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Wineries hit hard by Napa earthquake

Wineries hit hard by Napa earthquake

• Wineries hit hard by Napa earthquake • Report: Authenticity trumps cleanliness • Apple unveils mobile payments technology • Non-alcoholic beverage offerings evolving • Ducasse banishes meat from Paris menu

The wine industry suffered more than $83 million in damage from the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that rocked the southern part of Napa County on Aug. 24, according to a report on

The report was commissioned by Napa County officials and the Napa Valley Vintners trade group to help winemakers seek federal assistance in rehabilitating the area's bedrock industry.

Rob McMillan, the bank's executive vice president, said the damage estimate was conservative and could rise as vintners hire contractors to come in and give estimates on needed repairs. Ultimately, the losses could fall between $70 million and $100 million, McMillan said.

Focus more on the authenticity of your menu and worry about cleaning up later, suggests findings from a recent report outlined on

A study by a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business studied more than 9,000 restaurants to see how "authenticity" and cleanliness affected customers' reviews. Analyzing online reviews for keywords related to authenticity and restaurants' latest health grades from the public health department revealed that when customers have to choose, authenticity trumps cleanliness.

Overall, customers did not love restaurants with low health grades. However, when a restaurant with a low health grade was deemed "authentic," it was valued similarly to their hygienic counterparts.

Apple’s development of mobile payments technologies unveiled Tuesday as part of the new iPhone 6 and iWatch are expected to play a large part in the restaurant industry’s adoption of mobile payment.

“We are excited to learn more about the mobile payments technologies included on Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iWatch introduced today, and the value proposition they present for restaurant operators and guests,” said Phil Kafarakis of the National Restaurant Association. “Mobile payments offer an efficient, convenient, less costly and more secure method of payment for both consumers and restaurateurs. With Apple’s entry into the space, the technology is now at its critical tipping point for widespread adoption.”

According to a report in Nation’s Restaurant News, Apple said Tuesday that the platform will launch in October at such restaurants brands as Panera Bread and Starbucks, and it is planning a rollout at Chipotle Mexican Grill and Subway.

Non-alcoholic beverage offerings at restaurants are going through a bit of an evolution. While operators are offering more unique beverages today, they are cutting back on the overall number of offerings on the menu.

According to a Technomic report, the industry is gravitating toward more housemade and dessert-like beverages, as well as growth of juice concepts. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have both introduced machines that allow consumers to choose from a wide variety of drinks and customize their beverage. But Technomic’s MenuMonitor shows a 3.3% decrease in non-alcohol beverage offerings at Top 500 chains from 2013 to 2014, aligning with a decrease in other menu categories like appetizers and entrées.

Alain Ducasse, the godfather of French gastronomy, has stepped out of the box and banished meat from the menu of his restaurant at the Paris hotel Plaza Athenee.

According to a NY Daily News report, Ducasse, whose global restaurant empire has notched up multiple Michelin stars, said he is turning over a new leaf to explore a lighter, vegetarian-style cuisine.

"The planet's resources are rare, we must consume more ethically and equitably," Ducasse said. The new menu at the restaurant, which reopens Monday, draws heavily on organic cereals, vegetables grown in the gardens of the famed chateau of Versailles, as well as fish.

Ducasse will be inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor this year at the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

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