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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
Many of us would agree that of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is the least commercial, making it one of the most palatable annual occasions. I’m impressed with some of the unique Thanksgiving promotions several restaurant chains have come up with this year—pretty creative shticks for sure. For Taco Bell, it’s... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2018 at SheeFood
It’s refreshing to see that not all menu innovation is centered around functional food. Some of it is just fun. That was my thought when I read a blurb earlier this month about Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s latest LTO—Froot Loops Mini Donuts. That is, mini donuts in the colors of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at SheeFood
Given the now-recognized phenomenon that snacks are meals to a lot of folks, and I’d say that those operating coffee operations are in a sweet spot right now. That’s because today’s coffee is an addiction for some and a snack for others. Maybe an addictive snack. I’ve watched what has... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2018 at SheeFood
The best thing to happen to a dish is the incorporation of some crunch. I think Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap is a brilliant, marketable title. To the American palate, crunch is tops. Along the same line, so is crisp. In fact, a menu trend is to recast chips as crisps. Crisps... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at SheeFood
To American’s, French fries have always belonged with burgers. Then operators woke up to what Canadian’s were successfully doing with them (adding cheese curds and pouring gravy over the top in poutine fashion), and the American loaded fries menu movement emerged. But the next generation of fries is being fueled... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at SheeFood
The mandatory posting of calorie counts on menus of restaurants with 20+ units is finally upon us. It looks like there will be no more stays of execution, and May 7 will stick. What’s the effect on the foodservice industry, and how will it impact what consumers order? That’s not... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at SheeFood
I find it remarkable that White Castle, which pretty much invented the slider years before mini burgers/sandwiches became a trend, may be the one to popularize veggie burgers to a new generation. This week White Castle made the grand announcement that it was introducing the “Impossible Slider” to 140 of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2018 at SheeFood
A fast food race is fully under way… A race to the bottom. Who can come the closest to practically giving the food away? The victor will come out smiling, while everyone else huffs and puffs for second place. Meanwhile, the economy is good, unemployment is down, tax breaks for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2018 at SheeFood
As I look forward to 2018, I see a lot of game-changing blurring ahead. It’s already happening and is opening the door for innovation beyond traditional bounds. It’s an exciting time for operators looking for ways to differentiate. It’s a troubling time for those who want to keep doing what... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at SheeFood
Aren’t we all amazed with the national spotlight right now on sexual harassment? It’s been going on for millennia, but for some reason, right now is the time men are going down in flames daily, and chefs are not exempt. New Orleans chef John Besh is not the only food... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2017 at SheeFood
Before a single leaf changes colors and lets loose, long before the first football kick off and yet while white shoes, skirts and pants are still within social/seasonal boundaries, fall menus appear filled with pumpkin everything. The usual orange suspects are now plentifully available… pumpkin donuts, lattes, milkshakes, pancakes, muffins…... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at SheeFood
Everyone wants their new LTOs and permanent menu items to succeed. From looking at recent menu additions, I could suggest one thing to add to the dish that would guarantee raves. Queso. But what if it’s not a Mexican restaurant? Of course it makes sense that Chipotle finally got with... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at SheeFood
No one ever need go to bed hungry in our country—as long as we have hot dogs. I know you think I jest, but I don’t. The humble tube that may have originated in Germany (think Frankfurt) or Austria (think Wien/wiener) is nonetheless American. It’s the little black dress of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at SheeFood
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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