Einstein’s Restaurants (or, the Valley eats at Valley Eats!) - theHumm March 2020
Einstein’s Restaurants (or, the Valley eats at Valley Eats!) - theHumm March 2020
By Sebastian Weetabix
The word restaurant derives from soups sold “to go” in marketplaces. As we know them, restaurants date to the time of the French revolution. Today the term restaurant covers a very wide range of establishments, but is generally understood to be a place that offers prepared food and a place in which to enjoy or, in the case of fast food, ingest it. But things are changing in the world of retail. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity it should not matter if the patrons come to the restaurant or the restaurant comes to the patrons. However, economics are where the rubber, the food and the road meet.
In providing a place to consume his or her wares, a restaurateur incurs costs and needs staff to provide related services (order processing, delivery and clean-up). The profitability of a “full service” restaurant is highly dependent on both labour costs explicitly, and less obviously on its ability to maintain consistent service delivery. Reliable and competent staff is a critical success factor and in a small establishment presents significant challenges. Running a good kitchen is not the same as running the “front of house”, and most kitchens can produce more meals than can be accommodated by seating. Food trucks and catering kitchens both “build to order”, and take-away is a simple solution that works well with some obvious limitations.
Many conventional restaurants offer take-out or take-away menus, but a real challenge is presentation. Burgers, curries, soups, etc. are all available, offering the convenience of advance preparation needing only plating and clean-up if taken home or better yet delivered. What could be better? In some cases, not much.
However, packaging is costly and recycling does not offset the cost, at least with today’s options. In some respects, pre-made frozen foods offer solutions but there are multiple barriers to be overcome if presentation and economics are to be dealt with. There is also the significant issue of the “last mile”, which is the term used to describe the problem of economically getting goods from a transportation hub to the final delivery destination. Amazon has disrupted the entire retail sector by demonstrating that there is no need to actually set foot in a retail establishment.
Pizza has a long-established practice of order-to-eat and delivery. Of course it helps that pizza (even good pizza) is flat and therefore stackable with good “finish-to-eat” lifetime. Bad pizza is not quite the equal of the US Army’s MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) rations, but it can withstand an extraordinarily long delivery time while retaining its essential badness.
Both good and bad pizza benefit from reheating and this, of course, brings us to an essential point about order-to-eat, which is that it can work for A) pick up and take wherever, B) home delivery, and C) eat at the restaurant without having to wait — a sort of just-in-time feeding event that seeks to avoid the hazards of unscripted conversations arising from long wait times while the staff reworks the order somebody just dropped.
The unprecedented growth of Amazon at the expense of traditional retail shopping is driven by the quest for convenience as well as the increasing number of differentiated options. In retail food there are similar drivers, starting with the decline of home cooking (which is, let’s face it, not always good cooking). For many consumers home delivery offers socialization benefits as well as the convenience of not needing to “fetch”, but courier delivery on a single trip basis is expensive and inconvenient to arrange.
Taxis and ride-share services are not geared to the economics of single food delivery trips. Enter Valley Eats. A look at their website valleyeats.ca is recommended, since it is clear that some thought has gone into both sides of the underlying transaction. This is a service organization that provides value to the merchant AND the customer while taking advantage of scale and scheduling to aggregate deliveries and thus achieve win-win economics. Founder Ryan Schmidt has a background in retail, and he teamed up with a friend and software developer, Dan Renaud. Valley Eats addresses several specific problems in the food sector. Increasingly, restaurateurs are confronted by the conflicting demands of their customers who want the convenience of order-to-eat plus delivery. In less than a year Valley Eats has developed a system which is friendly and effective at both ends (provider and customer), while managing to operate profitably. Valley Eats now has about fifty drivers and services restaurants and their customers in a territory stretching from Pembroke to Carleton Place. Their business model opens possibilities for future growth both for their service and their client base. It will be interesting to see how they influence the development of the local food scene.
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
The mere mention of Transylvania anywhere in the Anglosphere immediately conjures up the occult adventures of Dracula. Having never met anyone from Transylvania before, your intrepid arts reporter was both mesmerized and intimidated by my utter lack of knowledge of the background of this month’s featured artist from Arnprior.
Mária Moldován’s astonishing art is as unfamiliar as her background — and just as fascinating. This accomplished and multi-talented artist weaves he......
Maple Marches into the Valley! - theHumm March 2020
By Sarah Kerr
March! I can’t believe it! We’ve made it through the darkness and are heading to the light — with longer days and spring just around the corner. I find March is a favourite month of mine, not just because it’s my birthday month, but it’s also Nowruz (Persian New Year on spring equinox) marking a new year, a fresh start, spring!
I love planning March with kids because its full of maple goodness; there’s still snow but lots of sunshine to get the sap running. The beginning of the agricultural seaso......
In April 2018, ten Mississippi Mills artists held their first show, expecting 500 people to visit. By the end of the two-day exhibit, more than 1,200 had attended the show and visited the town. In 2019 attendance increased to 1,600. Visitors came from Mississippi Mills, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto. The artists were overwhelmed and sold many of their paintings. It was also very busy weekend for the local restaurants and stores.
“The overwhelming success of the last two shows and......
By Submitted Maureen Running and Nancy Chevrier, Social Justice Committee, CFUW Perth and District
In 2020, youth homelessness continues to be a difficult and complex problem across Canada. In Lanark County youth homelessness is often invisible but is nevertheless very real. Man......
Stand-Up and Take Notice! - theHumm March 2020
By Article submitted Vicki Graham, standup comic wannabe. Vicki lives in Merrickville and is active in her local theatre group. A retired Bank Manager and breast cancer survivor (two things you don’t ass
I always enjoy going through the Humm monthly. While looking for a winter adventure, I came across an article promoting stand-up comedy. I jumped at the chance, and for the last four weeks, seven......
By Barb Purdy
To take on the climate emergency, we need to inspire voters and volunteers to join us, the Green Party first responders. What are the best ways for us to work hard and work smart together?
ADHS Presents Noises Off - theHumm March 2020
By Elizabeth Golding is a grade 12 student at ADHS
Come see Almonte and District High School’s latest play, and don’t forget the sardines! This year ADHS will be performing Noises Off, which was written by Michael Frayn in 1982. It was during a t......
By Sebastian Weetabix
The word restaurant derives from soups sold “to go” in marketplaces. As we know them, restaurants date to the time of the French revolution. Today the term restaurant covers a very wide range of ......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 28, 2020 Support Almonte Merchants, Get Out and Run, and Stay Healthy with Modern Thymes - theHumm March 2020
Destination Almonte has created a wonderful online resource for folks wanting to support their local merchants. At destinationalmonte.com......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 27, 2020 Art Kits for continued creativity, and original art in exchange for ordering books! - theHumm March 2020
JB Arts in Almonte and Art & Class in Perth are both offering a creative way to stay creative: custom art kits that can be delivered or picked up! In Almonte, you can email email@example.com and......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 26, 2020 Good food for dinner, the history of Fortune Farms, and Mississippi Mudds-wear. - theHumm March 2020
If you find yourself running out of flour (or inspiration), why not order dinner tonight from The Good Food Co? Petra writes: “We are trying to keep food waste and traffic into the storefront to ......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 25, 2020 Bubbles & Bites, YouTube Yoga, and band banter with Blackie & the Rodeo Kings. - theHumm March 2020
Good news! Artizen Kombucha is teaming up with friends to deliver an assortment of delicious goodies made right in Perth. They write: “Our small rural town boasts incredible culinary creativity a......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 23, 2020 Online yoga, delivering groceries to seniors, and a virtual April Humm! - theHumm March 2020
Starting today (Monday, March 23), Carp’s Yoga & Tea Studio will be offering their daily schedule of yoga classes LIVE online since the studio is temporarily closed due to Covid-19. Find out ......
May 12 - Jun 18 Exhibition: Close to Home
- Jennifer Anne Kelly — The Glass is Way More than Half-Full
- Tickets PleaseKeeps on Humming!
- Local Libraries are Flourishing!
- Farmers’ Markets: Open for the Season! Almonte Carleton Place Carp
- “Grow a Row” for Food Banks this Year
- MVTM Wants to Exhibit Your Textile Crafts!
- Close to Home
- Protecting Our Pollinators CNL Youth Group for Climate Action Devises an Inspiring Community Project
- Lockdown Scavenger Hunt:Food Foraging with Kids
- One Magic Summer The Academy for Musical Theatre’s Safe & Interactive Summer Camp Experience