February 14, 2013

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Foodservice Interchange 2013

March 4, 2013
Allstream Centre, Toronto

Meet One of Our Speakers

Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President, Technomic, Inc. will share key insights into the evolution of foodservice trends. Learn about trends migrating from the US and Internationally into Canada as well as some home grown Canadian influences making an impact elsewhere.  You won’t want to miss learning about the newest trends for 2013 and what these could mean for your business:

  1. Snacking, small plates and sharing blur traditional dayparts. Changing dining habits are impacting all dayparts. Consumers want their meals and snacks when and where it’s convenient. Expect chefs to get more creative by paring down traditional entrées into creative small plates, looking to street trucks for snacking inspiration, and incorporating more ethnic flavours and ingredients into sharing dishes.
  2. Taking chicken to new heights. The better-burger trend has spread like wildfire across Canada. Building off the burger trend, chefs will turn to the humble chicken as the next workaday food primed for a gourmet update. Look for increasing use of high-quality birds raised locally, naturally and humanely.
  3. Veggies find more prominence on the plate. Expect to see not just more locally sourced, in-season fresh veggies siding up to proteins, but more vegetarian entrées as well.
  4. Asian breaks out. From the burgeoning ramen scene in Toronto to Japanese tapas restaurants in Vancouver, expect to see interest in the multitude of food cultures that Asia has to offer. This includes not just up-and-coming Southeast Asian dishes from Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, but regional Chinese and Japanese fusion as well.
  5. Specialty approach to beverages. Artisan preparation and ethnic flavours are not just hot food trends—chefs are exercising their creativity beyond the plate with beverage innovation too. Restaurants are now crafting everything from craveable small-batch sodas to exotic refreshers like South American aguas frescas. Consumers are also seeking more authenticity at restaurants, particularly when it comes to ethnic dining. We’ll see more and more food-and-beverage pairings that complete an ethnic dining experience.

Date: March 4, 2013
Registration and Networking Breakfast: 7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Conference: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
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For complete details: contact FCPC – Heather Spencer, heathers@fcpc.ca or 416-510-9050


Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar Eyes Orlando for Expansion

November 2, 2012

Anjali Fluker, Orlando Business Journal, © 2012 American City Business Journals, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Tampa restaurant group wants to bring its tapas-style concept to Orlando-area neighborhoods.

Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar LLC — which has three restaurants in Clearwater, Tampa and Sarasota, as well as one opening in south Tampa — is narrowing the site list for its first metro Orlando location.

Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar eventually plans to put eight of its restaurants in the area in the next two years. Co-owner Alex Sullivan declined to share potential construction costs since the concept is looking at both existing spaces and ground-up development. However, the chain’s newest 4,000-square-foot, 150-seat store in south Tampa was a $2 million effort.

The focus on tapas is somewhat rare in Orlando, where a handful of such concepts exist, including Ceviche and the planned Loft 55 in Orlando, as well as Cafe Tu Tu Tango on International Drive and El Bogedon in Winter Park. However, none of these concepts have multiple locations locally.

Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar may be a viable competitor to the successful Seasons 52 restaurant chain owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI), which focuses on small plates and healthy meals, said restaurant industry analyst Darren Tristano.

Though the group has yet to sign any leases, Sullivan said he likes Winter Park, the Sand Lake Road area in southwest Orlando, Waterford Lakes in east Orlando, Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs, to name a few submarkets.

“We were trying to determine what makes sense for us, and Orlando is close to home,” said Sullivan, who added that the restaurant’s main demographic appears to be women, but Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar also offers steaks and burgers to draw in men. “A lot of people think Orlando and think of Disney, but there are lot of residents who appreciate good food, a great atmosphere and great restaurant. That’s our customer.”

The new restaurants could create up to 160 temporary construction jobs based on ground-up construction, as well as nearly 400 permanent jobs at buildout. First-year sales in each existing restaurant are forecast for $2.5 million, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar is looking for about 4,200 square feet of space in the Orlando area, said Jorge Rodriguez, director of retail for commercial real estate brokerage firm Colliers International, who represents the chain in its Orlando growth.

Though the concept is less than 2 years old, the owners are longtime successful restaurant executives. Sullivan’s father, Chris Sullivan, was a founder of Outback Restaurants, and other partners in the restaurants are former executives with Oceanaire Seafood Room and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

And that almost guarantees success in the local restaurant industry. “They’ve got instant credibility on the street when you’re talking about those people,” said David Gabbai, a restaurant/retail broker with The Shopping Center Group LLC in Longwood, who’s not involved in the Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar expansion. “If I’m making a call to a landlord that has available property and [Sullivan is] part of the group that started Outback, that will get them noticed.”

The concept also sets it self apart by having all customers order from an iPad, while also providing them with full waiter service. The iPad also stays at the table through the meal, so it can provide entertainment for kids or allow someone to order something else without having to wait for a server.

Meanwhile, this is a good time for a group that can get financing to expand as the rest of the market still recovers.

“If a concept is able to expand financially without leveraging itself too far or franchising, that’s an ideal situation — before the other chains start to bounce back,” said Tristano, executive vice president of Chicago-based restaurant industry analyst firm Technomic Inc.

What this means to you

• Real estate, construction and vendor opportunities

• New restaurant can be venue for business meetings, events.