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Who's News in Catering for April 9, 2022

Hot Off the Presses

CRO, Inc., the parent company behind such legendary brands as Cantina Laredo, III Forks, El Chico, Luckys, Silver Fox and Cool River, has consolidated its catering offerings into an innovative, web-supported platform designed to simplify and truly customize catering operations for its clients. Called CaterDallas, this easy to maneuver site allows customers to build their order from a selection of food and beverage offerings from all of the CRO brands at the same time and to connect with an event coordinator who can facilitate things with one order and one delivery. CaterDallas offers a full range of customizable plans, ranging from food delivery to formal service. In addition to catering services, CaterDallas offers event planners access to a wide range of rental services.including china, stemware, linens and more. 


The Buona Companies, owner and operator of the famous Original Italian beef will add the Beef It Up truck to its 26 brick and mortar locations. It will be exclusively available for private events like weddings, large events and parties but will showcase its famous beef at some signature events throughout the city this summer.  


Andy Nguyen and Kevin Seo, the foodpreneurs behind the world's first Bored Ape restaurant, Bored & Hungry, today announce Food Fighters Universe (FFU), an NFT collection that will connect food and Web3. Launching in May, FFU will be a collection of 10,000 unique tokens on the ETH (Ethereum) blockchain. Each purchase will help to develop the world's first NFT-backed restaurant group, focused on building gathering places in real life (IRL) and the metaverse, while offering utility and experiences for Food Fighters NFT holders. Food Fighters NFTs will grant members access to special events, rewards and perks in Web3 and IRL. That includes tickets and line hopper passes to an annual in-person Food Fighters Festival, along with hidden restaurants created as "Easter Eggs" for the Food Fighter community. In the spirit of Web3, shared governance on decisions such as restaurant locations or menu items will take place through conversation on Discord, Twitter and other platforms. Owning a Food Fighters NFT also will unlock free food rewards and Web3 perks. 


RCC Associates, the premier South Florida-based general contractor specializing in restaurant and hospitality construction, and the general contractor for the Arizona-born Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Beer Garden + Nightlife (Bottled Blonde) from nationally renowned Evening Entertainment Group, announces the completion and opening of the restaurant/entertainment concept in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami. 


Parts Town, a global market leader in genuine OEM parts distribution and technology, has acquired Encompass Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. (“Encompass”), a leading national distributor of OEM repair parts for the home. Headquartered near Atlanta, Encompass has grown rapidly in recent years by building strong manufacturer relationships, innovating through supply chain management and e-commerce, and providing excellent customer service. The company maintains six facilities, has close to 250 team members, more than 200 manufacturer relationships, and delivers nearly $200 million in annual revenue. Robert Coolidge, current president, and CEO of Encompass will continue to lead the business with additional investment and support from Parts Town.   


The Essential Workers for Economic Advancement (EWEA) program, created by the Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act introduced in the House last night, creates a pathway for workers to come to the U.S. on market-driven, non-immigrant, three-year visas. The program is intended for small businesses in industries with comparatively low sales per employee and would be available for non-agricultural jobs with lower education thresholds that have been unfilled for extended periods of time. The EWEA will initially be available for up to 65,000 workers, but after the first year, the total number of workers is determined by market-based need. The number of workers in the program cannot exceed 85,000.  

Association Updates

Bill Hansen Catering & Event Production (BHCEP) of Miami has been accepted into Leading Caterers of America*, a select group of the most successful caterers in the US and Canada. Widely recognized as one of the largest catering brands in South Florida, BHCEP typically caters over 800 events a year, with 40 full-time and more than 200 on-call employees.  



Congratulations to Alexis Miller and Monica Maajid-Bey, two well-deserving NACE Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) scholarship winners!  Read more about our winners >  


Products on the Market

The new ServSafe® Ops app automates a restaurant’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) and, at a time when it’s harder than ever to engage their workforce, it places productivity in the hands of all employees. ServSafe, the premier provider of educational resources, materials, and programs that help attract and develop a strong restaurant workforce amassed their knowledge and experience in creating an application that leverages technology to standardize daily operating procedures and enhance an operation’s efficiency. The ServSafe Ops application was developed through a partnership with WorkMerk, a Philadelphia based technology company. The combined hospitality expertise of the leaders of the respective organizations created an app “for restaurant people, by restaurant people.”  


San Angelo To Go is embarking on a pilot program with Swedish brands CAKE and Dometic, to become the first delivery service in the U.S. to test electric bikes + food storage boxes with active heating. Instead of adding a surge-charge, the company thinks that this new solution can help drivers make money without having to raise prices for customers. The box - called a DeliBox - is powered and can be plugged straight into the e-bike battery for complete temperature control. Drivers have the ability to increase or reduce heat within the box and there is also a shelf that can be moved up or down to create a dual temperature zone; below the shelf, active heating circulates, above the shelf, ambient temperature is maintained. In this way, pizza for example, can be kept perfectly hot while salads and drinks can be kept at ambient temperature within the DeliBox siimultaneously.   


Next Meats USA, Inc., a Japanese-based manufacturer of delicious, eco-friendly plant-based meat alternative products, is now offering two products in six Tokyo Central stores and four Marukai stores throughout Southern California and the Bay Area. Japanese specialty market Tokyo Central first introduced Next Meats’ plant-based products earlier this year in January. The Next Meats’ product line in the US and Canada is Next Short Rib and Next Skirt Steak. They are produced from a textured soy protein (TVP) and there is currently one serving per package at 160-180 calories. The suggested retail price for each 4.23 oz. package is $5.99. Products are also sold online via the Next Meats webstore in 3-pack through 24-pack sizes.  


eHungry, a popular private label restaurant ordering system, announces they have rolled out the latest version of their online ordering platform for their restaurant clients. The exciting update to their system includes a new customer-focused design and numerous new features: advanced prep times and throttling to help restaurants avoid being slammed with orders; integration with over 70 payment providers so restaurants can save on credit card fees; an enhanced mobile app for better order handling; and a free website builder for new restaurants that don't have a Web presence. The newest design and tech updates come as a response to both consumers and restaurants continuing to heavily lean on online ordering. 


People on the Move

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club has appointed John Cerovac as its executive chef, where he will oversee the historic Florida resort’s entire food & beverage program. After obtaining his Red Seal Cook Certification (Canada), Cerovac began his career in the hotel industry at the Turnberry Hotel in Scotland. He brings years of experience in luxury hotels to The Vinoy, having helped open the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, and most recently overseeing the dining program at the Delta Hotel in Toronto as its executive chef. Among his many professional milestones, Cerovac’s proudest accomplishment is serving as a guest chef at the illustrious James Beard House. 


Editor’s note: Leading of Caterers of America is owned and operated by Informa Connect, Catersource’s parent company. 


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