Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Strategy: Kellogg is closing the 'cereal cafe' in New York City that charges $7 per bowl— here's what it was like to visit


Kellogg is closing its cereal café after a little more than one year of serving up gourmet breakfast-inspired treats.

Kellogg is closing its cereal café after a little more than one year of serving up gourmet breakfast-inspired treats.

On Tuesday, the cereal company announced it would close its first-ever restaurant: Kellogg's NYC, a trendy, New York City café.

However, don't worry if you haven't visited yet. The creators of the cafe are simply seeking a larger space, and plan to reopen the café in downtown Manhattan.

"Significantly larger than our current location, the new spot will be able to contain an explosion of cereal inspiration and fun," Kellogg said in a statement. "For now, we're keeping the details and the exact location boxed up like our favorite breakfast, but we can promise you a more immersive experience and new kitchen to explore cereal in exciting, fresh ways throughout your day."

Prior to the original café's official opening, Business Insider had the chance to check out the location and try some of the menu items.

Here's what it was like to eat at the first Kellogg's cereal café in the world.

Kellogg's NYC is located in the heart of New York City, in Times Square, picked for its high-foot traffic and constant influx of travelers.

However, unlike the chaotic streets or the frantic energy of the nearby M&M's World, Kellogg's NYC is intended to be an old-school oasis in the busy city.

Anthony Rudolf, formerly of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, partnered with Kellogg to design the café. He aimed to make it the "antithesis of Times Square," allowing the experience and the cereal to speak for themselves.

On the walls hang chalk drawings, created by a local artist.

One pokes fun at Rudolf's attention to detail — specifically, his quest to find the perfect cereal spoon. It's a little detail that reveals Kellogg's NYC's intentions to be more than a tourist trap, and instead elevate cereal to a new culinary level, in New York and beyond.

In traditional fast-casual fashion, customers order at the counter.

The star of the menu is the cereal bowls, priced $7.50 for a regular, or $6.50 for a small.

You can also order an ice cream sundae for $9.50 or $8.50 — topped, of course, with cereal.

If you think you can craft a better cereal creation then Christina Tosi, the creator of cereal milk, you can also create your own, choosing from options like thyme, pistachios, and chai tea powder.

In classic New York City café style, there isn't a ton of room, though there are counters and tables available for customers eating or waiting for their order to be prepared.

Customers pick up their order in a frosted cabinet.

Kellogg's NYC uses a buzzer to alert customers when their orders are ready, and what cabinet they should open.

Rudolf says the pick-up system mixes the traditional kitchen cabinet filled with cereal and quick-service experience, with an "element of surprise and delight."

The brown bag is another call-back to the typical cereal purchase at a grocery store — plus, a convenient way to package the milk and cereal.

Rudolph believes that simplicity of the milk-and-cereal combo isn't a bad thing. "It's so easy to open up a can of beer, and you still go to a pub," he says, arguing that the unique experience, innovation, and chance to be part of something larger is what motivates people to go to restaurants. Still, the cereal has to pass a certain taste test to be worth the $6.50 pricetag.

First up: Life in Color, a Froot Loop-based creation intended to top a sundae. With the combination of sweet and tart, the dish would be better served as an ice cream topping than a bowl of cereal-and-milk.

The Corny Blue are tasty, but not incredibly innovative. Instead, they're a good example of how Kellogg's hopes to change how people think about cereal.

With Corn Pops, jam, lemon zest, and salt, The Corny Blues are made of ingredients almost everyone has on hand, yet completely elevate the cereal. Plus, the jam turns the milk a strange, yet appealing, blue color.

Berry Me In Green Tea, on the other hand, allows innovation to overpower taste. The green tea powder turns the milk green and adds a peculiar flavor — but doesn't do much to actually improve on the taste of Rice Krispies.

Peppermint Patty is, unsurprisingly, delicious. It's Frosted Mini-Wheats Chocolate, plus cocoa powder, plus fresh mint — a tasty choco-bomb intended as sundae topping, but pretty similar to what a nice ice cream shop could serve up.

The item that stood out as worth the price tag, based on taste alone, is the surprisingly nuanced Pistachio and Lemon. It's a summery mashup that feels handcrafted by a talented chef, despite the ingredients list of Special K, Frosted Flakes, pistachios, lemon zest, and thyme.

As cereal sales have declined in recent years, Kellogg's has looked for new ways to make cereal appeal to customers, especially millennials. Kellogg's NYC follows in the footsteps of a 2014 pop-up with Tosi and the Stir It Up campaign that partnered with well-known chefs to craft cereal-based dishes.

You may only have the chance to visit Kellogg's NYC if you stop by Times Square, but its debut is a sign of what the cereal business more widely is hoping to be a dawn of a new era. "We see this idea of helping reimagine what a bowl of cereal can be," says Geoffroy. "Christina was very purposeful about pairing things that were interesting, but also truly using things that people could envision having in their own kitchen."

from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

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