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Week in Review May 14-18

Looking for some of the week’s top information? This week we are giving you five stories from the foodservice industry for May 7-11.

YouTube to Debut Their Own Food Channel, HUNGRY

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As part of their plan to launch approximately 100 new channels, YouTube will debut a new food-focused channel titled, “HUNGRY,” on July 2.  The channel, which mixes how-to videos with celebrity-driven shows, will consist of videos that run about one to three minutes long.  With new episodes posted weekly, YouTube hopes to have about a dozen in the series by the end of the summer.

YouTube is employing former television veterans to engage the audience; former executive at Food Network and the Cooking Channel, Bruce Seidel, is overseeing the launch of HUNGRY, and Duff Goldman, lead cake man from TV reality show, “Ace of Cakes,” will have his own program, “Duff’s Food World,” as well as serve as a talent and programming consultant for the channel.

“Basically, the cooking show on television is almost dead,” Goldman said.  “When you look at the programming…you kind of find that everything is being replaced by travelogues, competition, reality.  There is not a lot of instruction.”

Other series are also in the works for “HUNGRY.”  A pair of Brooklyn brothers/musicians/underground caterers are the focus in “Brothers Green,” while “Casserole Queens” focuses on a pair of Austin-based women who love retro food and entertaining.  Read the full article on

Mario Batali Tries Out the Food Stamp Diet

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Batali, world-renowned chef and owner of 10 New York City-based restaurants, isn’t one to say no to seconds when it comes to food.  Just taking a glance at the man, and you see a portly, jolly Italian man with a belly that clearly shows how much he loves his food.

But this week, he, his wife and two teenage sons have chosen to participate in a challenge given to New Yorkers by the Food Bank of New York City.  The task is simple, but definitely not easy—to eat and survive as if they were a family of four living on food stamps.  Total amount one would receive from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–$31.00 per week.

Batali isn’t doing the project to receive attention for himself; he’s  actually trying to open America’s eyes to  the government’s plan to cut $38.5 billion from both the Farm Bill and  other food stamp  programs.  Read the full article on

Two Cups of Coffee Cuts Risk of Dying by 10 Percent, Study Revealed

From, Read articlecoffee beans and brewed

A recent study conducted at the National Cancer Institute and published online in the May 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has discovered that coffee drinkers (drinking either regular coffee or decaf) were less likely to develop cancer, have heart issues or have a stroke.

The strongest showing was found among women who had four or five cups a day – they had a 16 percent lower risk of death.  The study also found that although coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart or respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, injuries, accidents or infections, there seemed to have no effect on cancer deaths.  Read the full article on

Fast-Casual Chains Strengthen, Led By Panera, Five Guys

From QSRMagazine, Read article

It seems fast-casual chains are strengthening their gains in the restaurant industry, as they grew 8.4% in 2011, versus the growth for the Top 500 U.S. chains, which came in at 3.5%.  The findings are reported in the Technomic Fast-Casual Top150 Chain Restaurant Report.

“Fast-casual operators continue to outshine every other segment within the U.S. restaurant industry, “ said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic.  “People want fast, fresh, quality meals at a fair price point.  This segment seems to hit that sweet spot right now.”

The largest fast-casual segments and leaders within certain segments are listed in the report; two of the segment leaders, Panera Bread and Five Guys Burgers and Fries, stood out among the rest due to their increase in sales, at 10.1 and 32.8 percent.  Read the full article on

Family Locked in Restaurant for Skimping on Mandatory Tip

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A Houston, Texas-based family paid the ultimate price when they were locked in a restaurant after refusing to pay the restaurant’s mandatory 17 percent tip.

The Marks family claimed that after being treated disrespectfully by the staff, not having drinks refilled, and generally receiving overall terrible service, Jasmine Marks asked to speak with the manager to see if she could have the automatic gratuity taken off the tab.  Marks then claims the staff locked the doors and refused to allow the family to leave unless they paid the tab or spoke with the police outside.  Marks also said the police officer told her he couldn’t answer her question regarding the legality of the situation.  She and her party eventually paid the tip in order to avoid any other confrontation.  Read the full article on


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