• Puesto in San Diego, Calif.

  • DSR of the Month: David Kort of Premium Supply Co., Deer Park, N.Y.

  • Chain Profile: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

  • Educating Students at the Francis Tuttle School of Culinary Arts in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Foodservice News

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Blog Network

jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

Go the Distance: The Most Important Three Feet in the House

Many foodservice professionals often refer to the tabletop as the most important three feet in the house. That's because the tabletop represents the aspect of the foodservice operation that diners interact with most. So it would seem logical, then, that most restaurant and foodservice operators would put in plenty of thought, minding every detail, when developing their tabletops (page 18). Unfortunately, the opposite is often true.

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jMartinez
Juan Martinez

Foodservice Design Parameters for Successful Co-Branding

 The concept of co-branding, meaning having two restaurants share the same space, is nothing new. Sometimes it works. Other times it does not. So what’s the difference between successful and unsuccessful co-branding initiatives?

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jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

McDonald’s Still Stumbling, Unemployment News Brightens, and U.S. Retail Sales Dip

The Commerce Department reported weak September retail sales but restaurants enjoyed a fair increase. First-time jobless claims fell to a 14-year low. The Sysco/U.S. Foods merger may have hit a stumbling block. Malcolm Knapp is optimistic about casual restaurant sales. McDonald’s is still searching for answers.

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Greg Christian
Greg Christian

Outcomes for Year One of a New, Self-Op School Lunch Program

As the 2014-2015 school year draws to a close, I'd like to share the final outcomes of Nardin Academy's new self-operated foodservice program.

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Highlights

Chain Innovators: Anna's Tacqueria

It's not just the West Coast restaurant chains that are on the cutting edge of the green movement. For Anna's Taqueria, which has six locations in the Boston area, environmentally friendly business practices have been standard since the chain was founded by owner Mike Kamio in 1995.

Anna's TacqueriaIts green initiatives have been implemented, not at the expense of the operation, but for its benefit. "It has to work for Anna's, our customers and the environment to be a win-win situation," Kamio says.

Its focus on green starts with the menu, which includes freshly prepared food with ingredients purchased from local purveyors.

From a green perspective, the chain gives special attention to its disposables. For example, Anna's serves cold specialty drinks in biodegradable cups made from corn flour. And the chain's extensive recycling program includes cans, plastic and glass. Managing the recycling program can be a labor intensive process. Staff collect and clean soda bottles before taking them to a local recycling center. Anna's also has separate collection bins for cardboard recycling.

"We bring about 2,000 pounds of recyclables to the recycling center twice a week," Kamio says.

When Kamio saw a restaurant utilizing the heat produced from a refrigeration unit to help warm up the eatery in the winter, he implemented a similar setup using an ice machine at one of Anna's locations.

"We utilize an ice machine that blows hot air inside the restaurant to keep it warm during the winter," he says. "A hood over this unit vents the hot air outside over the summer, saving energy and air conditioning costs."

The chain also utilizes a diesel truck that runs on used vegetable oil. "We converted a standard diesel truck in 2005, which we use to go to the local vegetable market, club store and recycling center," Kamio says.

Diesel fuel is required only to start the truck and after that vegetable oil runs the engine. This has decreased the need for diesel fill ups to only three times annually.

Kamio continues to look for other ways to decrease his carbon footprint and implement green initiatives. He is currently working with a paper supplier to replace bleached napkins with brown and will soon convert lighting to more energy-efficient systems.

"We always have environmentally friendly initiatives in the works," he says.

Fast Facts

  • Year founded: 1995
  • Headquarters: Boston
  • Menu specialties: Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, Mexican plates
  • Service model: Quick service
  • Units: Six
  • Typical location: Urban, in proximity to public transit
  • Average unit size: Varies by location

Key Players

  • Founder and Owner: Mike Kamio
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