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Jody Shee
Kansas City
Discerner of food and foodservice trends
Interests: guitar, writing, books, following food and foodservice trends
Recent Activity
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Applebee’s announced a new trend-combining LTO last week that I think is brilliant. They call it Topped & Loaded, “a limited-time lineup of craveable, customizable entrees starting at only $10.99, at participating restaurants…” The casual dining establishment has gotten in the face of fast casual and demanded, “Who put you... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at SheeFood
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Years ago when I visited my husband’s homeland of Malaysia for the first time, one of my culinary observations was that their desserts leave a lot to be desired. I’m talking pastries filled with red bean or mung bean paste. (What??) To this day, he explains the odd pairings, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at SheeFood
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They don’t have much personal spending power yet, so why should operators focus on GenZ (ages 10-22), also known as iGen? Well, it’s because that’s what marketers do. They learn to adjust or self-destruct. They keep their eyes on the future and start aiming that direction now. That means figuring... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at SheeFood
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Am I the only one who wonders why Golden Corral named itself Golden Corral? I guess at this point, it matters not. What’s done is done. But would the all-you-can-eat buffet chain rename itself if it had to do it all over again? The unappetizing label could be hurting business.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at SheeFood
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We’ve known that consumers, Millennials and GenZ especially, are keen on ethnic flavors and cuisines. The emerging generation is growing up in more culturally diverse neighborhoods and schools. These consumers know what’s out there in the big wide world, and the lack of it in nearby restaurants is stifling. They... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at SheeFood
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The holy grail of the restaurant menu is efficacious kids fare. Planning a kids menu requires navigating a mine field of faux paus, veto votes and the omnipresence of the PC police. For any operator contemplating a new or improved kids menu, the first question to answer is, “Are we... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2017 at SheeFood
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I’ve been watching 2017 food and foodservice trend predictions, and here’s a fireworks display of what we can likely expect: Global flavors. We’ve always had them, but they are becoming more unpronounceable. Global flavors will be on trend lists for years to come (until it becomes too boring to mention),... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at SheeFood
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You know, Chipotle has a new burger concept called Tasty Made Burger. The menu is somewhat reminiscent of In-N-Out Burger with a nano menu of simply burgers, fries and shakes. But of equal representation on the menu is the one thing that sets it apart from other burgeries: the Tasty... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2016 at SheeFood
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Have you noticed a separation of the men from the boys in foodservice of late? Operators resting on their laurels are struggling at best, and sinking at worst. Consider Logan’s Roadhouse, Fox & Hound, and most recently, Cosi and Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp with its Soup Plantation and Sweet Tomatoes... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2016 at SheeFood
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I’ve been reading a lot about chicken lately. It’s become the darling of the menu. Its expanding halo as a healthy protein may be at the top of the positive-benefit list. There are no negatives, other than that chicken is not vegetarian. The bird’s neutral flavor and multi-cultural acceptance are... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2016 at SheeFood
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Prepare to be entertained with more mash-ups where operators blur the lines between foods, like what Burger King is now testing in some markets, the Whopperito. Is it a burrito, or is it a hamburger? The most iconic mash-up, and perhaps what got all this started, is the cronut—a cross... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2016 at SheeFood
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Someday, Chipotle Mexican Grill executives will thank God for the misfortunes of the past year. But maybe not quite yet, since the chain recently reported that same-stores sales were down 29.7% during its first quarter. But they needed this bad news for a reality check. While their misfortunes may have... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2016 at SheeFood
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As of right now, most restaurants aren’t ready and aren’t planning to go tipless, but it’s the best solution for what’s coming down the pike. Just count on the minimum wage increasing to $15 per hour nationally and for the tip credit to be abolished, thus disallowing restaurants to pay... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2016 at SheeFood
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Some people think we are in the last decade or two of tipping at restaurants. That’s quite a stretch, given that I don’t know of many restaurants with no-tipping policies—other than the ones helmed by hyperpopular chefs with uberexpensive menu prices. But I just spent the past two weeks interviewing... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2016 at SheeFood
If you believe everything you’ve heard in the news just since the beginning of February, someday we will be able to vacation on Mars, send our cars out to run our errands for us and eat an authentic hamburger in which no cow was killed. It’s the latter that has... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2016 at SheeFood
Another famous chef opens a fast-casual concept. That’s the reoccurring headline in foodservice magazines. Each article takes a stab at what is behind this trend—confirmed as a trend by more than 1,500 chefs who collectively rank chef-driven fast-casuals No. 2 in “hotness” in the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot 2016... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at SheeFood
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When I worked as a produce industry reporter, I got to the point where I asked my sources upfront not to use the words quality or service to describe what made their company or product exceptional. Those are the go-to words everyone uses. But what does it mean? That was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2015 at SheeFood
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Forget tiramisu and bread pudding. They are simply too squishy, and well, they just aren’t chocolate. If a restaurant can only have one dessert, it should be chocolate. Pizza Hut certainly gets the crave. Of the six desserts on its current delivery menu, four are chocolate. It partners with Hershey’s... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2015 at SheeFood
I can think of four ways off the top of my head that foodservice operators can reduce food waste. In September, the USDA and EPA jointly announced a goal to reduce food waste in the U.S. 50% by 2030. They are calling on individuals and industries to take up the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2015 at SheeFood
When talk centers on the seismic shift in the food industry, the conversation nearly always begins with millennials, who are widely known to prefer fast-casual restaurants over quick-serves and who think all is well with the world if they can identify and support ethical food. There is a link here... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2015 at SheeFood
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Innovation driven by competition has taken us amazing places in the food and beverage industry. Take pizza for example. If it wasn’t for hair-yanking competition, you wouldn’t see a pizza with hot dogs baked into a pretzel crust (thanks, Pizza Hut). You wouldn’t see new wildly successful fast casuals like... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2015 at SheeFood
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My pet menu peeve is restaurants that label items gluten-free that already are naturally gluten-free. They do it to appear trendy, but it’s really a pretty lame stab at trendiness. I wanted to know what is happening in a category that is NOT naturally gluten-free, so I asked the editor... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2015 at SheeFood
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I made the rounds at the 2015 National Restaurant Association show in Chicago last weekend. And what did I notice? It wasn’t so much the flatbread and cheesecake that others noticed. To me, it seemed like the year of the avocado/guacamole. I probably noticed this in a way others didn’t,... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2015 at SheeFood
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I have concluded that any operator who wants to be a serious player in the new food millennium must do so with quinoa. Make that organic quinoa. It’s a free, positive, trendy non-condescending way to advertise “we care about your health, the planet and all that is good. Come eat... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2015 at SheeFood
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Tacos are an under-explored food group among profit-loving, Millennial-seeking restaurants. Why is that? Here’s a list of possible reasons: —Operators are leaving the shells to Taco Bell. —Tacos don’t fit into the operator’s current BBQ, Thai, breakfast, steak, etc., concept. —Soft, wrapped flour tortilla burritos are easier to deal with,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at SheeFood