Tag Archives: Indiana

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: 2/3

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for January 29 through February 3.

Mimi’s Cafe Goes Red
From Mimi’s Cafe, Read News Release

Image: Mimi's Cafe

Today is the American Heart Association’s “National Wear Red Day” to raise awareness for heart disease in women.  Mimi’s Cafe, a French-inspired casual dining restaurant with 145 locations around the country, is taking it a step further by marking Feb. 3 as a kick-off date to a month long campaign.  Anyone that comes into the restaurant on Feb. 3 can get a free cup of soup–then for the remainder of the month there will be other opportunities for diners upon making a donation.  Read the release news release in full on Mimi’s Cafe’s website.

Restaurant Performance Index On The Rise
From National Restaurant Association, Read Article

It seems like we just heard similar news that the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) hit a new high. The National Restaurant Association recently came out with an article stating the RPI finished out December up 1.6 percent.  This is the highest level it’s been in the last six years and the next few months should be on a positive track.  For more information, including a deeper look into how the RPI is calculated, visit the NRA website.

Foodservices Across the Country Prepping for Game Day
From SmartBlog on Restaurants, Read Blog

Restaurants all across the country have been gearing up for Super Bowl Sunday.  The NRA estimates 48 million Americans will order takeout and 12 million will watch the game at a bar or restaurant. Pizza and wings are on the top of many restaurant’s menus, but there’s more! Check out SmartBlog’s article which covers what restaurants are up to for game day.

Image: Schnitzelbank Bratwurst/Super 46

And the Winner of Super 46 Sandwiches Is…..
From Indianapolis Monthly, Read Blog

At the beginning of January, Indianapolis Monthly began “Super 46 Sandwiches,” a list of top sandwiches in Indiana.  They opened it up for voting to find the top sandwich in the state.  People from across the state put in their votes and a winner was decided this week–which was the Bratwurst from Schnitzelbank in Jasper, Ind.  Their bratwurst went up against many great contenders such as Shapiro’s Rueben, Harry and Izzy’s St. Elmo Prime Rib Sandwich and Rock Cola 50s Cafe’s Mile High Club Sandwich. Read more about Super 46 on their website, which includes ways to search different sandwiches if you are or will be in Indiana.

Image: kakisky/MorgueFile

 Super Bowl Recipes

Whether you’re waiting tables or at home with friends on game day, it’s always good to have some party recipes on hand.  Here are a few websites we found that feature a plethora of Super Bowl themed recipes:

Please share your favorites with us below in the comment section–or tell us about your signature recipe!

Aftermath of Man v. Food

When Jeff Edwards, Edwards Drive-In operations manager of 38 years, in Indianapolis was contacted by the show “Man v. Food” to be featured, he never anticipated the power it had.

“Man v. Food” is a reality show on the Travel Channel in its second season and features Food Fanatic Adam Richman traveling all across the United States to “explore the biggest and best eats” and to take on crazy eating challenges.

The show found Edwards Drive-In, a family run and owned business, from a video posted on their Facebook page.

“We were featured but never considered to be the challenge,” Edwards said. “We wanted them to come and feature the breaded tenderloin, onion rings and frosted root beer. Those are what they focused on.”

Photo from Edwards Drive-In Facebook page

The show planned to shoot during the weekend of the Indianapolis 500.  Edwards was shocked, knowing how busy the weekend is in the city.  And on top of that, the show informed him they would also be bringing in two Indy cars.

Filming was planned for 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“Surely enough, five minutes after 11, they pulled in two race cars and for the next two hours we filmed shots of us racing up Sherman Drive, but none of it made TV,” Edwards said. “It’s interesting what’s filmed and what’s on the cutting room floors.”

When it came time for the food, most of the ideas were from the restaurant—including the featured food, which was a 9 1/2 lb. tenderloin.

“What you see on the show is his genuine reaction and he had no idea we did it.  He had no prior knowledge and it was pretty funny, actually.”

One of the things Edwards wasn’t used to was having a microphone attached to him all day that someone else could hear him on at all times.

He said once filming is over, you start to think about everything that was shot and wonder what they put in when you forgot the microphone was on.

“Once, I was inside and the film crew was outside and I said, ‘See, the real stars get the makeup,’ then after they were finished, they came in and put makeup on me and one of the guys outside was waiving.”

When Edwards reflects on the experience, he wouldn’t have done anything differently. All they wanted to do was feature those three items.

But the show did make a reference that surely made things interesting. They coined the three items as the “holy trinity” of Indiana. He said some people in Indianapolis didn’t have the sense of humor for the phrase and two days after the show’s August 18 air date, there were customers asking for the “holy trinity.” They weren’t aware of this until seeing the episode themselves.

The impact of the show made the biggest impact to the restaurant.

While Edwards Drive-In was informed and aware there would be an increase in business, they didn’t expect being pleasantly overwhelmed for the first 10 days after the show aired.

Photo from Edwards Drive-In Facebook page

“To put a percentage on it, it was over 200%,” Edwards recalled.  “Not being far-fetched at all.  We went from normally (making) 2000 tenderloins a week to 5000 tenderloins a week.  Insane increase.”

After the show, they began polling customers to find out if they were new.  The results were every three out of five customers were new within the first 14 days.

After the Labor Day weekend, business began to get back to its “new” normal.  After time has passed, Edwards Drive-In has seen a steady 20% increase. Most of the customers who make up this increase are new, which Edwards was hoping for. And these aren’t just customers from Indiana.  Edwards said people have came to visit from all across the world from Alaska and Texas to Australia and Germany.

“We used to be back (in the limelight of neighborhoods) in the 50s and 60s, but now I-465 has taken that away from us. They kind of helped revitalize the destination.”

The best thing for Edwards over this entire experience was allowing him to create jobs.

“It created five new opportunities for people and we enjoy being able to provide jobs for people,” he said.

The restaurant hopes to stay in this 20% increase from the show.

“In this down economy, if we can retain this 20%, we’re good.”

They can also expect to see spikes when their episode re-airs, in which they will be contacted before so they can prepare.

Overall, Edwards said “Man v. Food” did a good job of representing the restaurant and who they are. They did not make a mockery of what they have established and focused on the fact that Edwards Drive-In is a family run and owned business.

“It’s been pretty fun, especially to be here 53 years and finally be recognized nationally.”

To see more pictures and get other information about Edwards Drive-In, visit their Facebook page.

Stacked Pickle

The Guest Writer Blog Series is a weekly portion of the Central Blog. Each month we get insight from those in the company about events, experiences, food and more.  Continuing on from August into September, we continue to look into our staff’s memorable or extraordinary dining experiences from around the country.

“Great Food, Great Bar, Great Times” is the motto of Stacked Pickle, one of IT Helpdesk Consultant Mike Higdon’s favorite restaurants.

Higdon visits this Carmel, Indiana restaurant about once a month for dinner.

“Stacked Pickle features wings, burgers and beer in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere,” their website says.

Higdon agrees as he describes the environment as relaxing and says customers get better service than the usual restaurant of its kind.

“(It’s) easy to get in and out.  Good place to watch an event—football, basketball, etc.”

Inside the Stacked Pickle, customers are surrounded by two projectors and multiple plasma televisions. Customers also have several options to choose from when it comes to food and beverage with the diverse food menu, full bar and eight drafts.

Higdon’s favorite entrée is the Fish & Chips which is three pieces of tilapia fried golden brown and served with cole slaw, tartar sauce and French fries.

Other menu items include appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, salads, wraps, burgers and desserts.  They also offer drink specials during Happy Hour.

Anyone is welcome to Stacked Pickle from families and singles to students and the business crowd. They also provide free Wifi access for those dining in and customers are welcome to place orders for carry-out or delivery.

Pictures from Stacked Pickle’s website.