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THE 2021

PINNACLe

Awards SINCE 1968

(l to r) Frank

Hennessey, CEO;

Julie Denton, Chief

People Officer;

Ken Grondin Chief

Financial Officer

CANADIAN PUBLICATION MAIL PRODUCT SALES AGREEMENT #40063470

GO

FISH

Chefs are pushing

the boundaries of

seafood preparation

NEED

FOR

SPEED

Accelerated-cooking

equipment is

addressing operator

pain points

UNLIMITED

POTENTIAL

The team at Recipe Unlimited used the

challenges of COVID-19 to accelerate the

evolution of Canada’s foodservice industry

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 $4.00


It’s not a new look.

It’s a new perspective.

Olam Food Ingredients is now known as ofi, and key to this evolution is our new identity.

But it’s what we do, not how we look, that really defines us. Today, in addition to being a leading

supplier of cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts and spices, we offer our customers ideas and solutions that are

built on innovation at every step from plant to palate. These fresh ideas help us co-create natural,

nutritious, delicious products with unique features and sustainable, transparent origins.

make it real with us. Find out how at ofi.com

Look out for our new logo


VOLUME 54, NO.8 | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

SPECIAL PINNACLE AWARDS’ ISSUE: CELEBRATING HOSPITALITY EXCELLENCE

22 COMPANY OF THE YEAR

RECIPE UNLIMITED

Pandemic challenges have driven the

company to embrace change

46

28 REGIONAL COMPANY OF THE YEAR

GHOST KITCHEN BRANDS

Ghost Kitchen Brands is re-defining

the takeout-and-delivery space

32 INDEPENDENT RESTAURATEURS

OF THE YEAR ASCARI GROUP

When COVID brought the restaurant

industry to its knees, the Ascari

Hospitality Group started an advocacy

17

movement to help get it back on

its feet

36 SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR

SYSCO CANADA

During challenging times, Sysco

48

is leading the industry by example

IN THIS ISSUE

40 NEED FOR SPEED

Speed-cooking equipment is helping

11 FUTURE FORWARD

The fifth-annual WITH conference

keeps moving the needle

operators conquer COVID-19 challenges

46 LIFTING SPIRITS

Bars and restaurants are getting

COVER PHOTO BY DANIEL AELXANDER

15 COMPETITION TO GO

The big three delivery companies

continue to fight for diner dollars

16 FISHING FOR PROFITS

COVID-19 has forced seafood kitchens

to push menu boundaries — and it’s

paying off

creative with spirit sales

47 REALITY CHECK

AR/VR technology is likely already at

a restaurant near you

DEPARTMENTS

2 FROM THE EDITOR

5 FYI

10 FROM THE DESK OF NPD GROUP

48 CHEF’S CORNER Colin Henderson,

Café Boulud, Toronto

FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 1


FROM THE EDITOR

EST. 1968 | VOLUME 54, NO.8 | NOV./DEC. 2021

The pandemic may not be officially over, but it’s certainly

time for the industry to start its ascent back from the

devastation that has been wreaked on what was once a

dynamic and vibrant industry. With the holidays around

the corner, there’s a feeling of optimism in the air, as vaccine passports

become a way of life and Canada’s vaccination rate continues

to climb — two realities that give us increased confidence.

As we turn the page on another year, one that has been

equally as challenging as 2020, we take some solace that the

worst is hopefully behind us. And, therefore, there’s no time like

the present to start taking those first tentative steps on the road

to recovery.

We’d be naïve to think it will be a smooth journey back. It

will take months for employees to return to their regular work

hours and perhaps even longer before consumers feel totally

comfortable returning to on-premise dining. But the good news

is that a May 2021 survey by Restaurants Canada found that 89

per cent of Canadians are looking forward to going out to a restaurant

with friends and family when the pandemic is over.

Though the industry had experienced one of its best periods

leading into the pandemic, experts expect it may take several more

RAISING

A GLASS

years before the industry bounces back to pre-

COVID levels. And, even then, the landscape

might look markedly different from the one we

left behind in March 2020 when COVID first

reared its ugly head. The good news is that once

COVID is done with us, the pent-up demand

for restaurant dining will be quite remarkable.

For now, the team at Kostuch Media is

thrilled to welcome the industry back to its

first large event in two years — our annual

Pinnacle Awards celebration. And while there

hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in the past 21

months, the fact the industry was able to

weather the storm is a remarkable feat of

endurance that can’t be ignored.

Many of this year’s winners aptly demonstrate

that even with the constraints of one

of the worst periods in our recent history, so

many individuals and companies were able to soldier on and

manage to achieve incredible results, pulling deep within their

reserves to emerge stronger. As we raise a glass to all of this

year’s winners, let’s not lose sight that this is a resilient industry

and one whose passion and love of people will propel it forward

— even if it may take a little longer than we expect.

On behalf of the entire KML team, we wish our readers and

advertisers alike the best of the holiday season, and as always, a

touch of magic. Now, more than ever, we can certainly use it. FH

ROSANNA CAIRA rcaira@kostuchmedia.com

@foodservicemag

facebook.com/foodservicehospitalitymagazine

instagram.com/rosannacaira

2 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NICK WONG, LOCATION PROVIDED BY VIA CIBO

EDITOR & PUBLISHER ROSANNA CAIRA

MANAGING EDITOR AMY BOSTOCK

ASSISTANT EDITOR NICOLE DI TOMASSO

ART DIRECTOR COURTNEY JENKINS

DESIGN ASSISTANT JENNIFER O’NEILL

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER/EVENTS

CO-ORDINATOR JHANELLE PORTER

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

WENDY GILCHRIST

ACCOUNT MANAGER ELEANOR SANTOS

SALES AND MARKETING ASSISTANT

KIMONE CLUNIS

ACCOUNTING SERVICES DANIELA PRICOIU

CIRCULATION PUBLICATION PARTNERS

ADVISORY BOARD

ASCARI HOSPITALITY GROUP, JOHN SINOPOLI

CHARCUT RESTAURANT CONNIE DESOUSA,

JOHN JACKSON

FAIRFAX FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LIMITED NICK PERPICK

JOEY RESTAURANT GROUP BRITT INNES

LACATLIS CANADA IVEN ZANARDO

MAPLE LEAF SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT DAN MORROW

MTY GROUP MARIE-LINE BEAUCHAMP

NARAMATA INN NED BELL

PARAMOUNT FINE FOODS MOHAMAD FAKIH

PROFILE HOSPITALITY GROUP SCOTT BELLHOUSE

SOTOS LLP ALLAN DICK

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS JUDSON SIMPSON

UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH, SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY

& TOURISM MANAGEMENT BRUCE MCADAMS

WELBILT MARY CHIAROT

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MONTHLY NEWS AND UPDATES FOR THE FOODSERVICE INDUSTRY

HEALING THE LAND

QSRs are stepping up with waste-reduction strategies

BY AMY BOSTOCK

AS

the economic fallout

from the COVID-19

pandemic continues to

challenge restaurant operators, consumer

demand for planet-friendly

foodservice options remains high —

especially when it comes to packaging.

The quick-service-restaurant segment

(QSR) — which fared better than

most thanks to its ability to pivot to

a takeout and delivery only business

model — has risen to the challenge in

recent months, with many top chains

unveiling new and comprehensive

sustainability pledges with specific

targets to help minimize the volume

of packaging that goes to landfill.

Back in June, KFC Canada

announced a huge milestone in its

sustainability journey, promising that

all consumer-facing packaging will be

fully home compostable by 2025 — a

bold commitment that will divert

nearly 200 million pieces of packaging

FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

from Canadian landfills each year.

“One of our leading principles at

KFC Canada is feeding people, not

landfills. The move to 100 per cent

home compostable consumer packaging

is a bold and ambitious step we’re

taking to inspire positive change in

the communities we operate in,” says

Nivera Wallani, president & General

Manager, KFC Canada.

In October, Tim Hortons, part

of Restaurant Brands International

(RBI), announced three new initiatives,

including the trial of a compostable

and recyclable hot-beverage

cup, testing of recycling in restaurants

and the kickoff of a pilot project with

zero-waste platform Loop using reusable

and returnable packaging.

“We’ll be working with government

and industry stakeholders across

Canada to share the results

of the trial. We want to share our

progress so we can work together

OUR

PACKAGING IS

A PART OF

OUR HERITAGE

AND OUR

STORYTELLING.

BEYOND ITS

ICONIC IMAGE,

WE WANT KFC’S

PACKAGING TO

BE FORWARD-

THINKING,

INSPIRING AND

TO CHAMPION

FUNCTIONALITY,

FOOD SAFETY

AND ECO-

FRIENDLY

SOLUTIONS

ARMANDO

CARRILLO

INNOVATION

MANAGER, KFC

CANADA.

toward developing the best solutions

for everyone to use for a more

sustainable future,” says Paul Yang,

senior director of Sustainability and

Packaging for Tim Hortons.”

In the same week, McDonald’s

Canada announced it would be phasing

out plastic cutlery, stir sticks and straws

to introduce wooden cutlery and stir

sticks and paper straws at more 1,400

restaurants by December 2021.

“By removing these single-use plastics

in our restaurants, we show our

ongoing commitment to minimize

our environmental footprint,” says

Rob Dick, Supply Chain officer,

McDonald’s Canada.

Not to be outdone by its competitors,

Wendy’s announced its goal of

sustainably sourcing 100 per cent of

its customer-facing packaging by 2026

through a new collaboration with

packaging-and-plastics industry leaders

Berry Global and LyondellBasell.

The collaboration will support

Wendy’s move from a selection of

plastic-lined paper cups with limited

recyclability to single-substrate, clear

plastic drink cups. Set to launch in

U.S. and Canadian restaurants in early

2022, the cups will also use 20-percent

ISCC-certified, recycled plastic

across all its North America restaurants

— a QSR industry first – with

the potential to increase the amount of

recycled plastic used in the future. FH

Popeyes, announced earlier this year, it is

removing all EPS foam cups globally and

replacing them with paper. The brand is working

towards implementing requirements for all

approved fiber-based packaging to come from

certified or recycled sources globally, by the end

of 2021.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 5


McEWAN ENTERPRISES

INC. FILES FOR CREDITOR

PROTECTION

According to a story in the Globe and Mail,

a judge has dismissed celebrity chef Mark

McEwan’s re-structuring plans for his restaurant,

grocery and events business, which

proposed selling the business to a new company

controlled by its existing owners while

closing two money-losing locations.

MEI owns six Toronto restaurants, including

One Restaurant and Fabbrica, as well

as a catering business and McEwan Fine

Foods supermarkets. According to the Globe

and Mail, the company claimed more than

$10 million in liabilities when it filed for

protection under the Companies’ Creditors

Arrangement Act (CCAA) on September

28, including nearly $540,000 in overdue

or deferred rent, as well as millions owed to

suppliers, banks and shareholders.

“Although many of MEI’s locations have historically been profitable, certain ... locations have

been underperforming for a number of years, causing a significant strain on the business as a

whole,” says a court filing from the company’s appointed monitor, Alvarez & Marsal Canada

Inc. “Further, the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including extensive restaurant

closures, capacity constraints and other COVID-19 related measures over the past 18 months,

have been significant and have resulted in material EBITDA losses and liquidity challenges for

the consolidated MEI business.”

Court filings detail how although MEI’s restaurants were forced to close for 10 months due

to COVID-19, some assets have been “underperforming for a number of years,” which has

impacted the business overall despite the success and prestige of some of its establishments.

As part of its re-structuring efforts, the company entered into a purchase agreement with

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and McEwan himself to re-purchase the business under a new

numbered company (2864785 Ontario Corp.) which will retain its staff of 268 employees

while reducing lease obligations with fewer grocery and restaurant locations.

Before entering CCAA proceedings, Fairfax owned 55 per cent of MEI while McEwan owns

the remaining 45 per cent.

MTY TO ACQUIRE KÜTO

COMPTOIR À TARTARES

MTY Food Group Inc. has announced that one of its

subsidiaries has signed an agreement to acquire

the assets of Küto Comptoir à Tartares. Currently,

the Küto network has 31 franchised restaurants in

operation in Quebec, with 13 locations opened in

the last year.

HELPING

HAND

Last month, the federal government

announced further targeted support for

the hardest-hit businesses, proposing

changes to the Tourism and Hospitality

Recovery Program, the Hardest-Hit

Business Recovery Program and the

Canada Recovery Hiring Program.

The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery

Program will provide support through the

wage and rent subsidy, to eligible organizations

in the industry, such as hotels, restaurants,

bars, festivals and travel agencies.

Under this program, the maximum subsidy

rate is 75 per cent from Oct. 24, 2021 to Mar.

12, 2022.

Lockdown Support would also be available

at the current fixed rate of 25 per cent and

pro-rated based on the number of days a particular

location was affected by a lockdown.

Hardest-hit businesses that don’t qualify

for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery

Program will qualify for rent and wage support

under this program if they meet two

requirements: an average monthly revenue

reduction of at least 50 per cent over the first

13 qualifying periods for the CEWS program

and a current-month revenue loss of at least

50 per cent.

Under this program, the maximum rate

for the wage and rent subsidies would be 50

per cent from Oct. 24, 2021 to Mar. 12, 2022.

Lockdown Support would also be available

at the current fixed rate of 25 per cent.

Currently, the Canada Recovery Hiring

Program was set to expire on Nov. 30, 2021,

however, the government is proposing to

update the subsidy rate for eligible employers

to 50 per cent until May. 7, 2022, with

authority for further extension through

regulations until July. 2, 2022.

Additional supports outlined by the

government include the event of a publichealth

lockdown, where affected organizations,

regardless of sector, would only need

to demonstrate a current-month decline as

well as increasing the monthly cap on eligible

expenses under the CERS program from

$300,000 to $1 million starting Oct. 24, 2021.

6 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM


ALL

FIRED UP

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI)

will acquire Firehouse Subs for $1 billion.

Since 2010, Firehouse Subs has increased its

number of restaurants to 1,200. Additionally,

its system-wide sales reached roughly $1.1

billion for 2021.

“Firehouse Subs is a special brand with a talented team, impressive culture and community focus

that resonates with guests and closely aligns with our core values at RBI,” says José Cil, CEO of RBI.

“We see tremendous potential to accelerate U.S. and international growth at Firehouse Subs with RBI’s

development expertise, global franchisee network and digital capabilities. We’re excited to welcome the

Firehouse Subs team to the RBI family and to continue our ambitions dream of building the world’s most

loved restaurant brands.”

“At Firehouse Subs, we’re united in our commitment to and passion for hearty and flavourful food,

heart-felt service and public safety,” says Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs. “Joining the RBI family of brands

provides an energizing opportunity to assist more communities, not only across the U.S. and Canada, but

around the globe.”

FRESHII ACQUIRES

MAJORITY CONTROL

OF NATURA MARKET

Freshii Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the rapidly growing

online health-and-wellness product retailer, Natura Market Ecommerce Inc., and upon

closing will have rights to acquire 100 per cent of the business through Q1 2025. Although

the businesses will be run separately, Freshii plans to use insights from Natura’s sales data

to get ahead of food-and-beverage trends, while Natura will benefit from access to Freshii’s

shared-service infrastructure.

Specifically, Freshii will pay $5.7 million in return for the initial 60-per-cent portion of

shares, with the price for the remaining 40 per cent of Natura’s shares to be determined

based on the company’s EBITDA performance through the relevant period. The transaction

is expected to close in Freshii’s fiscal fourth quarter.

HONOURING

GREATNESS

The University

of Guelph

opened a new

high-end food

lab in October

to honour

Anita Stewart,

Canadian cuisine

champion,

U of G’s former food laureate and founder

of Food Day Canada,

The Anita Stewart Memorial Food

Laboratory project was permitted through

a $1.33-million donation in 2019 from

Michel Eric Fournelle, a 1992 graduate of

the hotel and food administration program

(now hospitality and tourism management).

The renovations of the existing

food lab in the Macdonald Institute were

completed in early September.

Up to 20 students at a time can use the

facility to learn about food preparation,

production and safety as well as food systems

and science. The lab’s equipment was

donated by the Ontario Culinary Tourism

Alliance, Taste Canada, Food Day Canada

and Whirlpool Canada.

In addition, the lab is equipped with

three large AV screens to broadcast lectures

and demonstrate recipes to accommodate

physical distancing.

CHEF NUIT REGULAR

TO LEAD CULINARY

PROGRAM AT SELVA

The Fifth has announced that chef Nuit

Regular will be leading the culinary

program at its new restaurant Selva, the

world’s first multi-sensory resto-bar

experience. Chef Nuit’s collaboration

with The Fifth began two years ago

with PAI at RedezViews. Chef Nuit’s

menu is inspired by the artwork created

by Clandestinos and South-American

cuisines, and her goal is to complement

the immersive art experiences by creating

her own unique pieces of edible art.

It will feature a selection of ceviches,

grilled whole fish, avocado-shrimp

salad, grilled eggplant mushroom dip,

beef stew, banana fritters and more.

WINE

TALK

Sommelier Kristine Mansuy, the first sommelier

from Quebec and founder of Kikico Wine Events,

was invited as a speaker at the 13th edition of the

Annual International Wine Tourism Conference

(IWINETC) held in Porto, Portugal in October. At

the conference, Mansuy presented three winetourism

destinations in Canada: the Okanagan

Valley in B.C.; Prince Edward County, Ont.; and the

Eastern Townships in Quebec.

ULINE

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE

Chipotle Mexican Grill opened Canada’s first Chipotlane, the brand’s drivethru

digital-order pickup lane, in Port Coquitlam, B.C. To date, Chipotle has

approximately 280 Chipotlanes located in the U.S., which allow guests to place

their order in advance via the Chipotle app or Chipotle website and simply drive

up to grab their meal. Chipotlanes differ from the traditional Chipotle layout by

increasing access and convenience with a speedy and seamless guest experience.

Chipotle currently has 25 restaurants in Canada and plans to open three additional

restaurants in B.C. and Ontario before the end of the year.

SHEHROZ ASAD [JONI]

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

ORDER BY 6 PM FOR

SAME DAY SHIPPING

8 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM


FROM THE DESK OF NDP

SUMMIT REPORT

THE

FUTURE

OF FSR

The FSR consumer

is shifting postpandemic

FUTURE FORWARD:

EMERGING STRONGER

ISTOCK.COM/YAKOBCHUKOLENA

On one of my first visits to a fullservice

restaurant (FSR) following

the lifting of restrictions, everything

seemed much as it was before the

pandemic. Other than the digital menu and

the face masks, nothing else seemed out of

place. While waiting for our order to arrive, I

started analyzing the other restaurant guests

(yes, I do this all the time when I visit restaurants,

much to the bemusement of my

table guests) and noticed a fascinating reality.

There were no children present and seemingly

nobody over the age of 35, even though it was

only 6 p.m. on a summer weekend evening. I

had to know if this was an isolated situation

or a trend.

The answer turns out to be a little bit of

both. The next day at work, I checked the data

and confirmed that 18 to 34 year-olds have

declined their restaurant visits the least of any

adult cohort since the start of the pandemic.

For the three months ending August 2021,

The NPD Group/CREST database reports

that this cohort has increased its share of FSR

visits over the past two years, from 20 per cent

to 25 per cent, while the 55-plus age cohort’s

share of visits has declined from 40 per cent

to 33 per cent.

Double-clicking now into FSR on-premises

visits, the shift is more pronounced. The

55-plus age cohort still holds the largest

share at about 40 per cent, but its visits have

declined by almost half since 2019. The 18 to

34 year-old cohort has cut back only 25 per

cent of its visits.

This is consistent with recent NPD Group

consumer sentiment studies that reported

younger cohorts would be the fastest to return

to all market segments as soon as restrictions

were lifted. This demographic is also the most

likely to continue ordering delivery through

mobile apps, especially the aggregator apps. In

other words, they are expected to adopt new

on-premises and off-premises behaviours due

to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This shift in the FSR consumer profile

has significant implications for FSR operators.

Younger cohorts are more adventurous

with their food selections and are more likely

to seek out a continuous sampling of new

restaurants to fulfill this demand for flavour

exploration. To address this, operators need

to keep their menus refreshed to encourage

younger guests to keep coming back for new

experiences. An effective digital-marketing

strategy targeting these younger consumers is

a must to counteract the perceived lack of loyalty.

This digital strategy should include the

third-party apps mentioned above, a socialmedia

presence (is your food Instagramable?)

and a loyalty program. This cohort may be

making more visits to FSR, but they don’t

have the spending power of older consumers.

By contrast, they tend to spend less per visit

and are the most likely to take advantage of

a deal.

While older consumers have reduced their

visits to FSR, their importance shouldn’t be

dismissed. Turning again to our sentiment

studies, attracting this cohort will first and

foremost require strict adherence to cleanliness

and distancing protocols. A focus on fresh,

Canadian and locally sourced ingredients will

also resonate well with this crowd. And finally,

don’t forget this cohort represents one-quarter

of all off-premises visits, so be sure to target

them in any off-premises initiatives.

What about those families that were absent

during my recent visit? It seems this is one

trend that has not changed all that much as a

result of COVID-19. Family parties have held

steady at about 25 per cent of all FSR

on-premises visits.

It appears my field study of one downtown

Toronto restaurant was not entirely indicative

of the overall market. Regardless, our “Future

of Foodservice” report projects continued softness

in FSR visits until at least 2023, and our

CREST foodservice market research

confirms the 18 to 34-year-old cohort is

going to define the future of FSR dining —

only sooner than expected. FH

Vince Sgabellone is a foodservice

industry analyst with The

NPD Group. He can be reached

at vince.sgabellone@npd.com

ISTOCK.COM/MONKEYBUSINESSIMAGES

FREEPIK.COM

THE FIFTH-ANNUAL WOMEN IN TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

SUMMIT KEEPS MOVING THE NEEDLE

This year’s Women in Tourism &

Hospitality Summit (WITH) virtual

event took place October 5, bringing together

more than 200 attendees from around the

world. Now in its fifth year, WITH — proudly

presented by WITHOrg.com (Women in

Tourism and Hospitality) in association

with Kostuch Media Ltd., (Foodservice and

Hospitality magazine, and Hotelier magazine)

and Sequel Hotels & Resorts — brought

together individuals and companies committed

to advancing diversity and inclusion in the

BY AMY BOSTOCK & NICOLE DI TOMASSO

tourism and hospitality industry.

“This conference has always been so

important regarding the recognition of

incredible women leading and advancing the

tourism and hospitality industry, now and

into the future,” said Don Cleary, president of

this year’s platinum sponsor, Marriott Hotels

of Canada, by way of introduction. “This is

a particularly critical time to be having these

discussions that are so central to the future

health and success of our industry, especially

given the outsized impact of the COVID-19

pandemic on the hospitality industry, and the

disproportionate impact on women in the

Canadian and international workforce.”

“We know that integrating diversity and

inclusion into the core operations of our businesses

so that initiatives work not only on

the traditional P&L lens, but also on the DNI

lens as well is critical,” said Anne Larcade,

president and CEO of Sequel Hotels, and cofounder

of WITH. “Companies with more

than 30 per cent women in their executive

team earn higher profits — period. It’s good

10 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 11


for business. Many organizations are working

on promising solutions and have taken significant

steps to address gender diversity.”

What began as a very small idea so many

years ago has emerged as a hub for thought

leadership and accountability through advocacy,

and curated conversations.

“Each of us have the opportunity and a

responsibility to be part of this movement,”

said WITH’s honorary chair, Katie Taylor, in

her opening remarks. “Not surprisingly, the

theme this year is Future Forward: Emerging

Stronger. Who would have thought that when

we pivoted into a virtual conference last year,

we would be doing the same again today? The

entire industry is going through continuous

massive re-structuring and re-invention. It’s

not our first crisis — and it won’t be our last

— but it’s definitely the most defining one of

our lifetimes.”

Taylor stressed that returning to the old

normal should not be any of our goals.

“Instead, we should aim way higher for an

economy that compensates women fairly for

their work, improves access to jobs through

family-friendly policies, and supports women

and all marginalized people in their chosen

roles. Inclusivity is the key to not just creating,

but maintaining workplace diversity. So,

the question we leave you with today is simple

— how do we open doors and clear away

the remaining barriers today to make our

people and their career ambitions the driving

force to our future success, since it is they and

they alone who will propel our innovation

and product improvements and ultimately

return this industry to profitability profitable

future that remains in store.”

WITH co-founder and editor/publisher of

Kostuch Media Ltd. Rosanna Caira, presented

some staggering statistics that highlighted

the need to keep the conversation on gender

equity going.

Caira said that over the past two years,

due to the pandemic, a total of two million

women have been forced out of the workforce.

Globally, women lost $800 billion in income

due to COVID-19 and those who remained in

jobs were left to juggle their workloads with

remote schooling and caregiving. According

to a recent McKinsey report cited in Forbes

magazine, one in four women were considering

leaving the corporate world due to burnout.

And interestingly, burnout and exhaustion

increased with seniority. “As the business world

learns to navigate the COVID-19 landscape, it’s

more important than ever to ensure that not

only do women recover from these setbacks,

but that we continue to ensure we’re no longer

under-represented in the executive ranks, and

that we continue to have opportunities for

growth, leadership and advancement.”

While disheartening to see so much of the

progress made in recent years has been lost

due to the pandemic, Caira said COVID-19

has also highlighted many inherent weaknesses

in our system and it’s forcing us to correct

these imbalances.

“Just as the pandemic accelerated the use

of technology in this industry to be more efficient,

and allow companies to pivot working

from home, it’s forced employers to realize

that remote work can indeed work — something

women have wanted for many years.

And let’s not lose sight that there’s never been

a greater sense of community. Just look at

this annual summit as an example. Women

are more empowered to speak up today and

demand equity than ever before. And there’s

more dialogue about gender equality. But

(l to r) Anne Larcade and Rosanna Caira;

Ritou Maloni; Rosanna Caira and Zita Cobb

now we need to turn that dialogue into action

by pushing forward to accelerate change, and

correct gender imbalances.”

Rapid Fire

Ritou Maloni, co-founder, president and Chief

Operating Officer of the Pür & Simple restaurant

chain — a proudly Canadian breakfast and

lunch franchise started in Quebec in 2016 —

led off the Rapid-Fire sessions with her story

of building the beloved chain to 21 locations

across Canada and growing.

“I didn’t know real fear until I got into the

restaurant business,” said Maloni. “Nothing

could have prepared me for this cutthroat

male-dominated industry. I come from a

family of entrepreneurs and my parents

instilled the value of hard work in me at a

young age. They continue to inspire me to

this day and I’m lucky to say that they have

always been there to support me.”

Pür & Simple has built a franchise system

that is attractive to female owners by reinventing

the breakfast niche and making

breakfast sexy.

“Our plate presentations are beautiful and

our restaurants are designed to feel warm and

inviting so our brand attracts more women

because women are more refined. They

appreciate nice environments and good value

and they just know quality.”

But while having a larger ratio of women

in its niche gave the brand an edge, when it

was time to start re-opening its restaurants

mid-pandemic, even though people could go

back to work, many of their kids could not go

back to school.

“So, many women had to make tough

choices between career and childcare. Not easy

choices to make,” said Maloni. “I struggled

between keeping my five-year-old son entertained

and happy while I was working harder

than ever adapting to the horrific state of the

industry, feeling constantly stressed and powerless.

Balancing the limited hours in the day

while keeping my emotions in check was a real

challenge. Now looking back, I don’t know how

I did it. But I did.”

Now 18 months after her restaurants were

shut down, the industry is facing huge labour

shortages. “But we’re lucky to some extent that

our hours of operation and our business model

still attract a strong calibre of people, mainly

women. At Pür & Simple, we do our best to

support our partners and our teams. We offer

things like flexible hours, and even a benefits

program in many of our locations, which is a

rarity in the industry. We base our business on

the belief that people want to work for a brand

that reflects their own values of brands that

they can be proud to associate with.”

The Rapid-Fire sessions wrapped up

with Gunjan Kahlon, VP, Franchise Sales

& Development, for Wyndham Hotels in

Eastern Canada.

“This pandemic has impacted women

more than it has impacted anybody else,” said

Kahlon. “And as the industry continues to

recover, we thought we had a unique opportunity

to help [advancement opportunities] for

women, specifically when it came to areas of

hotel development and investment.”

She pointed to recent reports that show one

of the areas within hospitality where women

are the most under-represented is the investment

and development side. “Whether it is

working on the development side of things,

or having a dream to own a hotel, women are

almost not present, whether we go to development

conferences, or we look at a portfolio of

our owners. And in order to come up with a

program to help them, we first decided to speak

to a couple of female leaders to see what are

the barriers that these respective women faced

before they got into the hotel development side

of things.”

What she heard was that there were three

pain points for women — a lack of role models

available within the development side of things;

a lot of women believed that the process was

overly complicated, from site selection, to negotiating

with the trades to having support with

ongoing operations — women felt that they

were not welcome to the party; and access to

capital or securing capital.

“We wanted to come up with a program that

addressed all three concerns that came out of

this.,” she said. “Therefore, we decided to build a

program, which would help on delivering comprehensive

financial solutions to the women who

wanted to start building hotels. In order to do

that, we looked at how to help secure financing

women to our own network of debt and equity

partners. Second, we found creative ways to be

able to use our own balance sheet to turn the

dreams into reality. Now again, this is something

that’s very specific to certain markets, but we’re

exploring all options. And third, but not the

least, is the use of development. Advanced loads

are the key money, as commonly known, in

order to bridge the equity gap.”

Fireside Chats

The conference continued with a conversation

between Rosanna Caira, editor and publisher

at Kostuch Media Ltd., and Zita Cobb, founder

and CEO of Shorefast and innkeeper of the Fogo

Island Inn in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cobb spotlighted the concept of re-generative

tourism, which focuses on the interconnectedness

and wellbeing of all life on earth and

recognizes the need to replace the old economic

system that’s based on greed, self-interest, overconsumption

and competition.

“So much in our industry is easy to criticize.

We humans have created this iron grip of

consumerism, which creates a steady stimulus

for us wanting, wanting, wanting, wanting,”

says Cobb. “All this wanting is so me- focused,

and hospitality isn’t about me – it’s about us.”

Cobb emphasized place, community, and

mindset as it relates to re-generative tourism

and the industry’s ability to establish a future

for tourism that’s community based and low

carbon. The first step is acknowledging place

and being able to shift our mindset from technologic

systems to social-cultural logic systems.

“I think we start with place. Culture is a

Age of

Empowerment

During the Summit, this year’s Katie

Taylor Economic Empowerment

Award was presented to Heather

McCrory, CEO, Accor. McCrory was recognized

for her work and efforts in helping

to make diversity and inclusion a major

tenet of Accor’s philosophy and driving

women’s advancement.

According to Rosanna Caira, cofounder,

WITHORG, and editor/publisher

of Hotelier magazine, “As the business

world learns to navigate the COVID-19

landscape, it’s more important to ensure

that women recover from these setbacks,

and that we continue to ensure

that women are no longer underrepresented

in the executive ranks

and continue to have opportunities for

growth, leadership and advancement.

Through her work at Accor, Heather has

continued do that and more to ensure

women are at the table in every sense of

the word.”

McCrory has been integral in

promoting programs within the company

that spotlight women’s advancement,

starting six years ago with WAGG

(Women at AccorHotels Generation),

which eventually evolved into RiiSE, a

program that includes 14,000 members

worldwide, and whose goal it is to foster

an inclusive workplace, touching on both

gender, diversity and inclusion.

“Heather knows equality is good for

business, companies have improved

outcomes, earn higher profits, and

economies grow”, states Anne Larcade,

co-Founder WITHORG. “What makes

Heather an inspiring CEO is the ease,

relatability and authenticity she demonstrates

in sharing with other women

how to strengthen skills, and how to rise

more effectively.”

Accor has also established key metrics

around diversity and inclusion, with the

primary metric being its HeForShe commitment,

which aimed to have 35 per

cent female GMs by 2020. According to

McCrory, diverse teams perform better, a

reality, she says, that has been proven in

all regions of the company. In addition to

these programs.

“It is truly an honour to accept an

award with such a tremendous vision

and legacy. In this competitive world,

bringing the best and brightest women

into positions of leadership is crucial to

our industry’s continued success,” she

said while accepting her award. “We can

all sit around the table, we can all be

paid equally and that’s great and a giant

step forward, but if nobody wants your

opinion, nobody includes you in the

conversation and nobody is mentoring

you, it’s kind of all for naught.”

12 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 13


human response to a place. I can’t think of a

place on the earth that doesn’t have deep cultural

riches that can be incorporated more fully

into our business models. That way, those business

models are serving the local places. Then,

travellers will respond to that,” says Cobb.

“We’ve got to see the end of cheap. There’s no

such thing. The planet is paying for that.”

The Fogo Island Inn is thoughtfully

designed, accessible and built on the notion of

human community. Currently, Cobb and her

team are looking deeper into creating wholesome

food programs that manage food waste

and prioritize ocean ethics as well as other

environmental programs.

Next, Anne Larcade, president and CEO

of Sequel Hotels, and co-founder of WITH,

spoke with Robyn Streisand, CEO and cofounder

of The Mixx and Titanium. As a

recognized member of the LGBT community,

Streisand spoke about her experience in marketing

around the themes of diversity and

inclusion and how these inclusive marketing

strategies need to be implemented at all levels

of the tourism and hospitality industry.

“I find myself feeling a little out of place in

these cookie-cutter hotels. Places and spaces

need to think about who the audience is,” says

Streisand. “As you look across communities,

people want to feel welcome, heard and seen.

People want to have places they’re going or

staying be a reflection of who they are. This is

a huge opportunity.”

The future is bright, however, Streisand

recognizes this ask will take time to fully surface.

“It’s going to take something for companies

to make these pivots and shifts. It’s going to

cause conflict,” says Streisand. “It’s going to

take aligning and strategizing and communicating

and understanding. There’s going to be

testing, learning and then building out strategies

for success in the future.”

That’s a Wrap

In their closing remarks, Larcade and Caira

offered some key takeaways from the Summit.

“I know virtual meetings can never really

replace live events, but I’m so grateful that

through platforms like Zoom, we’ve still

been able to meet and keep the conversation

moving during very difficult and challenging

days,” said Caira. “I know it’s hard to synthesize

so many of the points that we’ve heard

today. But I love to see the passion that has

been at the forefront today. Whether it was

Ritou Maloni demonstrating how, despite the

setbacks that she faced through the pandemic

and the challenge of being a mother with a

young son, she still managed to forge ahead

and create a chain of restaurants that really

allows women to shine through their nurturing

and empathetic ways, but also through a different

kind of economic model. It’s also great

to see companies like Wyndham coming to

the forefront by promoting female ownership

of hotels, which we have not seen much of in

the past two decades. It’s great that they took

on the challenge of addressing the lack of role

models in the industry and making sure that

the process wasn’t as complicated as it has been

for women. And, more importantly, to provide

that access to capital that has always been lacking.”

“When people are asked how successful

women rose in their careers, what I always

take away is their sense of grit, resilience and

where they got that from,” said Larcade. “So,

when you dig down deep, the suffering can

actually be very positive. And that’s how we

invent, create, and innovate. And through the

depth of despair, we rise and emerge stronger,

which is the theme for our conference.” FH

THIRD-PARTY DELIVERY

ONLINE ONBOARDING

The big three delivery companies continue to fight for diner dollars

BY ROBERT CARTER

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Online restaurant meal ordering

and delivery continues to be

a hot trend with Canadians.

Driven by technology and convenience,

its popularity started

to accelerate about nine years

ago with the launch of a small

Canadian company from Saskatoon called

SkipTheDishes. Based on a simple premise of

offering independent restaurants a direct solution

(or enhancing an existing) delivery service,

while at the same time creating an online

marketplace for consumers to shop restaurant

food to be delivered, SkipTheDishes went on

to define the newly developed third-partyaggregator

model

in Canada and has successfully become

the dominant leader in providing online

restaurant meal shopping and delivery to

millions of Canadians each year. And,

according to market-share data from Unified

Data, SkipTheDishes continues to be the

leader in this segment in 2021.

In 2019, Canadians spent an estimated

$6 billion on online restaurant ordering and

delivery and the country now ranks among

the top-five countries globally for per capita

usage of online restaurant-delivery services.

As a result, online ordering and delivery

has been the fastest area of growth in the

Canadian restaurant segment, outpacing all

other areas of opportunities for restaurants.

And the battle for consumer dollars is heating

up in a segment dominated by just three key

players — SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats and

DoorDash. The dominance of these three

players has accelerated during the pandemic

as all three food-delivery companies scrambled

to sign on new restaurants. According to

Unified Data, a record number of Canadian

restaurants in 2021 now offer online ordering

with direct delivery to consumers thanks to

SkipTheDishes, Uber and Doordash, which

combined, provide services to an estimated

50,000 restaurants across Canada.

And the trend of restaurants signing on

to the big three online-ordering platforms is

not slowing down. According to Unified Data,

in the past six months, an average of 1,000

restaurants a month have signed on to one of

these companies. SkipTheDishes is leading the

way, capturing the largest share of those new

restaurant sign-ups by onboarding approximately

354 new restaurants a month since

March 2021. In second spot, DoorDash is

averaging 330 new restaurants a month. Uber

Eats was slower to onboard new restaurants

compared to its competitors over the past six

months, averaging approximately 311 new

restaurants a month.

Online ordering of restaurant meals

for direct delivery is now a foundation of

today’s restaurant business model and it’s very

possible that within the next few years, every

restaurant unit in Canada will be part of an

outsourced delivery service provided by the

big three. FH

As managing partner of

The StratonHunter Group,

Robert Carter leads a

portfolio of high growth

companies in the restaurant

and food-tech industry.

He can be reached at

robert.carter@stratonhunter.com

14 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 15

Try Knorr® Professionals Bases and taste what true flavour is all about.


FOOD FILE

SLUG HERE

The Blue Mussel Café in North Rustico, P.E.I. added a

converted trailer (the “Blue Roller”) to the back of its

restaurant to sell hand-held foods as takeaway

101

ways to sell

COVID-19 has forced seafood kitchens

to push the boundaries — and it’s

paying off

BY SARAH B. HOOD

16 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

STEVE MURPHY

FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 17


KATE INGLIS [BELOW]; CNW GROUP [SIDEBAR IMAGE]

hen COVID-19 struck and it was

clear that her business would

shift to takeout, Victoria

Bazan, owner of Toronto’s

Honest Weight, a combination

fishmongerseafood

restaurant, was

worried about how her

food would travel. But, she

says, “even now, when restrictions have lifted, people

are still ordering takeout [items] that I would never

have thought people would order.”

Across the country, it seems many COVID-forced

survival strategies are going to stick around long after

the pandemic has faded away, especially in the fish

and seafood niche. Comfort food, already popular,

has become a mainstay: doubly so if it’s handheld.

Crystal MacGregor, director of Communications and

Marketing for PEI’s Food Island Partnership, refers

to “nostalgic, fond food memories with an elevated

twist,” such as fish balls and crab cakes, while Bazan

says “anything in between bread” is a winner, such as

fish sandwiches and burgers.

The taste for zestier international flavours

continues as well, says Jordan Sclare, executive

chef for Toronto’s Chotto Matte, which focuses on

Nikkei cuisine, a Peruvian-Japanese fusion (think

sushi meets ceviche). The restaurant, with sister

establishments in London and Miami, is owned by

the NZR Group.

“Trendy culinary approaches seem to include

savoury, bold flavors and more spices such as

cardamom, ginger and pink peppercorn,” says Sclare.

“Trendy seafood and fish include wild salmon,

hamachi, mackerel, lobster handhelds and seafood

boils. The Asian seafood trade in Canada is centered

around large fresh Atlantic lobster, Alaskan King

crab and Vancouver crab.”

World champion oyster shucker and restaurateur

Patrick McMurray, formerly of Toronto’s Ceili Cottage,

notes an undiminished proliferation of fish- and seafood-based

restaurants such as chef Gordon Bailey’s

FiN Take Away at Old Tracadie Harbour in P.E.I. and

Drift, soon to open in Halifax under chef Anthony

Walsh of Toronto’s Canoe. There’s the new upscale

“sea-to-fork” restaurant Pink Sky in Toronto’s former

Weslodge location, while Toronto’s Gerrard India

Bazaar now hosts Puerto Bravo, a Mexican taqueria

specializing in seafood. Hamilton, Ont.’s Shuck Truck,

launched in 2019, continues to thrive with shrimp po’

boys and oyster takeout and delivery.

Steve Murphy of the Blue Mussel Café in North

Rustico, P.E.I. added a converted trailer (the “Blue

Roller”) to the back of his restaurant to sell handheld

foods as takeaway. It helped maximize reduced

dining-room seating, too, since some customers “get

a lobster roll and go for a walk while waiting for

indoor seating,” says Crystal MacGregor.

GROCERY REVOLUTION

In 2019, forward-looking operators were already blurring

the line between retail and restaurant, either by

selling their branded foods through chain grocers or

by offering take-home packaged products to diners.

During COVID-19, this trickle has become a landslide.

“You’re seeing massive creativity in the shape of

dried, smoked, canned and frozen product,” says

Ned Bell, chef and partner at Naramata Inn in B.C.’s

Okanagan Region.

“We’ve always done really strong retail sales, but d

uring COVID — wow!” says Bazan. “We’re selling cans

of tinned seafood in the $30 and $50 range. It flew off

the shelves.” High-end canned fish from Portugal and

Spain are booming in many outlets, while its P.E.I.-

P.E.I. mussels (left)

and oysters

FAUX FISH

Plant-based “fish” and “seafood” is

surfacing, a trend partly motivated

by concern for dwindling wild-fish

stocks. The international market

research firm Fact.MR predicts

the U.S. market for plant-based

fish products will attain a CAGR

(compound annual growth rate) of

28 per cent through 2031. It says

patties will be the most popular

format, with fillets close behind and

plant-based “shrimp” as the most

consumed type.

In 2020, Nestle launched a plantbased

tuna alternative based on pea

protein, and the flavour and fragrance

company Givaudan revealed it was

carrying out research into plant-based

fish products with the University of

California. Last July, the plant-based

seafood brand Good Catch roamed the

streets of major international cities

in its “OurWay” food van, handing out

free faux-tuna subs in a stunt to get

Subway restaurants to go fish-free.

Canadian suppliers are also making

waves. Vancouver-based Modern

Plant-Based Foods Inc. is launching

a plant-based seafood division

called Modern Seafood. Its core

products will include plant-based

“crab cake” and “smoked salmon.”

In July, the Canadian Team ProFillet,

a partnership of Terra Bio Inc,

Smallfood Inc and other contributors,

was shortlisted in the $15-million

XPRIZE “Feed the Next Billion Award”

for their plant-based “fish fillet.”

These products are beginning

to show up on menus; for instance,

in September, the Canadian vegetarian

restaurant chain Copper

Branch launched a limited-time New

England Style Crab Cake patty with

lettuce, tomato and a creamy aioli

sauce and a Crab Cake appetizer

to its menu, both made with Swell

Catch plant-based seafood.

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facilities and expansion plans ahead,

Lagoon Seafood prides itself on offering

premium products and services to its

longstanding customers across Canada,

USA, Europe, and Asia with brands

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Lagoon Seafood was built on a strong

foundation of dedicated seafood

experts and professionals who search

the world for the highest quality

products.

Drop us a line today -

enjoy a profitable and

rewarding catch.

Lagoon Seafood 1301 32nd Avenue, Lachine, QC H8T 3H2 Canada

18 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM


SLUG HERE

ISTOCK.COM AND SHUR_CA COURTESY OF MSC; MAKOTO SUZUKI AND MSC

described as fresh at restaurants, and half are

willing to pay more for it. ‘Local.’ ‘wild-caught’

and ‘sustainable’ are also valuable seafood menu

callouts, because these attributes tie back closely

with transparent, eco-friendly practices and

quality products. In fact, 75 per cent of seafood

consumers are more likely to buy seafood that is

locally sourced.”

“What is so interesting about seafood is that it

ticks so may boxes when it comes to health, wellness

and community sustainability,” says Bell. “It

really is the perfect food.” FH

NOT JUST NORI

Sushi lovers are familiar with seaweed as the wrap for their California roll, but diners can expect to get

acquainted with many more sea greens over the next few years.

Ned Bell, chef and partner at Naramata Inn in B.C.’s Okanagan region, says “We’re going to see more kelp

Chotto Matte Tuna Tataki

seaweed on restaurant menus; I make this great mussel-and-kelp pappardelle pasta that people just love.”

“Seaweed, algae and other foraged finds will be the perpetual up-and-coming seafood, as they fit the

bill with taste, nutrition and the most planet-friendly vegetables out there,” says restaurateur Patrick

McMurray, Canada’s world champion oyster shucker. “All seafood restaurants, wholesalers and fishmongers

should look at this ingredient as a viable, delicious option for menus. For example, swap kelp for leafy land

greens, cooked in the same fashion by sautéing in olive oil garlic.”

The McCormick Flavour Forecast from seasoning supplier McCormick also predicts a rise in the popularity

of dulse, spirulina, sea grapes and sea moss in applications such as rubs and pickling mixes. The non-profit

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s leading certification and ecolabeling program for sustainable

fisheries, forecasts that certified wakame, kelp, hiziki and nori will be turning up in the form of burgers,

butters and dried snacks.

As demand for sea greens increases, the MSC and the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) have

released a Seaweed Standard that promotes environmentally sustainable and socially responsible seaweed

harvesting and farming. It provides guidelines for reducing the impact on water quality, natural habitats

PAR_560_Lactalis_Food_Service_Pinnacle_Award_Half_Page_F02_PDFx1_withBleed+Crops.pdf and native fisheries.

1 2021-11-15 3:14 PM

based counterparts, Mary Manette Seafood and Scout, are

also popular.

“In Spain or Portugal, it isn’t out of the ordinary to see

elevated tinned seafood served in restaurants and bars.

Now, we frequently see tinned fish stocked in restaurants

and bars this side of the pond, too,” says chef Charlotte

Langley, co-founder and chief culinary officer at Scout.

“When you open up the can, they’re lined up like these

beautiful little angels,” Bazan says. Sustainable, shelf-stable

and delicious, canned fish products make an elegant addition

to warm potato salad or crostini, served either in the

restaurant or at home.

“Another big trend that came out of 2020 was the rise of

(clockwise from left) Chotto Matte Salmon

Tataki, Chotto Matte Snow Crab croquetas,

seacuterie from Blue Mussel Cafe

“seacuterie,” the seafood spin on classic

charcuterie,” says Langley. In-house

and in homes, diners are loving creative

combinations of fresh, tinned, smoked,

pickled and salt-cured fish and seafood

on a rustic board.

HOME CHEFS THRIVE

Like other suppliers, fishers were caught

short by the transition from foodservice

supply to home cooking, but Canada’s

seafood industry negotiated the pivot

with grace, partly aided by the fact that

seafood was identified by consumers as

their most “missed” food category during

restaurant shutdowns, according to the

Fisheries Council of Canada.

This yearning for fishy fare motivated

home cooks to try more challenging

dishes previously left to the professionals.

“People were buying whole fish to grill at

home, experimenting with different fish

they’ve never cooked before,” says Bazan.

“Customers also turned to education

— learning how to shuck [oysters] and

purchasing make-at-home kits. That

trend will not change,” says McMurray.

Virtual cooking and wine-pairing classes

were a hit, too, and many outlets —

Rodney’s Oyster House and PearlDiver

(Toronto), The Whalesbone (Ottawa),

The Black Pearl (Edmonton) and others

— “developed take-home boxes of fresh

fish and shellfish and created events to

‘shellelebrate’ cooking at home,” he says.

Instagram is still very much the

chef’s friend in this department, since

home cooks delight in sharing their

creations online.

HEALTHY BODY,

HEALTHY PLANET

“We’re in the era of woke consumerism,”

says Langley. Diners are demanding food

that’s good for them and the planet.

Seafoods are perceived as a wise food

choice, even by some vegans, who are

adding fish to their otherwise plantbased

diets to embrace so-called

“seaganism” and the extra nutrients

that come with it.

Sclare says “87 per cent of consumers

are most likely to buy seafood that’s

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

PHOTO COURTESY OF STEVE MURPHY {SEACUTIERIE] PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEX BRUCE

20 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

®

FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 21


THE 2021

PINNACLe

Awards

COMPANY

OFTHE YEAR

(l to r) Frank Hennessey,

CEO; Julie Denton, Chief

People Officer; Ken

Grondin, Chief Financial

Officer

Change

Makers

Recipe Unlimited is accelerating the

foodservice evolution

BY DENISE DEVEAU | PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL ALEXANDER

When Frank Hennessey returned to Recipe Unlimited as Chief

Executive Officer three years ago, he recognized an opportunity

to shape the future of the industry. “The main driver

for me coming back was to change the way chain restaurants

operated into the future.”

Change is nothing unusual for a company that was founded in 1883 as The

Canada Railway News Company, and later re-named CARA Operations. Today,

Recipe operates more than 1,300 restaurants in more than 300 communities in

Canada, as well as 61 international locations.

Recipe owns and operates some of the country’s most iconic brands, including

Swiss Chalet, St-Hubert and Keg Restaurants. It continues to look for complementary

brands to round out its ever-evolving portfolio, as well as launching

new brands such as its Ultimate Kitchen (Malgam in Quebec). The multi-brand

takeout-and-delivery concept was launched in 2019, and has just opened its fifth

location. This alternative channel allows customers to get more choices via a

single delivery service and reach more guests in downtown urban centres where

finding locations to build is cost prohibitive, explains Hennessey.

“We mix and match brands inside the kitchens to fit the area,” explains

Hennessey. “They also provide a test centre for us for equipment and technology.

We intend to build these in strategic areas to complement rather than replace

our existing brick-and-mortar locations and have signed for two new locations

in the GTA.”

Even if you go back to the origins of the company, it has always evolved with

the times, he says. That evolution has accelerated with the rise in technology

adoption and the profound impact the pandemic has had on the industry.

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 23


“We were well down the e-commerce path since 2014 because

we had two very large businesses that did off-premise service,”

explains Hennessey.

Recipe’s all encompassing in-house technology platform provides

the ability to manage an industry that is more complex than ever before,

he adds. “Because there are so many different channels of business inside

one restaurant, the economics, staffing, average check and other key

parameters are different. Swiss Chalet, for example, has 10 different

channels of business with its own economic models.”

Hennessey stresses that technology is just one part of the success

equation. “It makes it simpler to operate business, but you can’t forget

the reasons why guests come to our restaurants in the first place, which

are the food, the value, the experience and the ambiance.”

Throughout the pandemic, Recipe has been at the forefront of

change, from supporting its people development and team support, to

community outreach and sustainability.

People development has been designated a top priority at Recipe.

It’s RU Leading and RU Game platforms engaged more than 19,000

learners and has set a target to have 50 per cent of the leadership team

from diverse backgrounds by 2025. “We intend to continue to grow as a

company so we need plenty of leaders,” says Hennessey. “One thing we’ve

learned is you can’t open front doors if you don’t have great people.”

Beyond training, Recipe has made every effort to keep teammates

engaged, healthy and connected throughout the challenges of the past

20 months. Its Well and Good employee-wellness program helps teammates

continue to engage and connect with each other, celebrate peers

and join events. “We also provide access to mental-health resources,”

says Hennessey.

Other initiatives include extending its benefits program to cover

paid sick days and personal wellness days. “We also paid over $1

million in Thank You Pay, as well as a relief package for the frontline

teammates, tripling our original commitment to help bridge the down

time,” he notes. “All these things ensure people know we’re there to

help them, not just financially, but mentally and emotionally as well.”

At the same time, and with the support of Health Canada and the

Ministry of Health for the Province of Ontario, Recipe began offering

antigen rapid tests across its restaurants in Ontario. The program has

since expanded to cover all Recipe locations across the country.

In the past year, Recipe committed more than $40 million in

support to franchise partners. It donated more than $2.28 million,

including 158,543 meals, to people impacted by COVID-19, as well as

donated more than $450,000 worth of surplus food from COVID-19-

related closures.

Recipe also partners with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to

provide kids across the country with the skills and support they need

to become productive members of their communities.

This year, the company released its inaugural Corporate

Sustainability Report (CSR), an annual document that puts a stake

in the ground for the future direction of the company. “This is just a

starting point,” says Hennessey. “The CSR is great, but it’s the metrics

and actions we take that really matter and will make us a dynamic

leader in the industry.”

Over the past two years its ‘Recipe for Sustainability’ has been focused

on reducing energy and water consumption by 15 per cent. Recipe is also

working with brands and suppliers to complete 16 initiatives focused on

sustainable packaging, says Hennessey. “These have allowed us to ensure

Congratulations.

Recipe Unlimited &

Ghost Kitchen

Brands.

Pinnacle

AWARD

2021

for being recognized as the

2021 Pinnacle Awards’ Company of the Year!

As proud partners for over 50 years, we congratulate you

on this momentous achievement and wish you continued success.

24 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

rational-online.com


that 99.7 per cent of our packaging is per- and

polyfluoroalkyl substances free; and 90 per cent

of guest packaging is made from renewables,

recyclable or recycled sources.”

Working with producers and suppliers,

Recipe now uses only cage-free eggs, and is on

the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

(CRSB). By the end of 2022, all seafood served

in its restaurants will be third-party certified,

he reports.

One important issue COVID-19 brought

to the forefront is the need for a strong central

organization to champion its causes, says

Hennessey. “We now realize how fractured

our industry is. Everyone has been put under

enormous stress to the point where some

broke. Those are things we have to examine

and address. We must find a way to have

stronger associations so chains, independents

and supplier partners can more actively work

together and our voices can be heard by

government at all levels.”

As for the future, he says there will be more

acquisitions in the mix. “We’re always looking

at how to get our portfolio right. We have two

paths: large and dominant brands that own their

sector, and younger brands like The Burger’s

Priest and Fresh that offer a long runway of

Congratulations to this year’s

Pinnacle Award Winners!

Company of the Year:

Recipe Unlimited

Supplier of the Year:

Sysco Canada

Regional Company of the Year:

Ghost Kitchen Brands

Independent Restaurateurs of the Year:

John Sinopoli and Erik Joyal,

co-founders of the Ascari Hospitality Group

I’m really looking forward to

talking to everyone about how we can

come together and try to change the

trajectory of the industry and how we

can create a better [industry] that more

people want to voluntarily join. There’s

a lot of work that needs to

be done there

growth with today’s consumers. Grocery is

another channel we will continue to develop.

And we’re not shy to operate restaurants in

the U.S. Acquisition will always be part of

our strategy, and geographic expansion is

part of that.”

When asked what he is looking forward

to most in the coming months, he says it’s

re-connecting personally with teammates

and partners. “I’m really looking forward to

talking to everyone about how we can come

together and try to change the trajectory of

the industry and how we can create a better

[industry] that more people want to voluntarily

join. There’s a lot of work that needs to be

done there.” FH

SOTOS LLP

CONGRATULATES

ALL OF THE WINNERS

OF THIS YEAR’S

PINNACLE AWARDS.

As we know from our own experience

working daily throughout the

pandemic with restaurateurs,

restaurant franchisors and industry

suppliers, your award represents a

tremendous achievement.

Congratulations, again.

Contact:

Allan Dick | adjdick@sotos.ca

Congratulations

to the winners of the Foodservice and

Hospitality Pinnacle Awards

Foodservice and

Hospitality Winners

Company of the Year:

Recipe Unlimited

Regional Company of the Year:

Ghost Kitchen Brands

Independent Restaurateurs:

Ascari Hospitality

(Toronto)

Supplier of the Year: Sysco Canada

We are honoured to be included in this elite group of

industry professionals. Our shared values of service

excellence, innovation and leadership will continue to

propel the Canadian foodservice industry forward.

Thank you, Foodservice and Hospitality for this

special recognition.

Hotelier Winners

Company of the Year:

Silver Hotel Group

Hotelier of the Year:

Anne Marie Johns

Fairmont Tremblant

Supplier of the Year:

Susie Grynol, President

Hotel Association of Canada

Randy White

President, Sysco Canada

sotosllp.com

26 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM


THE 2021

PINNACLe

Awards

REGIONAL COMPANY

OF THE YEAR

George Kottas,

founder/CEO (left) and

Marc Choy, president

(Canada)

Disruptive

Innovation

Ghost Kitchen Brands has re-defined

the food-delivery and takeout scene

BY NICOLE DI TOMASSO | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARGARET MULLIGAN

It was after George Kottas’ breakfast restaurant had 30 missed orders after

hours on Uber Eats that the light bulb came on. Inspired by the idea of

using a closed restaurant for delivery, Kottas began experimenting with

multiple concepts out of his establishment to introduce new menus to

customers. Within weeks, Kottas was successfully operating Canada’s first

ghost-kitchen concept.

“It took some convincing, but I finally got them [Uber Eats] to [accept my

idea],” says Kottas. “I quickly had nine brands running out of one kitchen. That’s

when I knew [the concept was a winner].”

Since its inception in 2017, Ghost Kitchen Brands – Foodservice and Hospitality

magazine’s Regional Company of the Year – has grown exponentially, representing

a fundamental shift in the foodservice industry. By leveraging the popularity of

third-party delivery apps, Ghost Kitchen Brands is optimized to offer more than

20 brands from roughly 28 locations in Canada and one in the U.S., with

more locations being added monthly. Brand partnerships include Quiznos, The

Cheesecake Factory, Jamba Juice, Ben & Jerry’s, Nathan’s Famous and more.

“One of the original orders I got was a bottle of Nestle Pure Life, but the

customer paid almost $9 in delivery,” says Kottas. The world was changing.

[Customers] were looking for convenience more than anything. They weren’t

too concerned about delivery fees.”

For the first four years, Kottas says one of the biggest challenges was convincing

family, friends and industry leaders of the value of his innovation. “Everyone thought

I was a complete idiot. No one understood what I was doing and no one believed in

what I was doing,” says Kottas. “The industry was so young when I started. When I

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opened my second store, Uber didn’t have enough drivers to service the

area, and that was in North York. Now, everyone thinks I’m a genius, but

convincing them that I was on the right track was challenging.”

The development also required a significant investment of Kottas’

time. “It’s been fun, but like any business, we’ve had our ups and

downs,” says Kottas. “The amount of work in getting this off the

ground was significant – seven days a week, 16 hours a day.”

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand for

contactless food delivery has soared. Ghost Kitchen Brands offers a

scalable business model, allowing the company to expand its footprint

in North America at a rapid pace. In March 2021, it announced partnerships

with Walmart Canada and Saladworks. The first Walmart

location was in St. Catharines, Ont., followed by Woodstock, Ont., and

Toronto, with two more locations set to open in Quebec. Ghost Kitchen

Brands’ agreement with Saladworks will bring 60 new locations to the

U.S. and 30 to Canada by the end of this year. Since then, the dynamic

company has also partnered with Wow Bao, Lola’s Food Inc., Yogen

Fruz and Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken brand.

When it comes to selecting brands to partner with, Kottas only looks

for a few factors. “Regions are the main thing and we’re only taking

on national brands right now,” says Kottas. “If there’s heavy cooking

involved, heavy preparation times or complications that don’t fit

within our system, then we won’t take it on.”

Kottas has set the stage for innovative disruption, unlocking limitless

possibilities for businesses and consumers alike. Currently, Ghost

Kitchen Brands operates in three formats: standalone, mall food court

and big-box store. “We’re a disruptor to the foodservice and hospitality

industry,” says Kottas. “Essentially, we’ve created a national, online food

court. Our model works anywhere, whether it’s an office building, apartment

building, university, airport or Walmart. It’s been fairly easy to hire

brands. It was initially one of the hardest things because no one understood

where this was heading. Now, we’re the leaders in the industry.”

Because ghost kitchens don’t require traditional customer service,

the team can use its time more effectively in the kitchen. As the

company’s brand portfolio continues to grow, its small kitchen teams

still perform impressively.

“Each brand has its own little section in the kitchen, and all the staff are

cross-trained,” says Kottas. “Most importantly, we don’t have a front-ofhouse.

Everything is ordered on kiosks or through third-party platforms,

so our staff is 100-per-cent focused on the execution of the products.”

Furthermore, Ghost Kitchen Brands encourages its teams in each

location to tap into local community-outreach programs. For example,

staff at its Liberty-Village location in Toronto sent hundreds of care

packages, in partnership with Cinnabon and Daydream, to emergencyroom

workers at Sunnybrook Hospital and intensive care unit (ICU)

workers at St. Michael’s Hospital in recognition of their contributions

over the course of the pandemic. Teams at other locations sent care

packages to local senior-living facilities.

Ghost Kitchen Brands has gained traction and will continue to expand its

offerings for years to come. In November, Ghost Kitchen Brands launched its

newest partnership with the much-loved Smoke’s Poutinerie brand.

“I’m excited to get things fired up with an amazing group like Ghost

Kitchen Brands,” says Ryan Smolkin, Chief Entertainment Officer at

Smoke’s. “[They’re] a leader in an explosive new segment of our competitive

industry, and we’re pumped to be on the rock n’ roll gravy

train with them.”

Certainly, more restaurants are turning to this concept to introduce

new menus and expand their reach without having to hire additional

We’re a disruptor

to the foodservice

and hospitality

industry Essentially,

we’ve created a

national, online food

court. Our model

works anywhere —

whether it’s an office

building, apartment

building, university,

airport or Walmart.

It’s been fairly easy

to hire brands. It was

initially one of

the hardest things

because no one

understood where

this was heading.

Now, we’re the

leaders in the

industry

staff or open a new location amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In turn, the convenience of bundling menus encourages customers to

order more and ultimately boosts profits.

“We’ve committed to open [more locations] next year in Canada and

U.S. We’ve already acquired the real estate and put an area developer

program in place,” says Kottas. “We stopped development for about six

months to solidify the company’s infrastructure and ensure we had the

right people in place, but come January, we’re going to be opening 60

to 70 stores a month.”

Kottas says he’s often referred to as the pioneer of the ghost-kitchen

industry. He’s been involved in franchise business and corporate roles,

but his passion and dedication for entrepreneurship has allowed him to

diversify and take advantage of changing cultural, social and operational

demands. Ultimately, the company’s goal is to have a Ghost Kitchen

open every 12km. If Ghost Kitchen Brands continues on its current

trajectory, it won’t take long to reach that goal. FH

30 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM


THE 2021

PINNACLe

Awards

INDEPENDENT

RESTAURATEURS

OF THE YEAR

Erik Joyal, owner/president

and John Sinopoli, owner/

executive chef

Saving

Hospitality

When COVID-19 brought the restaurant

industry to its knees, the Ascari Hospitality

Group started an advocacy movement to

help get it back on its feet

BY ROSANNA CAIRA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL ALEXANDER

It's been a harrowing year for Erik Joyal, John Sinopoli

and Rahil Hoque. Like countless operators across

Canada, the partners of the Ascari Hospitality

Group watched in horror as their five restaurants

and events-and-catering company (Ascari Enoteca,

Gare de l’est and Hi Lo Bar) went from thriving businesses

to barely being able to remain open.

But the headaches and heartbreak of watching business Rahil Hoque, owner/

dry up virtually overnight fuelled the operators to

director of Operations

do the only thing they could — pivot to new revenue

streams while working harder than ever to keep their doors open and advocate for

essential government support.

The initial lockdown caused the partners to lay off their entire complement of 97

employees. But slowly, as restaurants were deemed essential and many re-opened to

offer takeout, almost half of their team returned to re-focus on new opportunities.

In the early days, the restaurateurs pivoted to takeout and delivery, which

wasn’t part of its business model. But when lockdowns became mandated, the

operators created a pizza program; launched an online store featuring meal kits

and pantry items; introduced a bottle-shop program; created a program to help

sell menu items through its supplier network; and, even created an events

program, introducing mixology demos and wine courses to its clientele.

“When customers ask us “Can you do this?,” we say yes, and we figure it out

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If you can believe this, we’re an

industry that employs 1.2 billion

people; we’re responsible for four to

five per cent of GDP and seven to

nine per cent of the entire workforce

of the nation, yet we have no one in

government whose full-time job is to

monitor the restaurant industry ― not

one. To me that’s flabbergasting and

it’s borderline irresponsible

later,” quips Sinopoli. “It’s a lot of work to make a fraction of the

money,” admits the chef, who’s quick to point out the level of support

from customers and his team alike has been nothing short of inspirational.

“Our community has supported us in such an amazing way.

Regular customers came in for dinner on the patio once a week to support

us — they weren’t even hungry;” he quips. “buying huge gift cards

and sending it to their relatives. That support has been very humbling.”

While the blood, sweat and tears fuelled by the pandemic would

have been enough to push any operator over the edge, it didn’t stop

the seasoned and passionate restaurateurs from dedicating countless

hours to co-found Save Hospitality, a coalition of 1,300 operators and

suppliers in the restaurant eco-system, representing more than 100,000

workers who lost their jobs. The focus of the group was to shine the

spotlight on the hardships of dealing with the pandemic as independent

restaurateurs, but also to provide government with a five-point action

plan to serve as a roadmap to get the industry back on its feet. The chef

and father of a two-year-old son also took on the mantle of spokesperson

for the beleaguered restaurateurs, spurring others across the

country to join the fight.

Interestingly, the genesis of the advocacy group started the night

Sinopoli laid off 97 employees. “We sat around a table and commiserated

about all the people we had hired over 10 years, building a team and

hoping they’d come back soon. I was, understandably like many restaurateurs

emotionally and intellectually affected by the whole scenario.”

Sinopoli reached out to a few of his friends who worked in government,

looking for guidance, and they informed him government was at

a complete loss as to what to do. They suggested he write a letter and

they’d help get it into the hands of politicians.

So that’s what he did: pouring out his emotions, articulating a fivepoint

action plan and shopping it to other and restaurateurs to get their

buy in while sharing it with their respective networks. And then he sent

it out to as many government officials as possible to help them better

understand what restaurants were dealing with. The campaign took on

a life of its own, and Sinopoli and his group

learned the game as they were playing it. In the

process, the hashtag #SaveHospitality was born,

ensuring the group’s message went viral and

stayed front and centre.

“It grew and grew and grew and became

this really effective rallying point,” while hitting

a raw nerve in many operators and garnering

their support, including the backing of

Toronto-based Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality,

led by its president and CEO Andrew Oliver,

who became an important mouthpiece for the

group, connecting Sinopoli to the right provincial

political contacts and using his larger

platform to amplify the group’s messaging and

push the agenda forward. “There were so many

people without whose megaphone, it would

have been really tough to get it off the ground.

They all deserve the credit,” says Sinopoli.

“When restaurants were first shut down

in March 2020, it didn’t take long for the

restaurateur mindset to shift from ‘How do

I save my business?’ to ‘How do we save our

industry?’,” says Andrew Oliver, president

and CEO of Toronto-based Oliver Bonacini

and director of Save Hospitality “John recognized that without targeted

support for restaurants, more than 1.2 million direct jobs, along

with another 400,000 jobs in our ecosystem, would be at risk. We

were facing the potential collapse of the hospitality industry as we

knew it and he knew he had no choice but to advocate on behalf of all

independent restaurant owners and lobby every level of government

for relief. As challenging and frustrating as the last 21 months have

been, John has been fearless in his refusal to stand down. What’s more

is he has successfully built a grassroots coalition and united our industry

under one collective voice, which has been inspiring to witness.”

Along the way, Save Hospitality also partnered with One Table, an

advocacy group for hospitality in Ontario and British Columbia, and

Food and Wine Industry Navigator, a Facebook group dedicated to

providing information to the hospitality community.

For Sinopoli, it was important to ensure government understood

the unique challenges of being an independent — ranging from high

rents, high labour costs and low profit margins but also to highlight

the importance of the restaurant industry to the Canadian economy.

“If you can believe this, we’re an industry that employs 1.2 billion

people; we’re responsible for four to five per cent of GDP and seven

to nine per cent of the entire workforce of the nation,” cites Sinopoli,

“yet we have no one in government whose full-time job is to monitor

the restaurant industry — not one. To me that’s flabbergasting and it’s

borderline irresponsible,” he says comparing it to other sectors such as

farming and fisheries, which have their own Ministries.

He’s quick to add that in the past two decades, “the restaurant

industry has supplanted the manufacturing sector in the province

as the fabric of working society,” becoming a leading employer of

entry-level workers, including young Canadians, new immigrants and

women. “We hire so many people, train and bring them in to give them

skills that can then be transferred to other jobs,” says Sinopoli.

It’s those inequities that has pushed Sinopoli to dig deep within his

energy reserves to become an advocate for the industry. “Restaurants

are a high-labour, low-profit business,” says Sinopoli. “To generate $1

million in sales, restaurants require an average of 14.9 workers. This

compares to 1.2 workers for gas stations, 4.3 workers for grocery stores

and 6.9 workers for clothing retail stores.” Without ongoing government

support, Sinopoli says, “1.2 million jobs are at risk and the majority

will not come back.”

Yet, he contends “They still treat small businesses like kindergarten children.

They think we’re unsophisticated, uneducated people who are bluecollar

workers,” says Sinopoli, “but the reverse is true. We had to explain to

government our business because they had no clue how it works.”

While he’s quick to acknowledge that various associations exist

across the industry to lobby on behalf of the industry, he believes Save

Hospitality is different. “We are very much aligned with many things

that Restaurants Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent

Business and the Chamber of Commerce are fighting for. There’s a lot

of congruity there, but Save Hospitality exists because I didn’t think

independent restaurants that are not chains, large corporations, or that

don’t do massive numbers had a voice with public policy, didn’t have a

voice with the media and it’s important that we create an organization

— and we’re not an organization right now, we’re just a coalition of

people that signed a document. I don’t claim to represent the wishes of

the whole group, but we have one common goal and that’s survival.”

Having a passionate, hands-on chef who intricately understands

the restaurant P&L statement, has allowed Save Hospitality to put

forward an agenda that independents can relate to while also lending

credibility to the cause. “When I asked the government

what made us successful — how did I get on the phone

with you — they told me, “You were not only passionate,

and well-spoken, you were owners who understood what

needs to be done to pay the rent… and you were actually

offering concrete solutions.”

Moving forward, Sinopoli hopes that, as a not-for-profit

group, Save Hospitality will continue to move the needle post

pandemic as a way to effect further change in the industry.

Almost two years after COVID-19 became part of our

lexicon, the chef is grateful for the government’s continued

help with wage subsidies, forgivable loans and rent subsidies,

even if he believes it was slow off the mark and needed to

do more. But, he says, there’s continued need for financial

help and government support. “We want to feel great about

the future,” he says, but he’s worried the next six months

will produce pressure points along the way as subsides wind

down and lower consumer confidence remains.

“Long term we need a workforce that wants to work in

hospitality because they love taking care of people,” he says. “We want

to create an economic ecosystem that is resilient and fair and rewarding

for people.” But “we need the government to come to the table with us.

We need rent subsidies without caps and affordable debt. We need

government to create programs that are specific to the hospitality

industry to get consumers to feel good about going out — not just

on the weekends but Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights too. It’s

time to start living again.” FH

Long term we need

a workforce that

wants to work in

hospitality because

they love taking

care of people,” he

says. “We want to

create an economic

ecosystem that is

resilient and fair

and rewarding for

people

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 35


SLUG HERE

Randy White, president,

Sysco Canada

THE 2021

PINNACLe

Awards

SUPPLIER

OFTHE YEAR

Making a

Connection

Sysco Canada is leading the

industry by example

BY DENISE DEVEAU

Sysco Canada may have the lion’s share of the national supply-chain

market for the foodservice industry, but throughout its growth this

year’s Supplier of the Year has never lost sight of its commitment to

local customers.

Over the last year, the company’s dedication to its clients and Canadian communities

shone through at a time when the industry and the supply chain were

challenged like never before. Its commitment has been captured in its newest

purpose statement: connecting the world to share food and care for one another.

In 2001, the purchase of SERCA gave Sysco Canada a coast-to-coast presence

that continues to grow. The company now has 7,000 employees and 17 locations

across Canada, as well as FreshPoint locations that sell produce exclusively as well

as specialty meat and seafood locations for independent restaurants.

Each business acquired by Sysco, whether a single unit or part of a larger

group, originated as a family broadline distribution company, says Randy White,

president, Sysco Canada in Toronto. “We have an underlying culture around local

people living in the communities in which they work.”

This connection proved critical when COVID-19 struck, as team members

worked tirelessly to pivot inventory and get millions of dollars of excess product

into homeless shelters, food banks and other communities that had been cut off

from their own supply sources.

Due to supply chain challenges fuelled by the pandemic, “grocery stores simply

couldn’t keep up with demand,” says White. “Food banks were struggling to get

inventory, so we joined others who came in to supplement those gaps in the

supply chain.”

He notes that given the restaurant industry supplies 40 per cent of all food

consumption in Canada, “We had to quickly do something about helping

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Canadians find food and supplement the grocery industry that didn’t have

the capacity to meet a 40-per-cent increase in demand for groceries.”

Sysco Canada also worked through the Canadian Chamber of

Commerce to advocate for the restaurant industry, says White.

As the industry was struggling given the onset of restrictions, “we

stepped up to get close to regional, federal and provincial governments

so they understood the importance of the restaurant

industry in feeding Canadians.”

A major initiative was the launch of Foodies Unite initiative, an

all-encompassing effort focused on supporting industry partners and

consumers through a number of community-focused programs.

For example, the Sysco North program was launched to support

Indigenous communities that were cut off from supplies. “There were

1,100 communities that could not get products, so we sent hundreds of

trailers of nutritious food into those communities,” says White, allowing

them to get good quality food at fair prices.”

As part of its Foodies Unite initiative, in January 2021, Sysco Canada

launched a program called “Keep Local Restaurants on the Menu,” and

We’re not just

supplying food.

We’re helping

operators analyze

back-of-house

performance,

menu design,

costing, pricing

— those are all

part of our

services. The big

term we use in

our industry is

personalized

service for our

customers

to help struggling operators throughout the pandemic, it also lifted

delivery minimums and offered flexible payment terms. “We said ‘just

order what you can and pay when you can, and we will get through

this together’,” says White.

Early in the pandemic, the company launched Sysco@HOME, a

solution allowing consumers to purchase restaurant-quality grocery

items from home. “We realized early on we needed to help the grocery

supply chain and find ways to help customers struggling to find food,”

says White. “We opened Sysco@HOME in seven days, offering a directto-home

delivery and pick system.”

It also launched Sysco Virtual Kitchen, featuring podcasts providing

how-to driven content to operators and chefs.

“Early in the pandemic, we felt the need for a channel to reach our

customer community,” explains White. “Through this channel, we present

seminars to discuss ideas and opportunities, how to set up takeout

operations, menu planning and other topics.”

Recognizing rural communities were especially hard pressed to get

food, Sysco worked with local family restaurants to set up a Pop-Up-

Shop program for selling groceries. “It was a great way for us to give

back to the community,” says White, and enable customers to sell food

through a mini grocery setup.

The ability to connect locally is one of many unique competitive

advantages for Sysco Canada, he adds. “For one, we are a truly national

company that sources a majority of our products from Canada. We

have the ability to distribute to every city, town and hamlet in the

country. No one else can do that.”

Sysco also prides itself on serving as a one-stop shop for operators, he

adds. “We’re not just supplying food. We’re helping operators analyze

back-of- house performance, menu design, costing, pricing…those are

all part of our services. The big term we use in our industry is personalized

service for our customers.”

Over the past year, the company has invested heavily in its e-commerce

capabilities to offer multiple ways to work with operators and

help solve their immediate challenges. Its new Synergy Tech Suite apps

offer menu planning, nutrition and dietary-management tools.

Sysco Canada’s latest outreach is “The Great Give Campaign,” which

is providing a minimum of 100,000 meals during the holiday season

through Food Banks Canada.

A key internal initiative has been the introduction of Associate Resource

Groups (ARGs). These were designed to create communities within Sysco

dedicated to diversity, inclusion and mental health, among other social

issues. “We’ve seen this soar to the moon in terms of dialogue witin

Sysco and the broader community,” says White.

ARGs run education sessions, open-discussion forums, celebrations,

activities and events and regular internal communications.

“This goes beyond talent acquisition and employee development,” says

Sarah Anseeuw, vice-president, Sales and Marketing, who also serves as

the executive sponsor for the Impact ARG focused on diversity. “Together

we’re creating a very grounded community where all people feel welcome

and participating in conversations we didn’t [have] in the past.”

As global supply-chain issues continue to dominate the headlines,

White believes Sysco Canada is well prepared to overcome those challenges

in the months to come and says he’s looking forward to getting

back to business as usual, whenever that may be.

“I see a great positive outcome for our industry. It will just take

us a bit longer as we work through this stage of safe re-opening. I

look forward to the day we can finally celebrate the recovery of

our industry.” FH

HOSTED BY ROSANNA CAIRA

CHECK OUT THE

LATEST EPISODES

E44. NEXT LEVEL

Chef Michael Blackie of NEXT

restaurant in Ottawa

E45. THINKING OUTSIDE THE PIZZA BOX

Rocco Agostino, co-owner of

Toronto’s Pizzeria Libretto and

owner of Enoteca Sociale

E46. A ROLLER COASTER RIDE

Adrian Niman, founder and executive

chef of Toronto’s Food Dudes

E47. THE ROAD TO (FOOD) RECOVERY

Lori Nickels, CEO of Second Harvest

E48. THE DYNAMICS OF PRICING

Frazer Nagy, tech entrepreneur

and president of Transparent

Kitchen

E49. BUILDING THE BRAND

chef Matt Basile, founder

of Fidel Gastro

EP50. THE POWER OF PIZZA

Domenic Primucci, president

of Pizza Nova

and

38 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM


Merrychef eikon e2s classic

microwave convection and

Impingement Oven

EQUIPMENT

Accelerated-cooking equipment is answering

major pain points in today’s restaurants

BY DANIELLE SCHALK

The FX202G3 gas

combi-oven from GBS

The current environment

has seen operational

shifts accelerate within

the foodservice industry.

And, along with these

changes have come shifts

in the equipment that

powers these operations.

Labour challenges, space

constraints and new

operation models have all cast a spotlight on

accelerated-cooking equipment as the stars

of today’s kitchens.

As Greg Hotta, product manager, Welbilt

Canada, points out, accelerated cooking is not

new. What is new is the demand for this specialized

equipment that has grown out of the

unique challenges of post-pandemic operations.

Looking at the range of accelerated-cooking

solutions, Jeff McMullen, vice-president Sales,

Canadian Distribution, Welbilt Canada,

notes “All those technologies have been

growing pretty rapidly in the last 10 years.

But, with COVID-19 and [its associated

challenges], a lot of those technologies have

really accelerated.” As an example, he points

to conveyor ovens, which have seen significant

sales growth over the past two years as operators

40 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 41


pivot their business models.

Paul Douglas, president, GBS

Foodservice Equipment Inc.,

agrees the kind of operator seeking

this equipment has changed

due to the current operating

environment. Prior to the pandemic,

combi-oven sales centred

on sophisticated, forward-thinking

operations. “Now, all of a

sudden, we’ve seen a new wave of

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operator come to us,” he says of

demand for combi-ovens.

“People are much more open

to [combi-ovens] today,” Douglas

adds. “There was a time when

you would talk to chefs…and

they would say ‘not interested.’”

A key factor in this changing

perspective is the shortage of skilled

labour faced by the industry. In this

environment, Douglas explains, the

The Aperion

conveyer oven

from Lincoln

(Welbilt)

iCombi Pro. iVario Pro.

All of a sudden, so

much more is possible.

They require less labour, space, and energy than conventional

equipment because of their broad spectrum of cooking applications,

ease-of-use, and intelligent functions. Helping you to produce

more than ever before with less.

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Merrychef eikon®

e2s classic microwave

convection/

impingement Oven

question has become “How do we

drive volume, consistency, the variety

of products we want to put in

front of our customer?”

The answer: equipment the

delivers on efficiency, versatility,

consistency, ease of use and automation.

And speed ovens, conveyor

ovens, combi-ovens, clam-shell

grills and induction cooktops are

all checking these boxes.

“Where [operators] have had

to rely on manual operations or

having a skilled chef to manage

the equipment in the past, they

can [now] use equipment — such

as the Xpress grill, combi-ovens

or Merrychef [speed ovens] — to

help assist them in that operation,

with minimal [staff] intervention,

and still get very consistent, highquality

results,” explains Hotta.

And, importantly, he adds, programable

pieces that are easy to

operate also “reduce the waste in

the system, which drives profit.”

John Jackson notes the teams at

the roster of Calgary restaurants he

owns with Connie DeSousa have

come to rely on the efficiencies of

equipment such as speed, conveyor

and combi-ovens through the

current industry challenges. “It’s

allowed us to be more versatile and

grow other brands quickly, even

with the labour challenges facing

our industry,” he explains, pointing

to the new venture Connie & John’s

Pizza, which was launched in 2020

and now boasts two locations. And,

he adds, it was through the support

of Welbilt Canada and a Lincoln

conveyor oven that they were able

to “build up some working capital

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42 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM


Xpress Grill 3P from Garland

and bring back some of our

amazing staff.”

Douglas says this has been a

common narrative. “Once [operators]

started to understand how

they could still function [through

the pandemic], we saw demand

rising from the foodservice sector,

[from] people that were changing

the way they went to market,

changing the way they operated

within their kitchen.”

Evolving concepts and operating

models have also upped demand

for compact and ventless options.

“As these restaurants try to

figure out how they’re going to

adjust their businesses to the

new world, so to speak, ventless

technology allows them to put

equipment where you couldn’t

put equipment before,” explains

McMullen. As an example, he

points to use of speed ovens in a

restaurant’s pick-up area to finish

products immediately before

they’re picked up.

Jackson also says he values the

A look at the key

benefits:

Clam-shell grill

Time and space

efficient, increased

consistency, ideal for

batch cooking

Speed Oven

Speed of service,

user friendly,

ventless, consistent,

often compact

Induction

Energy efficiency,

increased safety,

greater precision

Conveyor Oven

Uniform heating,

requires minimal

intervention, often

versatility of the Merrychef units

his team uses at Rooftop Bar @

Simmons. “It’s perfect for an area

that you don’t have ventilation

but are looking for some amazing

menu options to execute,”

he explains. “Our staff love the

simplicity and consistency of the

units. We have the ability to cook

high-quality menu items very fast

with confidence.”

Another new area where these

offerings have shone is in ghostkitchen

operations, the growth of

which, McMullen points out, was

also accelerated by the pandemic.

Douglas points to this as a

key area where GBS has seen an

increase in combi-oven adoption.

“These [operators] have adopted

combis because of the volume

they can produce and the consistency

they can do it with.” Plus, he

adds, combi-ovens are especially

well suited for operating multiple

concepts out of a single kitchen.

“It’s interesting what’s happened

and how quickly it’s happened.

And, I really don’t believe

it’s going to go away,” he adds.

Looking ahead, suppliers expect

to see continued growth in the automation

and connectivity available

within this equipment category.

“Everything is trending more

digital and [towards] the ability to

operate [equipment] on a more

remote basis,” says Douglas. And,

he points out, combi-ovens

are already “powerful computing

units” with increasing

cloud capabilities.

As the Welbilt team

explains, connected kitchens

allow for remote management

and updates — helping

to ensure quality and

efficiency.

Welbilt product manager,

Luis Dasilva, also points out

that connected kitchens offer

benefits on the maintenance

front. This, he explains, is

because having error codes

provided by the unit gives

valuable insight into what

went wrong and how to fix

it, “[preventing] any downtime

in the restaurant.” FH

Kitchens are looking for

[equipment] anyone can

operate because they just

can’t get the staff

The Merrychef family

of ovens

Convotherm from Welbilt

— Greg Hotta, product manager, Welbilt Canada

GAME-CHANGING

PERFORMANCE

BRILLIANT

DESIGN

SIMPLE

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44 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

1.888.402.1242

GBSCOOKS.COM


POURING FOR PROFITS

TECHNOLOGY

Lifting Spirits

Bar and restaurant operators are getting

creative with spirit sales

BY NICOLE DI TOMASSO

With many consumers

reluctant to venture out

to purchase alcohol,

and indoor seating at bars and

restaurants closed for much of the

COVID-19 pandemic, the convenience

of ordering alcohol online

through retail sales channels

quickly became the new normal.

According to LCBO’s Annual

Report 2019-2020, alcohol sales

via brick-and-mortar stores and

online delivery increased by 5.7

per cent, representing 78.4 per

cent of total sales in FY2020.

However, sales to licensed bars

and restaurants declined by 1.1

per cent, representing only 8.4

per cent of total sales.

Although all beverage categories

saw a sales increase as consumers

stockpiled at the beginning of the

pandemic, spirits maintained the

largest portion of LCBO product

sales in FY2020 at $2.7 billion (or

40.1 per cent of total sales).

As the off-premise trend

continues to grow, foodservice

operators are implementing new

off-premise strategies to recover

spirit sales and enhance consumer

convenience and engagement.

First, operators are paying

more attention to e-commerce as

these new habits become permanently

ingrained in Canadians.

Since more people may decide

to spend more time at home for

the foreseeable future, operators

are jumping on the e-commerce

bandwagon to promote ordering

that’s easy, flexible and safe.

“Ontarians are spending more

time at home, so we

created an e-commerce platform

called Cibo Market where

customers can order restaurantquality

food as well as spirits

and wines,” says James Peden,

director of Operations at Liberty

Entertainment Group.

“Technology has evolved to

make it easier than ever before,”

says Jan Westcott, president and

CEO, Spirits Canada. “You have

to give kudos to the restaurant

and bar operators because

they’ve leaped on new

technology and figured

out how to make it work. It’s

easy and hugely convenient

for customers. Once these

patterns are established,

people keep doing it.”

Second, most Canadian provinces

have adjusted their alcohol

regulations to allow alcohol to be

included with bar and restaurant

off-premise orders. In response,

operators are heavily promoting

spirit offerings with their takeout

and delivery services to encourage

consumer adoption and sustain

business operations. When it

comes to spirit categories, readyto-drink

(RTD) products have

undergone a massive resurgence.

“The RTDs outdistance everything

by wide margins. In some

markets, we’ve seen 40- to 50-percent

increases. Whether that will

last or not, we’ll see, but they’re

the centre of attention right

now,” says Westcott.

“We make pre-packaged

cocktails because many people

don’t have a lot of bartending

equipment, so those have been a

big success,” says Peden. “We’ve

taken some of key products from

our brands — Cibo, Blueblood

Steakhouse and Xango — and

made their flagship drinks, packaged

them and are re-selling

them on Cibo Market.”

Furthermore, Peden notes the

trend toward premiumization

has gained traction as consumers,

who have been deprived of many

traditional luxuries, are opting to

splurge on high-end spirits. This

rings true for on-premise diners

especially, with the recent re-opening

of many bars and restaurants.

“This summer has been shocking

for specific tequila brands across

our platforms, both online and

in-person dining. Premium tequila

brands like Don Julio and Clase

Azul Reposado are doing well,”

says Peden. “The premium trend

has helped our restaurants

bounce back with some

good revenue.”

Operators are doing their best

to re-balance the COVID-19

effect on spirit sales, however,

additional support is needed to

ensure the industry fully recovers.

Wholesale liquor pricing for

licensees, which has been a longtime

ask from Ontario’s foodservice

industry, would be a lifeline

and help operators recover from

the pandemic sooner.

“If we got wholesale pricing

for restaurants, which is decades

overdue in my opinion, we can

actually help the industry’s

recovery,” says Peden. “We could

keep margin dollars, keep people

working and keep re-building the

battered industry.”

“As larger purchases, they’re

[operators] paying the same as

ordinary consumers, who purchase

much less,” says Westcott. “The

foodservice-and-hospitality trade

is going through a difficult time,

and we’ve been advocating to the

government that they need to

continue supports to this group

for some period time until they

can work themselves back to an

economic viable position.” FH

REALITY CHECK

AR/VR isn’t just coming to a restaurant near you, it’s already here

The restaurant of the future has arrived

and, like most futuristic incarnations,

it’s surprisingly less obtrusive and

more interactive than anticipated.

For those less hip on the specifics, here’s

a primer: Augmented Reality (AR) uses

technology to enhance an environment and

is app-based. For example, “trying on” eyeglasses

using an app, or animal Instagram

filters. Virtual Reality (VR) is gear-based and

immersive, such as a wraparound headset

and video game experience.

GET WITH THE PROGRAMING

The first question around technology in foodservice

is where does it work best? As a visual means,

AR/VR has first found its place in marketing,

bringing menus to life and training employees.

Mike Cadoux is the managing director at

QReal, a New York-based AR company that

creates realistic 3D content for companies.

(Picture sitting at a restaurant and deciding

on menu items by swiping through AR dishes

on your device that appear in front of you on

the table.) He says, “Currently AR/VR is being

deployed mostly for marketing purposes in

the foodservice industry. Brands like Panera

Bread and Applebee’s, for instance, have used

Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook filters to

promote new initiatives or deals as top of

the funnel campaigns. They have seen really

positive results to drive sales.”

Harpreet Munjal, the founder of LoudGrowth,

a digital-marketing company, notes some foodservice

businesses (KFC for example) are currently

using VR to train employees.

SHOW 3D THE MONEY

As with any new technology, there are obstacles

to adoption, Cadoux says. “The main obstacle

in using AR/VR for food is creating 3D models

of their cuisine for use in the requisite platforms.

Many brands have large menus that

need to be converted into lifelike 3D models

for showcasing. They also often have revolving

or seasonal menu items that require

photo shoots in order to bring them into the

immersive digital world.”

But, as with all technology, budget is key,

says Keshav Kiran, the senior director of

Global Strategic Partnerships at Oracle Food

and Beverage. “Right now, the barrier to entry

BY ANDREA VICTORY

is the cost. We’ll start seeing larger restaurants

that have the financial capital to invest in these

projects make the first move, while other smaller

brands will undoubtedly wait for the technology

to become cheaper for them to use.”

Munjal says the pandemic has been severely

impacted by COVID-19 and AR/VR can help

operators address the resulting challenges with

touchless solutions. “[Restaurants can] use AR

to create menus to serve your customers and

provide them with an immense experience.

VR can help you to train staff without wasting

time, material, and effort.”

THE FUTURE IS NOW

As far as en-masse adoption goes, Cadoux predicts

ordering food will become a fully immersive

experience. “Just as a paper menu with

written descriptions is largely being replaced by

high-end imagery, so too will pictures morph

into lifelike 3D experiences. Seeing the food in

front of you can mimic the desire of seeing the

actual food in a physical restaurant experience.”

Cadoux expects this to grow into fullfledged

AR menus when the capabilities of VR

rendering improve.

Kiran agrees. “We’re already seeing some of

the biggest players in QSR exploring how AR/

VR can be used in drive-thrus and

ordering. Brands are realizing that AR can

increase customer engagements and interactions,

with the intent to further improve

customer loyalty.” FH

46 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY 47


CHEF’S CORNER

PUSHING BOUNDARIES

Chef Colin Henderson begins a new chapter in his culinary career

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BY NICOLE DI TOMASSO

Born and raised in Barrie, Ont., Colin Henderson’s

interest in culinary arts peaked at the age of 15 when

he began working as a commis II at a local restaurant.

“I immediately fell in love with the intensity, passion

and flare I witnessed during each dinner service,” says

Henderson. There’s a certain beauty in finding the perfect

combination of ingredients presented in so many different

ways. [That’s when] I knew I wanted to pursue a career in

the culinary industry.”

Eager to learn the finer points of culinary arts,

Henderson attended Algonquin College for Culinary

Management and Chef’s training. Soon after, he became

sous chef at Beckta, a fine-dining restaurant and wine

bar in Ottawa, where he learned how to develop seasonal

menus and manage a team. From there, Henderson moved

to Toronto and worked at Leña Restaurante before joining

the team at Café Boulud as sous chef in 2018. Most recently,

Henderson was promoted to chef de cuisine at Café Boulud

and continues to push the boundaries of food preparation

and presentation.

“My greatest accomplishment in my career thus far is

becoming chef de cuisine at Café Boulud,” says Henderson.

“It’s an honour to be appointed by one of the most talented

There’s

a certain

beauty in

finding the

perfect

combination

of ingredients

presented in

so many

different

ways. [That’s

when]

I knew I

wanted to

pursue a

career in

the culinary

industry

chefs in the restaurant industry,

[Daniel Boulud].”

Café Boulud is located within

the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

and offers upscale French cuisine,

such as grilled octopus with ginger,

coconut-curry sauce and a mix

of fine herbs; Quebec duck breast

with Ontario plum, radicchio and

elderberry jus; and black-truffle

tagliolini with parmesan and microplaned

black truffle. In his new role,

Henderson effectively leads a team

of young chefs and focuses on

farm-to-table concepts, playing

with colour, textures and shapes to

create meaningful experiences for

Café Boulud guests.

“The farm-to-table mindset has

been a major focus in my career.

I love being able to bring fresh,

local and seasonal ingredients to

the table,” says Henderson. “At

Café Boulud, I’m able to explore

this concept by incorporating seasonal dishes to our

ever-evolving menu inspired by Canadian culture

and its landscape, while keeping true to French

roots and cuisine.”

Over the last few years, Henderson has also enjoyed

working with pasta. In fact, he had the opportunity

to work alongside chef Michael Tusk at his three-

Michelin-star restaurant, Quince, in San Francisco,

Calif., where he learned the fine-art of making fresh

pasta, among other things. As one would expect,

Henderson’s favourite kitchen tool is his pasta machine.

Other major influences in Henderson’s career include

Gian Nicola Colucci, culinary director at Le Bistro at

the Bar; Nicholas Trosien, former chef de cuisine at

Café Boulud (now executive sous chef at Four Seasons

Hotels and Resorts in Dallas, Texas); and Chris Wylie,

chef de cuisine at Gazellig Dining and Wine.

Henderson is creative and passionate leader, who

remains focused in the kitchen to consistently produce

top-quality food. When he isn’t learning the latest

culinary techniques, Henderson is most likely playing

a round of golf or spending time with his girlfriend,

friends and family. FH

48 FOODSERVICE AND HOSPITALITY NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM

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visit wholesaleclub.ca

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