About the author: Janet Forgrieve | SmartBlogs

Janet Forgrieve Janet Forgrieve is a freelance writer and SmartBrief contributor who writes for restaurant and retail briefs. A former business journalist, Janet spent several years covering the restaurant and retail industries for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida and spent six years covering business at The Tampa Tribune.

Coffee prices fluctuate with supply, but a severe drought in Brazil and a fungus called coffee rust in Central America have taken a toll on crop yields, sending coffee bean costs soaring this year with the expectation that they’ll go even higher in 2015.

A report earlier this year from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia predicts that climate change will bring more of the same in the future.[…] Continue Reading »

Food fraud is a problem that has sounded global alarm bells in recent years, from tainted meat in China to last year’s horse meat scandal in the U.K. to the revelation that at least 10% of the cheese labeled “Swiss” sold in supermarkets is actually counterfeit. What until a few years ago was a relatively unexplored area of study will be one of the top five critical global issues the European Commission will tackle in 2015.[…] Continue Reading »

When we think of New York and food, most likely our minds turn first to the fancy restaurants and funky joints that serve New York City’s diverse cuisines, but there’s another, equally vibrant culinary side to the Empire State. The state’s artisan food-makers have reached some kind of critical mass in recent years, a trend that has spurred more entrepreneurs to jump in.[…] Continue Reading »

Digital technology in the food world isn’t just about putting tablets on tables and giving smartphone users new ordering and payment options. It’s also about digital employee training programs that teach proper procedures, provide insights for human resource departments, boost sales and give employees a way to fit classes into their schedules without disrupting business.

“The biggest thing technology has brought is standardization,” said author and consultant Allan Barmak, whose firm creates custom training programs for businesses including restaurants.[…] Continue Reading »

Tight economic times, trends toward healthier dining and new seasonal flavors may drive us to change our dessert habits at times, but Americans still want to indulge in after-dinner sweets and, when they do, it’s most likely they’ll be having something chocolate. More than two-thirds of restaurant menus boast at least one chocolate dessert, with vanilla a far-off second at about 40%, according to Datassential, and many restaurants are seeing that old classics with new twists, as well as desserts that offer guests a different way of dining, are trending with consumers today.[…] Continue Reading »