


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Promising a “French revolution,” the Mimi’s Café chain on Friday is scheduled to open a new prototype restaurant designed to reinvent the full-service brand with more fast-casual options.

Officials with parent company Bob Evans Farms Inc. said earlier this year the Mimi’s chain would under go a remodel program similar to that of the Bob Evans brand, which has added new sales layers with on-site bakeries and more carryout options.

Irvine, Calif.-based Mimi’s Café, with 145 locations in 24 states, has been struggling to turn around negative sales trends in recent years, and some reports have indicated the chain is for sale, though company officials have declined to comment on what they describe as rumors.

Mark Mears, Mimi’s’ president and chief operating officer, said the new prototype in Valencia, Calif., will be the first to test a comprehensive overhaul that will bring the French-inspired brand back to its roots as a bakery-café and bistro that will appeal to a younger, more contemporary audience on a number of levels.

Mimi’s, said Mears, had “lost its way,” drifting in recent years under various leaders to a more New Orleans-jazz-themed concept. The 34-year-old brand was founded in 1978 by Thomas Simms, whose restaurateur father Arthur Simms was inspired by French cafes while serving as an airman during World War II.

Though the chain reported a 3.3-percent decline in same-store sales during the first quarter, Mimi’s also scored relatively highly in the annual NRN Consumer Picks and other consumer surveys this year.

“Our core concept is strong, but we’re looking for new growth engines,” said Mears.

The new prototype design aims to make Mimi’s more relevant, offering a store-within-a-store format that will appeal to today’s convenience-hungry consumers who may not have time for a full-service experience, he said.

The first thing guests will see when they walk into the new prototype is a French bakery featuring traditional breakfast items like croissants and the chain’s signature muffins; pastries and Parisian-style macarons; breads such as baguettes, fougasse and batards; and a selection of grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and drinks.

Baristas will also serve coffee, including a new bold French roast, as well as a line of specialty mochas, lattes, cappuccino and flavored coffees. From the bakery, guests can also pick up carry out and to-go items, like quiches or savory tartines.


Mimi’s Cafe French Market Onion Soup recipe

You might not imagine a tough World War II flying ace would open a restaurant called “Mimi’s,” but that’s exactly what happened in the 70’s. Arthur J. Simms flew spy missions over France during the war and helped liberate a small French town near Versailles.

After the war Arthur ran the commissary at MGM studios in Hollywood, stuffing the bellies of big-time celebs like Judy Garland, Clark Gable and Mickey Rooney. He later joined his son Tom in several restaurant ventures including one called “French Quarter” in West Hollywood. This was the prototype for the French-themed Mimi’s Cafe. In 1978, the first Mimi’s opened in Anaheim, California.

Today there’s over 40 Mimi’s in the chain with a new one opening every other week all of them serving this amazing onion soup that can now be part of your culinary repertoire.

French Market Onion Soup Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
3 medium white onions, sliced
3 14-ounce cans beef broth (Swanson is best)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons Kraft grated parmesan cheese
6 to 12 slices French bread (baguette)
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese

French Market Onion Soup Directions

1. Sauté onions in melted butter in a large soup pot or saucepan for 15 to 20 minutes or until onions begin to brown and turn transparent.

2. Add beef broth, salt and garlic powder to onions. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Add the grated parmesan cheese in the last 10 minutes of cooking the soup.

3. When soup is done, preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast the French bread slices for about 10 to 12 minutes or until they begin to brown. When bread is done, set oven to broil.

4. Build each serving of soup by spooning about 1 cup of soup into an oven-safe bowl. Float a toasted slice or two of bread on top of the soup, then add a slice of Swiss cheese on top of that. Place a slice of mozzarella on next and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese over the top of the other cheeses.

5. Place the soup bowl on a baking sheet and broil for 5 to 6 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

    Don’t even try to find this one on the menu at Applebee’s, because it isn’t there though it’s the most popular soup served each day at this huge restaurant chain.Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00 Categories : Soups Vegetables Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method ——– ———— ——————————– —–WALDINE VAN GEFFEN VGHC42A—– 1/2 pound Firm white onions —.8 Bacon slices – fried & crumbled 1 cup Yellow onions – diced 2/3 cups Flour 6 cups Chicken stock – hot 4 cups Potatoes – baked, diced & Peeled.I love french toast and made this one with my 7 year old daughter this morning. This French toast recipe cuts back on fat by using only 1 whole egg.

Comments

oh well, i always love the taste of chicken soup and other soups, i am a soup addict you know :*’

i love all sorts of soup but my most favorite soup is none other chicken or beef soup.’

I really love to eat lots of different kinds of soup specially vegetable based soups…

http://www.easycookrecipes.com/healthy-souprecipes/ Healthy soup recipes tasty beef soup recipes, cream soup recipes and vegetarian soup recipes from EasyCookRecipes.com.

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Mimi's Cafe Reduces Costs Across 145 Locations

Le Duff America, a Dallas-based restaurant group, has selected the Agilysys www.agilysys.com Eatec inventory and procurement system and the Agilysys Workforce Management Solution (WMx) to enhance efficiency and reduce costs at 145 Mimi's CafÉ locations across the country. Le Duff America currently uses the Eatec and WMx solutions at 66 la Madeleine Country French CafÉ restaurants nationwide.

The Eatec solution is a Microsoft® Windows®-based, full-featured inventory, procurement and production system designed specifically for the hospitality and foodservice industries. Along with its core purchasing, inventory, recipe, forecasting, production and sales analysis functions, the software also offers modules for catering, cycle planning, retail management, nutrition and allergens. The modular structure allows customers to construct the exact set of features they need — whether an enterprise-wide solution for multiple sites or a single-site system for multiple functions. The software is available as an on-premise or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution.

The WMx solution is a comprehensive and feature-rich enterprise system designed to help hospitality organizations improve the efficiency and productivity of the workforce. It includes tools for performance-based scheduling, dynamic labor forecasting, embedded workflow for employee hiring, employee self-service and multiple time-capture solutions. It seamlessly integrates with numerous point-of-sale, property management, inventory and procurement and payroll systems, enabling hospitality providers to reduce labor costs and increase profitability.

Le Duff America is the North American subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff, a global bakery and restaurant company headquartered in Rennes, France. Le Duff America's growing portfolio of brands includes Brioche DorÉe, Bruegger's Bagels, la Madeleine Country French CafÉ, Michel's Baguette, Mimi's CafÉ and Timothy's World Coffee.


For an Italian twist on Thanksgiving classics, visit your local Buca di Beppo, which has several options to suit your needs, including Thanksgiving catering starting at $199 for 10 people or Thanksgiving dinner to go, starting at $68.99 for three people. You can also dine in on a meal of sliced white meat turkey, homestyle gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Buon appetito!

For all the football fans who want to skip the roast turkey and just feast their eyes on the game with some rounds of chicken wings and beers, most Buffalo Wild Wings around the country will remain open.


What Happened to Table Service?

The recession served casual-dining chains some serious blows. But quick serves and fast casuals shouldn&rsquot get too confident.

In many cases, it’s a different consumer out there today deciding where to dine when the urge hits. Throughout the recession, full-service restaurants offered so many fire-sale bargains that those little affected by the economy could almost feel guilty for practically stealing meals when they would have just as willingly paid regular price.

The meal deals that spelled survival for sit-down restaurants were like Black Friday to consumers, says David Morris, author of the report Dinner Trends in the U.S. Foodservice Market for Packaged Facts. The upshot was giddy guests (higher guest traffic) with lower guest checks. Great for the consumer, but depressing for operators who are now trying to unwind themselves from the spiral.

Brinker-owned Chili’s stands as the poster child for the casual-dining dilemma. It offered a three-for-$20 two-person promotion featuring a shared appetizer, two entrées, and a shared dessert. Crowds came. But once the promotion went away, the love was lost and the crowds moved on. With traffic down, the promotion came back in some locations. And after some pencil sharpening, the deal was revised, sans dessert.

Traffic increased, but profits did not. Brinker revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 were down 6 percent year over year. Comparable restaurant sales were down 4.2 percent. And that’s only one casual-dining story.

The good news is that brighter days for casual dining are emerging, Morris says. “Look at the increase over time of discretionary income consumers have enjoyed,” he says. “It parallels growth of casual dining.” He looks to economic indicators like the recent increase in consumer savings, improved loan performance, stabilization in housing prices, and a positive stock market. It adds up to more discretionary income and spending among typical casual-dining customers, who skew to the middle to upper-middle income demographic.

Consumers overall aren’t quick to say they are ready to go out and spend a lot of money at restaurants any time soon. According to the report Dining Out: A 2011 Look Ahead put out in January by Chicago-based Mintel, only 10 percent of the 1,725 survey respondents who had been to a restaurant in the previous month said they were willing to spend more at restaurants this year than they did in 2010. In fact, nearly a quarter (24 percent) said they would be spending less at restaurants in 2011.

Part of the reason might be that consumers are conditioned for deals. How to wean them off the promotions while maintaining and building guest traffic and improving margins is the question of the day.

“Hopefully, these chains haven’t been sitting around doing nothing with new menu development,” says Eric Giandelone, director of research for Mintel Foodservice. “There should be a pipeline of new things to introduce when they can—new items priced higher than what’s on the menu now for a time when consumers are more willing to spend for it.”

That pipeline is one of the focal points at Cracker Barrel, which introduced new products to build variety and eliminate the veto factor, says Julie Davis, senior director of corporate communications with the company. Without discounting, revenues from continuing operations were up 1.6 percent, and comparable store restaurant sales increased 0.8 percent in 2010.

Cracker Barrel chose to focus on the deeper question coming out of the recession—how to define and convey value.

Prerecession, value never meant low prices for full-service brands, but necessity changed that for many. “Our competitors resorted to discounting and all sorts of deals. We have maintained the value proposition we have always offered,” Davis says. That is, offer quality, maintain portion sizes, and focus on service and hospitality. The company’s new “Seat to Eat” program aims to have customers seated and eating in 14 minutes or less. Making that happen required an investment in the kitchen: changing equipment and streamlining procedures to allow the servers more time with guests, which goes toward hospitality, Davis says.

Casual-Dining Dinner Entrée Prices

Average dinner prices were up nearly $1 in 2010, with the highest jump for combo entrées. These items include two types of protein, such as surf and turf.

Average Price Difference
EntrÉe Type 2009 2010 Cost Percent
Beef$17.08$17.46.382%
Chicken$11.22$12.17.958%
Combo$16.35$18.40$2.0513%
Pasta$11.61$12.52.918%
Pork$13.70$13.83.131%
Salads$8.78$9.51.738%
Sandwiches$8.42$8.86.445%
Seafood$17.82$17.60-.22-1%

Source: Intellaprice 2010 Casual Dining Pricing Study

“Operators really want to focus on the broader picture—the environment and fresh-prepared wonderful recipes. But we don’t underscore that when we say, ‘Come on in, this thing only costs $5,’” says Leslie Kerr, president of Intellaprice, a Boston-based pricing advisory company.

She notes worthy efforts of table-service restaurants to take the value focus off price: small plates, late-night happy hour menus, tasting events, menu makovers, social media marketing, and loyalty cards.

The Cheesecake Factory, Mimi’s Café, and California Pizza Kitchen are a few that have come on board with chic, more affordable smaller-portion menus.

As for loyalty cards, Kerr says they are “the pot of gold at the end while not coming across as a hard-driving message to come in for a low price point.” Besides Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, quick serves and fast casuals like Denny’s, Qdoba, Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., and, most recently, Panera Bread have wooed customers with such programs.

But inevitably, the way out for table-service restaurants is higher checks. “Commodity costs are going up and input costs in terms of labor are going up. They are going to have to raise prices,” Giandelone says. “And the thing is, they can’t raise prices without a good reason. There has to be something behind it to justify it. That has to come through the menu with better ingredients and better items that consumers can justify spending more for.”

It’s a light that Chili’s has seen. According to the company’s annual report, the brand’s “strategy is to balance value and innovation and enhance [the] menu at Chili’s to improve quality, freshness, and value by introducing new items and improving existing favorites.” Going forward, it plans to modernize the brand by remodeling many company-owned stores this year.

Meanwhile, as table-service restaurants were reeling, quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants gained some competitive ground, partly because low price is a reasonable part of their value.

The barbell menu strategy took hold at quick serves as they doted on their $1 menus while introducing premium-priced products on the other end. “The $1 menu is a way to make sure people are coming in, and the premium product is there to attract those trading down [from table service] but don’t want to lose too much in quality,” Giandelone says. Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s have each worked both ends of this equation.

That strategy, as a way to protect check averages, is here to stay and is likely to grow, Giandelone says.

In fact, while casual dining was focused on keeping up guest traffic, quick serves and fast casuals were quietly improving quality. Think of how McDonald’s is testing chicken wraps with aioli sauce, Giandelone says. “How many casual-dining restaurants have aioli sauce? It started in fine dining, and now McDonald’s is taking the lead, not casual dining. Casual needs to look more at what’s happening in fine dining and see what they can do to raise the value proposition to quality.”

Fast-casual restaurants are finding their place in the spotlight in the area of fresh, healthful options, Morris says, citing Chipotle and Panera Bread.

Menu refreshment was part of what helped Panera Bread through the recession, says executive chairman Ron Shaich.

The company went into the recession deciding not to deploy any different strategy than what it had done for the past two decades, which is to invest in the quality of the food, marketing, and its employees, he says.

Shaich owes the freedom to not reduce prices to the sound financial condition the company went into the recession with. “Many of our competitors didn’t have that, and they had pressure from banks and their boards to pull costs out of their P&Ls,” he says. “The only way to do that was to rip labor out of the P&L, and who pays for that? The guests, with longer wait lines, people serving who are more frazzled, and the table next to you is dirty. It taxes guests.”

During the recession, Panera Bread, which had only one fiscal quarter with slightly negative sales results during the past few years, rolled out a range of new salads, sandwiches, and soups.

Dinner Sales Growth from 2006-2011

With a reduction in discretionary spending throughout the recession, full-service restaurants suffered the heaviest sales declines as consumers traded down to limited-service restaurants.

Yearlimited-
service
Growth
full-
service
Growth
Total Growth
20063.3%3.3%3.3%
20074.9%5.6%5.4%
20081.7%-3.7%-1.7%
20090.3%-7.5%-4.6%
2010-0.6%-4.3%-2.8%
20111.5%1.1%1.2%

Source: Packaged Facts, Dinner Trends in U.S. Foodservice, November 2010 Report

Schlotzsky’s, another fast-casual concept, took a daring approach during the recession. “When everyone else zigged, we zagged,” says company president Kelly Roddy. He saw how other operators cut costs by cutting portion sizes and lowering food quality. Knowing that customers trading down from casual dining were still discriminating about where to go, the chain decided to spend some money to rebrand itself.

“Our goal was not to cut prices, but add value. So we worked on how we could give a better experience. We added table service in the restaurants,” he says.

In doing so, the units are starting to look a little more like casual dining. The new prototype has new packaging, an updated color scheme, cushioned seating, and shares cobranded space with sister company Cinnabon. Existing stores started the makeover in mid-2010 with expected completion by the end of 2011. The company has managed to maintain positive comparable/same-store sales throughout the recession.

“Our average restaurant that has been doing this full-blown has seen a 28 percent sales increase, on average,” Roddy says.

The stores also offer free Internet access. “Customers are coming in in the afternoon for the snack daypart to spend time and have a Cinnabon and coffee and work on their laptop. That’s part of our reimage,” Roddy says.

But quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants shouldn’t get too confident in their problem-solving successes, because consumers are fickle, as the recession has taught. They may be just as happy eating somewhere previously unthought of. Look at food trucks, and don’t forget about the expanding prepared food sections of grocery stores—with seating areas.

The dark horse galloping in to compete is convenience stores that are hungry for profits to replace declining fuel and cigarette sales.

With the expected rise in electric cars, vehicles with better gas mileage, and individuals who got used to cutting back on travel at the peak of the fuel-price crisis of 2008, gas is not the business it once was at c-stores. Plus, “motor fuel has a low margin,” says Jeff Lenard, vice president of communications for the National Association of Convenience Stores (nacs) in Alexandria, Virginia. “You try to find ways to encourage customers to come into the store. Food is the perfect way to do that. Foodservice done well has a robust margin.”

In-store sales at c-stores increased 4.9 percent in 2009 when overall retail sales dropped 7 percent, according to NACS data. Lenard attributes the growth to the increase in fresh-prepared food many stores are offering.

Some c-stores are even beginning to add seating areas. Others are running television commercials, encouraging consumers short on time to stop in and pick up a meal.

But c-stores aren’t top of mind when consumers think of getting something to eat. “No marketing campaign will change that perception. What will change the perception is customer experience,” Lenard says.


Ted’s Café Escondido Announces New Restaurant Concept

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 8, 2020) – Ted’s Café Escondido announced today it will be opening a new restaurant concept for the brand, with the first location set to open this summer in the historic Uptown 23rd District. The new concept, ‘Ted’s Tacos and Cantina,’ will be located at 600 NW 23 rd Street.

“This concept is something we have been discussing and planning for the past couple years, long before the recent pandemic hit our restaurant industry so hard,” David Foxx, chief operations officer for Ted’s, said. “This new concept not only allows us to enter the fast casual market, but also allows us to offer new dining options, such as contactless ordering and patio seating, that we know guests are looking for in this new era of dining out.”

Ted’s Tacos and Cantina’s fast-casual setting will include counter service, a full-service bar and dog-friendly patio seating. The menu includes several unique specialty tacos, loaded waffle fries, build your own burritos, and sheet pan nachos that are perfect for sharing. Each meal will also come with a complimentary order of Ted’s famous chips, salsa and cheese sauce.

“We’re excited to finally break ground and begin to see this new concept come to life, and we’re looking forward to joining the Uptown community and being a part of the massive growth that is happening in this area,” Foxx added.

The new Cantina is currently under construction, with a goal of opening later this summer.

About Ted’s Café Escondido

Since the first Ted’s Café Escondido restaurant opened in 1991, Ted’s has stayed true to its founding principles, without compromise. Ted’s strives to make each guest feel welcome and special, and is passionate about continuing to prepare fresh food daily, from scratch. Ted’s is rooted in serving the best Mexican food, made from the freshest premium-quality ingredients, served with unsurpassed hospitality. That’s what makes Ted’s ‘Better Mexican’.


Shoney's New Restaurant Prototype Opens in Nashville

Shoney’s, the iconic, all-American restaurant brand, reopened its restaurant in Nashville on Donelson Pike after it underwent an extensive interior and exterior remodel. The new restaurant design will serve as the prototype for all newly constructed and remodeled Shoney’s locations nationwide. The debut of this Shoney’s prototype reflects CEO and Chairman David Davoudpour’s commitment to reinvigorate and revitalize the 70-year-old brand to remain relevant to today’s evolving American dining landscape.

Shoney’s new look begins with a transformative exterior that pays homage to the brand’s rich heritage with classic Shoney’s elements. The exterior design features natural wood and stone siding, elongated black awnings and a prominent, red backlit Shoney’s logo. Inside, guests are welcomed by natural wood flooring, community tables lit by modern light fixtures and a full-service beverage bar highlighted by red subway tile. The design culminates into a fresh, modern feel that will excite new and loyal guests alike.

“We are so proud to unveil Shoney’s new look to the community,” says Davoudpour. “We’ve worked extremely hard to find the right balance between preserving Shoney’s history, while incorporating a design that appeals to the modern-day diner. Now that our hometown of Nashville has seen the new look, we’re excited to implement the design in our other restaurants around the country.”

Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening, Davoudpour hosted a unique community event on May 25. Shoney’s invited 80 boys from Backfield in Motion, a Nashville nonprofit organization that combines academics and athletics to inspire inner city boys to reach their maximum potential, and the Nashville Police Department to share a free meal together.

“The grand opening event at Shoney’s was a fantastic way for our police department to have a fun night with the young gentlemen of Nashville where we were able to get to know one another on a more personal level,” says Steve Anderson, chief of police for The Nashville Metro Police Department. “These type of activities are important steps in bridging the gap between the police and the community, and helps us all realize we are more alike than we are different.”

Davoudpour is a strong supporter of police enforcement and community revitalization. He co-founded the Shoney’s Family 5K Fun Run, which raised over $15,000 for the Nashville Police Support Fund during this year’s run in May, and initiated a similar program benefitting the Metro Atlanta Police Fund. His vision for Shoney’s grand opening event was to provide a safe and fun environment for the Nashville police and the city’s youth to forge better relationships.

In addition to the Donelson remodel, Shoney’s forecasts additional remodels by the end of the year. The company also recently signed three franchise deals set to bring a newly remodeled restaurant to Hopkinsville, Ky. and new restaurants to Henryetta, Okla. and Fultondale, Ala. by the end of the year.

Shoney’s is in the midst of franchise expansion with single and multi-unit franchise opportunities available in its core Southeast region, throughout the U.S. and in select international markets, under the new restaurant design.

Read more

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.


Irving, Texas — Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a Texas-based Baja-style restaurant group, has launched a new concept, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Taqueria. The Taqueria encompasses everything fans have come to love about the brand with the same recipes, but will offer a

— By Matt Calo, P.E. and Huston Dawson, P.E. — Safety should be top priority as businesses turn to outdoor space due to ongoing indoor restrictions. As spring arrives and states across the country continue to revise their restrictions


Vegan Market Products

IKEA’s Swedish Food Market has a number of vegan-friendly items available. These include the following.

Vegan oat smoothies are now available at IKEA in the EU.

Munsbit Oat Smoothies

These two fruity drinks were launched at the start of 2019 and come in Apple, Pear, and Ginger flavor or in Blackcurrant, Blueberry, and Acerola flavor. They are available in US and EU stores.

IKEA vegan hot dogs have been quite the hit.

Korvmo Vegan Hot Dogs

IKEA’s vegan hot dogs are available in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and soon, Australia.

The vegan IKEA veggie balls are packed with kale and chickpeas.

Grönsaksbullar Vegan Meatballs

While it’s known for its Swedish-style meatballs, the veggie versions are popular too – made with chickpeas, kale, peppers, carrots, peas, and corn, the Grönsaksbullar are also gluten- and soy-free, and come in a mild Indian sauce. Soon, it will launch new, even meatier vegan meatballs.

IKEA sells gelatin-free gummies.

Lördagsgodi Gummy Sweets

These snacks come in three flavors and are completely gelatin-free. They’re available at the majority of IKEA stores worldwide.

The raspberry crumble at IKEA US is vegan.

Pajmix Rabarber & Hallon

The Rhubarb & Raspberry Crumble, which much like IKEA’s furniture, is designed to be assembled at home.

Vegan caviar is on offer in IKEA EU stores.

Sjörapport Vegan Caviar

The name translates as “Seaweed Pearls” this plant-based caviar is made from kelp, giving it an authentic saltiness. Like the traditional fish eggs, “Sjörapport” comes in both red and black varieties.

IKEA’s dairy-free strawberry soft serve is made from fruit puree.

Ice Cream

IKEA is increasing its dairy-free ice cream options with the launch of vegan soft-serve. It launched dairy-free strawberry ice cream at Bistro locations across Europe last April with the intention of an eventual international launch. The soft-serve at IKEA Malaysia was replaced with a soy-based version.


Fast casual and customization

How do you like working at a fast-casual restaurant?

It&rsquos my first time working in this environment. I like it because I&rsquom with my old boss and because we do everything in the back of the house, minus our fries, which are done for us. But we cut our own lettuce and we cut our own fish. It&rsquos fun. It&rsquos a different adventure.

What kinds of food are your customers looking for?

Most of them are coming for the charburger and the fries and onion rings. But I think people are discovering that we offer more than an In-N-Out. We skew 48 percent female, so we also sell a lot of salads and lettuce wraps.

People like the &lsquofresh&rsquo appeal &mdash that everything&rsquos made to order &mdash and we&rsquore growing in terms of traffic and sales.

Is customization popular?

People ask for different toppings and sauce variations, or they put the albacore with teriyaki glaze on the Caesar salad, or sub in chicken on a mushroom Swiss burger or tri-tip instead of chicken for the chicken barbecue. We do whatever our guests want to do, so we&rsquore sort of developing an off-menu following.

How long does it take for customers to feel comfortable customizing the food?

After a store&rsquos been open for a year, year and a half, two years, people start doing their own customization. And for the newest wave of young people, everything has to be customized.

Soft drink sales are declining industrywide. How have you tried to improve beverage sales?

We added two more teas. We had a whole-leaf black [iced] tea, and we added a tropical tea and a green tea with citrus and ginseng in January.

Which of those teas is most popular?

There&rsquos been a very equal distribution. We have Coke products [in the fountain] and three brew wells on display for the tea. Customers look at it and make their own drinks. I&rsquom playing around with the idea of coming up with some recipes, where we say, &lsquotake two hits of Sprite and one of lemonade,&rsquo or whatever, maybe as a drink of the month.

Have beverage orders increased since you added the new tea?

We&rsquore still analyzing it. The weather out here has been a prolonged kind of chill this winter, so we may see a little flatlining because of that.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] .
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary


Watch the video: Afternoon Coffee Jazz - Relaxing Jazz Instrumental Background - Relax Cafe Music (June 2022).


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