Posts Tagged ‘food’
Tipping in restaurants is a hot topic at the minute, with a number of companies getting hauled over the coals about their policies. At Côte, there’s been consternation, while Pizza Express have come under notable fire too.
The latest reports say that some restaurants are making staff ‘pay to work’, thanks to their tipping policy where they have to give bosses cash at the end of the night.
Las Iguanas and Turtle Bay, two popular food chains, have a system that requires staff to pay back to their employer 3% of the table sales generated on each shift. So, the money taken isn’t relating to the tips taken waiting on staff, and can erase all the gratuity they’ve taken.
“This policy is far worse than that of Pizza Express,” said Perry Phillips, of the GMB union. “The fact that these restaurants are taking money off the waiting staff regardless of the tips they earn is unjust, unfair and downright disgraceful.”
The Observer found that, in one week this year Las Iguanas raked in £34,000 from its own staff. Nice little earner for a business, if reprehensible. So how do they justify this? The businesses say that this allows them to share tips with non-waiting staff.
If you work for Turtle Bay, the employment contracts say that, where tips don’t manage to cover the 3% payment, staff are “required to make up the benefit of any shortfall in the next or subsequent shift, or in the event of leaving the company by a deduction from wages due, such that the deduction does not reduce your effective rate of pay below the minimum wage”.
According to the report, one Turtle Bay waiter had to pay £20 to their manager at the end of the night, while one waiter from Las Iguanas said that they pay back £25 to £30 per shift, on average, thanks to the 3% policy.
A general manager at one of Las Iguanas’s branches spoke to the Observer, saying that they have the job of totting up the amount that is owed to the company from staff at the end of the night: “I am lucky as the company pay the general managers well, but morally I find it totally wrong to take money off the waiting staff. One night recently I felt terrible because a staff member had made £125 in tips and I had to ask her for £65 back.”
“Most of these waiters are just kids. The way the policy is sold to them is that the money is for recognition and development, but that is no way to take care of your staff.”
There’s a trial at one of the restaurants in Manchester, where customers will choose a seat and then, with the help of a fixed tablet gadget, will put their order in and then wait for someone to bring them their food and drinks.
Now, they already do this service in Australia, France, Switzerland, and Germany, so if the people of Manchester go for it, then it’ll almost certainly be rolled out across the whole of the UK. Basically, this whole thing is a really fancy way of clicking your fingers.
Maccies have to do something though, as globally, they’ve been having problems with falls in sales. Last week, they announced that across the globe, comparable sales had fallen 0.7%, with a drop in income of 16%. Of course, Ronald McDonald & Co are still wildly rich, but there’s a definitely decline.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s UK said: “To meet customers’ evolving expectations we are investing in our restaurants to create an exciting new environment and improve the customer experience.”
“We are testing some new concepts, such as table service, whereby customers place their order via our new digital kiosks and then have their food brought to them. It is currently on test in our Mottram restaurant in Greater Manchester, but with plans to increase the trial over the coming month.”
“It’s an idea that has been successfully launched in other McDonald’s markets including France, Germany and Australia, and we are keen to see if it will prove as popular with customers in the UK.”
And why are they doing this? Well, in their bid to ’help prevent childhood obesity’, they don’t trust you adults to buy what you want from a shop. No, they’re going to have to remove things from the shelves so you irresponsible arseholes don’t destroy your children’s lives.
Of course, you might be really responsible and only give children these things once in a blue moon as a treat or, indeed, you might be an adult that doesn’t know any kids and likes drinking Ribena and Rubicon together in the same glass when you’ve got a hangover.
Tesco don’t care. They’re your new dad, now. And from 7th September, these products will be no more, just in time for the kids starting a new year of school.
Naturally, you’ll be able to go to the newsagents nearby and buy whatever you want without having Tesco dictate their values on you. And indeed, you can imagine they’ll still be selling cans of Coca-Cola and the like, so you wonder what on Earth they’re thinking.
And will other supermarkets follow suit? You can bet that they absolutely won’t and will try and exploit this idiotic decision by Tesco by having some lovely deals and offers on sugary drinks. Shall we assume that Tesco are going to get rid of all things that are bad for families, like cigarettes, wine and cake?
Who could forget the horsemeat scandal that saw so many of us being unwitting consumers of horses, and not to mention the subsequent Which!!! Investigation that found a worrying number (40%) of lamb curries were actually not lamb at all. Ok in that instance they were mostly beef or chicken, but there was a principle at steak stake. Now, the lovely investigators at Which!!! Have found another food that seems to be commonly not actually what it sayd on the outside- and its something you’d never be able to tell by yourself, and have quite possibly been consuming the substitute for years. The kitchen culprit? Oregano.
An “exclusive cutting-edge food fraud study” for Which!!! found that 25% of 78 samples of dried oregano contained ingredients other than oregano. Fortunately these other ingredients weren’t Chinese tea, or toenails or anything else actually harmful, but in most cases were olive and myrtle leaves, but they were found to make up between 30% and 70% of the product. So in some cases, less than a third of your oregano jar is actually proper oregano. And don’t think this is just dodgy spice pack bought from Spices R Us online- the investigation used oregano samples bought from a range of shops in the UK and Ireland and from online retailers.
But how could they tell what was oregano and what was other milled leaves? The simple answer is you can’t, or at least you can’t, Which!!! could by using impressive-sounding mass spectrometry which identifies compounds by their atomic composition. The analysis was conducted by Professor Elliott, Director of the Institute for Global Food Security, who was the author of the independent review into food crime commissioned by the government in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
Professor Elliott said: “Clearly we have identified a major problem and it may well reflect issues with other herbs and spices that enter the British Isles through complex supply chains. Much better controls are needed to protect the consumer from purchasing heavily contaminated products.”
Which!!! are, of course, adding this to their ‘Food Fraud’ dossier, and will be passing these latest results to the Food Standards Agency. Which!!! executive director Richard Lloyd, said: ‘It’s impossible for any shopper to tell, without the help of scientists, what herbs they’re actually buying. Retailers, producers and enforcement officers must step up checks to stamp out food fraud.’
Grease-vendors, McDonald’s, might be rolling out all-day breakfasts this year, over in That America. They’ve been playing with the idea and testing it out in a couple of their chains, but now, it looks like it could go statewide in October.
According to the Wall Street Journal, they’ve seen memos which has been sent to all their American staff, and warned them to be ready.
Of course, with McDonald’s not doing nearly as well as they used to, it seems that they’ve finally started cottoning on to the fact that people want certain things from them (such as all-day breakfasts and McRibs all the time) and they should probably give it to them.
Basic commerce really.
Earnings have been down across the world for six successive quarters, and they ended up sacking their CEO, Don Thompson as a result. We hope they threw his body into the machine that makes nuggets.
So with that, we’d like to see this rolled-out to the UK please. We think it is ridiculous that you can get a Fillet O’ Fish any time of day, when no-one wants them, but you can’t buy a Sausage and Egg McMuffin after some arbitrary time of day. We like the sausage patties because they do what a McDonald’s foodstuff should do – trickle grease down your top and give you two day’s worth of salt intake, per mouthful.
Maccies! Make it happen! Don’t make us set up an internet petition!
Can egg McMuffins and orange juice buoy the food giant back to growth? It had better, since other efforts have not done the trick: McDonald’s franchisees, in a recent survey, said the turnaround isn’t working, leading one analyst to give the company the worst six-month outlook he had seen in 21 years. Thus, new CEO Steve Easterbrook is placing high hopes on the power of breakfast—for lunch and dinner.
Junk food is bad for you. Who knew? Well, doctors (who cares which ones?) would like to see a 20% tax on sugary drinks, as they think it would be a “useful first step” towards reducing obesity. It is thought that a third of the UK will be obese by 2030, so the British Medical Association (BMA) think this tax might put the scuppers on that.
Maybe if someone thought of a way of making other food more tasty than sugar, that might help first.
The BMA report, Food For Thought, warned that bad diet costs the NHS somewhere in the region of £6bn a year, so a 20% tax on all non-alcoholic water based beverages with added sugar (a gobful in itself), including energy drinks, fruit drinks, fizzy pop and all that, could subsidise the sale of fruit and veg.
They also have a pop at the Government for putting far too much emphasis on industry involvement when it comes to developing food and nutrition policy in the UK, thanks to their reliance on public-private partnerships. The BMA reckon that this arrangement provides a platform for companies to promote and enhance their own wares, which is clearly problematic.
The report’s author, Professor Sheila Hollins, said: “While sugar-sweetened drinks are very high in calories they are of limited nutritional value and when people in the UK are already consuming far too much sugar, we are increasingly concerned about how they contribute towards conditions like diabetes.”
“We know from experiences in other countries that taxation on unhealthy food and drinks can improve health outcomes, and the strongest evidence of effectiveness is for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. If a tax of at least 20% is introduced, it could reduce the prevalence of obesity in the UK by around 180,000 people.”
“We know that the majority of the UK population, particularly low income households, are not consuming enough fruit and vegetables, so financial measures should also be considered to subsidise their price, which has risen by 30% since 2008.
“This is an important way to help redress the imbalance highlighted previously between the cost of healthy and unhealthy products, which particularly impacts on individuals and families affected by food poverty.”
With a heatwave set to hit the UK (c’mon – let us be excited as it might be the 2 days where we don’t get rained on this year), we need to invest in some appropriate snacks.
And so, to Asda who have knocked it out of the park and allowed our arteries to harden in advance, with a twist on a classic biscuit – you’ll be able to horse a load of bourbons and custard creams into your gob, but ice cream sandwich versions! YES!
It goes without saying that bourbons and custard creams are staples in the British diet, and these ice-cream versions will hopefully get us all staples in our stomachs as we grow ever outward after gorging on them all summer.
Should you need these things explaining to you, the bourbon affair stars some chocolate ice cream between two bourbon biscuits, while the custard cream number is filled with vanilla ice-cream. They need to do a jammy dodger one too, with raspberry ripple middle and a load of ice-cream squidged inside it.
MAKE IT HAPPEN ASDA.
This is an issue in the UK though, as these noodles – similar to Super Noodles – are available to buy here.
At the time of writing, you could still buy the noodles from Ocado (see here) and Tesco had them available too (again, see here). If you’re a Maggi kinda person when going for noodles-on-the-go, then you might want to give them a wide berth for the time being.
If you’ve already eaten some, you might be alright through, according to the manufacturers.
In a statement, Nestle, who own the Maggi brand, said: “We are working closely with the regulators in each country to explain the situation in India and, where they want to test the products, we are cooperating fully with them.”
“The batch of noodles originally tested by the authorities in India is not sold in the UK or Ireland. Other flavour Maggi noodles are not imported from India but from other Nestlé factories in other countries.”
That said, The Food Standards Agency have requested that tests be undertaken of Maggi noodle products in the UK, so it’d be worth waiting before buying.
Before we get going, let us make one thing clear – if you say “cheeky Nandos”, ironically or otherwise, then you should be lowered into an active volcano, never to darken a doorstep or social media timeline, ever again.
Now, for the rest of you who like to eat Nando’s (we’re more likely to be found in a local friend chicken shop, as they’re more generous with all that gloriously disgusting grease), you’re in for a treat.
You don’t have to leave the house to get your chicken as Deliveroo has said that they’re going to start delivering Nando’s to your door.
Deliveroo do this for a number of restaurants that don’t usually deliver, but with the devotion that some people show to Nando’s, this is suddenly newsworthy.
So, hangover fiends, you can get your fried chicken fix while sat on the sofa and, when you’ve finished your food, you can gentle grab your pal Connor by the throat, and kick ten shades of bants out of him and thrash him with his Toms.
Check the Deliveroo site, here
Guinness hope that their sauce will rival the favourites of ketchup and brown sauce in your kitchen, and it has been developed for the past 2 years. Apparently, what we have is a ‘premium table sauce’ which replicates the flavour of the famous drink and is best suited when squirted on meat.
It has been described as a “beautifully balanced, rich, dark sauce” and in each bottle, you’ll get ‘seven per cent Guinness’, sourced straight from the brewery in Dublin.
You know, obviously, that there’s been edible forms of Guinness before. HP sauce flavoured one of their sauces with Guinness a while back. There was also a Bull’s-Eye Guinness BBQ sauce too and some people make gravy with Guinness in it.
Anyway, you’ll be able to try it from May, when it goes on sale in Tesco for for £1.49.
Nestlé are rebranding KitKats, presumably just to annoy everyone, under the name ‘YouTube Break’. Are we all to assume that every time you try and eat one, you have to sit through some dreary advert first, which you can’t skip for 5 seconds?
Anyway, mercifully this will only be a limited run of 600,000 bars in the UK. Why anyone would want to buy a chocolate bar that says YouTube on it is another matter. Would you want some crisps that say AVG AntiVirus on them?
Nestlé will be doing a load of tie-ins with Google, with this being the first of a series of 100 million differently-branded biscuits.
With this particular campaign, you’ll find that YouTube will be launching new playlists designed for KitKat eaters, so they can ‘enjoy their break’ more. That basically means eating a snack with a slightly different name and watching some playlists that are under the KitKat brand. It is magnificently pointless, seeing as you could just buy an ordinary KitKat and piss about online and have exactly the same experience.
Nestlé will also be stamping KitKats with irritating hashtags like #metimebreak and #sportybreak. We hope some pays for this marketing campaign with their life.
McDonald’s is one of those companies that seems like it’ll never, ever die. It is so huge that they seem invincible and impervious to trends. While there’s cows to chop up, there’s going to be a Maccies to enter, right?
Well, it looks like McDonald’s is having a tough time, worldwide. They’re currently suffering from a slump in sales, which has seen Ronald McDonald having some tough decisions to make, closing 350 restaurants.
Most of these closures are in China and Japan, but Maccy D’s is looking at a global drop in sales. This means they could well start getting rid of some branches in the UK. Of course, one of the biggest problems they have is that 2015′s teenagers are getting healthier – they don’t smoke, there’s no carbs before Marbs and they’d all rather do squats down the gym than horse a Quarter Pounder down their holes.
McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement: “As the world’s leading restaurant company, we are evolving to be more responsive to today’s customer. McDonald’s management team is keenly focused on acting more quickly to better address today’s consumer needs, expectations and the competitive marketplace.”
“We are developing a turnaround plan to improve our performance and deliver enduring profitable growth.”
Now, McD’s have started selling salad and bottles of water and the like, but really, we think they’re losing customers because they’re not unhealthy enough. Instead of being all cuddly and concerned, they should take the approach of other junk foods and boast about how filthy their food is.
And bring the McRib back, permanently.
After talking about bacon the other day, we ended up making a vegetarian cry. So, to recalibrate the balance, we’ll slag off some meat now, so that the vegetarians can pat each internal organ contentedly.
Someone’s done a study and, shock horror, it turns out junk food might have a few negative knock-on effects. While you were scarfing cheeseburgers and pizza into you like it was going out of fashion, it wasn’t making you happy.
In fact, things that are high in fat might be making you anxious and depressed.
Is it something to do with your skin hanging over the top of your trousers, like your belt is wearing a blubber beret? Not quite. It is thought that the transferring of poo from one bowel to another can really mess with the way you feel, maaaan.
The Louisiana State University study mused on the idea that the bacteria in our guts might be making us really sad. Of course, they found this by testing on mice and those on high fat diets showed disruptions in their behaviour, with increases in anxiety and impaired memory. Or, maybe those meeses just hate those burgers to peeses?
Maybe we can all start suing Burger King for feeling miserable all the time?
Thanks to bacon’s power, it can make people go crazy, as you’re about to find out with one lady from Michigan.
Shaneka Torres went to a branch of McDonald’s and, at the drive-thru in Grand Rapids, twice tried to order a bacon cheeseburger, but after mix-up, she didn’t get one with bacon on it. By way of apology, she was promised a free bacon cheeseburger the next time she’s stopped by.
All well and good, right? WRONG.
Shaneka came back to the restaurant and again, was given a cheese burger without bacon. This is when things started to get crazy. According to reports, she said: “Bitch, you don’t know who you’re talking to…” before whipping out a handgun from her bag and firing through the drive-thru window.
The bullet narrowly missed a worker who’d ducked seconds before, to pick up a burger. Seriously – how bumbling are the staff at this particular McD’s? Dropping stuff and giving out the wrong orders all the time? We suspect a portion of Bitterwallet readers are firmly on the side of the handgun.
Take heed though, if you’re thinking of going all Falling Down: jurors took a mere hour to convict Torres of the shooting and now she’s looking at seven years in prison. Let us hope the prison slophouse has some bacon on their cheeseburgers or there’s going to be a riot.
When Kraft took over Cadbury, we all knew that it would spell trouble for some of our favourite chocolate. And indeed, we saw a large amount of kerfuffle with Creme Eggs.
Well, start worrying about your baked beans, tomato soup and ketchup, because Kraft have merged with Heinz. Together, they’ll become what they reckon is the third largest food and beverage company in America. The deal was brokered by Heinz’s owners 3G Capital and billionaire gadabout Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, said: “I am delighted to play a part in bringing these two winning companies and their iconic brands together. This is my kind of transaction, uniting two world-class organisations and delivering shareholder value. I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organisation will achieve.”
But what about our beans, Buffett?
This new, merged like Voltron company, will be called the Kraft Heinz Company and they better not start messing about with our HP brown sauce and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, or Bitterwallet will find out where all the company’s directors live, and boot them up the arse for eternity. We’re not even slightly joking.