Horseshoe Lounge Austin Wed, 22 Sep 2021 14:05:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Horseshoe Lounge Austin 32 32 DoorDash Expands Texas Liquor Delivery for Restaurants and Retailers Wed, 22 Sep 2021 14:05:48 +0000

If you forgot to refuel for your wine party, don’t worry. DoorDash has just announced a major expansion of its alcohol delivery services.

Major users can now have beer, wine and spirits delivered to their doorsteps in 20 states, including Texas, the company said on Monday. It is not yet clear which other states will have this option.

“Over the past year, many cities where we operate have changed their legislation to allow delivery of alcohol to residents’ homes. During this time, we have worked tirelessly to create a trusted alcohol ordering and delivery experience for merchants, customers and Dasher, ”said Caitlin Macnamara, Director of Strategy and Operations. alcohol at DoorDash. “We are committed to providing new revenue opportunities for Merchants and Dashers, a safe and high-quality experience for customers and to be a responsible leader in the delivery of compliant alcohol. “

The addition of alcohol deliveries could increase the average order value of restaurants and grocers by up to 30% and convenience stores by more than 50%, the company said.

Prior to that, the food delivery service made alcohol deliveries for national and local businesses through its white label distribution service, DoorDash Drive. And since May, Texas restaurants could legally sell take-out alcohol on a permanent basis.

DoorDash said it will also add security features including prepayment, identity verification and partnerships with and SADD – aimed at promoting alcohol responsibility and preventing alcohol consumption. alcohol in minors.

The process of ordering adult drinks at home from the app is fairly straightforward. DoorDash users can switch to the Alcohol tab in the app to browse and order from a selection of drinks at restaurants, grocery stores, local retailers and convenience stores.

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GoTab unveils all-in-one restaurant point of sale Wed, 22 Sep 2021 14:03:00 +0000

ARLINGTON, Virginia., September 22, 2021 / PRNewswire / – At the forefront of innovation in the hotel technology sector, catering trade platform Go to tab unveiled a new all-in-one restaurant outlet to help further knowledgeable operators to deliver a solid customer experience.

A cloud-based point of sale responsive to customer needs and preferences
The GoTab restaurant POS was designed to help operators adapt to changing consumer preferences while creating a personal connection with customers. As the global pandemic has changed the restaurant industry, customer preferences have changed and customers now expect a different type of hospitality experience, tailored to their needs and preferences. With QR code ordering, customers enjoy being in control of the ordering and payment experience, choosing to order what they want, when they want. With the GoTab all-in-one restaurant POS, operators can now easily customize a customer-initiated or server-initiated experience, allowing both parties to boot up and access the order tab. and giving everyone the opportunity to place orders as they wish. This means that GoTab really helps provide the best customer service, making it easy for customers to communicate how they want the restaurant to organize their dining experience.

“GoTab has been a boon to us, helping us reduce manpower and keep track of finances and inventory,” said Joshua Stanford, Manager at Gourmands Neighborhood Pub in Austin, Texas. “It’s easy to use for customers and employees. We’re just one ad, but our feature suggestions are added regularly and the customer support is the best we’ve seen for a point-of-sale system. “

GoTab Point of Sale helps servers do more with less effort
With the GoTab POS, front desk staff can handle the very first impression of customers’ on-site experience, which always makes or breaks the overall experience. Servers and managers can start and add a numeric tab, seamlessly push the tab to guests, and then update it later with upsells or order changes. With less time spent taking orders by hand and entering them at an old point of sale, waiters can be proactive and anticipate customer needs with more table touches, more upselling and problem solving. in real time. When guests are ready, they can close their tab on their mobile device using a credit card, Apple Pay, or Android Pay. Those who prefer the traditional checkout process can also pay at the table with GoTab’s POS.

A real restaurant business platform
Unlike other point of sale systems, GoTab allows operators to capture each customer’s preferences and leverage each customer’s order data to create loyalty programs and better market customers. This provides an opportunity to strengthen ties with customers, enhance their dining experience and continue to communicate with them beyond their restaurant visit.

“The typical (at best) legacy point-of-sale system will capture the person paying a check. In a traditional restaurant – say you have a table of 4, a restaurant is lucky if it can capture the data. ‘one customer for loyalty, spend information and marketing purposes. With GoTab, operators have access to the order details of all four diners. So we provide one operator with exponentially more first-hand data part, ”said the CEO of GoTab. Tim mclaughlin.

A full menu of options – online food ordering, self-catering food delivery and more
GoTab’s technology also provides restaurants with a menu of solutions that can accommodate a wide variety of dining needs. For example, operators may want to start with online food ordering capabilities or a stand-alone food go out and delivery system that integrates with their existing point of sale system. When they later decide to upgrade to a full GoTab point of sale, they have a platform with functions that communicate seamlessly with each other and provide a 360-degree approach to catering operations.

Request a demo and ask about our two week trial at

GoTab Restaurant POS Features

  • No contract or subscription required
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Durable, economical and high quality material
  • Integrates with GoTab’s premium contactless control terminals and portable terminals
  • Cloud-based: Access your point of sale data anywhere
  • 24/7 live support (phone, chat, email)
  • Online training and support
  • 99.99% uptime

About GoTab, Inc.
GoTab, Inc., a Restaurant Commerce Platform (RCP), helps large and mid-sized restaurants, breweries, bars, hotels and other places run profitable and profitable operations while making customers even happier. It integrates with popular point of sale (POS) systems and allows customers to order and pay through a server, order and pay directly from their own mobile phones, or combine the two experiences into one. tab, thanks to its ease of use. use mobile points of sale, contactless ordering and payment functions, and kitchen management systems (KMS). The guest never needs to download a mobile app or create a password. Operators benefit from flexible features that can be quickly applied to access new revenue streams through on-site dining, take-out and delivery, ghost kitchens, retail grocery stores, and more. Founded in 2016, GoTab processes more than $ 250 million transactions per year with operations in 35 US states and growing. For more information, see our press kit, request a demo here or find out more about

Media contact
Amelia Bruzat
[email protected]


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New Restaurant Report Shows Workforce Shortage Affecting ‘Customer Satisfaction’ And Sales Wed, 22 Sep 2021 12:41:40 +0000

Black box intelligence, a Dallas-based restaurant analytics company, saw slower sales growth and customer satisfaction nationwide, as well as in Dallas, for the month of August.

Sales growth fell after two months of gradual growth in June and July, nationally and locally. To calculate sales growth, Black Box compared metrics to pre-pandemic figures in 2019 from a data set that includes 30,000 restaurant chains in 25 cities. Nationwide sales growth was 6.1% in August, down 2% from July. The drop is likely due to the “growing number of COVID cases and wide media coverage of its delta variant,” the report States.

In Dallas, customer satisfaction has also plummeted. Through the use of natural language processing, Black Box ranks online reviews as positive, neutral, and negative, and Dallas ranked 20th out of the top 25 markets nationwide for service quality and 21st for Restaurant “atmosphere”.

In terms of sales, Dallas ranked 11th out of 25 cities for the highest same-store sales growth since 2019, and 9th for the three-month period between June and August.

Black Box Intelligence, Insights and Knowledge vice president Victor Fernandez says the first two weeks of September are already showing increased sales.

“Our data shows that sales growth is improving both nationally and for the Dallas market, the latter improving at a faster rate,” he said. The morning news from Dallas. The growth may be linked to a stabilization in coronavirus hospitalizations as the delta surge begins to ease in Dallas County.

New York had the lowest sales growth rate last month and San Francisco the second lowest. San Francisco also had the lowest score for “customer sentiment,” a quantitative data set that tracks about 190 brands to gauge customer satisfaction. Ratings are based on six attributes mentioned in online reviews: food, service, ambience, drinks, value, and intention to return.

Orlando ranked first in customer sentiment in all six areas except service, which is led by Philadelphia. On the sales front, Phoenix had the highest same-store sales growth in the country this summer, according to Black Box findings.

In its August customer satisfaction snapshot, which draws on data from 50,000 restaurants nationwide, Black Box reports that customers are only slightly more positive about the food they eat compared to to a year ago.

The small improvement in positive food endorsements, “despite the easy comparison a year ago, highlights the challenges restaurants face in food execution due to staff shortages and supply chain issues.” , indicates a press release.

Fernandez says personnel issues remain the number one concern for customers in surveys. Black Box’s job intelligence product shows that limited and quick-service restaurants have about one less employee than in 2019. Full-service restaurants have an average of six fewer servers and hosts, as well as three fewer employees. kitchen less.

Fernandez adds that Black Box’s customer intelligence product has started to track “understaffed” mentions in online reviews. Overall, “customer sentiment generally declined in quarters one and two,” he says. “Customers are talking about service and wait time issues, portion sizes and food quality issues as restaurants struggle to get their usual supply.”

The biggest drop in customer sentiment year over year was related to the restaurant’s “ambiance”, a category Fernandez defines primarily as cleanliness, but also includes appearance and decor. The past three months have seen the lowest percentage of positive mentions for the mood since the start of the year, the August report said.

However, not all types of restaurants were equally affected by the industry’s drop in sales over the past month. Limited-service, or quick-service brands, did not experience any decline in sales at all, but saw the steepest declines in net customer sentiment as they struggled to meet additional demand.

“When fears about COVID escalate, customers tend to shift some of their restaurant spending to limited-service brands and less to full-service ones,” the report says.

As Fernandez sees it, “We have found that every time the fears of COVID increase and the number of cases increases, people are not eliminating meals from restaurants, but they are picking up instead.”

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Hangar Kitchen: great food in a hidden gem Wed, 22 Sep 2021 10:00:00 +0000

I don’t often find myself on the south side of our city, so many of its dining establishments are unknown to me. With my daughter who attends the University of Houston, I started exploring restaurants within a 15 minute drive of campus. One of those restaurants was La Cantina de Maria Rita off the Gulf Highway, which we recently reviewed here in the Houston Press. As a result of this review, a reader suggested we try another hidden gem in the Hobby Airport area: Hangar Kitchen.

Growing up north of Houston, my family and I have always encouraged visitors to fly to Bush Intercontinental to avoid the hour-long trip to Hobby. Inevitably, there was always someone doing a good deal with Hobby, which meant we had to brave the morning rush hour traffic on Interstate 45 to get them back. I myself have only left Hobby once, so this is not an airport that I have a lot of experience with.

Click to enlarge

It’s not easy to spot but it’s worth the detour.

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

This week, after returning my daughter to her dorm with a bunch of groceries, she and I were hungry and needed a quick, late lunch. I decided that we should heed the recommendation of the reader who suggested Hangar Kitchen. Google Maps said it was a 16 minute ride. It didn’t give her much time to do her 2.5 hour lesson, but we left anyway.

While the restaurant’s address is Telephone Road, Google Maps took us past the Telephone exit and took the ramp to Alvin instead, ending up on Reveille. Guess that was a route to avoid the many red lights on the phone. As we approached the restaurant, a plane from the southwest came so low it looked like it was going to land on us. Control towers on one side and numerous track centers on the other completed our landscape.

Click to enlarge The interior is cute and comfortable.  - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO

The interior is cute and comfortable.

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

Hangar Kitchen is located in a nondescript business district so we left it out and had to turn around. Once inside, however, we found the business to be clean and welcoming with excellent air conditioning which was much appreciated. We were greeted by an employee who was busy stocking items. There is a fridge with beer and soft drinks (including Topo Chico for those who struggled to find this precious drink). My daughter had a Calypso lemonade and I was happy to see the amber version of Dos Equis, which I took for myself. There is also a handful of very well priced draft beers for a pint.

We looked at the menu on the wall. My daughter loves everything elote, so she absolutely wanted the Elote fries. She chose the Adult Chicken Tender meal ($ 10) and I went for the Straight Up Burger. Online I had seen the South Border Burger and originally planned it for my burger choice, but it was not on the wall menu. I probably could have asked about it, but I fell for it.

We ordered our food and paid at the counter, where the restaurant’s name is spelled oversized Scrabble floor tile. Our masked man at the counter appeared to be the owner Dimitri Papadopoulas. We chose a stand for two near the wall in the small dining room which has a few airport themed posters and memorabilia on the wall. The rear bar area has an actual door from an airplane (Spirit Airlines – maybe it fell) and the flap woodwork in the dining area would fit perfectly into a nautical themed restaurant. My daughter found it “cozy”.

Click to enlarge Hope it wasn't a "find" object.  - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO

Hopefully it wasn’t a “found” item.

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

Other guests at the restaurant included two young women in shirts from Texas Southern University, a larger family group, and a single man enjoying a burger and an Abita, perhaps after a night shift at the airport. Papadopoulos has come out and talked to the family and they seem to be regulars. We didn’t notice a lot of restaurants on our route so a good burger restaurant is probably a popular business in the community.

Our dishes arrived on time. The Elote fries ($ 5) made my daughter’s eyes sparkle. An orange-red sauce covered the fries and corn. It wasn’t spicy at all which was good for my daughter but I could have used some heat. It was garnished with finely grated cheese. The menu lists cilantro cotija and parmesan, but it was difficult to distinguish subtle differences. It’s like trying to explain the nuances of chili fries. It’s not good food, it’s just tasty food.

Click to enlarge You can't go wrong with a Straight Up Burger.  - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO

You can’t go wrong with a Straight Up Burger.

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

My burger was a brioche dome on top of a hand-shaped beef patty. I know he was trained by hand because he had a nagging way of not sticking together. Pieces of beef fell off the bread, to be put back in place by me. I finally gave up and just picked up the pieces of beef and put them in my mouth. It tasted the satisfying taste of a homemade burger with a little red onion, spring lettuce and sliced ​​house pickles. The Bulldog sauce didn’t seem to be quite what others have described. For me, it was more of a sweet mayo flavor. Rightly named The Straight Up Burger, it was simply delicious. No egg, bacon, cheese needed. For $ 6 he does rounds around fast food burgers for just a few bucks more and he also beats many of the more expensive burgers on the 610 Loop. You know what I’m talking about; $ 18 burgers without fries. Go on.

Speaking of fries, I didn’t order one with my burger because my daughter’s chicken fillets came with fries so I had them while she was enjoying the elote version. They are hand cut and crispy. The menu mentions a bit of seasoning but I didn’t detect anything other than salt. The fries here stand up to the different toppings on offer, so customers can rest assured that the loaded versions don’t get too soggy. I noticed a special offer on the restaurant’s Facebook page called Chicken Drip Fries, made with breaded chicken and buttermilk sauce. It’s on my bucket list.

Click to enlarge It's perfect.  All.  - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO

It’s perfect. All.

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

The chicken fillets were hand breaded, well fried and crispy. I tried to convince my daughter to order the Cardi B sando instead, but she didn’t agree. It’s a sandwich made with hot Nashville chicken fillets, topped with coleslaw and homemade pickles. For $ 8, it looks like a messy, yummy party in a bun. Speaking of buns, that would probably go straight to my guts, not my butt. More is a pity. Still, I order it next time.

My daughter’s dish also came with coleslaw. I’m a coleslaw freak, a trait I share with my six-year-old niece. Too often, coleslaw at restaurants is too sweet or has too much mayonnaise. And if it’s a good coleslaw, they serve it in a small ramekin intended for tartare or cocktail sauce. At the Hangar, it is served in a soup cup because it is a legitimate side dish. And my boy, it’s good. The mayonnaise had a slight pink tinge due to the bleeding from the purple cabbage and it did not have a cloying sugar taste. Thank you Hangar Kitchen for making the coleslaw well.

Click to enlarge Beer is cold and reasonably priced at Hangar Kitchen.  - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO

Beer is cold and reasonably priced at Hangar Kitchen.

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

And it’s this commitment to quality at a great price that will keep us coming back. Most burgers on the menu are $ 6 to $ 9, with the exception of Snake River Farms Wagyu, which gets great reviews and deserves the $ 12 price tag for its half-pound Wagyu patty, caramelized onions. with cabernet and blue cheese. Although the restaurant serves casual dishes, the ingredients are of high quality and are carefully prepared. And there is no need to skimp. French fries are no more expensive than in a fast food restaurant and you have plenty of them. And did I mention the coleslaw serving?

My daughter and I played it safe this time with our controls. Maybe next time I’ll go for a more elaborate burger like the Williams Tower with pulled pork or the Notorious PIG which includes a bacon patty to top the beef patty. Or maybe I’ll have the courage to ask about the South Border Burger because I love Pico de gallo on a burger. The restaurant also offers a few nods to the Greek heritage of Papadopoulos with items such as the chicken stick pita and the Greek salad, which I would also like to try. And there are always new promotions with a Friday steak night.

We had enough leftovers for my daughter to take them back to her dorm for a snack. On leaving, I asked Papadopoulos about the pickles that were on the burger. They had a sweetness that I couldn’t locate. He said they were homemade and they used thyme and rosemary. I thought I tasted more of the sweetness of a pickling spice. Whatever is in it, I would definitely buy a jar to keep in my fridge. Clue, clue.

Click to enlarge The Elote fries so good, you will dream of them.  - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO

The Elote fries so good, you will dream of them.

Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

It’s the little details that make a meal enjoyable. And we will definitely be back to try more items, even though they are closed on Sundays which is when our family is usually together. We’ll just have to plan ahead for another trip.

As we walked back to UH my daughter said, “I can’t help but think about those elote fries.” And that’s what makes a good restaurant.

Kitchen shed

8800 Telephone

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Odessa restaurant reflects on new industry challenges Tue, 21 Sep 2021 23:52:00 +0000 The Curb Side Bistro co-owner told NewsWest 9 that employees and staff are limited, but so are the products and products they need to function.

ODESSA, Texas – Many restaurateurs face tough decisions when it comes to running their businesses. It ranges from hiring employees to purchasing essentials. The pandemic has complicated everything.

NewsWest 9 spoke with a restaurant owner who said it had been like a “perfect storm” – employees and staff are limited, but so are the products and products they need to operate.

Alejandro Barrientos, chef and co-owner of Curb Side Bistro, told NewsWest 9 that restaurants are struggling to get the items they need. It ranges from meats to fruits and vegetables.

“Same with our products, you might get a call saying ‘Hey, remember all those potatoes you ordered? Well, we only have half of it, “” Barrientos said. “We have been very blessed, but it has been a real 180 restaurant manager until before the pandemic.”

Barrientos said finding his products takes longer and affects his restaurant.

“We used to do chef specials and it allowed me to express some of my creativity, but now I’m afraid to do specials due to the lack of products,” said Barrientos. “And if I presented it on Tuesday and Thursday, I don’t have some parts left, so that limits us on some things we can do.”

Despite the headaches Barrientos went through, he remains grateful to the community.

He took to social media to say “thank you” for the support, but also to ask for patience.

“We will promote whenever we win a prize or when we win a competition, but we will also promote when we have difficulties or problems,” said Barrientos. “The community comes out and helps us more than they realize.”

Barrientos said their menu will stay the same for now and hope not to change it in the future.

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Austin COVID-19 admissions reach Stage 4 territory Tue, 21 Sep 2021 22:34:00 +0000 Health officials will be monitoring the situation closely over the next few days to determine if the area leaves stage 5.

AUSTIN, Texas – As of Tuesday night’s COVID-19 dashboard update, Austin-Travis County has officially reached territory that could downgrade the area from Stage 5 to Stage 4.

Currently, the 7-day moving average of new admissions to the region is 49. The threshold to move from Stage 4 to Stage 5 is 50. Austin has been in Stage 5 since late July.

In a statement provided to KVUE on Tuesday, the Austin Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said it would continue to monitor the situation over the next few days before issuing the call to move the steps.

“While the APH monitors the 7-day moving average of new COVID-19 hospital admissions as a primary key indicator for risk-based guidelines, additional key indicators, including the positivity rate, doubling time for new cases and current intensive care and ventilated patients. , are being monitored to determine the current staging, ”said Matt Lara of Austin HSEM. “We will continue to assess these other data points to determine if / when step 4 will take place.”

In a meeting Tuesday morning, public health officials in Austin continued to urge residents to mask themselves, socially distance themselves, and get vaccinated, despite settings appearing to be improving. Cases are starting to drop again and the positivity rate also appears to be dropping.

“We don’t know if it’s because we’re really seeing a decrease in the number of positive cases or if some people are starting to use antigen testing more, because when we report those numbers of tests, we look at the PCR Test, confirmatory testing numbers. But overall it appears to be true, ”said Dr Desmar Walkes, Austin medical director.

Due to changes in guidelines after the delta variant, during step 4, the unvaccinated are still advised to avoid shopping and private gatherings and to choose take-out options with meals. The main change between steps 4 and 5 is that essential travel is allowed in step 4.

For the vaccinated, the main change is that people at high risk can participate in most daily activities, gatherings and travel. Masks are still strongly encouraged for those vaccinated at stage 4.

Here’s a look at the latest data as of Tuesday night:

7-day moving average of current hospitalizations:

  • Hospitalized – 513
  • Intensive care – 216
  • On fans – 150

7-day moving average of new confirmed cases:

7-day moving average for doubling time:

Overall positive weekly percentage:

  • 492
  • In ICU – 195
  • On fans – 137

Total number of cases since the start of the pandemic:

  • 113,132
  • Collections – 108,793
  • Active cases – 3,967
  • Death – 1,058

Travis County also reached the milestone of 70% of the eligible population becoming fully immunized.

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Parkland opens clinic at RedBird site, expanding offerings south of Dallas Tue, 21 Sep 2021 19:41:15 +0000

Parkland Hospital hopes to bring holistic health care to South Dallas with the opening of its clinic on Tuesday at the former Red Bird Mall site.

The 40,000 square foot RedBird clinic will provide primary care, family medicine, mammography and simple radiology. It will also include child psychiatry and a physical rehabilitation center, which no other Parkland clinic in the area has to the capacity of the new clinic. It will be the second largest health care center in the Parkland network.

Herron Mitchell, Parkland’s director of operations in the southern region, said the center would be for routine checkups or health needs. He now makes appointments.

“We see ourselves as a patient-centered medical home. So that means we are working in partnership with you for your long term health, ”Mitchell said.

The RedBird Clinic will join three others in the region: Bluitt-Flowers, Oak West and Southeast Dallas.

James Perez, Parkland’s vice president of clinical operations, said Parkland has met with various members of the community to determine which medical services are most needed. These meetings, along with data from the Community Health Needs Assessment 2019, contributed to the decision to include child psychiatry among the clinic’s offerings.

“They gave examples of children who couldn’t be properly diagnosed at an early age,” Perez said. “And now the parents are in a situation where they need help. They say to me, ‘Well, what are we doing, what resources are available?’ “

Mitchell said the two most common diagnoses in this area are hypertension and diabetes. To combat the complications of these diseases, including blindness and foot amputations, the clinics also offer chiropody and optometry services.

The RedBird clinic is part of the Reinvent RedBird project alongside many shops, restaurants, living spaces and offices.

The $ 200 million redevelopment of the site will have 200,000 square feet dedicated to healthcare. This includes the Parkland Clinic and a UT Southwestern Medical Center which offers cancer, neurology and cardiology services.

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Bravo’s Top Chef for next season in Houston Tue, 21 Sep 2021 17:22:37 +0000 If the world weren’t already familiar with the gastronomic and gastronomic glories of Houston, it would be: Bravo’s “Top Chef” arrives in Bayou City.

NBC / Universal, Bravo’s parent company, and Houston First confirmed on Tuesday that television’s biggest chef contest will take place in Houston for season 19, which airs in the spring of 2022. Filming has already started for “Top Chef:” Houston, ”which will be set against the city’s vibrant and multicultural food scene.

While the show’s chief candidates have yet to be named, Bravo has announced that series host Padma Lakshmi will return with Chief Justice Tom Colicchio as well as Gail Simmons at the judge’s table. Houston boss Dawn Burrell, who participated in the final of the most recent “Top Chef” located in Portland, Oregon, will be one of the Michelin-starred chefs appearing in the series.

Houston chef Dawn Burrell was a season 18 finalist of Bravo’s “Top Chef: Portland”.

Stephanie Diani / Bravo / Stéphanie Diani / Bravo

Bringing the reality show to Houston is a huge gain for the city and could help restart the tourism engine that lost almost all of its steam during the pandemic.

“I can’t think of a more perfect match than ‘Top Chef’ and the city of Houston. Both represent a celebration of cuisine, culture and innovation, ”said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We pride ourselves on the diverse community and unique heritage that make our city such a popular culinary destination – from classics like Tex-Mex and barbecue to local inventions like Viet-Cajun and Japanese tapas. As any Top Chef competitor will tell you, the best food comes from passion, and Houstonians exemplify that idea with every dish we create. “

The lockdown in Houston for “Top Chef” was the result of a carefully calibrated campaign by Houston First, the local company that promotes the city’s tourism and convention trade. The timing couldn’t be better, said Michael Heckman, chief executive officer of Houston First.

“Anyone who’s watched the show knows that it makes the destination look like a place you’ll want to travel to,” he said.

MORE ABOUT TOP CHEF: From Olympic Star to Top Chef, Houston’s Dawn Burrell Continues to Rise to Levels Most Dream of

It could be lucrative for Houston once the show airs. “At a minimum, you are looking at tens of millions of dollars in positive [public relations], “he said. After a devastating 18 months which saw the closure of restaurants and bars and the loss of thousands of hospitality jobs,” Top Chef “may be the perfect recipe to restore luster and economic clout of the restaurant industry.

For months, Houston First has secretly shown the city to staff at Magical Elves, the production company responsible for “Top Chef.” The fact that Houston was factored into the show was a hot but quiet buzz among the foodie community, as dozens of key executives adhered to strict confidentiality agreements.

Padma Lakshmi, center, hosts Bravo's "Excellent chef," flanked by Justice Gail Simmons and Chief Justice Tom Colicchio.  Houston will be the home port for the show's next season.

Padma Lakshmi, center, hosts Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’, flanked by Judge Gail Simmons and Chief Justice Tom Colicchio. Houston will be the home port for the show’s next season.

Stephanie Diani / Bravo / Stéphanie Diani / Bravo

Over 100 different locations have been identified as potential sites to highlight in the series or as part of the competition. Houston chefs, famous personalities and restaurateurs will be asked to give a place color to the production. Magical Elves will bring a production and talent team of around 150 people to Houston; Another 60 local workers will be hired for various aspects of the filming of the series.

This is not the first rodeo in Texas for “Top Chef”. Season 9 in 2011 was set in Texas with filming in San Antonio, Dallas and Austin. Houston has been visibly left out of “Top Chef: Texas” which makes the new season even sweeter. Diversity was key for “Top Chef” brass, who noted the city’s melting pot food scene which embraces both bountiful culinary traditions as well as Hispanic, Nigerian, Indian, Vietnamese and Chinese heritages that live in Houston.

Twelve of the series’ 14 episodes will be filmed in the Houston area, including one episode set on Galveston Island. Candidates for the new season will be announced at a later date and filming will run for approximately five weeks, ending in late October. COVID-19 protocols will be in effect; the personnel will be tested regularly and the crew will wear masks.

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AC Hotel Austin Hill Country to open in Southwest Austin in fall 2021 – Hospitality Net Tue, 21 Sep 2021 09:28:53 +0000

The AC Hotel Austin Hill Country, located in the beautiful foothills of central Texas, just minutes from downtown Austin, is slated to open this fall. The anticipated new hotel features contemporary European-influenced design, signature food and drink lineup, and thoughtful amenities for locals and travelers alike. The hotel is located at 7415 Southwest Parkway in Southwest Austin and will serve as the anchor point for Lantana Place, a unique, upscale mall that offers boutiques, dining, entertainment, shopping, fitness, beauty salons and much more. Atlanta-based Peachtree Hotel Group will manage the new hotel, focusing on providing intuitive service and a seamless experience to guests.

Conveniently located in Lantana Place, within walking distance of a local cafe, restaurants and other attractions, the five-story AC Hotel Austin Hill Country features 131 rooms and four suites with modern design, elegant furnishings and plans. of open floors, offering guests the perfect blend of form and function and welcomed moments of tranquility. Travelers will feel right at home with free WiFi, luxury bath amenities, pet-friendly accommodations, and breathtaking views.

Designed with comfort and flexibility in mind, the contemporary lobby showcases neat works of art and inviting furnishings, providing a harmonious and collaborative space, whether for socializing with friends and family or for hosting a meeting. business. Additional hotel amenities include an efficient fitness center with Life Fitness equipment and a Peloton bike, an outdoor pool with bookable cabanas, an outdoor deck furnished with plush lounge-style seating and a fire pit. , and free on-site parking equipped with charging stations for electric cars. Three meeting rooms, totaling over 900 square feet, provide an ideal location for corporate meetings, social gatherings, or intimate group functions. Guests can savor classic cocktails and tapas-inspired small bites at the AC Lounge or grab a delicious micro-local treat to take home from the AC store. For those looking to take things up a notch, patrons and locals alike are invited to check out the Salt + Stone Rooftop Bar, an outdoor covered lounge on the top floor featuring expertly crafted cocktails, beer and local wine and delicious small plates accompanied by a breathtaking view of the surrounding Texas Hill Country.

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How will the new vaccine mandate affect restaurants and bars? Good question Tue, 21 Sep 2021 09:00:00 +0000

Since President Joe Biden’s announcement that companies with more than 100 employees must require their employees to be vaccinated for COVID or test unvaccinated employees weekly, there have been more questions than answers. While the idea of ​​ending the pandemic appeals to restaurateurs, especially after the crushing effects on the industry over the past 18 months, no one seems happy with this new directive.

The questions abound: are the deductibles included in the mandate? Who pays for the weekly tests? Who manages the verification and testing process? Will it help or hurt the labor shortage in the leisure industry? How will the guests react?

Many attempts to elicit comments from restaurateurs ended in silence, but who could blame them? The last thing they need is an angry customer at the hostess booth.

The editors of News from the nation’s restaurants discussed the tenure in a recent podcast, trying to collectively figure out what this means for the industry. Editor-in-chief Sam Oches said it was unfortunate that restaurant chefs were entrusted with this app. “It should be something that (…) people should be galvanized to do it themselves. We shouldn’t expect business owners to be the ones to enforce this, but that’s exactly what it is.

This Saturday the the Wall Street newspaper reports turbulent previous efforts to immunize Americans (and settlers). In 1777, George Washington immunized his troops with variolation – a process in which healthy individuals are exposed under their skin to the pus of patients with the disease.

Those inoculated would usually get a relatively mild case of the often fatal and disfiguring disease, although some would die. Some colonies have banned the procedure because vaccinated patients used to break quarantine after exposure, spreading the disease to others. However, as endemic smallpox epidemics threatened to destroy the Continental Army, Washington mandated smallpox against the will of its troops, and it worked.

Restaurants are certainly looking to end the year with a good holiday season. But, sick employees and nervous diners don’t help the results.

Editor-in-chief at RRNLisa Jenning said on their podcast that most people in the industry are pretty optimistic about the holidays so far, but added, “I think vaccinations are part of it and we’re going to see more of it. requirements for that. ”

When asked directly if vaccines are good for business, Dean Stansel, an economist at the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom at SMU Cox, said they are as they are helping end a global pandemic. : “Yes, you could say vaccines are good for business. . However, legally requiring private companies to ensure their workforce is vaccinated or can produce a negative COVID test weekly would place new administrative burdens on them that would be detrimental to their bottom line. ”

Who will be responsible for managing vaccine documentation and verification? Also, who pays for testing for unvaccinated employees?

“The administrative cost of confirming vaccination and weekly negative COVID tests for the unvaccinated would be particularly heavy for small businesses, such as restaurants, as they generally do not have large HR departments capable of handling this activity,” Stansel said. “Additionally, since employees would need time off to get vaccinated and tested, planning would be more complicated, which can be particularly problematic in restaurants.”

Kelsey Erickson Streufert is vice president of government relations and advocacy with the Texas Restaurant Association. She says that while they share President Biden’s goal of increasing the number of fully vaccinated Americans, they are seriously concerned about how the new term will affect restaurants in Texas.

Streufert points out that the restaurant industry has taken the lead in many vaccination efforts and will continue to do so because it is good for public health and for economic recovery.

“At the same time, we need to recognize the burden the new mandate is likely to place on an industry that is already seeing its hard-fought recovery reversed due to severe labor shortages, rising feed costs. at their fastest pace in seven years, and declining revenues, ”Streufert wrote in a statement.

She says this case is only getting worse in that it lands the same month when a tax credit that helps restaurants and other small businesses provide paid time off to employees getting a COVID-19 vaccine is set to expire. .

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