Meat Clips | Mobile, Malware & Mayhem

Recent research provides Android Malware attacks increased 75% last year! Interestingly enough, Adware actually decreased over the same time period, but ransomware hit new highs.

According to the Lookout study, four million Android users paid ransoms that ranged from $300-$500 to unlock their devices last year. Industry analysts fear that some Malware may have infiltrated devices at the factory level and are actually coming pre-loaded as such out of the box.

It’s tough enough to deal with cyber crime on a personal level, but the cost of such mobile mayhem on business is escalating to new heights. More than 68% of global organizations have experienced a breach of mobile security in the last year. Experts cite the lack of password protection, lost or stolen devices, lack of “VPN or firewalled networks” and fraud, as the top mobile security threats on business.

How close to home does all this hit our industry? VERY, according to a recent Independent Restaurateur post which reports restaurants account for 73% of the data breaches in the United States – a 29% increase over the last three years.

Estimates provide the cost to independents can escalate to hundreds of thousands of dollars for just one data breach. Considering that seven out of ten restaurants are independent according to the National Restaurant Association, no business is immune.

It’s tough for anyone trying to maintain a cyber secure environment to conduct business. Worse yet, you could have a system in place, not pay attention to it and face the types of unfathomable financial fallout like Target. (The chain spent $61 million batting clean up in the first 90 days.) Bloomberg Business reports that analysts estimate the retailer’s post-breach costs could “run into the billions”.

Unfortunately, P.F. Chang’s 33-location-breach of consumer credit data may be the tip of the iceberg. Here are five articles you may find helpful on the subject:

How To Prevent Target-like Data Breaches -Fierce Retail IT

Restaurants: How To Fight Back Against Data Thieves -QSR Magazine

Protect Customer’s Information from Security Breaches -Pizza Today

Top Mobile Security Tips -Telegraph

Protect Your Network From Hackers -National Restaurant Association

From the desk of John Cecala || Website  LinkedIn   @BuedelFineMeats  Facebook

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On the Cutting Edge of Culinary Ed with EHS

100_0282Last month, the 13th annual Illinois ProStart® Invitational, was hosted by the Illinois Restaurant Association at Kendall College. High school teams from across the state competed for culinary and hospitality management titles. It was also the second year in a row the Elgin High School Culinary Team won the management part of the competition.

What is Pro Start?

ProStart® is an educational foundation program of the National Restaurant Association. It is a two-year curriculum plan that combines classroom learning and real-life experience aimed to skill build, develop talent and spur future restaurant and foodservice leaders. Over 90,000 students from 1,700 high schools in 47 states currently participate in the program, including students from U.S. Military bases and in Guam.

One of the core elements to this program is its working relationship between industry and education.  It is the hands on support from restaurant and hospitality professionals, food service companies, suppliers and state level restaurant associations in tandem with educators that provide this recipe for success.

IMG_3578The Hospitality Management part of the competition consists of developing a restaurant concept from scratch. Students analyze local demographics, develop marketing initiatives, design interiors, create menus and literally everything else that goes into launching and operating a restaurant. They have to prepare a 10 minute presentation for culinary teachers and professional chefs and field questions from the judging authorities.

The culinary part of the competition is equally challenging. Student teams have one hour to produce a three course meal (appetizer, entrée and dessert) for two, using only two portable camping oven/burners.

The Proof is in the Pudding

We asked the winning Elgin High School (EHS) team what they thought about the experience and knowledge they’ve gained from participating in their school’s culinary program and competitions. The team of four seniors had much to say – get ready, their enthusiasm is contagious and inspiring.

DSC04268Yahaira Bonilla told us she learned how to work as a team and develop speaking skills because they had to present in front of teachers and professional chefs. She also learned how to use more computer skills and do a PowerPoint presentation. “I can take this somewhere – doing this made me think of going for culinary or hospitality management in college – it has kind of guided me. ”

Bonilla is also in the culinary program and feels the “hands on experience” has really helped her.  “We have catering events outside of school and do a restaurant at school once a week.”

Louis Maldonado says he was “up and down” about getting involved because of the commitment level.  “There are a lot of practices, and I took Food 1,2,3,4 [classes]. Ms. Leider gave me the opportunity to go to competitions, and it helped me. There is a lot of writing and thinking. I was introduced to the President of Rosati’s Pizza last year at the competition, and she gave me a summer job – ProStart® really helps. It’s great to see this industry; I am going into theIMG_3649 hospitality side.”

Eduardo Rios says the program and competition experience made him put his English and school skills to the test. “It made things interesting for me. Running a restaurant has been so interesting – it made me think, ‘What are my opportunities in the future?’ Culinary Arts or Restaurant Management is what I think I want to do. With hospitality, I serve people and make people them happy – that is one of the most attractive things.”

Colin Flanagan echoed his teammates’ sentiments on learning and opportunity. “In the classroom we learn about food safety, how to cook things properly and what goes on in the background of a restaurant. I have friends that think this program is amazing because it gets you ready for college – they don’t have these kinds of classes at their schools. A lot of kids would just like to learn some basic cooking skills too.”

Learning from Those that Do

Equally refreshing, is the pride and positive energy the team’s teacher, Ann Leider, has for the program and her students. “We teach them all aspects of what goes into it and how to be successful in the industry,” she described. “They are exposed to all culinary – to its math, food costs, preparation, how to treat customers, front of house, back of house, safety, sanitation, how to keep employees happy …”.

100_0222If it sounds like Leider genuinely knows what she’s talking about, she does – Ann is also a culinary professional. She began working in restaurants as a young teen, earned her degree in hospitality,  worked as a line cook, prep cook, café manager, and in catering and event planning.

Five years ago she was offered the opportunity to take over the program. “I am certified to teach hospitality,” she explained, “my certificate is based off my industry experience.” Leider is also taking  classes at night to expand the status of her expertise.

Ann says she does the competitions “because it’s beneficial to the students.” She lets the student team set the hours and how much they want to practice. Her current team was dedicated to 3-4 hours after school and 8 hours on Saturdays.

In addition to the competitions, ProStart® also provides access to scholarships and job shadows. “We’ve done all day job shadows at TGI Fridays, Morton’s, Chili’s and Key Lime Cove.” Leider says a lot schools don’t have catering or hosting elements to their programs, curricula she’s equally proud of.

DSC04208How does the Elgin in-school restaurant work? “Our culinary classroom is the restaurant.” On Thursdays, the students spend the last 3 periods of the day flipping their classroom into a full serve restaurant, The Clumsy Chef. This week’s entrée of the day was Baked Tilapia Veracruz with Cilantro Lime Rice. Patrons can dine in or carry out.

School events and meThisWeek'sMenuetings also take place at the Clumsy Chef and catering is available: We cater anything from small box lunch meetings to continental breakfast for 100! Let us know your needs and budget, and we can work together to come up with the best options for you.

The culinary students rely on support from the faculty, student and parent populations for their restaurant and, successfully so as the Clumsy Chef is self-sustaining.

Community Outreach

Leider’s culinary teams have consistently placed in the top three statewide positions, in one or both categories, over the last four years – for as long as they have been competing. That’s a remarkable track record, to say the least.

100_0272This May, the EHS team, will be competing at the National ProStart Invitational® in Minneapolis. Last year, the EHS team, placed 10th at nationals in Baltimore. Funds are currently being raised to send the team to this year’s national competition with proper supplies, uniforms and equipment.

Cash, gift cards and other items are needed for raffle fund raising efforts. Large donations will be recognized on the team’s competition shirts by company logo. (Buedel is helping the team out this year with a donation of steak gift boxes for their silent auction.) If you would like to lend support to the students, please contact Ann Leider (soon!) by phone at 630-400-4064 or by email: AnnLeider@u-46.org.

Good luck EHS!

From the desk of  John Cecala   @BuedelFineMeats   Fan Page   Slideshare

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Hashtag NRA Show

There’s something special about the #NRAShow [National Restaurant Association Show]. Billed as an “international foodservice marketplace”, the NRA Show is big news to a lot of people, perhaps because nearly one in 10 American workers are employed in the restaurant industry – ‘big’, to say the least. More than 60,000 buyers and suppliers are expected to attend the four day event at McCormick Plachydroponic_image_250pxe beginning this Saturday, May 18th.

There will be loads of educational sessions, guest speakers, (Starbuck’s CEO, Howard Schultz, will be doing the keynote), celebrity chefs, and numerous special exhibits such as a “fully functioning hydroponic garden that will grow local, all-natural, pesticide-free produce – on the show floor”. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a water and mineral nutrient solution without soil.

Show Local Supportshowbooth - small

We are equally excited to be an exhibitor at the show again this year. In the meat industry this year’s hottest trends are: gourmet burgers, grass fed beef and local.

The definitions of “local” and “sustainable” are changing rapidly and expanding beyond environmental concerns as the marketplace responds to consumer interest for healthier eating, humane animal treatment and better food quality. ‘Local’ points to these issues and more – food safety, family farmers and sustainable agriculture – to name a few.

BuedelLocalLogoTMOur company is a family owned business and in honor of all local and family owned businesses we are launching a new program in show of support at the NRA Show. (Please feel free to use our local logo to share in the cause!) We’ve also put together a great little cheat sheet on How to Buy Local explaining the basics of what to look for when buying local and sustainable foods. Stop by the Buedel booth at the show for more information, #7864!

Fun Foods

Part of the fun at the NRA Show is of course, the food. The exhibit halls are filled with new products to sample. Here are some of the new items we’ve put on our must see list:

Ditka Hot Beef Polish Sausage – an eight inch long, 1/3 lb. spicy sausage from Vienna Beef tditkasausagehat’s geared to be a “Grabowski” classic.

Upland Cress – just one of several specialty greens from family farmed and  sustainable, Living Water Farms in Strawn, Illinois.

tspwillieTeaspoon Willies Everything Sauce – a gourmet, all natural, organic tomato based sauce to be used as a staple condiment at every meal. (We have to try it, just because of the name!)

Grandpa G’s Jalapeno Butter Mustard – noted as a “relish”, Grandpa G’s has  ProductLarge4981.jpgfresh grated jalapenos mixed in with sugar tangy mustard. 

All Butter Croissant Roll Round – round shaped croissants for sandwiches; great idea!

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From the desk of John Cecala Twitter @ Buedel Fine Meats  Facebook  Buedel Fan Page 

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2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast & Trends

The operating environment (for many businesses) will remain challenging in the coming year, however “record sales are expected in the restaurant industry” according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

Earlier this month the NRA published its annual Restaurant Industry Forecast for the coming year. Overall, the outlook is good for, “America’s 980,000 restaurants which will continue to be a leading job creator in 2013.”

Here are some of the news highlights from the NRA report:

Expectations

Total restaurant industry sales are expected to exceed $660 billion in 2013 – a 3.8 percent increase over 2012, marking the fourth consecutive year of real sales growth for the industry.

2013 will be the 14th straight year in which restaurant industry employment will outpace overall employment.

Restaurants will employ 13.1 million individuals next year as the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, representing 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce.

The NRA expects restaurants to add 1.3 million new positions in the next decade, pushing industry employment to 14.4 million by 2023.

Every $1 spent in Illinois restaurants generates an additional $1.25 in sales for the state economy. More Illinois stats here.

Challenges

Despite expected growth projections for 2013, operators will continue to face a range of challenges. The top challenges cited by restaurateurs vary by industry segment, and include food costs, the economy and health care reform.

Wholesale food costs will continue on an upward trajectory through 2013, putting significant pressure on restaurants’ bottom lines; about one-third of sales in a restaurant goes to food and beverage purchases.

Sluggish economic and employment recovery impacts consumers’ cash-on-hand situation, which in turn impacts restaurants.

There is a strong correlation between consumers’ disposable income and restaurant sales; 2 out of 5 consumers say they are not using restaurants as often as they would like.

The implementation of health care reform will put additional cost pressure on some restaurant operators in the near future.

One-third of a typical restaurant’s sales go toward labor costs. Significant increases in these costs will result in additional cost management measures to preserve the already slim pre-tax profit margins of 3-5 percent on which most restaurants operate.

Trends

Consumers’ interest in technology continues unabated. Restaurant operators recognize that technology can enhance customer service and appeal to consumers, but have yet to fully meet consumer demand yet.

Among the strongest consumer trends for 2013 are local sourcing and nutrition. More than 7 out of 10 consumers say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers locally produced menu items.

More than 7 out of 10 consumers also say they are trying to eat healthier at restaurants now, than they did two years ago.

For more facts and figures go to http://www.restaurant.org/.

We wish you a very,                                                                                                                Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!

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From the desk of John Cecala Twitter @ Buedel Fine Meats  Facebook  Buedel Fan Page

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