PSL season continues with Pumpkin Spice Lattes now at Starbucks locations nationwide and as well as in Canada. This is the 17th year that the drink will be featured at Starbucks locations.
The pumpkin spice industry is worth over $500 million according to the Forbes. This is the earliest that the coffee industry has moved to begin the fall season.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes feature real pumpkin sauce, signature espresso and steamed milk with the celebrated flavor combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Available hot, iced or blended.
Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew returns to the menu, crafted with Starbucks® Cold Brew sweetened with vanilla syrup, topped with a pumpkin cream cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice topping.
Fall bakery items are also on menus nationwide with the pumpkin trio: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, Pumpkin Scone, and Pumpkin Bread.
There is also a number of pumpkin spice-flavored ground, packaged, and ready-to-drink products now available and NEWStarbucks® Maple Pecan Flavored K-Cup® Packs + Ground Coffeeand Starbucks® Salted Caramel Mocha Flavored Creamer.
Hopefully this brings this cheer to people. Happy PSL!
BENTO Asian Kitchen + Sushi is opening their first Tampa location near USF in September 2020.
The 100-seat, 2,800 square-foot eatery will be located at 5103 East Fowler Avenueacross from the new Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, and University of South Florida campus. Fans of the Florida-based chain have long been asking for a location to open in Tampa.
“Our first BENTO location opened in the small college town of Gainesville 18 years ago in 2002 and was an almost instant hit amongst the University of Florida student crowd. Following that success, we’ve opened in college communities across Florida from UNF Jacksonville to UCF Orlando to FSU Tallahassee to USF St. Pete. Tampa has been one of our highest-requested cities so we were ecstatic to have found a spot that would be easily accessible for USF Tampa students,” says Johnny Tung, co-founder.
The Tampa location will offer plenty of outdoor seating, and will feature BENTO’s signature red sushi bar, warm wood tones, and brass accents reminiscent of modern cafes and lounges found in Japan & Taiwan.
“We’ve been eyeing Tampa for a very long time. Being an economic hub in West Florida, and home to a major University as well as several well-established sports teams, we’re thrilled to finally be able to call Tampa our new home. Notably, there’s an amazing emerging food culture that we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of. The Fowler location will certainly not be the last in the area. We’re hoping to open up three more Tampa locations in the near future,” says Tung.
BENTO Tampa will mark the concept’s 17th location, and the second in the Tampa Bay area following its downtown St. Petersburg debut in the fall of 2018. It will be joining a lineup of 16 other locations across Florida including restaurants in Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Davie, Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines, Tallahassee, Kissimmee, Winter Park, and BENTO’s newest location in Oviedo.
The concept has no plans of slowing down with six more locations expected to open within the next year. Stores are planned in Dania Beach, Lake Nona, Wellington, Jacksonville Beach, Downtown Jacksonville, and Sarasota – all projected to open before 2020 comes to a close.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, BENTO has been proactive in adapting its operation to accommodate off-site dining. The launch of BENTO’s new company-wide online ordering site, in particular, is making social distancing a whole lot easier for the brand’s loyal customers.
The new ordering platform allows users to skip the line, schedule an order in advance for pickup or delivery, and pay with just a few clicks. Users also have the option to save their favorite orders, and take advantage of online-exclusive deals. There is also a mobile app version coming soon.
Following this wave, future locations will be featuring a new pick-up window for a more contact-less experience.
Get your taste buds and outfits ready, Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) season is upon us and will return by Wednesday, August 19th, to Dunkin’ Donuts. It is the earliest that the season has ever started as brands rush to bring back the autumn season.
On the menu…
NEW Signature Pumpkin Spice Latte: Spicing up the brand’s fall lineup is an exceptional seasonal sip worthy of even the most fanatical “fallower,” Dunkin’s new Signature Pumpkin Spice Latte. Elevating PSL to another level of enjoyment, the Signature Pumpkin Spice Latte – available hot or iced – combines rich, smooth espresso with pumpkin and vanilla flavors, topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle, and cinnamon sugar topping.
NEW Chai Latte: Dunkin’s fall celebration includes a new option for tea lovers, offering a sweetened chai tea blend with spices including cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg combined with milk.
Pumpkin Flavored Coffees: The classic cup for fueling up in fall, Dunkin’s pumpkin flavor swirl is available in its hot or iced coffee, Chai Latte, Cold Brew, espresso drinks, frozen coffee, and frozen chocolate.
Apple Cider Donut and MUNCHKINS® Donut Hole Treats: Dunkin’s Apple Cider Donut features an apple cider cake ring tossed in cinnamon sugar. For a bite-sized serving of seasonal sweetness, guests can also enjoy Apple Cider MUNCHKINS® donut hole treats.
Pumpkin Donut, MUNCHKINS® Donut Hole Treats, and Muffin: Fall isn’t complete without the classic treat of Dunkin’s Pumpkin Donut, a glazed pumpkin cake donut that can also be enjoyed as MUNCHKINS® donut hole treats, along with Dunkin’s Pumpkin Muffin, topped with white icing and sweet streusel crumbs.
Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich: To help feed fall cravings, Dunkin’ is bringing back its Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich, featuring five half-slices of maple sugar seasoned bacon, egg, and white cheddar cheese served on a warm, flaky croissant.
Satisfying Snackin’ Selection:
NEW Stuffed Bagel Minis: Bagel lovers can go small this fall, as Dunkin’ introduces Stuffed Bagel Minis, mini bagel rounds filled with plain cream cheese and served warm. Stuffed Bagel Minis are available in two varieties, Plain and Everything Topping.
NEW Steak & Cheese Rollups: Dunkin’ is adding steak to its lineup of rollups, which also include Ham & Cheese and Bacon & Cheese varieties. Steak & Cheese Rollups, which come two per order, include delicious steak and American cheese rolled up in flour tortillas.
NEW Maple Sugar Seasoned Snackin’ Bacon: Dunkin’ is also putting a seasonal spin on its beloved Snackin’ Bacon. Guests can enjoy eight snack-sized slices of bacon specially flavored with maple sugar seasoning. Each order comes in a sleeve, making it easy to enjoy on the go.
PSL at Home: Guests can also take the taste of pumpkin home with Dunkin’s Pumpkin K-Cup® pods, available at participating Dunkin’ restaurants nationwide for a limited time. Additionally, Pumpkin Spice K-Cup® pods and packaged coffee will be available in grocery stores and other retailers nationwide for a limited time this season.
All items will be available by August 19th nationwide. Happy PSL!
Three popular food brands are joining forces this summer to give $10,000 to five local restaurants in celebration of National S’mores Day: Hershey’s, Jet-Puffed, and Honey Maid.
The trio is calling on small, hometown restaurants and their staff to showcase their favorite S’mores dessert on their menu (new or existing) for a chance to win one of five $10,000 prizes. Restaurants have until Monday, August 24th to enter.
“We are overwhelmed by the love people have had for S’mores this summer. During the current pandemic, many families have turned to the connectivity and comfort of making S’mores as a way to get through this challenging time,” said Bill Maclean, senior marketing director, Hershey’s brand.
“We wanted to say thank you and bring attention to all of those local restaurants who have been affected. We want to provide some relief while celebrating these restaurants, their recipes and their love of S’mores.”
The rules to enter for businesses are:
Post a picture or short video to Instagram or Twitter showcasing your most creative S’mores recipe. The treat MUST at least be made with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Jet-Puffed Marshmallows and Honey Maid Graham Crackers or Graham Cracker Crumbs – the classic S’mores ingredients!
Make sure to tag @hersheys @kraftjetpuffed @honeymaidsnacks and use the hashtag #SmoresGivesBackContest. For the caption of the posted photo or video, tell why your restaurant deserves to win a prize, and how the prize would be used to impact the restaurant and its employees.
No Purchase is Necessary to enter. For full details of eligibility and entry, including judging criteria, see the Official Rules. Contest ends 11:59:59 PM EDT on August 24, 2020. Void where prohibited. Must be age of majority or older to enter. Entries submitted on behalf of restaurants.
Tampa Bay-based craft distillery Dark Door Spirits is releasing an essential vodka called “Pandemic at the Disco” in support of the hospitality industry that has been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
“Just like the essential workers that have bravely kept us going for many months, this is the essential vodka that has the power to make the best of any situation – even the hot mess that is 2020”, said Dark Door Founder and CEO Matt Allen.
Fifty percent of Dark Door Spirits profits from sales of Pandemic at the Disco will be donated to charitable organizations supporting the local hospitality industry, including the U.S. Bartender Guild COVID-19 relief fund.
Pandemic at the Disco is available through local distribution from Pepin Distributing Co. and Great Bay Distributors as well as many local liquor stores and restaurants in the Tampa Bay area.
Luekens and Drizly will be retail partners for those who want to enjoy responsibly at home.
“We’re doing this now because we see a need in the community – a need for something to benefit the hospitality industry and a need for a laugh while not sugar-coating the mess we’re in,” Allen said.
“We want to support the people who have supported us all these years. Creating a great product with a fun label seemed like one thing we could do.”
“By ordering Pandemic at the Disco by name at their favorite bar or restaurant, Tampa Bay residents are helping their friends and neighbors in the hospitality industry at a time when they are struggling to make ends meet”, Allen said.
Dark Door Spirits was founded in 2016 in Tampa Bay by Co-Founders Matthew Allen and Brandon Marshall focusing on “crafting unique and unexpectedly delicious spirits”.
The pandemic has been a doozy but one constant in Florida has been the veryvocalargumentsbetweenanti-mask shoppers and regular people trying to survive in grocery stores and society in general. Ironically, most polls show that the anti-mask people make up a very small but loud minority. The issue has been widely politicized much to dismay of healthcare experts nationwide.
Masks are one of the only defenses that society has against the Coronavirus.
Recent studies show that wearing a mask not only protects others from you, but also protects you from other people who are shedding the virus. It really helps explain why cases are so much lower in other countries who never shutdown but distributed masks widely, although many of them have also instituted other aggressive methods as well such as contact tracing and strict criminal penalties for violating pandemic laws.
Once re-opening began in May, many Publix shoppers stopped wearing masks at all and it was business as usual as the virus started to spread faster and faster. On one visit on June 8th, I witnessed an entire produce aisle filled with dozens of people not social distancing or wearing masks. To be frank, I was horrified. I did not go back to Publix for weeks.
Once Hillsborough County and City of Tampa passed emergency mask ordinances in late June, I had to run to the store and decided to give Publix another shot nearly one month later. To my surprise, 100% of the shoppers were wearing masks and so were the employees. A huge difference. The mask orders have made a difference.
Unfortunately, these actions have come late and Florida’s COVID-19 growth is out of control. Florida added 100,000 cases in 10 days. The daily death toll and hospitalizations are climbing.
We are heading towards another shutdown that will have devastating economic impacts on the state. 6 Tampa Bay Publix locations had virus cases in July so far despite mask orders. Imagine if companies and politicians would have acted early to stop the spread instead of removing responsibility from each other.
Finally – now Publix is saying that they will mandate masks for all shoppers except children and those with medical conditions starting Tuesday, July 21st.
It’s late – but always better than nothing. They are not alone as other big names like Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, and other retail companies begin to mandate masks nationwide. America is in a crisis.
I hope these mandates will at least help the “essential” workers who have been forced into this mess without any leadership until now.
2020 is filled with twists and turns. #GoyaBoycott and Goya are trending right now after the CEO of Goya Foods praised Trump at the White House and said we’re “blessed to have a leader” like Trump.
There’s a large sense of irony to Goya Foods which primarily sells to Latinx audiences joining forces with President Trump just as the President is caught in numerous scandals including rising Coronavirus cases, preparing a new lawsuit to kill DACA, separating children from their parents at the border, allegations of supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin despite bounties on American soldiers, an investigation by SDNY for tax fraud and evasion, among other things.
Let’s not forget that time that Donald Trump threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans as thousands of them died from Hurricane Irma and Maria and then left the island in the dark.
Twitter immediately responded and began to trend nationwide.
All of the sudden there seems to be a large number of restaurants and bars in Tampa Bay reporting cases of Coronavirus among their staff members. Some are closing and some are not.
This is occurring at the same time as Florida coronavirus cases are spiking and fears of a shutdown are coming back into play. Governor DeSantis has swore there will be no shutdowns and this is the “new normal”.
In the middle of the night, the Tampa Bay Times broke a story about COVID-19 cases at The Galley, Park & Rec St. Pete, and The Avenue in Downtown St. Petersburg. All the bars have closed temporarily due to staff members testing positive to COVID-19.
No doubt if you have been eating or drinking there you should be getting tested yourself to make sure you don’t have COVID-19. We were warned by scientists that restaurants and bars were not safe due to the ease in which spread can occur indoors with people and laughing inside paired with air-conditioning units.
Bars and restaurants should be more vigilant about testing staff and customers, closing for 2 weeks or even a few days is detrimental to a business right now. Obviously proper mitigation efforts are not being done. This will keep happening.
In one of my recent visits to pickup food at restaurants for curbside, I have noticed very few of them are observing capacity limits and customers are swarming together in clusters and groups. Parking lots filled. Bars full. This is a recipe for disaster.
Be smart. Wear your masks. Stay home. This is far from over.