Tag Archives: Indianapolis

Foodservice Week in Brief: January 20

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for Jan. 16-20.

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Breakfast at Taco Bell
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article

Burritos, wraps, hash brown patties, Cinnabon Delights and Seattle’s Best coffee are just some of menu items NRN mentioned would be on Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, which will debut in 10 different states.  This isn’t the first time they’ve rolled out breakfast.  They tried it before with spicy and unique menu items, but the items weren’t favored as much by consumers.  So this time, they’ve added products that are more common.  Read more on the NRN website.

Paula Deen Announces She Has Type 2 Diabetes
From USA Today, Read Article

It was hard to miss Food Network Chef Paula Deen’s announcement this week that she has had Type 2 diabetes for the past three years.  Deen is famous for her indulgent recipes ranging from fried chicken to twice-baked shrimp stuffed potatoes. The USA Today article says Deen will be the spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, who makes a diabetes medication she takes called Victozza.  Read more on the USA Today website.

Burger King Delivery Comes to the United States
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article

Pizza restaurants are known for delivery, and in some major metropolitan areas such as New York City, delivery from different restaurants are common.  Burger King is jumping on board with a delivery service after a successful run with them in some non-U.S. locations.  NRN says four Washington, D.C. locations are currently testing delivery and will add 16 more lotions by Jan. 23.  (Those locations not yet announced).  NRN also mentions if Burger King makes their delivery service nationwide, they will be the first QSR to do so.  The delivery website can be found here, and read more on the NRN website.

Image: Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee

Downtown Indianapolis Restaurants Prep for the Super Bowl
From Indianapolis Star, Read Article

There are an estimated 150,000 people who will travel to Indianapolis for the 2012 Super Bowl.  Indianapolis restaurants, not just downtown, are having to prepare for the large number of people.  However, just looking at the downtown area, according to the Indianapolis Star, there are approximately 25,000 seats at the around 200 restaurants.  Restaurants have had to think outside of the box and work extra hard to make sure their customers have a great experience and they can get through it successfully too, whether it’s turning tables quickly or ensuring deliveries are made as seamlessly as possible with the street closures.  Check out this Indianapolis Star article, which digs in a little deeper on restaurants and check back to the Central blog next Thursday, Jan. 26, for a deeper look on what Indianapolis restaurants are doing to ensure the entire event goes off without a hitch!

Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day!
From Punchbowl, Read Article

Did you know Jan. 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day? The Punchbowl website lists a fun fact, which is: “The average American consumes about 31 pounds of cheese each year”

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They compare it to the French, who consume around 50 pounds!

So, in honor of National Cheese Lover’s Day, here are a few great recipes to get your cheese fix. Enjoy!

 

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: January 13

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for the first week of the new year, January 9 through January 13.

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Twinkies Bankrupt?
From Los Angeles Times, Read Article

One of the most popular topics discussed, posted and tweeted about this week has been the fate of the Twinkie. Maker of the Twinkie and other treats such as Donettes, Ding Dongs, Mini Muffins and Zingers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  This isn’t the first time the brand has filed, according to the LA Times, they had filed back in 2009.  Read more on the LA Times website.

President Bill Clinton Announced Keynote Speaker for NRA Show
From National Restaurant Association, Read Article

This week the National Restaurant Association announced President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker of this year’s National Restaurant Association, Hotel-Motel show.  The show will be held in Chicago at McCormick Place on May 5-8, with President Clinton speaking on May 6.  NRA said he will “share insights into his presidency and his current work with the William J. Clinton Foundation.”  Read the full article here.

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Braille on…Burgers?
From HuffPost Food, Read Article

Every once in awhile a restaurant will put together something very interesting that’s also helpful for their customers.  HuffPost recently reported on Wimpy, a South African fast food chain, is putting messages in Braille on their buns!  They listed an example being “100% Pure Beef Burger Made For You.”  Read more on the HuffPost website.

Indianapolis Food Trucks Gearing Up for Super Bowl
From Mobile Cuisine, Read Article

Indianapolis has been busy preparing for the Super Bowl–especially foodservice establishments.  One of the pieces of the giant Super Bowl puzzle is food trucks.  With many coming into the city and walking around, food trucks will play a very important role. Recently, it’s been announced there have been trucks chosen to park around Indianapolis’ Monument Circle while Super Bowl events are going on.  Mobile Cuisine recently posted an article with a few quotes from participating food trucks, read more on the Mobile Cuisine website.

Central’s Latest Master Catalog to Drop Tuesday Jan. 17
From the Central Blog, Read Blog

On Tuesday Jan. 17, our latest catalog will be hitting the streets.  Our catalog is 384 pages and we’ve added in over 900 new products.  For this catalog, we teamed up with Vulcan, one of the world’s largest commercial cooking equipment manufacturers, for an exclusive promotion: the lowest price on products as well as free shipping.  Read more on the Central blog.

 

 


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.

Thai Cafe

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.  The month of August is dedicated to our staff’s memorable or extraordinary dining experiences from around the country.

Central’s Director of Customer Finance, Justina Welch, enjoyed her experience at the Thai Café on July 17 and plans on going back soon. Thai Café is located in the Broad Ripple Village (just north of downtown Indianapolis, IN).

“Since 1998 we have specialized in burning the taste buds of Indianapolis!” their website says. “The key to all of our awards and success is the individual attention each dish receives when it is prepared.”

This Thai restaurant has won Indianapolis Monthly awards for People’s Choice for Best Thai Restaurant for 2001-2006 and Critics Choice Best Thai Restaurant from 1998-2002.

In their website’s description about Thai food, Thai Café says it is known all over the world for its originality and nutritional value.

“It is very much in line with Thai character to take an ingredient that is alien to the culture and combine it with native herbs, spices and condiments to create an end product that is distinctly Thai.”

Thai Café’s menu has different spice levels ranging from one to five.  Welch ordered the (chicken) Satay and Masaman Curry appetizers.

“The food was excellent,” Welch said. “I did level three, which was fantastic. I sampled a friend’s level five.  Good flavor but the hot factor intensifies for about 10 minutes before cooling back off, this holds true after eating bread.  Way too hot for me.  The poor guy was sweating—that’s hot!”

Not including an appetizer, the average cost of an entrée at the Thai Café is $10.

Welch enjoyed the Thai Café’s good service, large portions and large number of guests dining there as well.

“(It’s a) great place to go with a group of friends and sample several entrees.”