Hospitality Unleashed: Restaurants Canada Show 2016 Round-up


TORONTO — For three days this week, Canada’s foodservice industry converged on the Enercare Centre in Toronto for the annual Restaurants Canada Show. Chefs, suppliers, operators and other culinary experts shared secrets, tips and new product offerings on the massive, interactive tradeshow floor.

Seminars tackled tough industry issues while cooking demonstrations and workshops demonstrated the latest techniques and money-making menu ideas. Here are just a few of samples the topics covered:

The tipping point: A panel of industry experts took on the hot issue of tipping. The conversation, led by Bruce McAdams, a professor in the University of Guelph’s School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, discussed the idea of abolishing tipping and how it would impact staff, customers and a restaurant’s bottom line. “Tipping has created a transient nature in servers,” and has made restaurants “a stop on the way to something else, instead of a career,” he said.

Corey Mintz, food writer, former cook and restaurant critic proclaimed that he “hates tipping” and thinks that consumers have tipping fatigue. He also expressed concern that tipping takes revenue control out of the hands of operators. John Chetti, co-owner at Queen Margherita Pizza, was the lone tipping advocate on the panel. He claimed that tipping allowed his restaurants to more accurately gauge customer service and satisfaction.

The art of bread: Good bread can impact a restaurant’s bottom line and shape a customer’s perception when it comes to menu quality. “The bread you serve your customer must taste like it was made that morning. If it doesn’t, they will notice it immediately,” said Tony Cammalleri, executive chef, Pusateri’s during a presentation. He also cautioned bread has to be consistent. “Customers don’t care what’s happening in the kitchen — they want the same bread they had last week.”

Cammalleri was joined on stage by chef and TV personality Rodney Bowers, who created a variety of innovative sandwich offerings using bread from Boulart. “Bread needs to have integrity and hold up to the ingredients.”

The story of beef: Fawn Jackson, executive director at Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef provided an update on the Canadian beef industry. Today’s customer is three generations removed from the farm — significantly impacting their understanding of agriculture practices, she said. Her organization helps people understand the environmental impact of beef production and what farmers are doing to decrease the industry’s footprint. “Canada punches above its weight in agricultural research,” she said, noting that it is number-2 in the world.

She also announced that the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef will be releasing the National Beef Sustainability Assessment later this year. The report will offer a comprehensive baseline assessment of the environmental and socioeconomic impact of beef production in Canada; identify key strengths and weaknesses that should be the focus of future research, communication, policy, beneficial management practices and other industry initiatives; and unveil modelling and methodology tools for future benchmarking of sustainability indicators.


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