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Celebrity Grub Entrepreneurship Fast Food News

Rap Legend Bun B Set To Launch Houston Smashburger Concept

Photo Credit: Julie Nong

Trill Burgers, a new smashburger concept from rapper Bun B, Andy Nguyen of Afters Ice Cream fame, and siblings Patsy and Benson Vivares of Sticky’s Chicken, is launching in Houston, Texas.

The burger joint will feature a simple menu of thin, crispy-edged smashburgers, a concept that has been a hit trend in California for the past couple of years, but has yet to hit the mainstream in Houston.

This is the first restaurant venture for Bun B, the Houston native who made a name for himself in music as one-half of the legendary rap duo, UGK. The venture pairs him with Nguyen, who has developed successful restaurant concepts in California like Afters Ice Cream.

“For years I’ve been fascinated with the culinary scene, trying to find the best entry point for me,” Bun B said on Instagram. “Today I can say I’ve found it. Join me in welcoming @trillburgers to the world! Follow us for more info on our next pop ups and watch as we take you on the burger ride of your life! Brick and mortar coming soon! @andythenguyen @bensonjohn @simplypatsy @nickscurfield let’s go!”

Photo: Trish Badger)

Nguyen is also a partner in The Vivares’ Sticky’s Chicken, a popular Houston food truck that opened a brick-and-mortar location in 2019. Bun B is a longtime supporter of Sticky’s, whose fans also include NFL star DeAndre Hopkins, NBA champion PJ Tucker and model/actress Karreuche Tran. The Vivares siblings will lead culinary operations for Trill Burgers.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we were brainstorming ghost kitchen and pop-up ideas with Andy, and he kept coming back to the concept of smashed burgers,” Patsy Vivares said. “Through our publicist and friend Nick Scurfield, we set up a meeting with Bun, and we all decided to partner together on this venture. I can’t believe it’s really happening!”

Trill Burgers will launch with pop-ups at Sticky’s Chicken and will be coming to Houston soon as a brick and mortar restaurant.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Restaurants Technology

New Food App Allows Diners to Make Decisions By Exploring Visual Menus At Local Restaurants

We’ve all been there. You don’t know what you want to eat and you’re looking for a recommendation. The next time that happens, turn to LooksYummy.

Created by African-American tech developers Kenrick Brown and Solomon Morgan, this meal-sharing app allows users to eat with their eyes. It aims to assist restaurant owners in jumpstarting their sales while recovering from the pandemic by allowing food seekers, travelers, and tourists to make decisions by exploring visual menus at nearby restaurants while discovering unique culinary dishes made by local eateries across the world. 

With millions of food photos shared every day through multiple social platforms, LooksYummy streamlines the food sharing experience. Research shows that consumers are 45% more likely to purchase a menu item with a photo of the actual dish over menu listings without photos. 

“We have created a community that can help cultivate great dining experiences,” said Kenrick Brown, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LooksYummy. “LooksYummy is a niche application to display food from various restaurants. From a user standpoint, food is an art. People eat with their eyes, then taste. From a business standpoint, LooksYummy allows restaurants to provide visual images of meals on their menu at their restaurant, and now users can see before they order and get good visuals of what the actual meal is.”

Via the app, restaurants can advertise their top menu choices and display visual menus while users can add compelling content, decide where to dine, and discover dishes they will love. The app also allows users to post new meals, tag a dish to a restaurant, browse meal offerings, and follow their favorite food blogger’s food journey.

The app also offers community users many perks like earning points at nearby restaurants, discounts, and more through weekly and monthly contests and promotions. 

“We are joining restaurants and customers together on one platform,” said Solomon Morgan, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of LooksYummy. “Most of the time, the foods I order are the ones that have a picture. As an Army Veteran, LooksYummy would have been helpful because I was always dining out while serving.”

LooksYummy is now available for free download for iPhone and Android users.

Categories
Alcohol Drinks Sweets

Coors Sweetens Up Summer With Orange Cream Pop Seltzer

The iconic Orange Cream Pop, that staple of ice cream trucks nationwide, has gotten an adult upgrade courtesy of Coors. This summer, Coors Seltzer has launched its new limited-time flavor, Orange Cream Pop.

Like previous Coors Seltzers, Orange Cream Pop is 90 calories and 4.5% alcohol by volume per 12 ounces. The new flavor also supports the brand’s mission to help restore 500 gallons of clean water to America’s rivers with each purchase of a 12-pack through its partnership with Change The Course.

Along with Orange Cream Pop, available in 12 packs of 12-ounce slim cans, Coors Seltzer is available nationwide in four-flavor variety packs including: Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Mango and Grapefruit.

To celebrate the flavor’s recent release, Coors also partnered with Tipsy Scoop for a limited-edition ice cream flavor available at Tipsy Scoop barlours in New York City and Long Island, as well as on TipsyScoop.com. The orange and cream-colored and flavored twisted ice cream contains up to 5% alcohol by volume.

Additionally, customers in New York City can get a 12-pack of Coors Orange Cream Pop Hard Seltzer along with their Tipsy Scoop purchase at the brand’s Brooklyn location. 

Categories
News Packaged Food

This Company wants to Pay you $100,000 to Eat Tacos

The above headline is not clickbait, we promise.

The McCormick brand recently announced a nationwide search for a new consulting position within the company, Director of Taco Relations. The position is designed for anyone ready to take their love for this iconic dish to the next level by working with fellow taco aficionados. The position comes with a $100,000 payment, in addition to an assortment of McCormick Taco Seasoning and other products.

Now through July 20, taco fans, who are over 21 years of age and based in the United States, can submit a creative video, showcasing their personality and passion for tacos at McCormick.com/DirectorofTacoRelations.

As the Director of Taco Relations, the individual selected will work directly with the McCormick brand team to develop recipes utilizing McCormick’s Taco Seasoning mix, and connect with fellow taco connoisseurs to discuss the latest taco trends. They will also travel across the country to visit famous taco restaurants and chefs as well as visit McCormick’s global headquarters and kitchens to not only become familiar with the culinary and creative teams but also take part in a taco immersion course, and become familiar with the latest McCormick Street Taco seasoning mixes being developed by the company’s innovation lab. 

This position is open to all experience levels and while a previous taco-related job is not a prerequisite to apply, a deep appreciation for tacos is. Applicants are encouraged to get creative in their submission video and highlight why they deserve the role and should share their best taco tidbits, including but not limited to their go-to and unique taco recipes, taco-themed trivia and knowledge, and any additional experiences, qualifications and skill sets they want to provide. 

Categories
Alcohol Drinks Feel Good Restaurants

Stella Artois’ New Bottle Will Help Support Restaurants

As restaurants across the country look to reopen in the coming months, up to 80% of them are reportedly still at risk of permanent closure. Stella Artois, in partnership with The James Beard Foundation, will be supporting the hospitality industry with the release of an aluminum “Open for Good” bottle that will contribute a portion of the proceeds towards helping the industry.

“Over the last year, our work with the James Beard Foundation has allowed us to support restaurants from the start of the pandemic. With the return to full capacity, we hope this new product offering can further support the industry to safely return to operating as we remember them,” said Lara Krug, VP of Marketing, Stella Artois.

Named after the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign, the new “Open for Good” aluminum bottle not only supports the restaurant industry but gives back with proceeds from each bottle sold benefitting the campaign. Over the past year, the Open for Good campaign has supported chefs by leveraging their voices to advocate for the industry, provided direct financial relief, and created critical resources and connections for the industry.

The “Open for Good” bottles will also give consumers an opportunity to participate in rebuilding the restaurant industry and will feature custom QR code that allows consumers to take steps to further recognize and support their favorite local restaurants. 

“As a longtime supporter of the Foundation, we’re excited to have partnered with Stella Artois over the past year to do all we can to help the independent restaurant industry survive by providing financial grants as part of our Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund, delivering more than 80 webinars to help the industry navigate things like PPP loan forgiveness and enhanced safety protocols, and delivering financial relief via our Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans,” says Clare Reichenbach, Chief Executive Officer, James Beard Foundation.

The “Open for Good” bottles are a part of Stella Artois’ upcoming campaign, “Your Table Is Ready,” dedicated to bringing people back to restaurant tables. “Your Table Is Ready” is part of Anheuser-Busch’s “Let’s Grab A Beer” platform that aims to make the moments we come together over a Stella Artois even better.

Stella Artois and the James Beard Foundation came together for other programs, like “Dining Together, Apart,” “Far From You, But Yes I Do,” and “Stella Sessions@Home,” where a portion of proceeds from all Stella Artois purchased on-premise went to the James Beard Foundation. Additionally, in November 2020, Stella Artois donated a portion of proceeds from all Stella Artois purchased nationally in bars and restaurants to the James Beard Foundations’ “Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black & Indigenous Americans.”

The custom-designed aluminum structure with a sturdy bottle and premium inks is distinctly different the classic Stella Artois bottle. The 14 oz Stella Artois “Open for Good” bottle will be available starting June 7th at participating restaurants nationwide.

Categories
Alcohol Packaged Food Sweets

This Boozy Ice Cream Is Based On Cocktails From The World’s Best Bars

OddFellows Ice Cream Co. has recently released The Boozy Capsule, a collection of six liquor-laced  ice creams based on cocktails from some of the world’s best bars. 

The Boozy Capsule was crafted by OddFellows’ Chef and Co-Founder, Sam Mason who has transformed signature cocktails from some of the world’s most talented bartenders into ice cream form. The release also aims to give back to the hard-hit hospitality industry as bars and restaurants start to reopen.

OddFellows will donate 10% of proceeds from the capsule to Another Round Another Rally, a charity providing education and emergency aid to professionals working in the hospitality sector.  

The six cocktail ice creams in ‘The Boozy Capsule’ include: 

  • Death & Co.’s Buko Gimlet Coconut water sorbet infused with New York Distilling Company’s Dorothy Parker Gin, Novo Fogo Cachaça, Kalani Coconut Liqueur, lime and pandan
  • Two Schmucks’ Strawberry Kush – Non-dairy sorbet that combines Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum with mint, lemon, Angostura Bitters, saline and cardamom
  • Long Island Bar’s Cosmopolitan – Cranberry-lime sorbet infused with Absolut Citron Vodka, and Cointreau Liqueur 
  • Maybe Sammy’s La FincaCoffee ice cream infused with Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur and Oloroso Sherry with gems of Manuka Honey 
  • Attaboy’s Penicillin Sweet cream whisky ice cream infused with Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky with a hint of lemon, gems of honey and candied ginger 
  • Limantour’s Mr Pink – Sweet cream gin ice cream infused with New York Distilling Company’s Dorothy Parker Gin with nuggets of grapefruit sorbet infused with rosemary, lime, basil and orange bitters

“Enjoying a world-class cocktail in a beautiful bar is the absolute best, and we wanted to capture that experience and celebrate our hospitality industry peers with this boozy capsule,” says Mohan Kumar, Co-Founder of OddFellows. “I’ve had many amazing nights in these bars and I’m excited to be bringing their essence to the nation in ice cream form; giving their fans (and ours) a creative take on something they have not been able to access during the last year.” 

The Boozy Capsule also celebrates OddFellows’ return to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood where it originated, with its new flagship store in Domino Park. Located at 40 River Street, OddFellows Domino Park will offer the largest ice cream flavor selection that OddFellows has ever featured, with 24 flavors. Its opening menu featured a variety of flavors like Coffee Crunch and Chocotorta, Carrot Cake Cream Cheese, Lemon Shortbread Thyme and Mandarin Jasmine Brulee, among others. Limited time capsule collections, which launched August 2020 with the Desus & Mero Bodega Capsule, will also be a prominent menu feature. 

In addition to its ice cream menu, OddFellows Domino Park will also have a happy hour. Coming this summer, the menu will feature a curated list of natural wines, local beers, and boozy ice cream concoctions.

OddFellows’ The Boozy Capsule is available in OddFellows’ New York City and Boston stores for $13.50 per tub, and shipping nationwide at oddfellowsnyc.com for $89.99 for the whole collection.

Categories
Restaurants

California Utility Companies Launch ‘Restaurant Care Resilience Fund’ To Support Small Businesses

As California’s hospitality industry is working on getting back to business, restaurants will be getting a spark from a familiar source.

The California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a non-profit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurants and its workforce, has received more than $1.25 million from SoCalGas, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), and others to launch the Restaurant Care Resilience Fund. The fund will provide grants of up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants across California, with priority given to woman- and BIPOC-owned restaurants.

“The Resilience Fund will provide critical financial support to our hardest hit small businesses, many of which are owned and operated by women and people of color,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the economic impact across the County, leading to greater job loss and reduced hours resulting in less pay for workers. The Resilience Fund will help our small businesses retain their workers and help ease the economic burden of the pandemic as we rebuild for a better tomorrow.”

Grants given by CRF’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund are intended to be used on payroll and related expenses so the restaurants can free up funds for other expenses such as rent, tech upgrades and outdoor dining retrofitting. Additionally, restaurants that receive a Resilience Fund grant will also receive services and resources to improve their business for the long-term.

Over the past year, through the Restaurants Care program, CRF has helped more than 1,200 restaurant workers, their families and businesses and believes that by investing in the lasting success of these restaurants, we can also preserve jobs and communities throughout California.

“What’s really unique about our Resilience Fund is that it supports the business as well as individual restaurant workers,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the California Restaurant Foundation. “A portion of the funds raised will provide grants for cooks, servers, dishwashers and more who face unforeseen hardship and have nowhere else to turn and the rest will go to the restaurant. So yes, we’re helping restaurants keep their crew on payroll, while also offering a safety net for when things get tough. While we’re delighted to see restaurants opening up and COVID cases drop, the recovery will take years and we’re doing what we can to help.”  

Resilience Fund applications will be open through Sunday (April 18, 2021) and can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience. Grants will be available to single-unit, California-based restaurants in Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles (excluding Long Beach), Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin counties with a staff of 50 or fewer employees.

To qualify, the restaurant must currently be open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020. Priority will be given to restaurants owned by women and people of color.

Categories
Beer Feel Good

Coors Gives Back For Wildfire Relief

With the American West having its worst wildfire season in at least 70 years, Coors Banquet increased its annual support to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation with a $300,000 donation and the release of a branded T-shirt to help support the cause.

The donation, which builds on a seven-year relationship with the foundation, will go toward providing assistance to firefighters and their families during a wildfire season that has burned some 7.5 million acres, killed at least 35 people, destroyed hundreds of structures and caused extreme air pollution.

Coors Banquet also has created limited-edition Protect Our West T-shirts, which are available here for $21.99. All proceeds will be included in the brand’s donation.

Since 2013, Coors Banquet has donated $1.5 million to the nonprofit, which provides financial and educational support to injured or fallen wildland firefighters and their families. In the last 20 years, 13 states have recorded the worst wildfires in their history, and the threat of widespread wildfires is on the rise.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen wildfires become more devastating almost every year, and Coors Banquet will continue to look for ways to amplify our partnership with the Wildland Firefighters Foundation,” says Heidi Gilbertson, marketing manager for the brand. “That’s why this year, we’re increasing our donation and giving consumers a way to show their support, too, with a T-shirt where proceeds go toward this cause.”