The Simple Greek |Interesting Greek fastcasual concept in the U.S.


  • The Simple Greek - exterior Dresher,PA
  • The Simple Greek - bowl
  • The Simple Greek - ComboMeal spicy
  • The Simple Greek - exterior Midland, GA
  • The Simple Greek - Falafel chips with sauce
  • The Simple Greek - interior Raleigh, NC
  • The Simple Greek - pita
  • The Simple Greek

‘The Simple Greek’ is redefining the traditional Greek restaurant with an interactive concept that combines high quality ingredients, open kitchens and Greek atmosphere in a fast casual setting. At Pennsylvania-based ‘The Simple Greek’, customers build pitas or bowls with Mediterranean staples such as grilled steak, tzatziki sauce, feta cheese and garbanzo beans. This concept is one of the fastest-growing franchise restaurant concepts in the U.S.. It capitalizes on the popularity and health benefits of the well-known Mediterranean diet and is a ‘build-your-own’ concept. ‘The Simple Greek’ was mentioned as a high growth, emerging concept to watch at the 2019 National Restaurant Show by Technomic Inc, the leading strategic research and analytics firm in the U.S. for the food industry.

We never spotted a similar concept in Europe but we love Greek food and the fast-casual concept of The Simple Greek is tempting! And who doesn’t love a concept that has this saying: ‘We have OPA’?

Where ‘opa’ is the Dutch word for granddad, at The Simple Greek it stands for O (Outstanding service), P (Passion for the brand) and A (Awesome food). Their slogan is ‘Eat Fresh, Eat Simple, Eat Greek’. Although they aren’t thinking about franchising the concept outside the U.S. we’re quite sure the people from the Netherlands would embrace the concept as well. 

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Geofencing | How location-aware dining apps are changing the hospitality industry


  • radar

QSR (quick service restaurant) brands have only begun to scratch the surface of geofencing. Beyond providing better delivery analytics and clever marketing campaigns, location context can help restaurants understand customer loyalty, impact customer engagement, and help them save on operational and delivery costs.

A rather long but interesting article especially for fast food and fast casual brands about the possibilities presented by geofencing. A guest blog by the company Radar! They give examples on how some QSR brands have started experimenting with geofencing to improve the customer carryout experience. They indicated that API’s (application program interface) are the next big thing in the SaaS (Software as a Service) wave and have been recognized as a Rising Star on TechCrunch

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Trends we spotted | Week 37


  • Trends we spotted this week

At we spot many national and international trends on a daily basis. We pick the most interesting ones to write about, the smaller trends we use in our weekly column ‘Trends we spotted this week’.

This week, amongst others a link to an article about a special collaboration between the restaurant of the Andaz Amsterdam and Heinz ketchup, a menu called ‘In case Ed Sheeran’.  And have you got any idea what the ingredients are for a dish called ‘Musubi Madness’?

We also read an article about a dumpling made with lab-grown kangaroo meat and another ‘veggie’ collaboration; Beyond Meat and Subway introduced the Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub this September.

The Gateway Foundation says it will open its first space hotel in 2025, check out their artist impression of the ‘Space Wheel’ hotel. And the new Raaago app, developed by German design group Random Access Studios, aims to make travel more interesting by making it random.

And Starbucks is rolling out the Chinese ‘Starbucks Now’-concept. The first pick-up-only shop will open in New York City this fall.

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Neat Burger | First location in London for this plant-based sustainable burger chain


  • Burger and Sides Trio by Neat Burger
  • The Cheese by Neat Burger
  • The Cheese with Tater Tots by Neat Burger
  • The Neat hero by Neat Burger
  • Venue of Neat Burger

Five-time FIA Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton is collaborating with hospitality organisation ‘The Cream Group’ and investors including UNICEF Ambassador and early backer of Beyond Meat, Tommaso Chiabra, to revolutionize fast food when they launched the new concept Neat Burger, a plant-based sustainable burger chain. They opened their first site on September 2nd just off Regent Street in London.  Neat Burger promises to transform the way people see plant-based food by appealing to not only those who follow plant-based diets, but any individuals, meat-eaters included, who want to eat delicious meat-free dishes that are more sustainable, healthier and ethical. The team has ambitious plans to expand the concept globally with 14 franchises planned in the next 24 months.

We have been spotting a lot initiatives which include the burgers or other products by Beyond Meat. Burger King recently tested Beyond Fried Chicken™ which was sold out in no time and this September Subway will introduce the Beyond Meatball Marinara sub in 685 participating restaurants in Canada and the U.S. for a limited time only. As far as we know Neat Burger will be the first plant-based sustainable burger chain serving unique patties, specially created by their team of chefs in collaboration with Beyond Meat.      

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#PearPizza campaign | USA Pears promotes pears on pizza


  • #PearPizza by USAPears

The pear season is about to start and as part of the kick-off for the 2019-20 Northwest pear season, USA Pears launched a campaign centered around #PearPizza. As it seems the beginning of 2019 was marked by the great pineapple pizza controversy, and now USA Pears is proudly declaring that there is nothing wrong with using fruit as a pizza topping. That being said, now it is time for pineapples to step aside for pears to triumph as the ultimate fruit to use as a pizza topping. The quest for their world pizza domination begins at FEAST Portland on September 14.

I love to make flammkuchen with blue cheese, hazelnuts and pears, so I can imagine enjoying a #PearPizza although I don’t like to eat a pizza with pineapple. In the past we even spotted pizza’s with chocolate so there are a lot of people enjoying a touch of sweetness on their pizza! In this article a link to more recipes with pears from USA Pears! ^Marjolein

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Trends we spotted | Week 36


At we spot many national and international trends on a daily basis. We pick the most interesting ones to write about, the smaller trends we use in our weekly column ‘Trends we spotted this week’.

This week, among other links to articles about a ‘walking chocolate trolley’ at restaurant ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ with a Dutch element to it and a ‘High Tea with a twist’ at the Lobby Bar and The Restaurant of the Williamsburg hotel in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2020 Starbucks will deliver throughout the U.S. via Uber Eats and this fall a Dutch book called ‘Water, coffee beans & milk’ will be published in English as well.

Did you ever attend a Tank Party at a brewery? We never even heard of it, but the Camden Town Brewery Tank Party is held September 7 for the seventh year in a row!

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Open house by JO&JOE moves in with IKEA at Vienna West Station


  • JO & JOE in Vienna - credits IKEA
  • JO & JOE in Vienna - credits IKEA

JO&JOE moves in with IKEA at Vienna West Station, two innovative concept unite in one project. On the two upper floors of the planned city IKEA, near the Westbahnhof train station in Vienna, a JO&JOE open house arises. The JO&JOE brand (part of the Accor Group) combines hostel and traditional hotel elements with an attractive array of restaurants and services.

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‘Not Native’ Guest Series | Tasting menu with undesirable species


  • Not Native Guest Series

Native, London Bridge’s foraged-focused restaurant will launch the ‘Not Native’ guest series. Inviting chefs from across the UK, the series will highlight the UK’s edible non-native species by creating tasting menus formed primarily from undesirable species such as Japanese Knotweed, Grey Squirrel, Signal Crayfish and Wild Native Fal Oysters.

Launching this September, Head Chef and Co-founder Ivan Tisdall-Downes will work closely with a stellar line up of chefs including eco-chef and food waste activist Tom Hunt, award-winning food writer Olia Hercules and Sam Bryant & Alicja Specjalna of Whole Beast, famed for their nose-to-tail dining. Each will shine a spotlight on the versatility of wild British ingredients through the lens of global cuisines including Korean, Filipino, Ukrainian and Polish.

A nice way to process local products and products that are not desired in an area, into tasting menus. For example, did you know that you can eat the Japanese knotweed? At restaurant Native they create a delicious sorbet from it! We already reported that the gray squirrel is being eaten more and more in the UK, but it remains a special dish. Cool idea to seek collaboration with colleagues for a sustainable way of cooking!

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Trends we spotted | Week 35


  • Trends we spotted this week

At we spot many national and international trends on a daily basis. We pick the most interesting ones to write about, the smaller trends we use in our weekly column ‘Trends we spotted this week’.

This week, among other links to 2 articles with inspiration for bakeries, such as ‘Pie Night’ from Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York and small, bread cubes from ‘MilkCow in Boots’ from Korea.

But also inspiration for pizzerias, like a pizza & prosciutto tower from the Luigia Group and in the USA Beyond Fried Chicken ™ passed the test, within 5 hours all vegetarian pieces of chicken were sold during a test!

The Belgium/Dutch restaurant ‘Frites Atelier’ sells the tastiest fries in Europe according to Big Seven Travel. And inspiration for hotels: have you already received a request from an influencer to livestream a ‘mukbang’ at your place? The W hotel in Washington D.C. has created the ‘Sip & Slurp’ arrangement!

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Beer meets gastronomy | Brut Beer ‘Vuurzee’ from brewery ‘De Goede & De Stoute’


  • Brut Beer 'Vuurzee' by 'De Goede & De Stoute' brewery

The new Dutch brewery ‘De Goede & De Stoute’ (The Good & the Naughty) was awarded at the World Beer Awards and the International Beer Challenge at the beginning of August with their first gastronomic Brut Beer ‘Vuurzee’. ‘Vuurzee’ has been voted the country winner for best taste in the category ‘Specialty Beer: Brut Beer’ at the World Beer Awards 2019. ‘Vuurzee’ is an elegant blond beer (tripel) prepared with the Pinot Noir grape and champagne yeast.

At the International Beer Challenge 2019, ‘Vuurzee’ won gold for the best design & packaging of the bottle in the category ‘Newcomers: Individual Product’. Both beer competitions are among the most professional beer competitions in the world. De Goede & De Stoute brewery can make extra investments to expand the production process and thus meet the increasing demand through a crowdfunding campaign (funded for more than 100%).

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Trends we spotted | Week 34


  • trends we spotted this week

At we spot many national and international trends on a daily basis. We pick the most interesting ones to write about, the smaller trends we use in our weekly column ‘Trends we spotted this week’.

This week, among other links to articles about the Taco Bell hotel in Palm Springs and about a gnocchi sandwich at Luzzo’s Pizzeria in New York, comfort food to the max!

In addition, the delivery service Deliveroo has recently withdrawn from the German market. Optimus Ride has started an extensive test with self-driving vehicles in New York, with which they consciously try to increase confidence in these systems. And we have spotted a new ‘Instagrammable’ ice cream parlour in London, Taiyakiya.

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Domino’s® Pizza and Rad Power® Bikes | E-Bike program for delivery in the US


  • Domino's Pizza delivery e-bike by Rad Power Bikes

Domino’s Pizza, the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, knows a thing or two about pizza delivery, including the fact that cars aren’t always the most efficient way to get hot, delicious pizzas to hungry customers. A bike is often a better solution to traffic congestion and parking challenges. Domino’s stores across the nation will soon have the option to use custom e-bikes for pizza delivery through a partnership with Rad Power® Bikes – North America’s largest e-bike brand.

Domino’s Pizza has also tested Robots for delivery but don’t you think that e-bikes are more likely to be used in the short term? In the Netherlands we spotted a couple of delivery services that use e-bikes as well.

Rad Power® Bikes is also located in the Netherlands (Utrecht) from where their team is working to build similar partnerships with European companies as well. For example, a fleet of their e-bikes are used in three European cities in a program called ELVITEN that demonstrates how electric light vehicles can improve mobility in urban areas. Below the article a video about this project that already started in cities like Bari, Genoa (both Italy) and Málaga in Spain.

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Cleanyst | A ‘sodastream’ for cleaning and personal care products


  • Cleanyst - bathroom use case
  • Cleanyst - laundry room use
  • Cleanyst - examples of shower bottles
  • Cleanyst - single-use plastic bottles blues
  • Cleanyst - pouches delivered to your door
  • Cleanyst - personalize by dropping into bottle
  • Cleanyst - mixing in process
  • Cleanyst - Mix at the press of a button

Cleanyst recently launched an at home mixing system for creating natural home and body care products with minimal plastic waste. In May 2019 their product, developed by industry professionals, was backed for more than 200% for their crowdfunding at Kickstarter. The ‘reusable bottle system makes plant-based cleaning and personal care products with concentrated ingredients shipped in minimal packaging.

Great product for households but we could imagine that it might be a great asset for B&B’s and small luxury hotels as well! You could create your own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner and tub and tile cleaner. 

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Plant based Sushi | Pop-up store Amsterdam


  • Plant Based SushiPlant Based Sushi
  • Plant Based SushiPlant Based Sushi
  • Plant Based SushiPlant Based Sushi
  • Plant Based SushiPlant Based Sushi

Until the end of August, a pop-up ‘Plant Based Sushi’ restaurant is open on the 3rd floor at De Ruimte in Amsterdam North (Distelweg 83). The sushi they serve is far from boring. How does miso-marinated tofu with bimi and onion jam sound? Or grilled eggplant with berry rice?

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Inspiration from 2018 | Matcha


  • Maison KitsunéMaison Kitsuné
  • Blue MatchaBlue Matcha
  • Blue MatchaBlue Matcha
  • Blue MatchaBlue Matcha
  • Matcha MafiaMatcha Mafia
  • Matcha MafiaMatcha Mafia

In 2015 we wrote about Leonie van Spronsen who had a Matcha latte in Paris at the Maison Kitsuné, i.e. green coloured latte. Lately, we have also seen lattes in other colours passing by. In this article you’ll find some inspiration in regards to coloured lattes.

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