Welcome back to Light Hearted Catering and Hospitality News, a feature that takes a not so serious look at the goings on within the catering and hospitality industry from Stephensons catering equipment suppliers.
In this edition, McDonalds sell their best kept secret, a Wetherspoon’s pub becomes a star of the big screen, a hotel in Liverpool releases an emoji menu, mac ‘n’ cheese sees a resurgence and Gourmet Burger Kitchen get in, then back out, of trouble.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen have removed adverts from the London Underground following complaints by vegetarians. The GBK anti-vegetarian campaign included adverts such as a picture of a cow with the slogan, ‘They Eat Grass So You Don’t Have To’. In the wake of GBK’s adverts, the hashtag #GourmetMurderKitchen began to trend on Twitter as people claimed the chain were making a mockery of vegetarianism. Ironically, a OnePulse survey of 1,500 people found that more people were willing to eat at Gourmet Burger Kitchen following the campaign. 73% of respondents said the adverts have no effect on their choice to eat at GBK, 14% said they were more likely to eat there and 13% said they were less likely.
Would You Like a Burger With That?
McDonalds have given customers the chance to buy one of the best kept secrets in the food service industry…their iconic Big Mac Sauce. The Big Mac Sauce has never been available for purchase in the UK, unless sold on a Big Mac or limited edition burger. However, McDonalds put a single 740ml bottle of the special sauce on eBay earlier this month to raise money for their Ronald McDonald House Charities. The auction concluded on 10th February and sold for a whopping £65,900! (Burger, fries and drink not included.)
You’re Taking the ‘Mac’key
Macaroni and cheese has seen outstanding growth in British restaurants since 2010. Over the past six years, mac ‘n’ cheese has seen growth of 550%, according to the Horizons Menu Trends Survey. Horizons’ analyst Nicola Knight said, “Macaroni cheese was once a cheap, comfort food for home cooking but has now become a favourite on menus. It’s a huge success story for restaurants and pubs and shows that chefs have returned to some of our old favourites by giving them a new twist with modern ingredients.”
Service with a Smile
The Aloft Hotel in Liverpool have launched the World’s first emoji room service menu. Guests are encouraged to text their room service orders using emoji symbols on their phones. Menu options include a Hangover Special, The Sightseer and The Munchies; their Hangover Special includes water, a bacon sandwich and a banana, The Sightseer includes two bottles of water, a map and two bananas and The Munchies includes Coca-Cola, Kettle Chips, a donut and a Nutri-Grain bar. Aloft have called their unique emoji service ‘TiGi’ which is an acronym of ‘Text it, Get it’.
Star of the Big Screen
JD Wetherspoon’s Powder Monkey pub in Exmouth recently became a star of the big screen in The Big Short. US businessman, Ben Hockett (played by Brad Pitt), used the internet connection in the Powder Monkey to complete a $79 million dollar deal. Based on the same-titled book by Michael Lewis, The Big Short tells the true story of hedge fund managers who bet against the banks during the 2007 recession with odds of 80 to 1. In Lewis’ book he writes, “None of the enthusiastic British drinkers seemed to mind, or even notice, the American in the corner bashing on his Bloomberg machine and talking into his cell phone from two in the afternoon until 11 at night.”