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September 2020

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Current Issue

Live from Crooners

First live music was silenced, then live-streamed when it was thought COVID would be over quickly.

From the Editor: Squirrelly Observations

Everyone at the park that meanders along the Mississippi River in Red Wing was social distancing, except one especially aggressive squirrel who had his eye on my picnic lunch.

Server Speak: How Has Your Job Changed?

How Has Your Job Changed?

Industry Voices: Timothy McKenna, Mill Valley

Describing his career, Timothy McKenna says he “slowly crept” from server to management, but in actuality the elevator ride only required a few months before his innate talent for bringing out the best in people was discovered.

Popul Vuh rebrands to live another day

Most concept changes don’t tug at your heartstrings. But when Tanya Spaulding, principal at Shea, was asked to reconceptualize Popul Vuh in Northeast Minneapolis, she had mixed emotions.

Coffee Talk

Tickets to the Minnesota State Fair’s food parade went on sale the last Friday of July and sold out immediately.

8 Local Franchisees Rank Among Top 200 in Country

Four Minnesota companies and an equal number in Wisconsin made the Restaurant Finance Monitor’s 200 Restaurant Franchisee list based on revenue for 2019.

Restaurants Address Rise in Employee Activism

Although Justin Butler’s Duck Donuts franchise is in an affluent suburb, Butler’s employees were still concerned back in early summer that the rioting surrounding the death of George Floyd while in police custody would affect them.

News Briefs: Dismissal of Lawsuit; COVID treats

A lawsuit over a 52-cent wellness surcharge brought against a Minneapolis multi-concept restaurant group last November was dismissed by a Hennepin County District Court judge in July.

Around Town

In answer to the ever-changing business model, thanks to COVID-19, Minnetonka’s Bacio Restaurant has added a mobile kitchen called Bacio-A-GoGo to its line up.

Bad Waitress Gets New Look

Andy Cohen capitalized on the unwelcome pause the pandemic has thrust on businesses to refresh one restaurant and rebrand another one.

Restaurant Openings

Bombay Pizza Kitchen, owned by Indian-American husband and wife duo, Ashok & Divija Penmetsa, along with a close group of friends, has opened in Eden Prairie.

Forest to Fork’s ‘Willy Wonkish’ Booth in Keg & Case

Mike Kempenich toyed with the idea of incorporating the term mycology, the branch of biology dealing with fungi, into the name of his business, but only briefly.

New & Noteworthy

Minnesota-based InHarvest’s domestic white quinoa is one of the first white-quinoa products produced entirely in the U.S.

Commodities Report

The commodity markets specific to foodservice generally declined during the mid-summer, although the major protein markets, including beef, pork and chicken, found at least a temporary bottom in early August.

Ask the Expert: Society Insurance on Food Trucks

Since brick-and-mortar dining isn’t a viable option right now, I’m wondering what it will take to start a food truck?

By the Numbers: 4 Groups to Address When the End is Near

Up to this point, many restaurants have been able to survive due to PPP funds, concessions from landlords, interest-only payments from banks and generous terms from suppliers. However, for many time has run out.

Hospitality Minnesota Report: Culinary Scholarship Recipients

“Will this ever end?” “Will the industry survive?” “What will dining out look like on the other side of COVID?” “Will people travel like they use to?” These are the questions that consume our days right now, except on a recent Tuesday.

Institutional Dining: Culinary Schools

While public schools struggle to find a safe way to welcome back elementary through high school students, two culinary schools in the Twin Cities are grappling with not only book learning, but knife skills.
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