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The Crumb for March 31st, 2017

Lori Bailey / March 31st 2017

If you like cherry blossom festivals, you may be into this.

Happy Friday! Have a cookie (go on, you deserve it), and settle into this past week's food news.
Here comes the fresh meat
Fans of the McDonald's Quarter Pounder, take note: your burgers will soon be made from fresh, never-frozen, meat. McDonald's continues its attempts to redefine its image for choosy consumers seeking fresher flavor and more "natural" food. Also, when faced with fast-casual competitors such as Five Guys, In-N-Out, and Shake Shake that all use fresh patties, a frozen patty starts to look like a sad school lunch. It's worth noting that most other McDonald's burgers will still use frozen beef. Don't get crazy, Mickey-D.

Don't forget to tip your pizza 'bot
Domino's has announced plans to unleash self-driving pizza delivery robots in Germany and the Netherlands. It's not their first robotic rodeo; they've been testing the waters with autonomous vehicle and drone delivery in Australia and New Zealand. The expansion to Europe, according to Domino's Pizza Enterprise's CEO, would cover a shortage of drivers as the company grows. No word yet on if or when Robo-Pizza-Boy will come Stateside, or what the increasing automation of convenience service jobs will spell for the industry.

But if you'd prefer to get your food from humans...
Add JoyRun to the list of enterprising food delivery apps and services. It's a peer-to-peer delivery platform, founded on the power of community to bring people together (along with your double-tall-one-pump-caramel-latte). You pay a fee for a runner—a friend, coworker, or classmate, say—to get your order, and you can even tip them for their services. It's been testing successfully on select college campuses and getting plenty of backing from investors...impressive, considering it doesn't involve a single drone.

Less is less is more
Breaking news: food with lowered amounts of high-calorie ingredients will have a lower calorie count. Sounds stupid simple, but the trick for restaurants is achieving the same consumer satisfaction with those healthier, and more cost-effective, modifications. According to the study, it is possible to nail the right combination, and the impacts on public health and restaurants' wallets could be huge. 

If you thought having a dairy farm in Manhattan was nuts... did Elmhurst Dairy. New York City's sole-remaining dairy plant recently announced its closure after almost a century of milk production, to the dismay of loyal locals. According to CEO Henry Schwartz, who has carried on the family-owned business, "milk has sort of gone out of style." High operating costs and lower demand left the company with no choice but to cut their losses. From the ashes, though, rises a new Elmhurst—sans "Dairy"—with a lineup of nut milks. Next best thing, right?

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