11.11.2014: Maple / Cruise Food


Another Way to Eat Well at Home

Food delivery in New York City is about to hit the next level when David Chang debuts a new delivery service, Maple, in early 2015. New Yorkers can order through a mobile app or desktop for fresh delivery. Chang is creating the service-specific menu, but is also culling a Culinary Board of Directors, made up of chefs who will advise on its offerings. Maple has already raised a $4 million round of funding and has already succeeded in making this Momofuku fan jealous of her New York friends. Obviously the service is not the first of its kind, but it is the first to tie its success to a big-name chef already operating a serious portfolio of restaurants. David Chang has been praised for his ability to maintain spectacular consistency even as his restaurant group expands; will be interesting to watch how this venture takes off.

illustration by April V. Walters
illustration by April V. Walters


Required Tech for Feeding a Cruise Ship Full of Hungry Guests

Last week’s issue of the New Yorker featured a whole lot of awesome food content, including an interesting look at food service aboard cruise ships — especially the really, really large cruise ships. (The article isn’t online, though you can see some associated images here.) Specifically, the piece detailed kitchens, food storage, planning, service, restaurant management, and all of the other nitty-gritty and behind-the-scenes details involved in acquiring, storing, and preparing meals for a clientele that is pretty much forced to eat all of their meals on the giant floating city. The logistics on their own are fascinating, but there are some techy details that make life aboard the particular featured boat (Oasis of the Seas) a little easier for guests and employees. Two of the most interesting: an option to purchase unlimited soft drinks during the cruise for which a guest is given a cup with an RFID chip that allows them to self-serve a huge cup of soda at any time (America!). And the other: a digital display of different restaurants on board the ship with real-time displays of the number of guests in each spot and the number of available seats. (Not displayed: how long it’ll take you to sprint for the last remaining table at an onboard hot spot.)

This is fascinating, right? These mega ships have over 20 restaurants on board; they’re like floating observation labs in human dining behavior. (Completely unrelated cruise food fact: in the industry, apparently, it’s said that each guest aboard gains one pound per day cruised. Eesh. And that’s even more accurate on shorter cruises as guests tend to eat even more in an effort to try as many of the onboard offerings as possible.) Anyway, if you can get your hands on the November 3 food issue, I highly recommend this piece especially.


Can We Stop It with the Meaningless “Nominations” Please?

You know what’s BS? Spamming all of your Twitter followers in an effort to get some level of attention. Seriously, I don’t know one person who isn’t irked by this, yet companies still do it. The latest offender: @TheDailyMeal,who “nominated” 18 different pizza chains for “best pizza chain” (including Chuck E. Cheese, but that’s a rant for another Tuesday) and the proceeded to call them out, one after another, on Twitter, asking them to tell their fans to vote.

Really? Listen, I love a good vote or award or recommendation or any chance to let the people speak. I also love Twitter and its ability to encourage conversation. Further, I know that I can mute this nonsense or just unfollow all together, but it’s the principle of the thing. This is a cheap shot that may get you some play on social but really just looks completely desperate and, honestly, relegates your tweets into a ridiculous online echo chamber where no one is really listening and the results mean absolutely nothing. So, there you go. Save the voting and the pandering for real, interesting, meaningful content and until then, get off my Tweetdeck. Thx.


Reservation Hop Turns into OK Shift for Service Workers

One of the more contentious pay-for-a-reservation services completely changed its business model last week.Reservation Hop is now OK Shift, a text-based service that allows restaurant workers (and, presumably other shift workers) to manage, swap, and pick up extra shifts. Users create “work groups” comprised of others at their place of employment and use  keywords like “post shift” and “claim” to, well, post a shift they’d like covered or claim a posted shift. A clever idea, but seems a bit unclear why you’d use this over standard text messaging — it’s not a dedicated app and you’re able to see all of your coworkers’ contact information anyhow, so it doesn’t seem to be a privacy thing. Though if it makes someone’s life easier, who am I to criticize?


  • As seen in the press! Donuts of the Bay Area by C+T contributor/friend April V. Walters, now available! — Eater
  • The internet can’t refrigerate your food. Munchery accused of using idling refrigerator trucks in SF’s Mission district — Uptown Almanac
  • Bon Appetit updated its Thanksgiving app with new recipes, tips and techniques — Bon Appetit

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