Mathew Mandeltort's Blog (19)

To Bulgogi Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

It’s a stone cold lead pipe lock: Korean food will be the next big thing. No, I really mean it this time. Now I admit there have been some false starts in the past:

  • 2006Slashfood posted an article about Korean royal cuisine (surasan,) which appeared in The Korea Times leading some bloggers to hail Korean cuisine as the next big thing.
  • 2007 -…

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on December 7, 2009 at 3:30am — No Comments

How Sweet It Is

“Ah brown sugar how come you taste so good?” Brown Sugar The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)

Loathe as I am to prognosticate on such matters, (I prefer to leave such things to the experts like Nostradamus and Miss Cleo – besides if I really was good at it, I would be picking winning lottery numbers), I believe I have foreseen the next micro trend in food service. Call it “Culinary Intuition”. Its so cutting edge, so micro, a search of… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on November 23, 2009 at 3:00am — No Comments

Veni Vidi Vendi

Veni Vidi Vici

“I came. I Saw. I Conquered”

Julius Caesar

Veni Vidi Vendi

“I came. I Saw. I purchased snacks from a machine”
John Q. Public

Automated merchandising (aka vending) of food and beverages, seen by some as the red headed step child of the foodservice industry, (seen or heard any celebrity chefs lending their cachet to vending machine products lately?) actually has a…


Added by Mathew Mandeltort on November 9, 2009 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

Bouche Amuse

On the TWELFTH appetizer, my waitress brought to me… 12 Quesadilla, 11 Breaded hot wings, 10 Spicy Nachos, 9 Crispy cheese sticks, 8 Battered mushrooms, 7 Chips with salsa, 6 Mini eggrolls, 5 ONION RINGS! 4 garlic sticks, 3 French fries, 2 cups of soups, and some BREAD TOPPED WITH PARMESAN CHEESE!

Sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Original by…


Added by Mathew Mandeltort on October 26, 2009 at 3:00am — No Comments

No Soup For You

Jerry:"The guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about the ordering procedure. He's secretly referred to as the Soup Nazi."

Elaine:"Why? What happens if you don't order right?"

Jerry:"He yells and you don't get your soup." The Jerry Seinfeld Show – Episode 116

In March 2009, Technomic, Inc. conducted an online consumer survey with a nationally representative sample of more than 1,500 American… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on October 13, 2009 at 3:00am — 1 Comment

Bacon: It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

The name derives from the old German word “bacho” meaning buttock. The USDA defines it as "the cured belly of a swine carcass" (other reason not to let the government craft your menu descriptions). “It” is, of course, bacon. Once consigned to nestle next to breakfast eggs (when bacon is served, eggs are present 71% of the time), sit crumbled atop baked potatoes and be the “B” in BLT’s, today bacon is literally and figuratively everywhere in the food universe:

  • U.S.…

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on September 29, 2009 at 3:00am — 7 Comments

My, That is a Tasty Economic Indicator

Recently, a story entitled “Burgernomics” appeared on ABC’s Nightline. The title was meant convey the connection between America’s growing consumption of hamburgers and the current economic recession. Josh Ozersky, the Restaurants Editor for Citysearch remarked “the burger is omnipotent…it is the single most powerful force in the food universe”. As it turns out burgers may also be the most powerful force in the international currency universe as well.

“Burgernomics” is the economy… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on September 22, 2009 at 9:51am — 1 Comment

Burger Mania

"A Big Mac, a BLT,

Quarter pounder with some cheese, Filet of fish a hamburger,

a cheeseburger, a Happy Meal”

The Burger Song


American’s love their burgers. Now, more than ever it seems. Recent NPD findings show that incremental sales of burgers are up 20% over last year:

It is estimated that the Hamburger menu segment accounts for more than 33% Limited Service… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on September 11, 2009 at 8:50am — 1 Comment

It’s a Southern Thang

It’s a Southern Thang

"Be proud you're a rebel 'Cause the South's gonna do it again and again"

The South’s Gonna Do It Again

Charlie Daniels Band

For decades, “Southern Cuisine” was firmly ensconced below the Mason Dixon line. Back in the day, if you wanted grits, sweet tea, or a Krispy Crème Donut, you had to jump in the Rambler and drive deep into Georgia or Mississippi or South Carolina to find it. Oh sure, you could always find… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on September 9, 2009 at 9:52am — No Comments

The Rapid Rise of Slow Drinks

“Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the morning last.”

The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)

Simon & Garfunkle

There is no question that energy drinks have not only enervated people but the beverage market as well. Sales of energy boosting beverages have grown from $1.2 billion in 2002 to $6.6 billion in 2007. The market research firm Packaged Facts projects that the market will reach $9.3 billion by 2011. Even in India, the… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on September 3, 2009 at 1:40pm — 3 Comments

Attack of the RMS's

Nibbled to death by ducks -a project getting killed little bites at a time. Problems can nibble, time can nibble, colleagues can nibble, and suddenly the project is no longer viable.

Green Weenies and Due Diligence: Insider Business Jargon—Raw, Serious and Sometimes Funny by Ron Sturgeon (Mike French Publishing, 2005)

Restaurant operators don’t need to be told that the restaurant industry is more competitive than…


Added by Mathew Mandeltort on August 12, 2009 at 2:17pm — No Comments

Street Eats

“When people wore hats and gloves, nobody would dream of eating on the street. Then white gloves went out of style and, suddenly, eating just about anything in the street became OK."

Jane Addison, quoted in the Great Food Almanac by Irena Chalmers

“We’ll never have a legitimate street food culture in America so long as people are afraid of puking.”

Though American street food may not have attained… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on July 21, 2009 at 1:44pm — No Comments

Stick Schtick

If I thought it'd make you love me I'd put soup on a stick.
“Soup on a Stick” by Ghost Space

It is not hard to imagine the idea of food on-a-stick popped into the head of early humans seconds after discovering fire not only cooked their food, but the hand that held the food as well. Eager to place distance between themselves and fire, they used the power of cognitive thinking to put distance between… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on July 13, 2009 at 11:44am — 1 Comment

Live and Let Fry

Let me be the first to say that, despite consumers’ healthy diet protests to the contrary, the death of fried foods is greatly exaggerated. One need only look to any annual State Fair to comprehend the power that deep fried food has over us. Though any state fair offers a plethora of deep fried delicacies, the State Fair of Texas (aka the "Fried Food Capital of Texas" - their words, not mine) may well be the Shangri-La of all that is deep fried. Below is just a sampling of the fried foods… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on July 9, 2009 at 9:24am — No Comments

Let Me Eatertain You

The Oxford English dictionary defines a portmanteau word as “a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others, e.g. brunch from breakfast and lunch.” It was Lewis Carroll, in Through the Looking Glass, who coined the word portmanteau to describe them. In the book Humpty Dumpty explains that: "Well, 'slithy' means 'lithe and slimy'…. You see, it's like a portmanteau - there are two meanings packed into one word." Foodservice is replete with portmanteau words including… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on July 7, 2009 at 1:05pm — No Comments

Waste Not - Want Not

According to a Stockholm International Water Institute study roughly 30% of food in the United States goes to waste, costing some $48 billion annually. In January of this year, Technomic, Inc. asked a number of operators what tactics they were employing to combat rising food costs. Almost 3 out of 4 responded they were focusing on reducing waste/spoilage:

% Operators Employing to Address Higher Food Costs…


Added by Mathew Mandeltort on July 6, 2009 at 8:32am — No Comments

Cleanliness is Next to …

As operators struggle to navigate the murky waters of the current economy, many wonder what they can do to generate traffic. Dave Thomas, the late founder of Wendy’s once said. “It all comes back to the basics. Serve customers the best-tasting food at a good value in a clean, comfortable restaurant, and they'll keep coming back.” Turns out Dave was right but what is interesting how the relative importance of those attributes shift depending upon if one is talking about full-service, fast casual… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on July 2, 2009 at 7:47am — No Comments

The New 31 Flavors – The Tyranny of Too Much

Old enough to remember when there were only 3 television channels to choose from? Today the average household has access to 104 channels. Do your recall as a child being overwhelmed having to choose from amongst the 31 flavors offered by Baskin Robbins? Today, foodservice operators offer customers a staggering array of choices with every dining occasion:

• Buffalo Wild Wings – 14 varieties of wing sauce

• Dunkin Donuts – 52 varieties of donuts

• Chipotle – 65,000+ taco,… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on June 25, 2009 at 7:38am — No Comments

The Physics of Foodservice

Foodservice, like physics, seems to have its own immutable laws and principles that govern the behavior of entities and individuals with the foodservice universe. For example, just as Newton's Third Law of Motion exemplified that for every action in the physical universe there is an equal and opposite reaction, the Third Law of Menu's states that for every portion sizing action there is an equal and opposite portion sizing reaction. In a foodservice environment emphasizing value, customer… Continue

Added by Mathew Mandeltort on June 22, 2009 at 8:55am — No Comments




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Fast-casual growth comes from new openings as market matures

Sales at fast-casual eateries are growing at a pace similar to that of quickservice and sit-down restaurants as young, high-i -More

Taylor® Grills. Cooking made Easier, Faster, and Smarter.
With efficiency and food safety top of mind, the Taylor® L810 two-sided grill is a foodservice industry favorite. Optimize profits and cooking efficiency with three separately controlled cooking zones, programmable cook times, pre-set temperature and automatic gap settings. To learn more click here.

In the swim: Gulf state seafood catch safe for now

Businesses fighting to preserve commercial access to seafood fished in the Gulf states scored a big win this month when the G -More

Ruby Tuesday revitalization prompts sales growth

Maryville, Tenn.-based Ruby Tuesday posted gains in same-store sales in the fourth quarter, with a 5% rise at franchised rest -More


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National News

Main Event Entertainment to Open First Center in the Rio Grande Valley

Main Event Entertainment, the fastest-growing family entertainment center in America, is celebrating its new center opening in Pharr, Texas, a suburb near McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley. Doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. on August 6.

Darden Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced that Clarence Otis is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Darden's Board of Directors has appointed the Company's current Independent Lead Director, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. The Company also announced that it has amended its corporate governance policies to provide for the separation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles.

National Restaurant Association Statement on NLRB Joint Employer Decision

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision asserting McDonald’s Corporation is a joint employer of its franchisees:

National Restaurant Association Issues Support for Clearer ACA Definition of Seasonal Employment

The bipartisan legislation will align the definitions of seasonal employment in the Affordable Care Act and streamline the applicable large employer determination process.

Rising India, Inc. Announces Acquisition Strategy Toward a Sizable Slice of the QSR Pizza Pie

Rising India, Inc. (OTC: RSII), announces today it will immediately begin work toward the acquisition of up to 5 profitable stores in the popular Quick Serve Pizza Restaurant segment. Current targets are currently earning about $450,000 in revenues per year, per store. Acquisition of targets would provide immediate cash flow identified from profitable longstanding, absentee owner operations with proven model success.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

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