“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher
Restaurants are Stepping up for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is breast cancer awareness month, and the food service industry is doing its best to help the cause. Across the country, restaurants are making charitable donations, serving pink food and drink items and participating in organized campaigns. R10 Social House, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Surfside, The Standing Room and many others are selling pink-inspired food and drinks and donating a portion of their profits to breast cancer charities. Hungry Howie’s hopes to add on to its previous $2 million in donations from its Love, Hope & Pizza campaign that includes tasty pizza, cute bracelets, and check-out line donations. Chompie’s has an October menu that helps families affected by cancer. Hooters is selling calendars and bracelets across the country for charity. There are so many restaurants that are stepping up and contributing to the cause for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it puts a smile on our faces and warms our hearts.
Meatless Mondays are Here to Stay
It’s OK, you can admit it. You thought the whole vegetarian and vegan craze was going to pass. You thought it was only for people on the fringe who had puppy stickers on their binders at school and bumper stickers on their cars. Well, it looks like this trend is now becoming part of the mainstream. In fact, there’s even a campaign going around the food service industry to start out the week with a Meatless Monday. Grubhub and The Mondays Campaign have teamed up to conduct a study of meatless alternatives in restaurants. They found that vegan orders increased by 19 percent in 2017 and that meat substitutes are ordered five times more frequently on Mondays. Plant-based proteins are continuing to rise in popularity and Meatless Mondays are here to remind us to skip meat at least once a week for health and environmental reasons.
Thanks, Irma. Now we Barely Have any Oranges
Hurricane Irma swept through Florida more than a month ago, but we’re still figuring out just how much damage it caused. An agricultural expert at the University of Florida estimates that as much as 90 percent of Florida’s southern crops were lost due to the storm. A USDA statistician expects there to be a mere 54 million boxes of oranges, which is the lowest it has been in 70 years. And that includes last year’s drop caused by drought and disease. While it still may be too early to tell how many oranges will pull through this disaster, we can pretty safely say that there will be a shortage and a spike in prices. Thanks, Irma.
The Dumbest Lawsuit in the Annals of Eating or Cheating Employees?
New York Post writer, Steve Cuozzo, came out strongly against the no-tipping lawsuit brought against Danny Meyer and other restaurateurs for violating antitrust laws. The lawsuit claims that the no-tipping policy (also known as service included) unlawfully transfers millions of dollars from customers and servers to restaurant owners. Meyer and many other restaurants have decided to raise menu prices as well as the wages they pay their front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house staff; however, in many cases, prices have been raised more than 20 percent and the higher menu prices also raise sales tax. Cuozzo argues that the claims in the suit are “ridiculous” because servers do not have to be tipped by law and it evens out the wage disparity between restaurant employees. Cuozzo has been writing about how long it would take for lawyers to accuse restaurant owners of stealing tips and finishes with an “It didn’t take long” statement. Has this lawsuit gone too far?
Animal Welfare, Regulation, and Misleading Data
California’s Humane Society recently filed an initiative to give egg-laying hens more space to live. This is not the first time this has happened, and the same arguments are being made on both sides. Animal welfare activists want to increase the minimum space from 116-square inches to 144-square inches, or enough room to sit, stand, lie down and stretch their limbs. Trade groups want consumer purchases and the free market to make the decisions and are claiming this is over-regulation on the industry that will increase egg prices and make farmers’ slim profits even smaller. However, the study from Purdue University doesn’t give that argument much to stand on. Modern Farmer dug through all of the data and explains that since the last space increase in 2015, households spend about $7.40 more on eggs per year. The article argues that while, yes, technically egg prices have increased, it’s a pretty low cost to pay to treat these animals better. It also claims that data is often taken out of context in dramatic headlines claiming significant price increases. This example goes to show that everyone needs to look at data closely and form our own informed opinions rather than trusting click-bait headlines that serve a particular point of view.