News Snippets

This time around: burger restaurants show great growth during the recession, while other restaurants are cutting down on the use of high fructose corn syrup.


Limited-Service Burger Restaurants Show Growth


Fast-casual is the way to go – at least, that’s the belief of many limited-service burger operators. The belief is firmly grounded in reality, too: The top 75 limited-service burger changes boasted a 1.6 sales growth last year that reached $65 billion.


The top 10 fastest-growing restaurants showed amazing growth, from Fatburger’s “low” 13.9% unit change, to Shake Shack’s 133.3%(!) unit change.


The burger segment is showing great growth, even though its rate of expansion has been slowing. The study was put together by industry research firm Technomic, and is available at the following link:


Restaurants Bucking High Fructose Corn Syrup


There has been controversy in health-conscious circles for years over high fructose corn syrup. Found in everything from candy to soda to common food items, the syrup has been blamed from everything from the United States’ obesity epidemic, to diabetes, to just about any weight-based health concern you can name!


Big-name companies like Pepsi, Sara Lee, Kraft, Heinz, Hunt’s, and even Gatorade have opted for sugar over high fructose corn syrup in many of their product lines. Many restaurant operators are beginning to follow suit.


Take for example Fairmont Hotel’s Executive Chef Gavin Stephenson in Seattle. He decided to remove both regular and high fructose corn syrup from his menus shortly after getting rid of trans fats.  He feels responsible for each of the 400,000 yearly meals he oversees, stating: “I can’t change what people eat every day, but I can make a difference to those people who eat here.”


He makes a good argument about how to fight obesity. Since our eating habits haven’t changed, he says, maybe we should do something about what’s in the food we eat instead. He claims that more natural sweeteners are best, stating that “Our great grandparents had no problem” with staples such as sugar, honey, and butter. He recently installed beehives on the Fairmont’s roof so that he would have an endless supply of “clean” sweetener. If that’s not walking the walk, we don’t know what is!

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