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Casual Fine Dining in Western Canada


jamiemaw
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I may have harped rather negatively upthread on my dining experiences in CFD, but I should make note of their excellent grooming of management. I've worked under several ex-Earl's managers in my time (one very recently before he moved on to another restaurant), and all were great at their jobs. They sure know how to have fun without sacrificing the respect of their employees. I've always found it essential for management to display a sense of mischief or at least some semblance of detachment from ownership and allegiance to the floor. It's great for staff morale, and the Earl's folks I've encountered in the workplace have had it in spades.

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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^ What's a guy supposed to do when a Reader's Poll awards Milestone's 2nd Place for the second most representative Vancouver restaurant? :biggrin:

A pre-edited snapshot:

A food critic aims for air pockets of objectivity in a sunken sub of the subjective. It leaves us in the netherworld of never right and never wrong. To illustrate, let‘s say you really love Cassis Bistro. Some of the dishes wowed me, but weeks ago I wrote that my overall experience was sub par due to service issues and a dish or two I considered poorly executed. After the column went to print, my inbox filled with people indelicately explaining (in an economy of four letter words) that I had a monkey’s palate and shit for brains. When I wrote glowingly about Yaletown’s Diner I had just as many people complaining to me about rewarding their slow service. My rebuttal is always the same: my palate and my eyes aren’t ruled by my editor, my publisher, or the people that read my column. I answer to my experience, and the only way I can stay honest is if I view everything through the prism of it.

It’s a methodology I can only hope our readers practised when they voted in our poll, for though I might disagree with some of the results, I'll certainly respect them. In the ironic words of Desmond Tutu who, when asked what he thought of the re-election of George Bush, winked and replied with a wan smile “Vox populi vox Dei”, the voice of the people is the voice of God. It takes balls to wax with the clever and keep your mouth shut at the same time (in Latin no less).

But I‘m no Tutu, and since we've decided that we're not in the business of suppressing opinions, I'm going to give you mine. First, giving Enthuze the award of Best New Restaurant is pure bollocks. Nu, Habit, Senova, and Lolita’s are better on a Sunday night at 3am when they're not even open. I might have given Enthuze a great review, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s mostly a take-out joint - one that didn‘t even place in the Best Take-Out category. Second, there’s this nasty business of elevating Chianti’s to sit tied for 3rd with the much better Quattro while making no mention at all of Il Giardino, Cin Cin, or Adesso Bistro in the Best Italian category. It took me a day or two to get over that, but what was at first more difficult to swallow than a blue cheese burger was quick to get going, gulp, gone. Respect! And third, though I might have thrown up in my own mouth when I found out Milestone’s was lauded as the second most representative Vancouver restaurant, I've since found solace in the following thought: when Hamas wins an election and Milestone's is seen as the culinary heart of Vancouver, there must be a weird strand of logic out there cruising our universe that has yet to tap me on the shoulder to say “Boo!”. Vox populi? Go Vox yourselves.

Too harsh?

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Dude, best piece of work I've seen from a food critic in a long time. I don't think I've ever seen such a smarmy response to the general readership! :shock:

But refreshing to see. :cool:

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Now that I'm approaching those crazy thrtysomething years, I do wish to avoid the CFD's but find, like McDonald's, necessary in the market. Some of the older Earl's do need a renovation and the Paramount Earl's, like the Paramount :wink: , look great but empty your wallet without you realizing it.

But unless I'm dining with foodies or my significant other, CC is a good all-around place to go with friends.

Great topic, really enjoyed the opinions.

Edited by mzungu (log)
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Too harsh?

I don't know - Jamie describes Vancouver as the "epicentre of CFD dining - globally" in his Vancouver magazine article so it seems Milestone's or Earls or one of them really is representative of Vancouver restaurants, like it or not.

Cheers,

Anne

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Chris Mills doing a good job at Joey's ?!  Sorry, disagree, knowing what he is capable of and what we ate at one in Edmonton 2 weekends ago.  Sorry.  Everything was medicore.  He needs to spend some more time in his kitchens.

There has been talk of a Joey's coming here but I hope by that time the food gets better.

Any kind of chain restaurant to me, just plain sucks.

Comparing to any other Fast Food Joint (I'll call them FFJ's - being chain factory of MRE's ) Joey's in Coquitlam does quite amazing job. I never said it was C Restaurant, but there's some pride and thought involved, plus food is actually seasoned (which I cannot say about other places). Amazing is a word for what is being accomplished in a time controlled environment. Definitely it is not Bocuse and do not get me wrong - most folks do not go there for exquisite cuisine. If Chris is not hanging out in the kitchen these days - maybe so, but I remember him sweating over the broiler on more than one occasion.

Regardless - in my humble opinion this place is better than other joints period.

Cheers.

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Warning! Host about to show his age

I've said it before ... I like the food at Cactus Club. The roast chicken and grilled veggies they do are very tasty. The burgers are pretty good too. In fact, I would eat at Cactus Club a lot more often if they would just turn down the f-ing music! I don't care what they're playing, just allow me to speak with my dining companion without having to break out the napkins for some improptu semaphore!

Damn kids! :raz:

A.

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Warning!  Host about to show his age

I've said it before ... I like the food at Cactus Club.  The roast chicken and grilled veggies they do are very tasty.  The burgers are pretty good too.

Do they still have the grilled veggies? :unsure: I remember them from quite awhile back, they were pretty good, but in the near past it seems it was buttered beans (bland), or possibly the spicy appetizer ones if requested. The roast chicken soup is gone too, but that cheddar broccoli one has been there fooooorever. :blink: Chicken options IIRC are maui or blackened or the venerable wings.

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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I am not a fan of the CFD's. I was in hate with Earl's the first time I entered one over fifteen years ago. Part of the problem is the waiters who pretend they are your best buddy. Another is the watered down version of food trends 5 years too late. They are not about food. They are about profit: thus the emphasis on training. Small indy restaurants are not going to want to share food costs. Small indy chef wants artisanal organic flour. Big chain wants cheap flour, doesn't give a rat's a-- about GM politics. Sure they can talk the talk-fresh local yadda yadda, but the only way they will make a difference to our food chain is if they pay the true cost for local and fresh and put money back into the fishing/farming community. They would have to become politically active, lobby for the preservation of local fish and farm land.

Support the little guys. They're the ones who deserve our money.

Zuke

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I am not a fan of the CFD's. I was in hate with Earl's the first time I entered one over fifteen years ago. Part of the problem is the waiters who pretend they are your best buddy. Another is the watered down version of food trends 5 years too late. They are not about food. They are about profit: thus the emphasis on training. Small indy restaurants are not going to want to share food costs. Small indy chef wants artisanal organic flour. Big chain wants cheap flour, doesn't give a rat's a-- about GM politics. Sure they can talk the talk-fresh local yadda yadda, but the only way they will make a difference to our food chain is if they pay the true cost for local and fresh and put money back into the fishing/farming community. They would have to become politically active, lobby for the preservation of local fish and farm land.

Support the little guys. They're the ones who deserve our money.

Zuke

I agree.

In regards to training @CFD's, corporate would organize and implement procedures at multiple locations, a cost that would be prohibitive for the independent operations.

Unfortunately, often, the little guys are not available to the masses in the suburbs or locales outside of core areas in major cities. Seems the chains gravitate to possible tourist area as well. Wonder if the government funding issue in Saskatoon, as described in a previous post happens here too.

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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CFD places obviously have their market. The hordes who line up at the McDonalds drive-thru, either avoiding or completely unaware of the inexpensive yet wonderful ethnic cuisine to be had across the street if they would only look out the window of their F-150, have a clear need for an upscale but non-threatening place to take their Mom&Dad - from whom they inherited their palates.

/sarcastic snobbery

Myself, while I love the experience of dining at West or Lumiere, I will also eat Chef-Boy-Ardee beefaroni right out of the can. So there's plenty of room in between for Earl's. Sometimes all I want is a good burger and a cold Albino Rhino.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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Jeff, your words remind me that sometimes I eat a sandwich over the kitchen sink so I do not have to wash any dishes. I still love the teriyaki sirloin at the Keg.

The CFD crowd serves a purpose and I will trust in Jamie that we are better off here on the West Coast than many other parts of the world.

P.F. Changs is the only CFD that I have been to that beats any of the CFD we have here.

IIRC the is a Houston's in Scottsdale Ariz. that weas excellent, but I might have been a little too drunk to remember all of the details.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I am not a fan of the CFD's. I was in hate with Earl's the first time I entered one over fifteen years ago. Part of the problem is the waiters who pretend they are your best buddy. Another is the watered down version of food trends 5 years too late. They are not about food. They are about profit: thus the emphasis on training. Small indy restaurants are not going to want to share food costs. Small indy chef wants artisanal organic flour. Big chain wants cheap flour, doesn't give a rat's a-- about GM politics. Sure they can talk the talk-fresh local yadda yadda, but the only way they will make a difference to our food chain is if they pay the true cost for local and fresh and put money back into the fishing/farming community. They would have to become politically active, lobby for the preservation of local fish and farm land.

Support the little guys. They're the ones who deserve our money.

Zuke

Zuke,

I'm curious about several of your statements. What food trends are they five years too late on? Which big chains don't care about GM politics? And hasn't Earls had an organic greens program for almost a decade? I believe that they are also about to announce their major partnership with a collaborative of BC farmers (a partial victory over our short growing season), a move pioneered by George Piper, their purchasing guru, who is widely thought in the industry to be a huge supporter of local farmers, ranchers and fishers. In November, he and Michael Noble visited the Agassiz/Kent farmers, cheesemaker and coho grower to try to find a fit. In fact they travel a lot in pursuit of quality.

You'll also note in the article their disdain for frozen halibut; all of the testers at the table thought the fresh product preferable; Michael Noble was given a mandate to make it work. Certainly he's always been a keener in this arena; I suspect he's not about to stop now. Perhaps this accounts for some of the price creep attributed upthread.

Conversely, I don't believe that all independent restaurants shop for the very freshest, organic products available. Not by a long shot. I've seen a lot of sorry ingredients, many at those interesting and tasteworthy formica-tables places that we all like to find.

I realize that the CFD sector doesn't appeal to everyone, and while I'll continue to champion the worthy little guy (and while not wanting to prostelytize on behalf of chains), I believe they do give back quite a lot; in some cases their charitable efforts are also generous and noteworthy.

But then, as Jeffy Boy said above, there are some nights you just want a cold Albino. They serve that need rather well too, I think.

Respectfully,

Jamie

NEXT WEEK: Boston Pizza

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Ah, which chains label the GM ingredients on their menues? Maybe you get press releases that say otherwise, but I haven't heard a peep from the CFD's re: GM foods. Canadians tend to be very passive, tolerant and mum on this issue as well as the whole terminator seeds issue which is HUGE. It seems to me these chains mostly seem to do a watered down take on Asian fusion or Caifornia Tex Mex. That's what I'm talking about. I would be very pleased if they support local organic farmers and fishermen. However, I am highly cynical about the bottom line here.

When I was traveling in England a few year's back I really missed good quality affordable food for the middle class available in Canada, but today I find that our strength in offering this in these types of venues (chains) has also become our weakness.

Zuke

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I agree with others here that the CFDs do have their place, and appeal to people who are not likely to be posting here. Consistency and "safety" (i.e. non-adventurous) are their selling points for the so-called masses, which is exactly why so many people here dislike them so much. We want to be surprised! (in a good way :wink: ).

I can't say that I've ever had a good time at a CFD establishment that wasn't a product of the company involved (with the possible exception of some drunken student bellini-filled times at Milestones :rolleyes: And even then, it wouldn't have been much fun without the friends..more sad, really..). Basically I've found them enormously useful when dining with people who are terrified of anything new (i.e. much of my family). It's safe for them while I peruse the menu for something "harmless enough". And peace is kept.

As far as their impact on the independents, I really don't know. It seems that a lot of the indies appeal to those who hate the CFDs...so I'd say there's room for both, and probably a fair amount of crossover clientele between the two.

**Melanie**

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I don't see any reason why independent restaurants can't collaborate and bundle purchasing power in order to save costs, especially on staple items.

There is/was such a group in existance called "Group X" or something like that. Their function was as you described, to simply take advantage of purchasing power on basic food items, french fries, beverages, etc. The group had to purchase from a popular "one stop shop" supplier, and they had to purchase designated items to take advantage of the pricing.

Some large restaurant chains have tremendous purchasing power and influence. Menu prices could be lower if they wanted to lower them, but they don't choose to do that. It takes alot of hard work to build a big company, they should be allowed to reap the profits of of the risk of growth and a saavy purchasing department. That being said, it appears that some of you feel their QPR (quality/price/ratio) is not as high as it should be, and that you feel smaller indepedent restaurants are offering better food at better prices.

Jamie, didn't you do an article some years ago titled "the lamb index" where you rated rack of lamb in various vancouver restaurants? The quality, style and price were all listed. Perhaps a new index that rates some common dishes relative to CFD might make for good reading.

CFD restaurants are what they are. They ofter familiar food, beverages, service and environment. Have you've ever been travelling in an unfamiliar foreign land, and grown tired of the local grub? You can only wish there was an Earl's (complete with Margaritas and quesadillas) or a Keg (the prime rib dinner with salad and baked potato is still a great deal) or even a whitespot (who I feel has the best chain fries handsdown).

One last thing, I don't think the Casual Fine Dining is an appropriate description. As we've all eaten in true fine dining establishments, it is fair to say that there is no comparison in food or service. There is nothing "fine" about it. Perhaps we should lower our expectations and stop with the unfair comparisons to higher quality restaurants. Call it "Casual Dining" and leave it at that. I bet we'd all be alot less dissapointed.

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One last thing, I don't think the Casual Fine Dining is an appropriate description. As we've all eaten in true fine dining establishments, it is fair to say that there is no comparison in food or service. There is nothing "fine" about it. Perhaps we should lower our expectations and stop with the unfair comparisons to higher quality restaurants. Call it "Casual Dining" and leave it at that. I bet we'd all be alot less dissapointed.

Damn fine idea, but it doesn't go far enough. Sophie's Cosmic Cafe and Burgoo are casual dining, but surely the Cactus Club is something totally different?

Please submit your new, more accurate names here.

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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One last thing, I don't think the Casual Fine Dining is an appropriate description. As we've all eaten in true fine dining establishments, it is fair to say that there is no comparison in food or service. There is nothing "fine" about it. Perhaps we should lower our expectations and stop with the unfair comparisons to higher quality restaurants. Call it "Casual Dining" and leave it at that. I bet we'd all be alot less dissapointed.

Damn fine idea, but it doesn't go far enough. Sophie's Cosmic Cafe and Burgoo are casual dining, but surely the Cactus Club is something totally different?

Please submit your new, more accurate names here.

Andrew.... do you really consider the food at Sophie's to be better than Earl's, Milestones and CC? Personally I don't.

But then, I guess, as your latest WE article points out... different strokes for different folks and all that. :biggrin:

Edited by appreciator (log)

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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Andrew.... do you really consider the food at Sophie's to be better than Earl's, Milestones and CC? Personally I don't.

My point was that they're all a chasm away from fine. Anyone with a suggestion for a new name to replace CFD?

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Andrew.... do you really consider the food at Sophie's to be better than Earl's, Milestones and CC? Personally I don't.

My point was that they're all a chasm away from fine. Anyone with a suggestion for a new name to replace CFD?

Oh, I see.....

So how about:

Casual Average Dining (CAD)

Casual Occasional Dining (COD)

Casual Regular Dining (CRD)

Casual “Let’s Feed The Masses” Dining (CLFTMD)

Guilty Pleasure Dining (GPD)

Please Don’t Tell My Foodie Friends I Like It Here Dining (PDTMFFILIHD)

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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Ah, which chains label the GM ingredients on their menues? Maybe you get press releases that say otherwise, but I haven't heard a peep from the CFD's re: GM foods. Canadians tend to be very passive, tolerant and mum on this issue as well as the whole terminator seeds issue which is HUGE. It seems to me these chains mostly seem to do a watered down take on Asian fusion or Caifornia Tex Mex. That's what I'm talking about. I would be very pleased if they support local organic farmers and fishermen. However, I am highly cynical about the bottom line here.

When I was traveling in England a few year's back I really missed good quality affordable food for the middle class available in Canada, but today I find that our strength in offering this in these types of venues (chains) has also become our weakness.

Zuke

But they do 'support local organic farmers', as I reported above, and in the cases I cited, quite significantly, often setting an example for independent restaurateurs to follow. Care to respond to my questions or observations? And I'm confused as to why this sector would be singled out to publish GM foodstuffs on their menus. Are you aware of GM foodstuffs being served in this sector? If so, I'd be curious to know what they are, and if you would recommend that publication should extend to all menus.

I'm not sure what supports your cynicism 'about the [CFD or chain] bottom line'. Are you implying that selling cheap ingredients at higher than industry-norm margins makes them more profitable than independent restaurants? I haven't seen any evidence to support this in Western Canada: CFDs' margin is consistent with those of well-operated independent restaurants. The Keg, through its publically traded royalty income trust, is the easiest to evaluate; it's yields are in the 12 to 14% range.

Bearing in mind the quantum (and risk) of investment (as I mentioned upthread) and the sinking fund required to refurbish at Year 5 of operations, payback on invested capital in this sector typically requires a full five years even at today's low interest rates. So, as I said upthread, CFDs are unusually sensitive to volume.*

Compare that ROIE to a finanacially viable and well-managed independent such as Chambar. There, the Scheurmans were able to drive a significantly higher return, leverage some debt, and buy out their investor-partners after just a year in business. It seems they've been able to realize on their business plan. Good on them.

Finally, I'm not sure that chains that promote relative quality are 'our greatest weakness'. In fact I think just the opposite is true. Even if the ubiquity of what they offer is not to your taste (as I've mentioned, it's not to mine, repetitively), I would venture that they have set the bar significantly higher for the entire industry and the 'middle classes' who dine there. Especially, as you say, compared to the UK, and, if the Keg's American growth figures are to be believed, also in the US.

Jamie

* In the case of the Keg, which is very well operated in my opinion, that is driven by increasing same store sales; in its case that figure increased by 3.4% in Canada and 9.2% in the US year-over-year. They accomplished that while being named, in an employee-driven survey, as one of the '50 Best Corporations to Work For in Canada' by The Globe and Mail ROB. The Keg Spirit Foundation has donated some $2 million to 170 charities in its first five years.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I posted some of the following on another foodie site a while ago…. But have now modified it to better encompass the query at hand.

A while back, on a lovely fall day, I found myself at Earls (in White Rock) for lunch, with a couple of friends. I must admit... my expectations were quite low.

Twenty years ago when I first moved to Vancouver, I thought that Earls did a pretty good job for what they represented. Then, a few years later, it seemed to have changed (and not for the better), so I have only visited their establishments on rare occasions since then.

Shockety shock… my opinions changed during my last (and most recent) visit.

The Earls I had grown to hate had become the Earls I love (well, not quite :laugh: ). We're not talking fancy cuisine here... but if you are looking at bang for your buck, well then, I think it's a pretty darn good option.

I can definitely see the influence of Michael Noble. To me this is an interesting turn of events over the past year. I do believe that having an executive chef of his caliber on board, shows in the outcome of the plates that Earls is putting out on a daily basis. (edit after the fact, I’m not sure how much influence Noble has had up to now ~ but someting is sure different from the last time I was there :biggrin: )

On to lunch: I had chicken with Panang curry sauce (I think – slightly faulty memory and I couldn’t find a confirmation online) served with basmati rice and a toasty tandoori naan bread. The flavours were well integrated and the hot bite of the curry was not overwhelming. Portion size was quite generous so I took half home.

My friends both had sandwiches, which they thoroughly enjoyed. One had the fries to match and, I've got to say, they were some of the best damn fries I've had in recent memory.

All in all, a good experience...

Have also had some pretty decent meals at Milestones…one included steak, and an absolutely frickin’ fantastic swoon-worthy dessert, that may (or may not) be called caramel chocolate pot. A friend of mine works in their head office so I’ll get the real name to confirm. Cheers!

Edited by appreciator (log)

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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Warning!  Host about to show his age

I've said it before ... I like the food at Cactus Club.  The roast chicken and grilled veggies they do are very tasty.  The burgers are pretty good too.  In fact, I would eat at Cactus Club a lot more often if they would just turn down the f-ing music!  I don't care what they're playing, just allow me to speak with my dining companion without having to break out the napkins for some improptu semaphore!

Damn kids! :raz:

A.

Lots of independents in Vancouver have very noisy rooms too, so you can't pin that soley on the CFD chains. In fact there's lots of independent places with food I enjoy but the noise has driven me away. Of course, I'm at the age where I can't read the menus either.

Cheers,

Anne

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In fact, I would eat at Cactus Club a lot more often if they would just turn down the f-ing music!

Lots of independents in Vancouver have very noisy rooms too, so you can't pin that soley on the CFD chains.

I don't believe I did. I pinned it on Cactus Club.

A.

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But they do 'support local organic farmers', as I reported above, and in the cases I cited, quite significantly, often setting an example for independent restaurateurs to follow. Care to respond to my questions or observations? And I'm confused as to why this sector would be singled out to publish GM foodstuffs on their menus. Are you aware of GM foodstuffs being served in this sector? If so, I'd be curious to know what they are, and if you would recommend that publication should extend to all menus.

I'm not sure what supports your cynicism 'about the [CFD or chain] bottom line'. Are you implying that selling cheap ingredients at higher than industry-norm margins makes them more profitable than independent restaurants? I haven't seen any evidence to support this in Western Canada: CFDs' margin is consistent with those of well-operated independent restaurants. The Keg, through its publically traded royalty income trust, is the easiest to evaluate; it's yields are in the 12 to 14% range. 

Bearing in mind the quantum (and risk) of investment (as I mentioned upthread) and the sinking fund required to refurbish at Year 5 of operations, payback on invested capital in this sector typically requires a full five years even at today's low interest rates. So, as I said upthread, CFDs are unusually sensitive to volume.*

Compare that ROIE to a finanacially viable and well-managed independent such as Chambar. There, the Scheurmans were able to drive a significantly higher return, leverage some debt, and buy out their investor-partners after just a year in business. It seems they've been able to realize on their business plan. Good on them.

Finally, I'm not sure that chains that promote relative quality are 'our greatest weakness'. In fact I think just the opposite is true. Even if the ubiquity of what they offer is not to your taste (as I've mentioned, it's not to mine, repetitively), I would venture that they have set the bar significantly higher for the entire industry and the 'middle classes' who dine there. Especially, as you say, compared to the UK, and, if the Keg's American growth figures are to be believed, also in the US.

Jamie

* In the case of the Keg, which is very well operated in my opinion, that is driven by increasing same store sales; in its case that figure increased by 3.4% in Canada and 9.2% in the US year-over-year. They accomplished that while being named, in an employee-driven survey, as one of the '50 Best Corporations to Work For in Canada' by The Globe and Mail ROB. The Keg Spirit Foundation has donated some $2 million to 170 charities in its first five years.

Okay, so organic greens at Earls and forthcoming partnerships with local farmers--all good.

Granted, usually the hardcore vegetarian or organic menus offer any info on whether they use non GM products. I do reccomend that GM foods be labeled everywhere they appear.

I'm picking on these restaurants because they make me cranky. Every time I go into a Cactus Club, Earl's or Whitespot I feel the food is overpriced and not tasty at all. This happens once every few months for whatever reason. (The Vina chain makes me just as cranky.)

I believe in the people who love food and love serving it to people. They are so obviously not in it for profit at all.

I think there's nothing wrong for creating a congenial social scene for a middle ground audience, but I would be much happier if the food was better and my bias is for a more radical political stand on protecting our food security.

If I'm going to eat a tuna sandwich over the sink, it's still going to be a kickass tuna sandwich!

Zuke

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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