Mmm Treat So Sweet

By Riad Veerapen

Remember these ooey gooey squares? We had them all the time as kids.

Boring old Rice Krispies
Boring old Rice Krispies treats | Photo Credit: Quarrygirl.com

Well, they’ve been upgraded. Check out these gorgeous gourmet Rice Krispies treats!

Look who got a makeover
Fancy new Rice Krispies treats |Photo Credit: Sulav Darnal

It all started when Chris Russel, the founder of Treat House, decided to have a bake sale with his sons to raise money for kids in Africa.

His two adorable sons Dan and Eli having a bake sale.
His two adorable sons Dan and Eli selling the original fancy treats at a bake sale. |Photo Credit: Treathouse.com

People lined up, they cleaned house and Treat House was born.

He has a store!
His own shop! |Photo Credit: mbvintagenewyork.blogspot.com/

His flavors are unpredictable and super creative, ranging from peanut butter cup (OMG) to bubble gum.

Yes you are seeing right - Raspberries, blueberries and oreo too
Yup, your eyes aren’t fooling ya |Photo Credit: Firstwefeast.com

And what’s even sweeter, is that at Treat House, 10 cents of every purchase is donated to the Food Bank for New York City. As Chris says, “we live in an area where there is a high density of children…we think social responsibility is very important.”

Paying it forward.
Paying it forward. |Photo Credit: Vimeo.com

 

So the next time you’re in the Upper West Side craving a little something, stop by Treat House. By the way, its gluten free too!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Restaurant and Soda Industry File Lawsuit Against Soda Ban

After Mayor Bloomberg passed New York’s now infamous soda ban a few weeks ago, many groups are rallying together to overturn this legislation and allow consumers to purchase sugary beverages in whatever size they wish. These interest groups have decided to suet block the city’s restriction on large sugary beverages, calling the ban unfair and undemocratic. The groups involved in this lawsuit include the American Beverage Association, the National Restaurant Association, a soft drink workers union and many smaller groups including movie theater owners and grocers.

“For the first time, they’re telling New Yorkers how much of certain safe and lawful beverages they can drink,” said Caroline Starke, a representative for the groups that are lacing the lawsuit. The groups have particularly taken offense that the city made this decision through an unelected board.

However advocated for the soda ban feel that this lawsuit is a hindrance to a groundbreaking policy in New York. Mayor Bloomberg has referred to the legislation as a reasonable way to fight an obesity problem that takes a toll on the health of many New Yorkers and the budgets at many city hospitals.

“This predictable, yet baseless, lawsuit fortunately will help put an even greater spotlight on the obesity epidemic,” said city spokesman Marc LaVorgna. LaVorgna also noted that previous lawsuits for smoking in bars and offices and forcing fast-food restaurants to list calories on their menus failed to overturn decisions made by the city.

The soda ban effectively stops restaurants, cafeterias and concession stands from selling soda or other high calorie drinks in servings larger than 16 ounces. Ideally this measure will prevent people from consuming extra calories; if a person changes from consuming a 20 ounce Coca-Cola to a 16 ounce one, that person will trim 14,600 calories in a year. The rule will still allow customers to purchase an additional 16 ounce soda if they choose.

Although Bloomberg’s board may feel they are making these changes in the best interest of the city, many New Yorkers feel the city is becoming a nanny-state, with a New York Times poll in August showing that six in ten New Yorkers oppose the new rule. Manufacturers will have to get new bottles, and eateries may lose sales to businesses that aren’t restricted by the rule. Convenience stores are not affected by Boomberg’s soda ban, meaning a customer could skip a 20 ounce soda at a deli to purchase a Big Gulp at a 7-Eleven.

The lawsuit claims that the city is unfairly targeting small businesses that cannot afford to make the changes that will be required, and the Bloomberg-appointed health board should not be allowed to dictate the size of soft drinks. The city still maintains that the board, made up of physicians and other health experts is exactly the board to decide on this matter.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

The Small Business vs. StartUps

The right environment for starting a new business has been written about before at Dailyfoodtoeat, but today’s post delves even deeper into the topic by evaluating current legislation and other proposals aimed at infusing cash into entrepreneurial sectors. Contributor Juliana Davies, a regular writer for business education website http://www.mbaonline.com, offers tips and advice for readers with all levels of expertise.

Business Friendly Policies Benefit More Than MBAs and Entrepreneurs

Job creation and stable employment statistics are things most Americans would like to see, particularly in these economically troubled times. Mass layoffs and “job reduction plans” are more commonplace now than ever before, though, leading many to wonder if change is even a possibility. In most cases, it is—though it may not come in a familiar package. Many of today’s leading economists have identified the small business sector as a possible silver lining for the U.S. economy. “Business startups remain robust even in the most severe recession,” a recent report from the Kauffman foundation found; numerous other studies have backed these findings up, suggesting that the biggest growth potential lies in the entrepreneurial and startup sector. These businesses are actually creating jobs, rather than eliminating them—a trend many say must be encouraged if the nation is to rebound financially.

Supporting small businesses through tax incentives and job creation bonuses was one of the main goals of the 2011 American Jobs Act. In particular, that act would significantly reduce the payroll tax for companies that paid $5 million or less in annual payroll expenses; would roll out comprehensive reforms and tax reductions aimed directly at entrepreneurs; and would establish a payroll tax “holiday” for companies that added workers or increased salaries. The act projected that, if followed, its provisions could create as many as 1.9 million new jobs in 2012.

Unfortunately, the nation’s job creation rate as of mid-2012 has fallen far short of that 1.9 million figure. This mostly owes to the congressional tension surrounding the act. The small business provisions have received some heat, but most of the opposition—centered primarily in the Republican side of the House and Senate—has targeted some of the act’s other focal points, primarily veteran’s benefits, educational tax credits, and “Made in America” incentives. As a result, the act has not been implemented coherently enough to make much of a difference for small businesses.

New entrepreneurs and start-up hopefuls do not need to wait for resolution in order to make a difference, though. The economy still needs jobs creation, and small businesses are still in the best place to provide those opportunities. In many cases, the down economy is an ideal climate for starting something new, as finance rates are at an all-time low and there is an increased market interest in supporting local shops and businesses.

Still, getting started too fast or without regard to some basic efficiency tips can be costly. Entrepreneurs do not usually need formal business training to succeed, though some degree of business savvy is usually helpful.

Taxation is one of the most common pitfalls. “If you don’t think about taxes until your company starts earning revenue, you’ve waited too long,” David Ehrenberg, CEO of Early Growth Financial Services, wrote in an article for Forbes. “While the IRS may not be especially interested in your company until you’ve been funded and have some capital, you need to think about taxes from the outset—to avoid tax trouble down the line, and to save money through deductions.”

Young companies are also best served by starting small, focusing on immediate goals, and being conservative with profits and expenditures. Grand visions of future expansion are to be encouraged—but acted upon only after significant thought and financial planning. Start-up businesses are likely going to be one of the saving graces for this country in the next decade. Getting the process right, both when it comes to federal incentives and independent business policies, is going to be increasingly important, for leaders and entrepreneurs alike.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

The Phenomenon of Food Ordering

The concept of ordering food online is not a foreign one to most of us, however just a few years ago it was almost unheard of. Now there are multiple websites offering similar services throughout the country, many specialized to the areas they serve. These websites offer a variety of options to their customers, and their flexibility is inevitably what keeps them coming back. However these websites can also present a potential threat to restaurants over time.
                One huge advantage of ordering food online is the elimination of waste. Waste can come in all forms, with one of the most annoying being the waste of our time. With online food ordering the food can come to you or you can pick it up when it’s ready. This means you no longer have to wait for your food to be prepared, and can do something valuable with your time until your food is ready. Online ordering also eliminates paper waste. Receipts and menus can be made a thing of the past by their digital counterparts. As sustainability gains prominence in today’s world, online ordering cuts down on consumption and doesn’t scrimp on service.
                The mass information that can be stored digitally also enables online ordering to become as successful as it is. Customers can track their orders, set preferences and essentially become a ‘regular’ through the website they order from. With advanced suggestion tips, websites can recommend dishes or restaurants to consumers, or simply suggest they order their favorite dish. Payment options are also streamlined in this process. Paying beforehand through credit card is safe and easy, and customer’s can essentially pay in whatever manner they prefer.
                The prevalence of online ordering comes with some serious concerns as well. The primary concern is towards the laziness of the customer, having food come to them at a nominal fee rather than getting exercise by seeking out a meal. Online ordering is diverse enough that customers can pick up their food as well, giving them the option to be as active as they wish. The more interesting scenario resulting from online ordering is the rise of a middleman and the relationship between the food service and the restaurant. Food ordering websites can gain a substantial restaurant base with increasing dependency on the service for customers. This can dramatically skew the power relationship, as restaurants come to depend on these services for a steady customer base. When a restaurant comes to depend on a third party ordering service then the service can control the vendor’s actions, forcing it to abide by certain rules or contracts, and increasing fees at will. In this sense a food service can monopolize restaurants over time and seize significant control over the market.
                This phenomenon however is no different than those that can occur in nearly every industry. Wal-Mart for example controls such a large share of the market that many of its suppliers are indebted to the company for business. The difference is that companies whose products are sold at Wal-Mart are often multinational corporations, whereas most restaurants are small businesses fighting for their stake in an overcrowded market. These restaurants have little means to protect themselves in such a situation, especially considering a food service website could corner a substantial share of the market. Food order websites simplify our lives and consolidate information for us, but unregulated they could disrupt and manipulate many small businesses.

At foodtoeat.com, we try to avoid such a level of control by seeking out new markets and vendors. Our strategy focuses largely on food trucks, which have never worked with a food ordering service before. Taking an alternate approach to this third part scenario, we work alongside these trucks to increase their customer base and reduce long lines. We’ve analyzed the pros and cons of food ordering and we are working on making this process as profitable as possible for every side of the equation. We increase traffic at food trucks and restaurants, we avoid all binding contracts and large overheads, we provide a service to many customers who wouldn’t have the time to take a break for a meal, and we reduce waste through paperless ordering. While still young, we at foodtoeat hope to streamline ordering food without disrupting the community.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com