Bruegger’s N.Y.-Style Bagels Now in Canada
Bruegger’s New York-style bagels have come to Canada with three Toronto shops at co-branded mmmuffins locations in Union Station, Exchange Tower and Hillcrest Mall. Best known for its kettle-boiled bagels baked fresh on a stone hearth and served hot, Bruegger’s bagels are made with five basic ingredients — wheat flour, salt, malt, yeast and water, and they’re also trans-fat free, with fewer than 350 calories. “We pride ourselves on making the most authentic New York-style bagels anywhere, and we are pleased to share the centuries-old, time-tested tradition with Canadians,” said Jim Greco, the CEO of Bruegger’s Enterprises Inc. (B.E.I.). An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., B.E.I. is a leader in the fast-casual restaurant segment with 292 franchise and corporate-owned locations throughout the U.S.
New $450-M Vancouver Project with Two Hotels and Casino Opens in 2013
A $450-million, 680,000-square-foot entertainment complex — which will include two internationally branded hotels, five restaurants and a 110,000-square-foot, 24-hour casino — will be erected adjacent to B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver. The project, expected to be completed in 2013, was announced on Friday by Premier Gordon Campbell at a news conference inside the stadium. Las Vegas-based casino operator Paragon Development Ltd. owns and operates the Edgewater Casino at Vancouver’s Plaza of Nations and will operate the casino under a $6-million annual lease. PavCo, the crown corporation that operates B.C. Place, confirmed it has signed a 70-year lease with Paragon for the two acres of land immediately west of B.C. Place. Scott Menke, Paragon president, told reporters at the news conference that that there will be “two internationally branded hotels, one price-conscious and the other of a luxury brand.” The hotels will have five restaurants between them and the casino will feature 1,500 slot machines and 150 table games — it is projected to generate $130 million in annual gambling revenue.
Tim Hortons CFO, Cynthia Devine, Named CFO of the Year
Cynthia Devine, chief financial officer of Tim Hortons Inc., has been selected as one of two “CFO of the Year” winners for 2010, by a committee of business leaders. The honour has been awarded annually since 2003 by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Financial Executives International Canada and Caldwell Partners International Inc. For the first time, two CFOs were honoured, the other being Richard Bird, chief financial officer of Enbridge Inc. Peter Dey, chairman of Paradigm Capital Inc. and chair of the selection committee, said the fact that both Tim Hortons and Enbridge flourished during the recession was “clearly a factor in the selection of the CFOs for the award.
U.S. Sofitel Hotels Join Green-Key Initiative
The French hotel brand Sofitel Luxury Hotels, which is part of the Accor group, has adopted the Green-Key Eco-Rating lodging certification program for its U.S. portfolio of eight properties. Sofitel’s commitment to Green Key follows on the heels of Accor North America (ANA) launching a Green-Key pilot earlier this year at 20 Motel 6 and Studio 6 properties. The program is to be completed by the end of April. In the U.S., Green Key is a joint partnership between the Hotel Association of Canada and LRA Worldwide, Inc., in Horsham, Pa.
U.S. Health Bill Mandates Calorie Counts on Chain Menus
All U.S. chain restaurants with 20 or more locations will have to provide calorie count information on menus, menu boards and drive-thrus under the new health-care bill signed last week by President Obama. The new law to make calorie information immediately available when ordering requires the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labelling, superseding state and city laws. The new law’s author, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, commented, “The nutrition information will be right on the menu or menu board next to the name of the menu item, rather than in a pamphlet or in tiny print on a poster, so that consumers can see it when they are making ordering decisions.”
Bluefin Decision Defended by Canada
While some may be decrying the United Nations’ recent inability to pass a U.S.- and European Union-backed plan to ban the export of bluefin tuna, Gail Shea, Canadian federal fisheries minister, insists the decision is good for our country. The plan, which was opposed by Japan, Canada and a number of smaller developing countries, was tabled at a recent UN wildlife meeting. Its intent was to protect the dwindling stock of the prized bluefin, which is much sought after by sushi chefs around the world. Shea told the CBC that the regulations were unnecessary, due to Canada’s strong conservation practices. “We’re very encouraged by the preliminary results because Canada’s position all along has been that this species should be managed through a regional fish-management program, which we have in ICCAT [International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas].” Critics such as Susan Lieberman, director of International policy with the Pew Environment Group in Washington, told the Associated Press, “It’s pretty irresponsible of the governments to hear the science and ignore the science. Clearly, there was pressure from the fishing interests. The fish is too valuable for its own good,” she added.
Canadian Beef Appeals to Hispanic Americans
Canadian beef is making a name for itself stateside where retailers servicing the Hispanic market are buying the meat to set themselves apart and generate customer satisfaction, reports the Beef Information Centre (BIC). According to Marty Carpenter, senior director of U.S. Marketing for the BIC, our nation’s beef has a lot of characteristics that appeal to this growing niche market. “The Hispanic consumer prefers bright red meat colour and white fat, two attributes that are unique to Canada’s grading system and part of the attributes we call the Canadian Beef Advantage, which are found in our top grades: Canada Prime, AAA, AA or A.” The BIC client list has more than doubled in the U.S. Hispanic market. Arizona-based Merit Foods is one such retailer who has seen a 30 per cent increase in beef sales. “The growth of our beef sales has exceeded our expectations,” said Scott Butler, general manager for Merit Foods. “We were able to improve the value and consistency of our service. In turn, customers are recognizing the quality of the Canadian brand and are now requesting it.”
SIR Corp. Names Director of Culinary Development
In another sign that Canada’s full-service restaurant chains are stepping up their game, SIR Corp. — the operator of Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill, Canyon Creek Chop House and Alice Fazooli’s — has announced that Toronto chef Gordon Mackie has been named director of Culinary Development for the entire company. Mackie joined SIR Corp. in 2003, as executive corporate chef of the company’s Signature Group of downtown Toronto restaurants. Mackie, who helped redefine the influential Toronto financial district restaurant Far Niente, and who opened healthy dining hotspot Four, brings serious culinary credibility to the post. In his new role, the chef will oversee the menu development and overall culinary direction for both the company’s Signature restaurants and its popular chain divisions.
Club des Amis Canada Honours Culinary Scholarship
The Club des Amis Canada celebrated the naming of its first Culinary Scholarship winner, David Leggett, at its 2nd Annual Reunion luncheon held yesterday at Treadwell Farm-to-Table restaurant in Port Dalhousie, Ont.. Leggett, who was present at the luncheon to accept the award, was the apprentice specialized chef and commis chef at Boodle’s Gentlemen’s Club, St. James St., in London, England. The award is in partnership with Dorset, U.K.-based Bournemouth & Pool College and its three-year Specialized Chef’s Program, and it is open to graduate students who are prepared to work as a paid employee in Canada for one year in a Club des Amis member restaurant. The award includes return airfare and transportation costs, short-term accommodation in Canada and other out-of-pocket expenses. The other four competitors for the scholarship were also from the U.K. Hosted by Treadwell owners Steve and James Treadwell, the event is also a celebration of seasonal local products from the farms and vineyards of Niagara and southwestern Ontario.
March marks the 6th anniversary of the founding of Club des Amis Canada. It has grown out of the former Langdon Halls Chef’s Association and is modelled on the 26-year-old and still active, original Club des Amis, which was organized by Michel Bourdin, chef de cuisine of the Connaught Hotel in London. Bourdin’s purpose was to identify young talent and leadership in people; to offer help to those who are passionate about pursuing culinary careers; to celebrate their successes; and to encourage them to give back to the industry, all while providing them with a safety net of support. The president of Club des Amis Canada is Nigel Didcock, executive chef at Toronto’s Granite Club.
We Care Hockey Tournament Raises $22,000
The Canadian Foodservice Hockey Cup held last week in Toronto, in support of Friends of We Care, raised more than $22,000 to help send Easter Seal children to summer camps across Canada. The Danone Canada team captured the “A” Division Cup, with a victory over the team from C.W. Shasky (Otis Spunkmeyer). The “B” Division Cup went to the team from Kraft Canada, with a victory over Janes Family Foods. The event saw 14 teams participate with more than 250 hockey players from the foodservice industry taking part. In addition to the teams mentioned, other participants included: Cardinal Meats, Gordon Food Service, High Liner Ice Hogs, Kostuch Publications/TrainCan Knights, Mother Parker’s, Piller’s Icewursts, Prime Restaurants, Starbucks Coffee Canada, Unisource and Team We Care.
Tyson Sales Representation Changes
Canadian sales representation for Tyson Foods Inc. will change, effective April 5, with Janes Family Foods and its network of sales brokers assuming responsibility, which was previously handled by International Pacific Sales and its associate brokers. The Janes network includes: Advantage Food Service in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; Janes Family Foods in Ontario; Alimentation Impact in Quebec; and Impact Food Brokers in Atlantic Canada. Tyson’s Canadian sales director, Craig Holloway, stated, “Tyson Foods has aligned with Janes Family Foods to increase our Canadian product offerings.”
Fast Food Logos Speed Up Individual’s Activities
Fast food logos, such as those made famous by McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway or KFC restaurants, cause the observer of the logos to be more time-conscious, speeding up activity while growing impatient, according to a research report published by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Co-authored by professors in organizational behaviour, Chen-Bo Zhong and Sanford DeVoe, for publication in the journal Psychological Science, three separate studies found that even momentary exposure makes people rush. “Fast food represents a culture of time efficiency and instant gratification,” said Zhong. “The problem is that the goal of saving time gets activated upon exposure to fast food, regardless of whether time is a relevant factor in the context. For example, walking faster is time efficient when one is trying to make a meeting, but it’s a sign of impatience when one is going for a stroll in the park. We’re finding that the mere exposure to fast food is promoting a general sense of haste and impatience regardless of the context,” he added.
Alberta We Care Ball, Dinner, April 15, Calgary
The annual Swing into Spring — We Care Ball and 24th Gourmet Dinner in support of Easter Seals will be held on Friday, April 16. It will be held at the Palomino Room in BMO Centre at Calgary’s Stampede Park. For information: Heather Harrison, Tel: (403) 235-5662 x 211; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OHRMA Annual Golf Tournament, May 27, Brampton
The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) will hold its 7th Annual Provincial Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 27, at the Lionhead Golf & Country Club in Brampton, Ont. For more information: Tel: (905) 361-0288.
Four Seasons to Open Four New Properties in India
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, based in Toronto, announced its plans for four new properties in India within the next five years. “Our plan is to have two new hotels in Bangalore and Gurgaon and two resorts in Kerala and Jaipur by 2015,” Four Seasons Hotel director of Marketing, Sanjeev Shukla, said. “This will add over a 1,000 rooms to our inventory.”