19 | Dec | 14

Richard Johnson

Loving The Bants

Everyone loves the banter that comes with street food. The best street food traders in the business are all about the chat, and interacting with their public – it comes from a passion for what they’re doing. The rest of the food and drink sector have struggled to ‘engage’ with customers in the same way, but there are signs that they just might be learning.

McDonald’s – naturally — are in the vanguard, and patrons in the US can now customise their own burgers by using an iPad ordering station with a choice of 20 toppings and sauces. According to Propel, new premium additions include guacamole, jalapenos, grilled mushrooms, smoked bacon, caramelised grilled onions and chilli-lime tortilla strips. McDonald’s UK told ITV News that it was monitoring the trial “with great interest”.

Pubs and bars are just as keen to engage with their customers. BrewDog, the Scottish brewer and bar operator, have always understood that it’s a key part of winning return business. Their Prototype Challenge allows drinkers to score new beers and let brewers know through polls and social media what their favourites are. The highest-scoring beer “could force its way into our line-up of regulars”, the company says. The four beers are Alt Amber, a style from Dusseldorf in Germany that BrewDog says it has not made before: Vagabond Pale Ale, its first gluten-free beer; Hop Fiction, an IPA made without kettle or dry-hopping; and All Day Long, a 2.7% mild.