Opinion pieces on the foodservice equipment and supplies industry from leaders and laymen from all aspects of the business, including dealers, distributors, design consultants and multi-unit operators.
The historic, circa 1938, Brown Bottle pub is back in business at the Schlitz Park office complex, the former Milwaukee home of the Schlitz Brewing Company. Operating the legendary pub, which had closed in 2004, are Menomonee Falls-based Davians and D&S Food Services Inc., a catering and vending operator, which also oversees the Schlitz Park Café in the RiverCenter and The Brew in the Stock House in Milwaukee.
Family-owned businesses are central to the American economy. Approximately 90 percent of American businesses are family-owned or controlled, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Leaders of family owned and operated businesses have a daunting task in trying to be successful now while positioning their organizations for continued growth. Customers seemingly want things faster and cheaper than ever before. New technologies offer great promises but come with much risk if you are on the bleeding edge. Processing all of this can be overwhelming. Business leaders need to see what’s coming down the road, assess their business’ strengths and weaknesses, and take action quickly to remain one step ahead of the competition.
This is the tantalizing phrase that Jackie Rodriguez, senior manager with Technomic, uses to describe the growing trend towards taking foodservice to on-the-move consumers via smaller, highly focused outlets. This emerging category includes a variety of outlets such as food trucks, kiosks, micro-marts, and even high-tech vending machines. The aim is a marriage between creative high-quality food offerings and convenience, and the early adopters tend to be younger consumers who are more accustomed to eating on the run.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to consume food prepared outside of the home you had to go straight to the source, which tended to be a large monolithic structure that required lots of fire power to execute most any kind of menu. Oh, how times have changed.
The good news about 2014 restaurant sales comes with a question mark. The Sysco/US Foods merger looks to be headed to court. Wait staff are far from getting rich but are also doing better than minimum wage. “I’m a drone and I’ll be your server this evening.” These stories and a whole lot more.
U.S. January retail sales slipped but restaurant sales started the year on a high note. Knapp-Track data shows casual restaurant chains did well in January, too. And the LA Times reported that minimum wage increases don’t force restaurants out of business but that other problems are created. These stories and more in This Week In Foodservice.
The U.S. employment picture brightens as foodservice continues to be a big factor in job growth. Other news this week in foodservice includes questions about the Sysco/US Foods deal, fast-casual continues to lead the way in traffic growth, and despite a rough January some bright spots may be starting to emerge for McDonald’s.
This week we compare 2015 forecasts from the National Restaurant Association and Technomic, look at projections for worldwide foodservice equipment sales and update Sysco’s latest efforts to gain approval of its deal to acquire US Foods.
The first thing that you should understand is that Joe Carbonara, our chief editor, does not give up the reins easily. Especially when it comes to the things that Joe loves to do, like the tabletop judging that he oversees each year for FE&S.
From the 2015 Performance in Tabletop Awards to the feature on cook-chill to the facility design project of the month (64 Degrees at the University of California San Diego) and countless other articles, examples of collaboration are plentiful in this issue.