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The Crumb for May 5th, 2017

Lori Bailey / May 5th 2017

We’re busy on an assignment in The City Beautiful (a.k.a. O-Town), so today we’re giving you a street-taco-sized version of the usual Crumb.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Tuck into a basket of tortilla chips and a frosty margarita, and let's get into this past week's food news.

Might be naan-traditional

When food delivery is all the rage, who needs a brick-and-mortar, really? That’s the approach of ChurriNaan, a recent addition to Chicago’s delivery-only scene pioneered by the enterprising Green Summit Group. These “virtual restaurants” have an online store presence, but no hosts, tables, or seats—just drool-worthy dishes being cranked out of a shared commercial kitchen. A bite of ChurriNaan’s flatbread sandwiches is only accessible via Doordash and Grubhub (or, if you’re looking for a loophole, the “secret menu” at host kitchen Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro). Ladies and gentlemen, start your apps.

 

Takin’ it black

The infamous Unicorn Frappucino has come and gone, leaving many a sugar-hyped teeny bopper and ravaged Starbucks barista in its wake. But the coffee giant isn’t done yet, and this past week they rolled out what looks like the antidote to an overdose of unicorn. The Mint Mocha frappucino is dark as night with the flavor of a Thin Mint. Its stunning shade of near-black brown is a response to the black food trend, which Starbucks’ beverage development manager says “is filling the void in unexpected places” when people have been inundated with bright colors. Which raises the suspicion that maybe this is all a ploy to keep us reactively buying drinks. (Well played, Starbucks, well played.)

 

Gotta be true to your heart (and your customers)

Forget trends for a second, and buzzwords, and whatever Domino's is doing with digital these days. According to experts, business growth isn’t found in slapping on new apps—it’s in staying true to your core and your customers. Customer experience, responsiveness to change, and connecting the customer to the brand culture build better foundations for growth than, say, pre-packaged solutions and tacked-on technology. And hiring savvy, informed tech people to help make smart decisions never hurt, either. In a nutshell? Strengthen the core first, and the tech will follow.

 

Need more feed? Nibble on these:

James Beard Award Winners. Cue noisemakers and confetti.
Too much of a good thing: Starbucks and its mobile ordering problem.
Customer, or guest? Perspectives on hospitality from a New York restaurant critic.


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