Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 105

Flying Star Cafe
made to customers' satisfaction and that people really like
what we offer," Bernstein says. "We have a customer loyalty
program that can give points to customers for purchases, and
it also allows them to let us know immediately if they really
liked something. We are always looking at what people are
sharing on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter "
A big part of Flying Star's operation is its bakery, which
allows it to incorporate special breads and savory items as
part of its menu. The company's in-house creativity and capabilities allow it to put together an enticing menu, as does
staying abreast of the latest trends through industry publications and visits to other parts of the country.
"This is a conservative market that loves its downhome
favorites, but we can blend our bakery capabilities into our
experiments," Bernstein says. "Soups and specials guide us
on what people are looking for.
One of the trends that Flying Star has seen is less indulgent eating. More customers are consciously choosing
lighter and healthier options. In response, the company has
provided more options and the ability for customers to customize their orders.
"I love to see what people do with our classic ranch breakfast, which is two eggs your way, toast, home fries and a
choice of meat," Bernstein says. "People are doing things
like getting salad instead of toast. We use hormone free and
natural meats, but we may see items like brown rice, fruit,
or something else swapped in. Customers are taking our
menu and customizing it into something that works for them.
Our customers ask questions about our food items, and they
want to know where they come from. We provide counter
service and have educated our staff on what is in our food
and where it comes from so we can meet customer preferences, including allergy or health preferences."

building its baking business. The company has been working on making inroads with partners such as hotels and retailers, getting its certifications and establishing distribution
partnerships to help the company build a business as a food
service supplier for companies looking for quality products.
"We've developed some distribution relationships that
will help us grow throughout the region," Bernstein says.
"That is a long-term investment, and we believe our investment needs to focus beyond the city and the state."
Flying Star feels that its ability to create quality products
will help it offer that quality to others that want quality products without having to make it themselves. Although the company is still early in this endeavor and is making sure it has the
right operating procedures, staff and facilities in place, Flying
Star is confident that this will be the right route to growth.
"The focus is on developing our food service program in
what is kind of a beta test stage and making sure we have the
right plans in place," Bernstein says. "Quality will be the key
to everything. We are focused on great ingredients, establishing great relationships, and making sure that our products
are excellent so they can the needs of today's consumers."

New Directions
One of the challenges for Flying Star is its market. Bernstein
says Albuquerque's population has shrunk and that the market has still not recovered from the recession. Indeed, New
Mexico's economy is one of the most difficult in America,
and that makes growth challenging for Flying Star.
"We've seen a lot of cutbacks and lost jobs in the area,"
Bernstein says. "Customers are concerned about money
because jobs have left the state and because of the lack of
growth and the downturn in the market. We've had to be
conservative about our own investments, but our large baking and food production facility has helped us to start to establish a baking market."
Rather than look to expand the number of restaurant locations in the Flying Star portfolio, the company is focusing on
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
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