We’re Sponsoring a Play Area!

In honor of playing, outdoor fun and awesome kids, we’d like to introduce the Blue Lemon Play Area at Station Park in Farmington.

Learning how to have an active lifestyle starts at an early age. And it’s not hard… kids just need to play outside! To help our younger generation do just that, we’re proud to be associated with this awesome play area.

We think Station Park is pretty cool, and we’re proud to have a restaurant there. So next time you make a visit to eat some Blue Lemon, come visit our play area, and take a turn on the slide. Bring your kids, and show them you’re an active person.

Join us for the ribbon cutting!

Date: Wed, June 7th
Time: 11am-2pm
Location: Station Park, Woodland Play Area

What’s going to happen?

Kids eat free all day, with purchase of any adult entree, at the Station Park location in Farmington.

  • Ribbon Cutting
  • ABC4 live broadcast
  • Playing on the playground!
  • Face painting, balloon artist, sugar cookies, and drinks
  • Blue Lemon Coupons and Menus
  • Streamers and blue clappers from Station Park
  • Station Park will have a prize wheel and gift card giveaway table.

Why play areas matter

In a day when childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise, we want to do something about it. While blaming TV and video games might feel good, we believe that some broad cultural issues exist. Many kids don’t have access to nutritious food, and at the same time have easy access to junk food. Many kids aren’t given opportunities to be active every day. We can do better! They’re our children, for heaven’s sake.

Research shows that how a community is designed, and what elements it has, can greatly contribute to the health of children. This can affect things like obesity, diabetes, asthma, attention deficit disorder and more. Play areas and green spaces are important for their health.

Play areas also help:

  • Develop physical strength
  • Develop social skills
  • Develop emotional skills
  • Develop cognitive skills

We think Station Park is pretty cool, and we’re proud to have a restaurant there. So next time you make a visit to eat some nutritious and healthy Blue Lemon, come visit our play area, and take a turn on the slide. Bring your kids, and show them you’re an active person. They’ll follow your example.

Good Eats for Heart Beats

Blue Lemon AHA Give back night

Blue Lemon give back night, Feb. 25th

Heart disease is America’s #1 killer. Stroke is #5. Let’s do something about it.

On Feb. 25th from 6-9 pm, 15% of all proceeds from every Blue Lemon location will go to the American Heart Association. Let’s fight heart disease and stroke together!

The American Heart Association (AHA) is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases claim more than 813,804 American lives a year. At Blue Lemon, we support the missing of the AHA, and hope to make an impact in our communities. Accept the challenge to help fight heart disease and stroke. We cannot achieve our mission without each one of you!

For Blue Lemon, 2017 is the year we spread feelings of love and joy to everyone we can. We know pretty much everyone has been influenced by heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease, so supporting the AHA is one way we support the community. We want healthy hearts, and we want better lives for people with heart disease. This give back night seemed especially appropriate for the month of February, it being a month where love is the focus, and also American Heart Month.

Why do we like the AHA? Because they’re doing some awesome things. The AHA is behind a lot of advancements in the field of heart disease, especially for women.

For example…

  • They are behind research discovering the differences in how heart disease affects men versus women. This understanding leads to better outcomes.
  • Their movement has helped millions more take ownership over their cardiovascular health.
  • Their research has helped save more than 670,000 women’s lives.

Awareness is key, and we feel honored to help spread the word. Learn about your heart health, your risk factors, and how to be healthier!

And lastly, show love to those around you, and help your family be heart-healthy.

Why We Chose Pepsi, and Why We Introduced Stubborn Soda

The idea for Blue Lemon came when a husband and wife looked at the restaurant industry and realized that it was lopsided. Eating should be able to fuel us without negative side effects, but restaurants of this nature are few and far between. Blue Lemon offers a menu full of alternatives to traditional restaurant meals, meals that often leave us feeling heavy, sluggish and unhealthy. In this vein, we’ve switched our beverage options to Pepsi and Pepsi’s new cane sugar soda called Stubborn, because it allows us to offer more low calorie and zero calorie options, and gives our guests an option to avoid high fructose corn syrup.

This came about not just because we want to provide healthier beverage options, but because we asked our guests, and they want the same thing! Soda consumption is actually on the decline among many age groups, as people learn more about the dangers of high sugar consumption and high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in soda.

stubborn-soda-logoWe decided on Pepsi because it has more options with fewer calories, and because Diet Pepsi will now no longer be made with aspartame. This is a recent change, as Pepsi is starting to realize that people are demanding something more from their soft drinks.

What is Stubborn Soda?

PepsiCo recently launched these beverages, which include six natural flavors with no high fructose corn syrup. Black cherry, tarragon, root beer, lemon berry acai, agave vanilla cream, orange hibiscus and pineapple are the flavors.

Stubborn Soda is sweetened with Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar, and we think it tastes awesome, and will compliment your meal well! These beverages are available now in all our locations.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
SAUCE
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato puree
  •  ¾ cup water
  •  ½ cup heavy cream
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •  ½ cup fresh chopped garlic
Directions:
  1. In a bowl whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and grated ginger
  2. In a sauce pan sauté the onion in the butter over medium high heat till well caramelized
  3. Turn down the heat to medium heat and stir in the ginger spice blend, then add tomato puree, water, heavy cream and salt then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes
CHICKEN:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro
Directions:
  1. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, 2 tablespoons peanut oil and garlic together and rub the chicken breasts with the mixture. Let the chicken sit while the sauce is being cooked
  2. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add the remaining peanut oil
  3. Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken breasts. If the chicken starts to char turn the heat down
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, dice the chicken and add it to the simmering sauce for about 5 minutes
  5. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro

Chicken Tikka Masala

SAUCE
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato puree
  •  ¾ cup water
  •  ½ cup heavy cream
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •  ½ cup fresh chopped garlic
Directions:
  1. In a bowl whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and grated ginger
  2. In a sauce pan sauté the onion in the butter over medium high heat till well caramelized
  3. Turn down the heat to medium heat and stir in the ginger spice blend, then add tomato puree, water, heavy cream and salt then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes
CHICKEN:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro
Directions:
  1. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, 2 tablespoons peanut oil and garlic together and rub the chicken breasts with the mixture. Let the chicken sit while the sauce is being cooked
  2. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add the remaining peanut oil
  3. Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken breasts. If the chicken starts to char turn the heat down
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, dice the chicken and add it to the simmering sauce for about 5 minutes
  5. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro

Chicken Tikka Masala

SAUCE
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato puree
  •  ¾ cup water
  •  ½ cup heavy cream
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  •  ½ cup fresh chopped garlic
Directions:
  1. In a bowl whisk together the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and grated ginger
  2. In a sauce pan sauté the onion in the butter over medium high heat till well caramelized
  3. Turn down the heat to medium heat and stir in the ginger spice blend, then add tomato puree, water, heavy cream and salt then bring to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes
CHICKEN:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro
Directions:
  1. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, 2 tablespoons peanut oil and garlic together and rub the chicken breasts with the mixture. Let the chicken sit while the sauce is being cooked
  2. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add the remaining peanut oil
  3. Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken breasts. If the chicken starts to char turn the heat down
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, dice the chicken and add it to the simmering sauce for about 5 minutes
  5. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro

Living Fit and Being Blue

At Blue Lemon, we pride ourselves as progressive and forward-thinking—embracing healthy living and passing this along in the form of positive attitude and gourmet cuisine.  As part of our efforts to instill and encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst our employees, I challenged upper leadership to get in shape enough to hike six miles equipped with fifty pounds of gear for a high country backpacking trip.  We will hike in on day one, gaining nearly a thousand feet of elevation in the process.  Then we will set up camp for two nights, and then turn around and hike out the same way.

Even though team members already embodied the BL vision of a healthful, clean lifestyle, I was taken aback with the enthusiasm that this challenge was embraced.  What started off as a weekly hiking get-together quickly evolved to several-days-a-week workouts with staff at all levels—from executive leadership to general management to line cooks.  The workouts, of course, involved a lot of hiking.  However, trail running, crossfit, bootcamp, and traditional weight lifting have all been utilized to challenge and intrigue participants.  There were, of course, a couple of spills and falls, but nothing that inhibited effort in progression.  If anything, the adversity solidified determination.

BL aspires to be more than just a restaurant.  We value our place in the community and acknowledge the role we can have in changing the way people think and live.  I have learned that personal change must begin within and emanate outward.  The same is true with Blue Lemon.  This ideal is why we challenge ourselves to be better, and never being satisfied with the status quo.  Being better for Blue Lemon of course involves becoming more operationally efficient and increasing customer satisfaction.  But it does not stop there.  We also strive to practice what we preach.  It is through setting and meeting ever-better challenges, goals, and milestones in all areas of life that we encourage each other with support and accountability.  We must change the way we think about life in order to change the way we live.

The leadership hike is still on the docket, forthcoming in mid-July.  I look forward to spending this time with our great team, learning and growing together in the process.  While on the hike, we will be reviewing several leadership and development books.  I am sure that there will be valuable lessons and information that will come from this.  I will be sure to share and tell all about our adventure in a future post.

Regards,

Aaron Day

President & CEO

Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice

 

Garlic Lime Rice
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Lime, zested
1 cup Jasmine Rice
2 cups water
Pinch of Salt

1. In a small, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high heat until hot and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds stirring frequently.
2. Add the rice, lime zest, water and salt then bring to a boil.
3. Once rice boils, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 11 – 13 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and fluff the finished rice with a fork.
5. Set aside

Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice
12 ounces Shrimp
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
6 ounces Carrots, sliced
6 ounces Pineapple, small dice
1 Scallion, sliced (keep whites and greens separate)
1 Lime
3 Tablespoons Cashews, chopped
2.5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
½ – 2 Tablespoons Sriracha (depending on desired heat)
Salt
Pepper
Garlic lime Rice

1. In a non-stick pan toast the chopped cashews stirring frequently about 2 – 3 minutes or until lightly browned, then set aside in a clean bowl.
2. Wipe the pan out and return back to the heat.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium, add the carrots and cook stirring occasionally, 2 – 3 minutes.
4. When the carrots are soft add the white bottoms of the scallions and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly.
5. Add the shrimp and the pineapple to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook till the shrimp are opaque and fully cooked.
6. Add the garlic lime rice, soy sauce, toasted cashews, the juice of half the lime and as much Sriracha as you would like.
7. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently to combine all of the ingredients.
8. Garnish with the sliced green tops of the scallion.

Good Things Utah – Brandon Strebel

Who’s Got The Love?

Blue Lemon was recently highlighted by FastCasual.com because of how amazing our fans are! In the article they found that even though much larger brands were mentioned more often, Blue Lemon had some of the most passionate fans around. A huge shoutout to our incredible fans, thank you!

The article is found below:

Which FastCasual.com Top 50 restaurant has the most powerful voice in social media?

It should come as no surprise that Chipotle comes out on top, according to a one-year study conducted by NetBase.

NetBase spent a year analyzing the top 50 brands identified in the FastCasual.com Top 100 Movers and Shakers, ranking them in terms of social media mentions.

Of the Top 50 FastCasual.com brands included in NetBase’s study, Chipotle was mentioned the most on social media (more than 15 million times in one year), capturing 61 percent share of voice. Chipotle, which landed in the No. 2 postion in the FastCasual.com Top 100 ranking, also led across each of the five geographic regions NetBase analyzed.

Chipotle’s closest competitor was Panera Bread (No. 28 on the Top 100 list), which was mentioned a 3.2 million times and grabbed 13 percent share of voice.

Rounding out the top five:

    • Wingstop (No. 36 on the Top 100), 2.4 million mentions and 10 percent share of voice
    • Five Guys (No. 37), 1.6 million mentions and 6 percent share of voice
    • Jimmy John’s (No. 42), just over 1 million mentions and 4 percent share of voice

But the biggest brands on social media didn’t necessarily garner the most passion from fans.

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most passionate, Sweetgreen (No. 20 on the Top 100) and Blue Lemon (No. 26) garnered the most love from social media fans with a score of 92. By comparison, Chipotle’s passion intensity index was just 59.

Other fast casual brands with passionate fans:

    • Which Wich (No. 48 on the Top 100), with a passion intensity index of 90
    • Zoes Kitchen (No. 8), with an index of 86
    • Giraffas (No. 24), with an index of 83

NetBase also offered tips for building brands’ social media impact:

    • Use social media to get immediate feedback on product launches. Mine keywords for mentions and gauge sentiment. Ask fans to tell you what they think.
    • Keep an eye on the competition. Analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns vs. your competitors. How do you stack up?
    • Improve customer care. Respond to questions, comments and complaints quickly and consistently.
    • Track response to advertising and marketing campaigns. Measure baseline, then look for spikes in mentions and traffic. Adjust media buys accordingly.
    • Know where your audience is hanging out. Marketing to moms? Pinterest is probably the place to be. Want to grab millennials? Gotta be on Instagram. Be aware of platform preferences for groups you are trying to reach.
    • Capitalize on purchase intent. Be on the lookout for mentions of your brand or your category (example: burritos, sandwich, pizza) and look for opportunities to engage.
    • Keep an eye on your partners. Monitor franchisees for great ideas that are gaining traction, then leverage them system-wide.
    • Connect with consumers. Reward your fans with special offers. Look for opportunities to turn a fan into an advocate for your brand.

Source: http://www.fastcasual.com/articles/big-brands-capture-big-social-media-share-but-smaller-brands-get-the-love

Table Tracker Helps Diners Get Faster Service at Restaurants

In Utah, Blue Lemon uses the RFID-based system to identify where its customers have seated themselves, and to measure how long it takes for an order to be served.

After a customer orders food at the counter and takes a seat at one of Blue Lemon’s three restaurants in Utah, the meal is now served faster, thanks to the use of radio frequency identification technology. Prior to installing the Long Range Systems (LRS) technology, the staff had to walk throughout the busy restaurant carrying plates of food, searching for numbers on tables identifying specific customers’ orders. Now, they can simply view a screen near the kitchen, determine the location of the table at which the customers are seated, and proceed directly to that spot.

The faster service is made possible by high-frequency (HF) RFID tags attached to the underside of each dining table, as well as Table Trackers—devices that read the tags and communicate with a gateway via ZigBee technology. Table Tracker software not only stores the table location and interprets read data from each Table Tracker device, but also tracks the amount of time that passes after the order was placed, and can warn workers and management in the event that the length of a wait is approaching, or has reached, an unacceptable limit.

Since the system was installed at the company’s three restaurants in June, says Aaron Day, Blue Lemon’s CEO, the amount of time required for a plate to be delivered to a table has been reduced by between one and five minutes. For customers, Day says, that means the food arrives faster, and is hot and fresh. That customer satisfaction, he adds, has already made the technology pay for itself during the six months that it has been in use.

Prior to Blue Lemon’s adoption of the Table Tracker system, each patron or party was given a number placard to place on their table, and when trying to delivering plates of food to table, staff members sometimes had to call out orders in the hope that the appropriate diners would recognize and claim their meals. While this was taking place, Day says, the food was cooling and labor time was wasted.

Blue Lemon serves artisan sandwiches, salads and gourmet entrees, and considers it a priority to serve this food on time. Last year, the firm decided to invest in technology from LRS. It required a solution for all three of its establishments, especially in downtown Salt Lake City, where business is busy and table space is at a premium. That restaurant alone completed $4 million in sales last week, Blue Lemon reports, while the company serves 2,000 customers weekly at all three locations.

LRS has been offering solutions to help employees identify customer tables for several years, according to Jeff Jones, LRS’ director of sales. Approximately eight years ago, he says, the company noticed a trend among food-service businesses toward the fast casual restaurant model, as opposed to casual restaurants in which the wait staff take orders at a diner’s table. As more such restaurants have been established, he says, there has been an increasing need for a solution to the question, “Whose order is this?” Restaurants often simply must hire additional workers to locate tables and deliver orders.

Several years ago, LRS developed a system known as Key Call, in which each diner carried a key that he or she was instructed to place within a battery-powered ZigBee or ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader installed at that person’s table. Upon selecting a table, the patron inserted a key into a device that began transmitting that key’s unique ID number to a receiver. Ultimately, that information was then displayed on a computer screen located within the kitchen. The shortcoming, the company explains, was that it required an action on the diner’s part, and so LRS developed the Table Tracker system to only require the diner to take the Table Tracker to the table and await the meal’s delivery.

Each Starter or Clearing Unit contains its own passive RFID tag.

Here’s how the system works: When a party of diners first place their order, a staff person enters that order into the point-of-sale system. The worker also inputs an ID number, such as 27, that is then printed on the top of the Table Tracker—which is slightly smaller than, but similarly shaped to, a CD in its plastic cover. Employees then wave the Table Tracker over a Starter Unit—a small, green box containing an RFID tag and mounted on the counter. The Table Tracker’s built-in RFID interrogator reads the Starter Unit’s tag, initiating a timer function. The customer then carries the Table Tracker into the dining area, selects a table and places the device on that table.

Pasted to the table’s underside are two dozen or so 13.56 MHz passive HF RFID tags compliant with the ISO 15693 standard. On average, about 20 tags are glued to each table’s underside, in order to guarantee a read no matter where on the table the Table Tracker is placed. Each tag ID number is linked, in the LRS software, to a specific table within the dining room. When the Table Tracker reads one of the table’s tags, it transmits that ID number via ZigBee to a gateway plugged into a computer running the LRS standalone software.

When the order is ready to serve, a staff member views the computer screen to pinpoint the Table Tracker ID associated with that particular order, and sees the table at which the customer is seated. The worker then simply delivers the food to that location. Each staff member also carries a pocketsize Clearing Unit, which, like the Starter Unit, has its own embedded RFID tag. After the plates have been delivered to the table, the employee places the tracker near the clearing unit, and the tracker stops the timing process, thereby indicating to the LRS software that the food has been delivered. The Table Tracker is then placed on a charging station to recharge its battery.

The LRS software not only allows management to track how long it takes to prepare and deliver an ordered meal to customers for the purpose of business analytics, but can also provider an alerting function. Each order is displayed on the screen by the LRS software, along with the ID number, and that information will turn yellow or red, based on the amount of time that has passed if an order has not been delivered. This helps the staff to prioritize their work.

For management, the historic data allows them to view average delivery times; assess which shifts, workers or other variables might be negatively affecting those times; and then address any problems that might exist. For example, if a specific shift experienced a slower rate of preparing and serving food, management could determine that additional staff members were necessary at that time.

Blue Lemon’s Aaron Day

LRS manufactures all of its own hardware, Jones says, with the exception of the RFID tags.

Jones estimates that between 50 and 100 restaurants around the world are presently using the Table Tracker technology, including three that are part of the 240-store Jason’s Deli chain, owned by Deli Management Inc., of Beaumont, Texas. In one case, he recalls, a business was reluctant to invest in an automated solution to food delivery, until the company’s board met over lunch at one of its own restaurants, down the street from its headquarters. Jones says the firm’s board chair was repeatedly asked by servers, “Are you sure this isn’t your chicken panini?” That experience, he adds, convinced the board to try the Table Tracker system.

According to Day, Blue Lemon has already seen a return on its approximately $8,000 to $10,000 investment per restaurant, based on the reduced time that staff members spend searching for tables. However, he says, the greatest gains involve customer satisfaction, since diners are assured that they will receive their food quickly—and fresh—from the kitchen. “We’ve had our return just in satisfaction,” he states. “I know the food is getting delivered hot.”