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Who's News in Catering for April 3, 2021

Products on the Market

Taylored Hospitality Solutions, LLC and Fulton Market Consulting, LLC have created a new series of educational and training books for the hospitality industry. Catering Chronicles can be used as a series or a single volume for not only employees, owners and companies of all sizes, but also students and educators interested in learning best practices.

Catering Chronicles volumes are quick reads and can be purchased as ebooks on Amazon at Catering Chronicles Vol. 1 on Amazon. Each month, additional volumes will be added, focusing on hot topics affecting the industry today.


VEDGEco, the first nationwide wholesaler of 100% plant-based food, wants to help independent restaurants try plant-based options that could boost their revenue by giving away 1,000 plant-based boxes filled with delicious, plant-based ingredients.

“Adding plant-based products to menus is proven to help increase foot traffic and sales,” says Trevor Hitch, Founder and CEO of VEDGEco. “During these very difficult times, we wanted to do our part to make it easy and risk-free for independent restaurants to try plant-based ingredients and expand their menu offerings.”

The first 1,000 independent restaurants to sign up for a free VEDGEco Plus wholesale account and fill out a short application form will receive $125 worth of store credit uploaded to their VEDGEco account. The store credit can be used on any VEDGEco food items, so restaurants can build their own custom boxes and try the products that they want.

VEDGEco offers a wide selection of well-known and hard-to-find plant-based brands including ForA: Butter, a Michelin chef recommended butter alternative; Impossible Burgers; The BE-Hive plant-based meats and cheeses; JUST Egg; Tofurky; Alpha Foods; and more. Products are sold in bulk sizes and at wholesale prices to serve the independent restaurant and food industry, as well as consumers.

Hot Off the Presses

North America’s largest convention center McCormick Place, and its food service provider, SAVOR…Chicago announced a new partnership with non-profit Fight2Feed to serve local communities in need. The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), owner of McCormick Place, is donating space in the East Kitchen of the Lakeside Building to Fight2Feed. This kitchen space provides much needed capacity for the organization to store perishable and nonperishable food along with commercial kitchen space for food preparation. Fight2Feed rescues food from local restaurants, distributors and others, turning it into hot meals and pantry bags that are distributed through local community organizations and directly to those in need. 

Fight2Feed’s donated space in the East Kitchen of McCormick Place’s Lakeside Building gives the organization, for the first time, a single location where they can bring in the chefs, hospitality professionals and essential volunteers who plan and cook their meals with fresh ingredients rescued each week. The 22,000 square foot space, provided at no cost to the organization, will enable Fight2Feed to exponentially increase the number of meals they serve. 


When COVID-19 hit last March, events were postponed, canceled or downsized. But vaccination efforts along with declining case numbers are making the larger gatherings associated with events a possibility with event venues, planners and caterers officially starting to completely book by 94%. 

Bill Hansen Catering, a catering and events company celebrating over 40 years serving South Florida, is almost fully booked for the months of March and April and summer events this year. Requests for caterers have tripled since 2020 and vendors were hired by over 70% of people in 2020, with Bill Hansen Catering continuously receiving 20-30 event leads each day. The catering service has an exclusive partnership with Villa Woodbine, a historic venue in Coral Gables, and offers complimentary tenting and air conditioning from mid-May through September each year. 

Over the last four decades, Bill Hansen has hosted four U.S. presidents, including the Reagan and Bush families, championship Super Bowl teams, countless celebrities, including Michael Jordan, Usher, Kim Kardashian, athletes and even Pope John Paul II.  

With the easy to navigate website, is an expert resource for the entire process of planning an event, not only helping clients but executing the event from start to finish. 


Though the global glass tableware industry suffered a setback amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, recovery is in progress, paving new paths for industry players. While demand for dinnerware is rising once again, with the hotel & catering industry getting back to its feet, the market is set to witness profitable gains over the coming years.

The latest report on ‘glass tableware’ published by an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm depicts market outlook of industry in the post-pandemic years from 2021 to 2031. As per the report, recovery of key end-use industries will raise the revenue of stakeholders, while there will be to concentrate on key countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, France, and a few others. Overall, the global glass tableware market is set to expand at a CAGR of more than 3% over the next ten years.

These insights are based on a report on Glass Tableware Market by Fact.MR


While you’re celebrating National Soyfoods Month in April, you can also demonstrate environmental awareness on Earth Day, April 22, because soyfoods are a sustainable protein choice.  The theme of Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth.”  Growing soybeans not only enriches the soil with nitrogen, U.S. soybean farmers understand that their sustainable farming practices help protect our environmental resources.

The vast majority of soybean farmers –more than 300,000 of them—employ sustainable farming practices. Those practices include reduced tillage, crop rotation and water and nutrient management, and follow the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP). Independent third-party farm audits conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture assure that the SSAP is being followed.

Soy is an efficiently produced source of  protein, in terms of both protein delivery and protein content. For example, one serving of canned black soybeans (1/2 cup) provides approximately 11 grams of complete plant protein. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids in amounts required to meet nutritional needs of children and adults. Soy is a unique vegetable protein source compared to other legumes because it combines high protein content and lower carbohydrate content.

Association Updates

The National Restaurant Association Show, the premier event and resource to learn about foodservice technology innovations, unique ingredients, and emerging trends in the restaurant industry, today announced the recipients of the 2021 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards. The honorees are recognized as the year’s most forward-thinking and cutting-edge innovations that have meaningfully improved foodservice operations. 

The 2021 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients are: 

Touchless Sauce Dispenser

The Touchless Sauce Dispenser by Antunes is a safer, cleaner, and more precise way to serve condiments. Optical sensors and unique vacuum pullback technology provide exact, touch-free portions – eliminating handpumps and packets. Its modular design configures to any store, front- and back-of-house. It is customizable with a variable number of nozzles, product viscosities, ambient/heated temperatures, and volumes dispensed. 

Curtis GemX® Narrow IntelliFresh® Coffee Brewer with FreshTrac®

The new Curtis GemX Narrow is a powerful machine for superb coffee and beverage specialties. At just 10.5-inches in width, the fully-automated GemX Narrow brews and dispenses twice the amount of coffee in the same space as a traditional single brewer maximizing precious counter space. This capacity is achieved through two narrow, 1.5-gallon dispensers that compactly fit onto the brewer.

Eastern Tabletop

Unlike UV sanitizing systems that carry risks with overexposure, CleanLite uses antimicrobial LED light technology patented by Vyv to illuminate in white light tuned with blue wavelengths that continually protect against bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and mildew. The LED lights can be configured as standing fixtures over work stations and buffet systems, or in pendant and overhead fixtures for larger areas. 

Cockroach Multi-Station

The new patented Cockroach Multi-Station is a discreet and durable device that detects cockroach introductions early and provides ongoing defense. The station’s unique design and curvature mimics cockroach harborages to facilitate greater attraction and the glue board’s placement helps capture them at higher rates to achieve quicker elimination compared to traditional glue boards.

Eloma, An Ali Group Company
Compact Pro

Finally a fully modular combi to fit your kitchen’s flow: Choose control panels on the right, left or top; door hinges on left or right; three cooking systems—convection/fresh steam, convection/steam injection, or convection only. Choose between streamlined or advanced electronic HD touchscreen control, and two cleaning systems including autoclean®PRO. Plus, a design module featuring a variety of options and accessories.

Frymaster / Welbilt Brand
Frymaster FilterQuick® 120

Created for the unique challenges of cooking high volumes of fresh-breaded, heavy sediment, bone-in chicken products, this 120-lb. fryer employs a unique automatic filtration system. The sloped-bottom frypot features multiple oil-return ports sequentially controlled to funnel high pressure oil spray throughout specific parts of the frypot for effective washdown without clogging. A lengthy list of features includes automatic direct internet connection, real-time data collection and remote diagnostics. 

Hobart – FEG
AMTL Two Level Door Type Dish Machine with Hobart Smart Connect IOT App

The only two-level dish machine on the market, the AMTL features an upper chamber that acts as a typical door style dish machine, with a 17’’ door opening, delivering 80 racks per hour. The lower chamber functions as a single rack washer ideal for pots, pans, flatware or utensils. The two levels can operate concurrently, or the lower level can be turned off independently.

Hoshizaki 2by2 ice cube machine, IM-50BAA-LM

With the premium-cocktail solid-ice market going crazy, the 2x2 undercounter model is the first ice machine in the North American market to make an ice cube this large: Measuring 1.9" x 1.9" x 2.2" with just a very small dimple on the long side, this ice is perfect for cocktails that require just the right amount of chill without too much dilution and a stunning presentation.

Manitowoc / Welbilt Brand
CrystalCraft Premier™

Large ice used to require large, bulky machines. Manitowoc’s CrystalCraft Premier™ charts a new course for large cubes through a reimagined evaporator design resulting in a compact gourmet ice machine.  Small in size, but big on features, the machine includes onboard water filtration for crystal clear cubes, and a membrane touchpad for effortless operation.

Minipack America

Want to marinate in 10 minutes instead of 48 hours? How about limoncello in 30 minutes instead of four weeks? The MX-Infuser/Vacuum Sealer offers sophisticated algorithms and single-touch icons to perform numerous processes from sous vide to marinating in two functions and three levels of intensity, or infusing in four levels of intensity. The compact design comes in eight body colors with a soft closure transparent lid.

Automated Pizza Assembly System

The automated, robotic Picnic Pizza assembly system reduces food waste and labor costs while increasing hygiene due to no-touch handling of ingredients. The Picnic system uses the operator’s recipe and uses precise amounts of sauce and toppings, and sends it directly to the oven. All the staff does is place prepared dough on the conveyor. Features include intuitive touchscreen interface, optional POS integration, and a customer portal for customized pizzas.

iCombi® Pro

RATIONAL elevates combi oven technology with the iCombi® Pro. Advanced features include cooking intelligence that lets the operator indicate the results wanted, such as browning and doneness, and even allows mid-process changes. Thermocouples detect cooking conditions, adjusting energy to match needs. Additional air reversing fans improve heat distribution and flow. Results: Better quality, 50% more productivity, and 10% quicker cooking.

Sunshine Innovations

The unique, first-of-its-kind, fully automated Luccy produces fresh, warm, ready-to-eat, premium hummus in seconds at any point-of-sale or serving point. Luccy produces high volumes with adjustable portions and endless recipes, without any human intervention. Luccy is sized to fit in any kitchen or display, is easy and inexpensive to maintain, allowing to offer America’s number one dip to anyone, anywhere. 

T&S Brass and Bronze Works
T&S WaterWatch

This industry-first water-monitoring system detects leaks and helps optimize conservation measures using a smartphone-sized device that straps onto a restaurant’s main water line. The device “listens” to the flow of water in the pipes and uses machine learning to identify the unique sound signatures of various fixtures to notify operators of leaks or catastrophic failures and support efficiency efforts.

TurboChef Technologies, LLC

Picture three independent ovens—say a convection oven, an impingement oven, a speed oven, or any combination thereof—stacked in a single footprint. Then picture them all ventless, auto-loading and unloading, working off a single control panel and a single shared plug.  Plexor’s modular design not only offers all that but also enables cooking modules to be field swapped to accommodate future menu changes.


Think of the food safety and labor savings: This patented MULTI.Day Hot Vacuum system allows you to vacuum-store hot food in MULTI.Day trays and transport it anywhere without the risk of liquid spills or contamination from outside. In less than 60 seconds, the tray is hot-vacuum sealed and ready for transport to satellite locations, preserving food at service temperature for days, eliminating refrigeration and retherm processes.

Upcoming Events

Songkran: Thailand’s New Year is coming up on April 13th -15th and I wanted to invite you to join the Tourism Authority of Thailand in a virtual celebration, Spring into Songkran Splendors. 

Taking place on Thursday, April 8th from 8 - 9 p.m. EDT, Spring into Songkran Splendors encourages Thailand lovers, culture seekers, and curious foodies to join a one-night-only celebration in which Songkran’s traditions will be brought to life with a series of events broadcast live from Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

The festivities will include:

  • A brief education on the festival’s significance followed by Thai New Year Blessings live from the Baan Rai Kong Khing Community with Trikaya Tours. Lauded as a model for Community Based Tourism, Baan Rai Kong Khing is a small organic farming community outside of Chiang Mai, a destination for traditional and holistic wellness practices.    

  • A virtual cooking class making “Som Tum Thai” (Thai papaya salad) and sticky rice with Thai Chef Arnold Myint. As a James Beard House Chef, Top Chef contender, and Food Network star - with plans to open a new restaurant in 2021 - Chef Myint’s unmatched passion for Thailand’s culinary culture will make the event a flavorful night to remember. 

Register Now

People on the Move

 Kari-Out Company, a leading manufacturer of sauces, paper, aluminum and plastic products in the restaurant takeout industry today announced the addition of John Inwright to the Board of Advisors.  Mr. Inwright is a highly accomplished leader and innovator in the Supply Chain Industry. His appointment significantly contributes to Kari-Out’s strategic efforts to achieve growth through product innovation, strong supplier relations, and talented leadership. 

Mr. Inwright previously served as co-chair for the Supply Chain Sub-Committee of the National Council of Chain Restaurants. He further served, via invitation, two of the world’s leading corporate think-tanks, The Conference Board and the Corporate Executive Board. Today, John serves as Chairman of GS1 US, and previously chaired the Audit & Finance committee.



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