Tag Archives: Red Lobster

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: October 5

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Check out these five stories from the foodservice industry from October 1-5.

by Central Copywriters Emily Rollins and Tracey Rector

Positive News for Beer Sales

From HuffPost Food

According to a recent study by the Beer Institute, beer sales are finally looking up after a three year period of little to no progression.  “Beer sales by volume increased year-over-year for the first eight months of 2012,” said a HuffPost article.   Craft beers have particularly become more popular.  HuffPost added they have been the strongest sector of 2012 (so far).

Chicago To Keep NRA Show Through 2021

From National Restaurant Association

McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. will remain the home of the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show and International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event through 2021.  To summarize, NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeny told Annika Stensson for NRA that they decided on Chicago again because it’s a location “that embodies so many of our industry’s unique qualities and values.” She added it’s a “world-class travel destination that provides outstanding business facilities, coupled with world-renowned restaurants, vibrant culture and dynamic entertainment.”

Restaurant Menu and Remodel Changes

From Nation’s Restaurant News

In the last few months, we’ve seen restaurants across the country updating their menus and/or building design.  Red Lobster and Taco Bell are two restaurants jumping on board and are making changes for their customers.  Nation’s Restaurant News said Red Lobster will put a new menu in place on October 15 “that includes more non-seafood meal options, more pieces of fresh fish, and more items that cost less than $15.”  Then in a separate article, NRN discussed Taco Bell’s plan to remodel some of their locations, which comes just after a major menu revamp.  NRN added one of the newly redesigned buildings opened in the middle of September in Commerce City, Colo.

Three Ways Restaurants Can Rethink Beverages

From Nation’s Restaurant News

Health-conscious consuming is on the rise, and has caused many restaurants to rethink their menu and beverage offerings. “Many guests don’t want to drink their calories, but they want to enjoy their dining experience with an appealing beverage,” said Cheryl Dolven, MS, RD, Director of Health and Wellness at Darden Restaurants for a NRN article.  In an effort to improve your beverage selection, here are three ways you can revamp them. First, jazz up your water! Make water more exciting by adding lemon, lime, berries or even cucumber slices. Second, offer a wider variety of lower-calorie beverages such as green and herbal teas, skinny lemonades or lighter slurpees. Finally consider how you serve your beverages. Add more ice, serve drinks in tall, skinny glasses or don’t offer refills, the article suggests.

Columbus Day Deals

Columbus Day is quickly approaching! If you’re looking to dine out on Monday to celebrate or to simply enjoy the weekend, we’ve found some great online deals to help you save money and time!

*Quiznos Subs $1 off a regular or $2 off a large sub

*Pizza Hut’s $10 Any Pizza deal is back for a limited time!

*Morton’s Steak House $49.95 Steak and Lobster Dinner

*Subway: Buy one 6-inch sub and beverage by 9 am, get another free

*Einstein Bros Bagels: Buy one lunch sandwich, get one free OR $1 off a bagel

*Macaroni Grill: $10 off $20 online order

*Red Lobster: $5 off two adult entrees or $2.50 off a single

*$14.99 Steak and Lobster Dinner at Ruby Tuesday

*$5 off two entrees and buy one lunch, get one free at Outback Steahouse

*Buy any size cone, get another the same size free at Ben & Jerry’s

Milk; Image from MorgueFile

Living with Dietary Restrictions: Dairy Free

Milk; Image from MorgueFileThink about what you’re planning to have to eat today.  Does a dairy product make it onto the menu?  If you’re part of the 75% of the world’s population that is lactose intolerant to some extent or a lower 3% with a milk allergy, you may be giving a bit more thought to your daily dairy intake.   Read on to find the differences between an intolerance and an allergy, what is being done for sufferers and a few helpful and delicious dairy-free recipes.

What’s the difference between
lactose intolerance and a milk allergy?

Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest the milk sugar, lactose, found in dairy products.

Milk Allergies are more focused on the proteins or caseins within milk products.

What products should be avoided?

For both you should avoid dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, chocolate, goat’s milk products and any product labeled as containing milk or milk ingredients.

What are some alternatives?

Most dairy-based product have an alternative that uses a soy or rice base although sometimes soy may also cause allergic reactions and intolerances.

Eating Non-Dairy on the Go

While it may take a bit of pre-planning using online allergen guides, many restaurants now have tasty options for those with dairy-free eating restriction.  There is also a handy databases like Allergy Eats and Allerdine which allow you to search for restaurants in your area that have special food safety measures for patrons with food allergies.

The most important tip when eating out (other than avoiding the obvious dairy products) is to be aware of cross-contamination.   This can happen through using the same frying oil, grills, woks or cutting boards for the dairy and non-dairy foods.  Another way to prevent cross-contamination is to bring along your own wet cloth to wipe down any surfaces just in case the allergens were left from the previous diner.

It’s also imperative that you open a dialogue between yourself and the wait staff and/or management.   While you may have already looked at the allergen guides, it’s always a wise idea to double check to confirm that the item you’re ordering is cooked and prepared separately and without any allergy/intolerance inducing elements.  Making these inferences every time and at every location is important since staff, preparation guidelines, etc. may change from visit to visit.

Places like Chipotle, Qdoba and Subway are some of the more obvious options since you’re able to add exactly what you want (be sure to watch out for cross contamination).   However, there are many options at your average sit-down restaurant like Denny’s, Chili’s, Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse as well.  In fact, Outback not only gives suggestions on menu items, they also give advice on how to request the food be cooked and what extras should be left off to ensure a higher degree of safety.

And just in case you’re planning a trip to Disney with your dairy-free eater, not to worry, there are plenty of tasty options there too including tofu ice cream, waffles with fruit and dairy free whipped topping, rice milk and dairy free pasta.

Deliciously Dairy-free recipes to try at home

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Lasagna

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins – Milk Free Recipes

How do you or your family members deal with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy?  Please share your story.

Article sources
1)     Dairy Free Living
2)     Kids Health
3)     Mayo Clinic
4)     National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)  
5)     PubMed Health