Proteins ride the roller coaster

Cost volatility and plant-based alternatives reshape restaurant

The protein category has been, well, put through the meat grinder for the last three years.

From fire sales of steak and seafood inventory at the start of the pandemic to soaring demand for chicken wings that fueled shortages and a surge in costs to the ups and downs of beef prices, operators have struggled to manage their protein-based menu items. On top of these challenges, the pandemic also coincided with the rapid expansion of plant-based alternatives, a trend that may or may not have staying power.

The tumultuous protein commodities environment hasn’t prevented operators from continuing to innovate with protein dishes, however.
Operators also remain committed to plant-based alternatives as that category continues to evolve. “I actually got more innovative through the pandemic because you had to,” said Chad Rosenthal, chef/owner of The Lucky Well barbecue restaurants in the Philadelphia area and the founder of a pandemic-born concept called Motel Fried Chicken, which he is transitioning to a 100% plant based concept.
Amid supply shortages and rising prices, Rosenthal said he had to take beef brisket off of his Lucky Well barbecue menu for a total of about a year.

He continued to innovate with pop-ups featuring lower-cost proteins that had dependable supply, which was how the original Motel Fried Chicken concept was born. Read More

Hngry – Futur Of Food



As Americans dine-out less and order-in more, “virtual kitchens” are emerging in dense metropolitan areas to house dozens of delivery-only concepts in converted warehouses. The biggest player in the US is CloudKitchens, backed with $150m from Uber founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick. Watch as we provide an inside look into these mysterious kitchens and interview the restaurateurs betting the future of their businesses on the promise of delivery.


The Childhood Obesity issue is a fascinating subject that appears to be somewhat mis-understood at core level. For instance, clearly an enhanced exercise regime will represent a huge advantage in dealing with obesity, however it will be far less effective if our children just go to McDonalds afterwards. For instance, did you know a 75-pound kid would have to walk 8 hours and 55 minutes to burn-off a Whopper with cheese?…and that doesn’t include the fries and Coke the kid probably would also buy.

If this kid added fries, it would add another 2 hours and 41 minutes of walking. And the Coke to wash it down adds another 1 hour and 21 minutes of walking. That’s more than 10 hours total of walking! Whew. Read More


It is no secret that bakeries, frozen yogurt, and specialty sweet shops are opening up in unprecedented numbers world wide. What used to be an afterthought on restaurant menus, dessert, is now a major market in the restaurant industry.

The Next Idea [Los Angeles based Restaurant Consultants],has developed countless dessert recipes that showcase everything from traditional tastes to modernist techniques.

We predict the next wave of dessert trends hitting restaurant menus to be a hybrid of nostalgic flavors and contemporary presentation. Culinary terms like deconstructed, reconstructed, and molecular gastronomy will no longer be limited to the savory side of menu development.  Read More



Grills ablaze with sizzling steaks over smoldering charcoals – the quintessential sights, smells, and sounds that ring in the start of summer. Memorial Day is no exception, when more Americans barbeque outdoors than any other holiday with the exception of the 4th of July. Both occasions are prime opportunities to showcase unique grilling recipes for family and friends.

                Indian Foodis making its way into the culinary mainstream. The Next Idea Restaurant Consultants,  predicts this emerging flavor trend to pop up throughout restaurant menus everywhere. Curries, Naan bread, and Raita-like yogurt dips are Indian cuisine staples that will be popular menu items as this forthcoming trend gains industry momentum. Read More


Rosemary is good for your brain

The Next Idea, Restaurant Consultants report that the herb rosemary contains an ingredient that fights off damage to the brain. The active ingredient in rosemary can protect the brain from stroke and neurodegenera­tive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and also from normal aging, a collaborative group of researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (www. say. The ingredient, carnosic acid, protects the brain cells from free radicals. The findings were originally reported in The Journal of Neurochemis­try and Nature Reviews Neuroscience.
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Eat your apples and onions

Eat your apples and onions

Robert Ancill, CEO of Innovations Food Consultancy, The Next Idea,  reports, Apples and onions topped the list of a cancer preven­tion study. Here’s why: Apples and onions are sources for quercetin, one of the most beneficial of flavenols, and could play a role in preventing and reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer, a study has found. All partici­pants in the study experienced reduced risk, however, smokers who consumed foods rich in flavenols experi­enced a significantly greater reduction. Read More

Consumer Evolution for Organic and Natural continues in America

The benefits of using organic and natural food has been highlighted through published research analysis where the continuous evolution of the consumer market in organic and natural foods in America has been substantiated. It is through these reports that we find that consumers are still in favor of using organic and natural products as compared to the counterparts which are processedusing more conventional and ‘processed’ methods. Consumers have become increasingly disillusioned when choosing conventional products primarily due to their better understanding of additives and preservatives, and although some questions still remains about the authenticity of the organic and natural, people in America are increasingly more inclined towards Organic and naturally produced foods. Read More

Turning the Clock Back With the Farm to Table Movement

There’s no better example than the rise of the farm to table movement to prove that the world is indeed round. As the reality of global warming and climate change hits home, weno longer want to be responsible for food on the table that comes with a big helping of carbon emissions – as in frozen foods shipped across the country or even across the oceans.  People now want organic and sustainably grown produce that is grown in nearby farms, if not in their own backyard. Read More