Tag Archives: Food & Dining

Dining: Opening Up New Restaurants In London

The coronavirus pandemic has been catastrophic for the hospitality industry and the delay to the June 21 unlocking has led to more uncertainty. The FT’s Daniel Garrahan and food critic Tim Hayward meet Harts Group, the business behind Soho institution Quo Vadis and tapas chain Barrafina, as it opens a new Soho branch of its El Pastor taquerias

Innovation: ‘Brooklyn Dumpling Shop’ Rolls Out ‘Automat’ Food Service

Moving towards the future – by taking from the past? This is the story of how one restauranteur is drawing upon nostalgia in order to break into a new era of innovation in the food industry.

AUTOMAT HISTORY

Originally, the machines in U.S. automats took only nickels. In the original format, a cashier sat in a change booth[citation needed] in the center of the restaurant, behind a wide marble counter with five to eight rounded depressions. The diner would insert the required number of coins in a machine and then lift a window, hinged at the top, and remove the meal, usually wrapped in waxed paper. The machines were replenished from the kitchen behind. All or most New York automats had a cafeteria-style steam table where patrons could slide a tray along rails and choose foods, which were ladled from tureens.

The first automat in the U.S. was opened June 12, 1902, at 818 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia by Horn & Hardart; Horn & Hardart became the most prominent American automat chain. Inspired by Max Sielaff’s AUTOMAT Restaurants in Berlin, they became among the first 47 restaurants, and the first non-Europeans, to receive patented vending machines from Sielaff’s Berlin factory. The automat was brought to New York City in 1912 and gradually became part of popular culture in northern industrial cities.

The automats were popular with a wide variety of patrons, including Walter Winchell, Irving Berlin and other celebrities of the era. The New York automats were popular with unemployed songwriters and actors. Playwright Neil Simon called automats “the Maxim’s of the disenfranchised” in a 1987 article.

Food & Dining: How ‘Olive Garden’ Restaurants Are Surviving Covid (Video)

When you think of free breadsticks, unlimited salad, and pounds of pasta one name comes to mind — Olive Garden. But the Italian eatery, known for its $5 take home meal, has fallen on hard times as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry. In response, the casual dining chain trimmed its menu, pivoted to take out, and cut costs. But are those changes enough for Olive Garden to survive the pandemic and offset the overall decline of the dine-in restaurant experience?

Dining: ‘New Orleans Magazine’ (Dec 2020 Issue)

New Orleans Magazine – December 2020

Food Lovers Guide

New Orleans is a food town, with a dedicated population that holds on tightly to old favorite haunts, while embracing and celebrating new traditions and new faces. For our annual December list of restaurant, food and drink “bests,” our team…

From the Editor

In New Orleans, we have a special relationship with food and dining (and, of course, imbibing). This year, due to COVID-19, our love affair with food took on especially new meaning, as many of us turned to comfort food, take-out…

Christmas Unwrapped

You can always tell who, in a Zoom meeting, is not wearing a bra. They are the ones you see just from the eyeballs up. My sister-in-law Gloriosa goes to a lot of them meetings, being socially active and all.…

Foods & Dining Video: ‘Smallhold Farms’ Grows Rare & Unique Mushrooms For New York City Eateries

Smallhold is a macrofarm in Brooklyn that has created artificial environments for growing rare and unique mushrooms for local restaurants and grocers. Their goal is to open people’s minds to using mushrooms in more cooking, while creating sustainable farms in multiple cities nationwide. https://www.smallhold.com/

Food & Dining: ‘Top 100 Independent Restaurants’

2020 Rankings – October 20, 2020

RB’s Top 100 Independents ranking is a measure of the highest-grossing independent restaurants. Only restaurant concepts with no more than five locations are considered “independents” for the purpose of this list (although it’s possible a restaurant that shares a name with a chain but is owned and operated separately would qualify, such as Smith & Wollensky in New York City). Rankings are based on gross 2018 food and beverage sales. Information was gathered through surveys. When data wasn’t provided, sales were estimated based on public information, similar concepts and other factors.

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Tomorrow’s Restaurant: Multiple Drive-Thru Lanes & Seatless Dining (Video)

Burger King unveiled its new prototype last month, a prototype that it began working on shortly after the pandemic began. It features a much smaller dining room, or no dining room at all, along with two or three drive-thru lanes, walk-up windows and curbside lanes. Some of the options allow for the complete removal of indoor seating.

Burger King’s latest restaurant design assumes that customers will not go back to dine-in service.

It’s not as if the Miami-based burger chain’s latest prototype doesn’t feature indoor seats. But its restaurants are 60% smaller, meaning a much smaller dining room. And one version of it replaces the dining room altogether with patio seating.

But the design is heavy on takeout options, an acknowledgement that consumers have been shifting that way for some time and then went all-in on takeout during the pandemic. It features two or three drive-thru lanes, with digital menu boards and merchandising. A “living wall” provides a view into the kitchen interior featuring Burger King’s broiler. And there’s an external walkup window on the glass façade.

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