(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘delivery

“You don’t win friends with salad”*…

The best meal I had all pandemic cost $1.14 and took about 90 seconds to make. It was a Margherita pizza inhaled in the car on a desolate day in late April. I know the precise cost because my husband is the chef who made it: 61 cents for a few slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella, 24 cents for the San Marzano tomatoes and salt, a quarter for enough basil leaves to supply the rest of the menu’s needs for free, and just 11 cents for the dough, made from a mix of top-shelf imported Italian flours. In normal times, his restaurant sold a Margherita for $20, but he could get away with selling it for $10 and still reach 10% food cost.

We are a nation in the throes of an unprecedented eight-month pizza binge that shows no signs of abating. Multiple pizzerias in Los Angeles reported a 250% rise in sales on Election Day, and on Thursday, Papa John’s reported quarterly same-store sales growth of 23.8%. For months now, the underlying forces for the sustained pizza craze have been as hotly debated within the restaurant industry as the election results have been parsed by professional pollsters. Stress eating is a major cause; quarantine-induced failure of imagination and the return of three major-league sports within weeks of one another over the summer certainly didn’t hurt.

But the actual reason that doesn’t get nearly enough notice is that pizza is one of the few genres of food that is actually more profitable than — and almost as addictive as — booze. Fries and fried chicken — not wings, but tenders and drumsticks — are the only other foods that come close. If that reminds you at all of the suggestions that await you on Grubhub and Uber Eats, well, that’s what’s left of the menu when restaurants lose their alcohol sales and are forced to fork over a third of their gross revenues to delivery app commissions. There are not a lot of foods where taste collides so perfectly with profit: Pizza stands alone…

But times are nothing if not desperate, and the financial case for making a pivot to pizza is anything but ambiguous. Tens of thousands of independent restaurants have closed permanently since March, but independent pizzerias listed on the delivery app Slice have seen sales grow 60%. The chain Marco’s Pizza, which just opened its 1,000th location, in Kissimmee, Florida, has seen sales surge roughly 50% every week since mid-April, according to the consumer data analytics firm Sense360. The pandemic has even breathed new life into the forgotten Pizza Hut chain, which reported a 9% rise in U.S. same-store sales last quarter despite the July bankruptcy of its debt-saddled biggest franchisee, NPC International — which said in a filing that its Pizza Hut division’s 2020 earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) had exceeded its internal forecasts by a factor of eight. And mediocre pizza behemoth Domino’s, which was starting from a much higher base after reporting 38 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, reported a 16% uptick in same-store sales in its second quarter.

The losing side of this stark new restaurant reality is a virtually endless list, but the unequivocal biggest loser has been the so-called $15 salad genre embodied by the fast-food cum tech unicorn Sweetgreen, which recently announced it would be laying off 20% of its corporate staff in its second round of post-outbreak job cuts. Hard numbers on this mostly privately held category, which includes Chopt Creative Salads, Just Salad, Fresh & Co, and True Food Kitchen — all of which have at one point been hailed as the “next Sweetgreen” — were easier to come by in more prosperous times, but the few out there are ugly. Sweetgreen sales fell about 60% during the eight weeks after the first shutdowns, according to Sense360, and the one publicly traded chain in the salad business, Toronto’s Freshii, reported a 51.4% plunge in its second-quarter sales…

Learn how pizza won the pandemic—and Sweetgreen got left behind: “The Death of the $15 Salad.”

* Homer Simpson

###

As we savor a slice, we might send well-preserved birthday greetings to the man who was ultimately responsible for that getting that especially- delicious tomato sauce to your pizzeria: Nicolas Appert; he was born on this date in 1749.  A confectioner and inventor, he is known as “the father of canning.”

In 1795, Napoleon, who famously understood that an army travels on its stomach, had offered a prize of 12,000 francs for a method of preserving food and transporting it to its armies.  Appert, who worked 14 years to perfect a method of storing food in sterilized glass containers, won the award in 1810.

Interestingly, that same year (1810), Appert’s friend and agent, Peter Durand, took the invention to the other side.  He switched the medium from glass to metal and presented it to Napoleon’s enemies, the British– scoring  a patent (No. 3372) from King George for the preservation of food in metal (and glass and pottery) containers… the tin can.

One of Appert’s/Durand’s first cans

source

“Location, location, location”*…

 

London tech start-up What3Words has created a new approach to location that could improve lives and economies around the world:

Julius Caesar famously divided Gaul into three parts. [What3Words founder Chris] Sheldrick and his team have gone a little further, dividing the earth’s surface — land, sea and ice caps included — into 57tn 3m-squares, each assigned a unique three-word identifier. What3Words’s entire address is just index.home.raft. Furthermore, a free smartphone app can identify any What3Words location in the world, even if the phone is offline… according to What3Words, 75 per cent of the world’s population has no address; imagine the benefit to an African villager of having Amazon packages delivered as if he lived in a city with a formal postal address. Imagine the benefit to Amazon, too.

Then there are places you would imagine have street addresses, but do not. Japan, for example, is a delivery person’s nightmare: just one complication among many is that homes are numbered according to when they were built. Many Middle East countries’ addresses are famously shambolic. “Dubai expats filling in US tax forms often have to draw a picture of where they live”…

How did Mr Sheldrick, a musician by training, come up with the idea? He was a band manager and had to get trucks of equipment and performers to venues. “It was obvious that postcodes were not fit for purpose. A venue like the Birmingham NEC has one code and many entrances.” He would give 20-digit GPS co-ordinates to drivers for satnavs. When one driver reversed two numbers and ended up more than 50 miles from his Rome destination, Mr Sheldrick decided to take action…

Find your place at “What3Words: new tech that will find any location.”

* real estate agents’ mantra

###

As we zero in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1942 that The Alaska Highway (AKA, the Alaska-Canadian Highway, or ALCAN Highway) opened.  Spurred by the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Dec 1941, the highway, deemed a military necessity, was completed at mile 1202, Beaver Creek , when the 97th Engineers met the 18th Engineers.  Originally approximately 1,700 miles long, it now runs 1,387 miles– the difference due to constant reconstruction of the highway, which has rerouted and straightened out numerous sections. Opened to the public in 1948, the road was legendary over many decades for being a rough, challenging drive; the highway is now paved over its entire length.

 source

 

Written by LW

October 29, 2015 at 1:01 am

“To me, an airplane is a great place to diet”*…

 

Have we reached peak delivery service? Just in case you had a craving for airline food for some reason, there’s now a company in Germany that will bring it to you. Air Food One is a subscription food delivery service that has teamed up with grocery company AllYouNeed.com and LGS Sky Chefs to bring leftover airline food right to the door of anyone living in Germany – the service is only available there for now…

The rest of this tasteless tale at “Air Food One Delivers Airline Food Right To Your Door.”

* Wolfgang Puck

###

As we ask for the vegetarian option (which is available from Air Food One), we might recall that it was on this date in 1999, at the urging of animal rights activist (and actress) Brigitte Bardot, that the Russian Duma passed legislation forbidding Russians from eating their pets (or slaughtering them for their furs/skins).  On January 6 of the following year, Vladimir Putin, in office for less than a week, vetoed the bill.

 source

 

Written by LW

December 1, 2014 at 1:01 am

Carry that load…

From Photographer Alain Delorme, an extraordinary slideshow featuring things on the move in China.

(Thanks, Dan Sturges)

As we rebalance our loads, we might recall that it was on this date in 1998, five days after the company was formed by $37 billion merger, that DaimlerChrysler first traded in the New York Stock Exchange; at that moment, DaimlerChrysler was the fifth-largest auto manufacturer in the world (after General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen).  The plan was for further growth, via the creation of a single powerhouse car company that could compete in all markets, all over the world… But in the event, Chrysler lost so much money– $1.5 billion in 2006 alone– that in 2007, Daimler paid a private equity firm to take the company off its hands.  Two years later, in 2009, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy (again); in order to stay afloat, it merged with Italian automaker Fiat.

source

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: