According to the Chinese Zodiac 2012 was the year of the Dragon, however, astrologers may want to re-consult the stars because it was definitely the year of the (W)holeburger. 4food kicked off the year by inviting the team at Celiebo to help train our staff in maintaining a truly gluten-free workspace. 4food chefs also did some teaching this year, giving classes on making fresh mozzarella and decadent desserts through SideTour. Guests also took the opportunity to use 4food as a learning center, attending various MeetUps held in our space. Our Executive VP even gave a seminar on Slow Fast Food at The Brooklyn Food Conference. 4food continued expanding its social network by hosting a dinner and panel discussion with food application and website creators during Social Media Week. The launch of LevelUp, a wallet-less app that allows guests to pay with their smartphones, made its debut on 4food counter tops.
4food gave back this year in more ways than one. In a partnership with Urban Go Green, the Green Chart was unveiled - a vehicle for which eco-focused non-profit organizations could create custom (W)holeburgers and a portion of their sales would benefit their organization. 4food also sponsored the Take Steps Walk for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, and held a series of happy hour events every Thursday in December to benefit New York Cares, Toys for Tots, and City Harvest. We participated in Meatless Mondays, and held a pop-up in our store to raise awareness for healthy snacking by creating (De)Junk Food Day. And we were fortunate to have 96 working electrical outlets to help those effected by Hurricane Sandy in need of a place to recharge.
The (W)holeburger hit the streets, making an appearance at the Get Real NY Beer 'N Balls event showcasing a wild board meatball with our signature sweet chili sauce and coconut rice. 4food was also a hit with the downtown crowd when it debuted its (W)holeburger Bar under the Highline at the outdoor Urbanspace Meatpacking Market.
Milestones were achieved throughout the year for 4food. Artisanal is the best word to describe the happenings in the 4food kitchen this year. Five Acre Farms started supplying our guests with local grass-fed milk. All bread baking moved in house with the new addition of the biscuit muffin. The patties, which are always made in-house, were taken to the next level when the team decided to grind its own beef as well. Even the housemade sodas got an upgrade, with the addition of fresh pressed juices. Our guests celebrated milestones as well, when for the first time three guest-created (w)holeburgers received top honors at the annual Gold Burgers Awards - MGR Lamb Burger, CaliBurger, and Cali4nication had each surpassed one thousand units in sale and were bestowed Platinum Burger status on the 4food Wall of Fame.
With the new year comes New Year’s resolutions, the most popular amongst them being “to get in shape”. This year 4food is helping New Yorker’s keep that resolution with their new superfood Masala Veggiescoop, and challenging them to get fit for 2013. Beginning this January, 4food guests can pack on the extra healthy proteins of quinoa, lentils, and garbanzo beans tossed with shredded carrots, red onion, habanero peppers, almonds, and scallions; seasoned with Chana masala, lime juice, black sesame, chia seeds, and cilantro. The spicy, gluten-free, and vegan Veggiescoop is only 45 calories per serving and can be enjoyed at the center of your (W)holeburger or atop a Masala Salad Bowl, now only $5 for the month of January. On Monday January 7, 2013 4food will launch its first ever (De)Junk Fitness Challenge, to promote National Lose Weight, Feel Great Week (January 7 - 13). 4food will be joined by other wellness and fitness brands to raise awareness for nutritionally sound food choices and promote physically active lifestyles.
ON THE CHART/CHARTBEAT: MAYANS, SKINNY GIRLS, AND A STAR-SPANGLED (W)HOLEBURGER
Finishing up the year on the Buildboard Chart we start with a three way tie at #10 beginning with ANGELA1126’S ever popular although somehow slipping Angela’s Veggie 2, the end of the world came yet MSHEPPARD’S “get it while you can!!!!” newcomer The Mayan Burger was and is still here and available to all, and DOUBLEASQUARED amplifies our new year’s resolutions with the sweet and roasty Skinny Girl Gluten Free Sammy newbie of Pressed Rice Bun-Wild Salmon Patty-Roasted Brussels Scoop-Maple Butternut Squash Slice-Chutney Condiment. Tied at #7 is a now struggling 4foodie fave in ALEXC’S “all business, all delicious” Midtown Cheddar Bacon and a staple since the introduction of the (W)holeburger in AHARRIS’S platinum CaliBurger. Landing at #4 and newly waving its Beef Patty-Mushroom & Onions Scoop-Pancetta Bacon Slice-Cheddar Cheese (W)holeburger with star-spangled Lettuce-Pickle-Tomato-Ketchup-Mustard on a Multigrain Bun is GFARNOLI’S “an improved classic with a healthy twist” New American Cheddar Burger. At #3 we find ANGELA1126 again in the company of Jake’s Mac & Cheese pancetta burger followed by JFAVUZZA’S golden bird Better Turkey Burger at #2. Finally in the last week of 2012 we have a tie at #1 with RHA70’S resurging blue Michigan Wolverine Burger alongside ALEXC’S (in)famously popular The Manchego Avocado.