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The Crumb for March 10th, 2017

Lori Bailey / March 10th 2017

Happy Purim! Have a hamantaschen, and raise a toast to traditioooon.

Sure, your hotel is nice, but is it authentic?

Out of the millennial vocabulary, "authentic" is one over-used term guaranteed to get eyes rolling. However, it still carries weight, a lesson the hotel industry is learning. As millennials gravitate towards unique, local experiences offered by services such as AirBnB, hotels are having to rethink their approach, particularly in regards to their food and beverage programs. Meaning more involvement from local chefs, plus options aimed at convenience. Roll your eyes if you want - but where the authentic experience is, the dollar bills will follow.

A Day Without a Woman

Wednesday, March 8 was International Womens Day, and all across the country restaurants operated on limited staff, offered specials highlighting womens rights, or closed altogether in solidarity with their female owners and/or employees. This follows up on the heels of the "Day Without Immigrants" held last month, which showcased the immense impact of the immigrant population on our economy - effects particularly apparent in the restaurant industry. Wednesday's protest sought to address disparities in treatment, pay, and opportunities between genders. The food industry, it seems, is discovering its political voice - the question is, how loud can it get?

File under "Brilliant Ideas": Refugee-staffed food delivery

Hey, New Yorkers - interested in trying new cuisines? Need a quick, convenient meal? Oh, and how about social justice for refugees? With Eat Offbeat, a meal delivery service in NYC, you can have it all. According to co-founder Manal Kahi, "Eat Offbeat is about trying new cuisines," educating New Yorkers about other people groups through food while empowering refugees with meaningful work and community. Interestingly, sales have doubled since President Trump's initial immigration ban. Seems like NYC is hungry - and not just for food.

The fairest fast food chains of them all

The people have spoken, and the top-ranked fast food chains in America are in.For burgers, the California-based Instagram legend In-N-Out; Mexican chain Chipotle, shirking iffy sales and foodborne illness snafus; best chicken chain, Chick-fil-A; and for sandwiches, Firehouse Subs. All the winners seem to have one thing in common: a high customer perception of quality, from food to atmosphere to service. These results speak to increasing expectations for fast food chains. Some, it seems, are rising to the challenge.

Convenience is the new quick-service

According to an NRN report, convenience stores now comprise 10% of quick-service visits. As convenience stores expand their grab-and-go food offerings, they attract an important share of younger millennials and Gen-Z's - leaving traditional quick-service restaurants scratching their heads. Marketing and social media promotions, too, are areas where the convenience sector has been particularly attentive to customers' ever-shifting needs. Fast, flexible, and perceptive - a surprising but very real contender in the quick-service world. 

Did you know?

Hot Pockets, that quintessential American snack food, were invented by Iranian immigrants. 

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