Celeb chef to grow veg-centric chain at colleges, hospitals, senior living

Published in Healthcare Spotlight


jose andres sxsw

Jose Andres, the fine-dining chef and restaurateur behind Beefsteak, said yesterday that he sees opportunity to grow the “vegetable-forward” fast-casual restaurant concept in noncommercial venues.

Currently, two locations are operating, and three more are in the works. Two of those are near college campuses—George Washington University in Washington, D.C., open now, and University of Pennsylvania, opening this spring. Hospitals also are nearby.

Andres’ goal with Beefsteak, a concept he describes as “fast good,” is to feed healthier, cleaner food to the masses at an affordable price point. “I do believe the great thing we are seeing at the beginning of the century is that chefs really are getting involved, not only with feeding the few. We want to be involved with feeding the many,” Andres told the audience Monday at South by Southwest, the technology and entertainment conference going on in Austin, Texas. “It’s hard to do that with $50, $60, $70 check averages.”

He sees Beefsteak growing to 100 locations in five or six years, and his ThinkFoodGroup raised $1 million in December toward that goal. At that quick pace, Andres says he’s looking for friendly territory to open future Beefsteaks, and the focus on health and wellness in noncommercial is a draw. “I am opening in an urban environment that has a college, a hospital,” Andres said. “I hope one day that Beefsteak can go into retirement areas or that can be feeding our elderly. I do see this as a concept that has legs to many different groups.”

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
college students clean label

From Furmano’s.

As consumer preferences and definitions of what healthy eating means change, so do foodservice menus—and colleges are no exception. According to Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating report, 40% of consumers say their definitions of health have changed over the past two years, with some citing a shifting focus to eating a balanced diet rather than trying to eat sugar- or fat-free options. Some diners also say they are trying to be more aware of nutrients and vitamins, while others are looking for whole-grain and enriched options.

One of the biggest trends in...

Menu Development
Meal ingredients

Consumers are pretty well-educated about clean labels, gluten-free options and the value of vegetables in a healthy diet. That’s the baseline for operators in colleges and universities, as well as business and industry, healthcare and even senior living. But diners are continuing to evolve in their never-ending quests to eat healthier, with functional or “healing” foods gaining ground.

So finds Technomic’s recent Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , which reveals that eaters are seeking foods that boost the immune system, increase energy, improve digestion and relieve stress. In...

Industry News & Opinion

Howard County Public School System in Ellicott City, Md., will be offering free lunch to students for two days during winter break, The Baltimore Sun reports.

This is the first time the district will be providing meals over winter break. The lunch will be served on Dec. 27 and 28 at two sites in the community.

About 22.2% of the district’s students are enrolled for free or reduced-price meals. The district served 66,276 meals last summer during its summer meal program .

Read the full story via baltimoresun.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Cranston School District in Cranston, R.I., has hired a collection agency to help reduce its lunch debt , NBC 10 reports.

The district’s chief operating officer sent a letter to parents saying that the district would be using a collection agency next year to collect outstanding lunch balances after other collection methods have failed. Parents who owe $20 or more and haven’t paid in the last 60 days will receive a letter from the agency starting Jan. 2, 2019.

Cranston accumulated $95,508 in unpaid lunch balances between Sept. 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. The district’s meal...

FSD Resources