Opinion pieces from our editorial director and editor in chief.
Foodservice really isn’t foodservice. In the recent past, as the name implies, foodservice operations simply provided food as a service to their customers, whether that took the form of a restaurant, a cafeteria, patient feeding, etc. Today, however, executing that menu represents but one small ingredient in a foodservice operation’s recipe for success.
In the foodservice equipment and supplies industry, evolution continues to take different forms. And at no time was that more evident than during the month of June.
Real growth continues to be hard to come by for the foodservice industry. In fact, overall customer traffic was flat through the first quarter of 2016, according to The NPD Group, a market research firm covering the foodservice industry. Revenues and customer traffic may be inching along, but one area growing at breakneck speed is labor costs.
Ask healthcare foodservice professionals about some of the challenges that keep them up at night and they will try to tell you their businesses are much like other industry segments. And, in a sense, they are right.
It’s hard to write a story about Ace Mart, FE&S’ 2016 Dealer of the Year without referencing its founder Norman “Gus” Gustafson. And that’s with good reason.
Of course, in order to specify the correct piece of equipment or supply item, foodservice operators and their supply chain partners need to understand which questions they should ask.
From now until Memorial Day, hardly a week will go by without a foodservice-related association hosting a conference for its members. Undoubtedly, these events will include some conversation about recruiting and retaining younger employees and, in the case of events hosted by members of the foodservice equipment and supplies community, there will be plenty of banter about what ails the supply chain.
When it comes to socializing, people love to discuss the latest restaurant they have tried. Just last week I was scrolling through one of my social media accounts and saw that a friend had posted the picture of a beer she was having with dinner that night. Being a hops and barley enthusiast myself, I stopped to take a quick look at what my friend was drinking, but it was where the consumption was taking place that really caught my attention. She was at a local supermarket — one with a pretty well established presence in the Chicago area.
One of the most fundamental elements of the customer experience in our industry is often the most overlooked when it comes to investing in our restaurants: the tabletop budget. Let me set the stage with one example. At Kendall College, our School of Culinary Arts runs an open-to-the-public fine-dining restaurant to provide our students with real-life experience.
Chain restaurants will continue to push for better user interfaces that help maximize use of labor and ensure consistent production of menu items.