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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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As long as there are potatoes, there’s still profit-building potential for inflation-struggling restaurants. And not just QSRs, but all segments. From an operator’s perspective, French fries are an easy snack, side, bar menu, appetizer. But you need to see these skinny spuds from the consumer point of view. Fries have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2022 at SheeFood
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I wish I could have titled this Hot Tamales, but I see no evidence that tamales are hot right now on American menus. But strangely, they are hot here on the island of Kauai—not in restaurants, but along the road from food trucks, roadside stands and from front yards next... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2022 at SheeFood
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Ethical raising of food is a thing, as you know. Some food-producing options beg the question, just because you can, should you? I believe robots in the kitchen fell under that for a minute. Some cried “foul!” at the potential of taking a job away from an employee. Then came... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2022 at SheeFood
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As I look at future food trends—2022 and beyond—I think plant-based meat and dairy alternatives have the most legs. Some trends are consumer driven. But plant-based adds a sustainability layer that investors are keen to finance to the finish. Oh, and BTW, consumers are along for the ride. I also... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2022 at SheeFood
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Health, nutrition and plant-based sensibilities aside, a big menu trend I see for 2022 is the outpouring of cheese. It fits within nostalgia, comfort, familiar, crave worthy and delish with applications that a guest probably wouldn’t make at home. As long as there are R&D chefs, there will always be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2021 at SheeFood
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For Veterans Day, I’d like to align myself with the hundreds of restaurant chains, c-stores and grocery stores that are honoring veterans with free meals, beverages or single menu items. Marketing aside, this might be one of the most crucial years ever to honor veterans. I’m not a veteran, but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2021 at SheeFood
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I find it intriguing lately that the method operators are using to add a twist to common menu items is to add a dust, coating or sprinkle to them—which can either take them salty or sweet. I mentioned this observation to a chef recently, and he agreed, stating that he’s... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2021 at SheeFood
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I wondered if this would happen. I’ve read and written about comfort food for a year—to the point it bores me now as it must bore you. But alas, I was recently asked to write yet another article about comfort food. In the process, I contacted Suzy Badaracco, president of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2021 at SheeFood
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Appetizers, bar bites, tapas, small plates—they all are interchangeable names for little finger foods that work as snacks, catered hors d'oeuvres or sports-gathering nibbles. Operators are coming up with decadent ideas lately. I remember my first experience with the Hawaiian version of this. I attended a wedding reception in Hawaii,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2021 at SheeFood
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The search for certainty in uncertain times leads to comfort food. It’s something I don’t see diminishing any time soon. During the height of pandemic shelter-in-place restrictions, 72% of consumers surveyed for Datassential’s ONE TABLE initiative said they were eating/cooking more comfort food. According to a OnePoll survey conducted on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2021 at SheeFood
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The secret sauce to incremental sales is… well, actually, sauce. While some operators choose to give their tasty, proprietary sauce away, that’s clearly not a profitable choice. Consider Olive Garden. It recently launched Never-Ending Dipping Sauces (marinara, alfredo and five cheese marinara sauces) to go with its unlimited breadsticks. But... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2021 at SheeFood
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What is the next restaurant disruptor? What meal-acquiring platform will customers have an appetite for since ghost and virtual kitchens that were unarguably helped along by delivery? I believe vending machines are on the cusp of business opportunity and consumer acceptance. I see it as more than a chance for... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2021 at SheeFood
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Remember clear back one to two years ago when we were hearing all about foodservice drone delivery? It was expected to be the next big thing. Well, all is quiet on that front now, but that doesn’t mean the industry has given up on autonomous delivery. In the space of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2021 at SheeFood
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There was a day not too long ago when casual dining execs found pushy third-party deliverers a nuisance to reckon with. How were these busy restaurants to integrate these unsolicited delivery orders/pickups into their operations? They took a few Advil and figured it out, because no matter how unplanned this... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at SheeFood
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I dropped my jaw this morning when I read an article about Popeyes’ newest sandwich release. “I don’t think that’s ever been done before,” I said out loud. It’s a Cajun Flounder Sandwich for $4.49 that launched today (Feb. 11, 2021). If you’re afraid to order it for fear you... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2021 at SheeFood
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Are you watching with me as QSRs aim for the fence with crispy chicken sandwiches? I’m loving it! McDonald’s launch of three new chicken handhelds draws renewed attention to the crispy chicken sandwich trend that kicked off with Popeyes version in 2019. KFC and Jack in the Box responded with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at SheeFood
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I’m guessing that what I had for lunch today, no one who reads this has ever eaten before—prepared in any fashion—breadfruit, or ulu as it’s called here in Hawaii. It’s the next super fruit you will be reading about but won’t be able to try unless someone figures out the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2020 at SheeFood
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It is not the same food world in which I grew up in the 1960s and ’70s. Especially produce. Who remembers with me that the produce section was one aisle with a refrigerated coffin on the left and right where you could admire red delicious or granny smith apples, oranges,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2020 at SheeFood
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Yesterday I had a brilliant idea as my husband Richmond and I drove by a grove of coconut trees. (We live in Kauai.) We should get some monkeys to hire out to climb trees and pick the coconuts. Richmond is from Malaysia and has long told me stories about monkeys... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2020 at SheeFood
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It seems that now is the time to call on Hawaii for menu inspiration. Maybe guests can dream of the tropical locale easier than they can visit it at the moment. (There’s a 14-day mandatory quarantine for tourists who arrive to the islands before the end of July 2020, and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2020 at SheeFood
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Kudos to those restaurants that during our unprecedented crisis went to the drawing board for problem-solving menu development, including meal kits, meal bundles and selling groceries. A few months ago, I tried to write a meal-kit themed article and had to scrap it because I only found one restaurant doing... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2020 at SheeFood
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The view of restaurant meals has forever changed, and I think operators’ food offerings may never go back in some ways. In restaurant war rooms all over, I’ll bet cries of “why didn’t we look at it this way before?” are being heard regarding COVID-19-inspired meal tweaks that consumers may... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2020 at SheeFood
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The other morning when I read about Panera Bread’s new coffee subscription plan, I almost spit out my coffee, pointing the article out to my husband. It’s brilliant. The phrase coffee and breakfast disruption comes to mind. About the same time, Wendy’s announced its new breakfast menu, and that took... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2020 at SheeFood
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Kroger just surprised us again this year. First it set up a food hall within a store. Now it’s entered into the world of ghost-kitchen meal delivery. All it took was a linkup with a visionary who already had the infrastructure in place. Long before the term ghost kitchen was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2019 at SheeFood
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I’m not quite ready to look forward to 2020. I’m still intrigued with some of the foodservice deftness I saw in 2019—just in the month of September. While others were reading trend reports and closely following what everyone else is doing to determine their next foodservice move, others announced initiatives... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at SheeFood