Week in Brief–July 27

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Box with a Hamburger and French Fries

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Check out these five stories from the foodservice industry from July 23-27.

McDonald’s Introduces New U.S. Menu Featuring “Favorites Under 400 Calories”

From RestaurantNews.com, read full story

McDonald’s introduced a new menu this week, “Favorites Under 400 Calories,” which focusing on existing products at stores nationwide.  A select few of the products are also running in the “Win When USA Wins Gold” promotion, which spotlights the London 2012 Olympic Games by using online games and prizes.

“Favorites Under 400 Calories is one more way we’re making nutrition information accessible.  Like our mobile app, this platform aims to empower our customers and employees to make choices that are right for their nutrition needs,” said Neil Golden, Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald’s USA.  “We’ve found that customers are surprised to learn about the calorie content of some of their favorite menu options at McDonald’s.  In fact, customers may be surprised to know that about 80 percent of national menu choices are under 400 calories for the standard recipe.”

Customers can also access nutritional information about all food and beverage choices at the stores by going to www.mcdonalds.com, McDonald’s mobile app, toll-free customers experience line, brochures located in-stores, on reverse sides of tray liners and on select packaging of products.

Sysco Pledges to Stop Use of Gestation Crates for Pork Products

From Huffingtonpost.com, read full story

In a release issued online Monday, Sysco, the world’s largest broadline food distributor, vowed to stop using pork distributors that employ gestation crates.  Although a timeline has yet to be determined, the Humane Society is applauding the move.

In a statement from Sysco, it said:

“Sysco takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen in the food supply chain seriously.  We use science-based standards for animal welfare and work diligently with our suppliers to ensure humane treatment of animals.  We also listen closely to our customers desires.  Although there are many ways to house sows, several customers and suppliers have expressed their desire to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.”

Considering Sysco made $40 billion in sales last year, it’s a huge impact for the movement to ban gestation crates.  The company is joining other big companies, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, who have all pledged to end the use of gestation crates.

Ice Cream Food Trucks Feuding in NYC Streets, Making “Mafia”-esque Threats

From NYPost.com, read full storyThree Ice Cream Cones

It’s like a scene out of “Goodfellas,” the movie starring Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, except instead of turf wars between New York City Mafia, the turf wars are between New York City Mister Softee ice cream trucks and rival ice cream trucks.

The fights began in 2010, and have resulted in sabotaged trucks, punched noses and death threats.  One Yogo frozen-yogurt driver, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation, claimed one team of Mister Softee double-parked next to his truck and distracted him, while another man jumped out of their truck and cut his brakes.  Although the Yogo driver was fearful of the attack he did not contact police, and things were eventually settled privately.

Even violence has occurred between Mister Softee drivers.

“They walked up to the truck and said, ‘Next time we see you here, we shoot you,’” said Leon Zaid, 34, a seven-year Mister Softee veteran.  “They are the Mafia.  They are one big Mafia.”

Cash is the main driver in the ice cream truck turf wars.  A Mister Softee truck can bring in $1,500 on a good day in cash.

“They get a spot and don’t want to relinquish it,” a police source said of the rivalry.  “God forbid one of them gets sick or something and they leave their spot for one day and some other vendor takes his place,” the source said.

Yet, veterans of the ice cream truck industry say there are unwritten rules that are just not being followed.

“The routes are [based on] a gentleman’s agreement,” said Maria Campanella, a second-generation Good Humor operator, who says that once a truck is bought, the route is also bought with it.  “I have my route, you have your route, and we stay away from each other’s route.”

Customer “Plays a Little Game” with Server, Tries to Take Away Tip for Every Wrongdoing

From Servernotservant.com, read full story

According to a server on the blog, “I’m Your Server, Not Your Servant,” a customer came in and tried to “play a little game” (in the words of the customer).  The customer proceeded to place $20 on the table and explained, “I’ll take one away (from your tip) every time something goes wrong.”

The server contacted his manager, who proceeded to talk with the customer outside, abruptly ending the “game”.

“Demeaning fellow human beings is never funny or cute.  You don’t play games with hard-working people who are just trying to make a living,” said Patrick Maguire, the manager.

USDA Retracts Meatless Monday Endorsement

From The New York Times, read full story

On Monday, an office newsletter floated through the intraweb of the United States of Agriculture, promoting simple practices that could make government employees healthier and the environment cleaner.  One paragraph of the newsletter asked for its employees to begin the practice of ‘Meatless Mondays,’ the idea of avoiding meat on Mondays in favor of vegetarian options.

Yet; by Tuesday afternoon, the newsletter was nowhere to be found on the agency’s website, instead replaced by a spokeswoman’s statement saying, “U.S.D.A. does not endorse Meatless Monday…the newsletter…was posted without proper clearance.”

Evidently, for a bevy of livestock producers, as well as Representative Steve King, of Iowa (R), changing up their menu to be a little healthier for one day is too much to ask.  As Rep. King tweeted, “USDA HQ meatless Mondays!  At the Dept. of Agriculture?  Heresy!  I’m not grazing there.  I will have the double rib-eye Mondays instead.”

Copies of the newsletter were originally on the USDA website, but are now located around the Web.

 

 

 

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Check out these five stories from the foodservice industry from July 23-27.

McDonald’s Introduces New U.S. Menu Featuring “Favorites Under 400 Calories”

From RestaurantNews.com, read full story

McDonald’s introduced a new menu this week, “Favorites Under 400 Calories,” which focusing on existing products at stores nationwide.  A select few of the products are also running in the “Win When USA Wins Gold” promotion, which spotlights the London 2012 Olympic Games by using online games and prizes.

“Favorites Under 400 Calories is one more way we’re making nutrition information accessible.  Like our mobile app, this platform aims to empower our customers and employees to make choices that are right for their nutrition needs,” said Neil Golden, Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald’s USA.  “We’ve found that customers are surprised to learn about the calorie content of some of their favorite menu options at McDonald’s.  In fact, customers may be surprised to know that about 80 percent of national menu choices are under 400 calories for the standard recipe.”

Customers can also access nutritional information about all food and beverage choices at the stores by going to www.mcdonalds.com, McDonald’s mobile app, toll-free customers experience line, brochures located in-stores, on reverse sides of tray liners and on select packaging of products.

Sysco Pledges to Stop Use of Gestation Crates for Pork Products

From Huffingtonpost.com, read full story

In a release issued online Monday, Sysco, the world’s largest broadline food distributor, vowed to stop using pork distributors that employ gestation crates.  Although a timeline has yet to be determined, the Humane Society is applauding the move.

In a statement from Sysco, it said:

“Sysco takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen in the food supply chain seriously.  We use science-based standards for animal welfare and work diligently with our suppliers to ensure humane treatment of animals.  We also listen closely to our customers desires.  Although there are many ways to house sows, several customers and suppliers have expressed their desire to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.”

Considering Sysco made $40 billion in sales last year, it’s a huge impact for the movement to ban gestation crates.  The company is joining other big companies, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, who have all pledged to end the use of gestation crates.

Ice Cream Food Trucks Feuding in NYC Streets, Making “Mafia”-esque Threats

From NYPost.com, read full story

It’s like a scene out of “Goodfellas,” the movie starring Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci, except instead of turf wars between New York City Mafia, the turf wars are between New York City Mister Softee ice cream trucks and rival ice cream trucks.

The fights began in 2010, and have resulted in sabotaged trucks, punched noses and death threats.  One Yogo frozen-yogurt driver, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation, claimed one team of Mister Softee double-parked next to his truck and distracted him, while another man jumped out of their truck and cut his brakes.  Although the Yogo driver was fearful of the attack he did not contact police, and things were eventually settled privately.

Even violence has occurred between Mister Softee drivers.

“They walked up to the truck and said, ‘Next time we see you here, we shoot you,’” said Leon Zaid, 34, a seven-year Mister Softee veteran.  “They are the Mafia.  They are one big Mafia.”

Cash is the main driver in the ice cream truck turf wars.  A Mister Softee truck can bring in $1,500 on a good day in cash.

“They get a spot and don’t want to relinquish it,” a police source said of the rivalry.  “God forbid one of them gets sick or something and they leave their spot for one day and some other vendor takes his place,” the source said.

Yet, veterans of the ice cream truck industry say there are unwritten rules that are just not being followed.

“The routes are [based on] a gentleman’s agreement,” said Maria Campanella, a second-generation Good Humor operator, who says that once a truck is bought, the route is also bought with it.  “I have my route, you have your route, and we stay away from each other’s route.”

Customer “Plays a Little Game” with Server, Tries to Take Away Tip for Every Wrongdoing

From Servernotservant.com, read full story

According to a server on the blog, “I’m Your Server, Not Your Servant,” a customer came in and tried to “play a little game” (in the words of the customer).  The customer proceeded to place $20 on the table and explained, “I’ll take one away (from your tip) every time something goes wrong.”

The server contacted his manager, who proceeded to talk with the customer outside, abruptly ending the “game”.

“Demeaning fellow human beings is never funny or cute.  You don’t play games with hard-working people who are just trying to make a living,” said Patrick Maguire, the manager.

USDA Retracts Meatless Monday Endorsement

From The New York Times, read full story

On Monday, an office newsletter floated through the intraweb of the United States of Agriculture, promoting simple practices that could make government employees healthier and the environment cleaner.  One paragraph of the newsletter asked for its employees to begin the practice of ‘Meatless Mondays,’ the idea of avoiding meat on Mondays in favor of vegetarian options.

Yet; by Tuesday afternoon, the newsletter was nowhere to be found on the agency’s website, instead replaced by a spokeswoman’s statement saying, “U.S.D.A. does not endorse Meatless Monday…the newsletter…was posted without proper clearance.”

Evidently, for a bevy of livestock producers, as well as Representative Steve King, of Iowa (R), changing up their menu to be a little healthier for one day is too much to ask.  As Rep. King tweeted, “USDA HQ meatless Mondays!  At the Dept. of Agriculture?  Heresy!  I’m not grazing there.  I will have the double rib-eye Mondays instead.”

Copies of the newsletter were originally on the USDA website, but are now located around the Web.

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