Brian Sheehan dishes on what's hot and trending in the world of all things food and drink for Monday, November 21, 2016.
Innis & Gunn
Innis & Gunn
Hitchhiker Travels Thousands of Miles Using Only Beer as Currency
Armed with only 120 IPA beers, a hitchhiker named Emmanuel “Manny” Marshall bummed rides and transportation off strangers just by offering them a brew. He traveled nearly 5,000 miles from his home in Edinburgh, Scotland, to India, stopping in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Greece, among other places, along the way. Before you get too excited about this guy’s innovative traveling techniques, though, it turns out that it was a giant marketing scheme, according to the Evening Times. The Innis & Gunn brewery sponsored the trip, meant to represent the original eighteenth-century IPAs that made the journey from Britain to India. "I've been hitchhiking for a long time now, but this was definitely my biggest challenge yet,” Marshall told The Evening Times. "Language may have been a barrier at times, but this trip showed me that beer is truly a universal tongue.”
The McRib Is Back and Now There’s an App to Track It Down
McDonald’s popular McRib sandwich is back this year, and you can now track it down with your smartphone. Along with the sandwich, McDonald’s has just released a McRib Finder, which works as an SMS texting service to help you find the nearest McDonald’s that serves the limited-edition item. If you’re thinking this sounds like a marketing gimmick, you’d be right. McDonald’s is spending more on digital advertising to attract customers with features like mobile ordering and rewards programs. “A restaurant locator is table stakes, but customers don’t always rely on the resources we provide them,” Paul Matson, director of social engagement for McDonald’s told Digiday. “But here’s a piece of information only we would know: Who’s serving the McRib?”
‘That Customer Is a Whale!’ Restaurant Industry Code Words Revealed
Just as teachers talk about their students in the faculty room, restaurant workers talk about their customers behind the swinging doors. But don’t worry: It’s usually in an effort to guarantee smooth sailing service and customer satisfaction. OpenTable sifted through data available through the Guest Notes section of its business app to take a look at the most common notes (and names!) given to customers. Code names include “FOC” (a friend of the chef), and “whale” (a guest likely to spend a lot of money on liquor). “Diners don’t often think about how the magic happens behind the scenes at restaurants,” said Amanda Botelho, Marketing Director, Restaurant Industry Relations at OpenTable. “It used to be that the maître d' catalogued guest preferences and habits on note cards or in their impressive memory banks, but it’s now technology that is playing a key role in helping restaurants deliver next-level hospitality.”
Can Drinking Red Wine Counteract the Short-Term Effects of Cigarette Smoking?
Attention social smokers: Do you want to indulge in an occasional stress cigarette, or light up at a party? If so, drinking a glass or two of red wine before you smoke could help counteract some of the negative effects of the nicotine and tar. This may sound too good to be true, but according to a new report published in the American Journal of Medicine, drinking red wine immediately before smoking can counteract some of the cigarette's short-term negative effects on our blood vessels, reducing inflammation and slowing down cellular aging. Don’t think this means that you can start chain-smoking if you drink enough wine. The participants in the study were 20 young non-smokers or social smokers who did not have a nicotine habit.
Kellogg’s Debuts New Cinnamon Frosted Flakes
The latest Kellogg’s product, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes, will hit Walmart shelves this month and will be available nationwide in January. The newest flavor was requested by Frosted Flakes lovers who expressed interest in the combination of cinnamon and Frosted Flakes. "Our goal is to deliver the best possible flavor to our fans in the best possible way," Joanna Grennes, Senior Director for Kellogg's U.S. Morning Foods R&D, said in a press release. "In fact, cinnamon ranks as the top flavor request among Frosted Flakes lovers, so this innovation made perfect sense. Fan input was the driving force of the Cinnamon Frosted Flakes development process – it truly was a flavor developed for them."