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.
Operators focus on future equipment investments. Despite what appears to be a cloudy overall job picture, foodservice keeps hiring. Technomic says refranchising may not be a good move. These stories plus a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.
Camp Howard, CEC, is a Culinary Institute of America graduate and chef-turned-foodservice director at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He joined the staff 18 years ago in 1997 as executive chef, earning the director role in 2008. Camp has watched the Vanderbilt college foodservice industry go through dramatic changes. Currently, Vanderbilt operates two main dining halls/serveries that seat 550 and 800 people respectively, along with several retail, convenience store/market, and coffee kiosk outlets around campus. Howard and his team have earned multiple awards for their innovative food, including a Chefs of Tomorrow Award (2012), presented by Olson Communications, and a Number 15 ranking out of 75 Best Colleges for Food (2014) by the Daily Meal.
“Fatbergs” was the term used to refer to the masses of FOG (fats, oils and grease) found in the sanitary sewer lines surrounding the second oldest residential dining facility operated by the Housing Dining Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Five years ago the University’s Facilities and Services department asked us: What are you going to do about it? The Housing Maintenance department already had a contractor jetting out the sanitary sewer ejector system with ever increasing frequency. But it wasn’t enough. We couldn’t allow the sanitary sewer system to back up into the dining and residence hall.
For foodservice industry veterans, it can be easy to adopt a “been there, done that” attitude when it comes to training. If you have seen one fryer you have seen them all, right? Wrong.
Those of us who attend a lot of conferences have heard an awful lot about Gen-Y lately. These are the 18-to-25-year olds that marketers can’t seem to get enough of and the rest of us tend to talk about as if they are not in the room. Maybe it’s the headphones.
There is a lot to be said for those of you managing college and university dining programs. You are surrounded by educators and forward-thinking people who seek, in their own way, to advance the world in which we live. The students you serve and sometimes employ are typically energetic and full of ideas. Some student workers approach things without any knowledge of “how it used to be done” while others always look for better ways to approach the task at hand. Many of your staff may be comfortable with how it has always been done, but you probably have other staff who continually seek opportunities for improvement. This mix of interests and skills puts you in the best possible place for innovation: an environment of opportunity, challenge and progress.
It is tempting to make the recipe for success more complicated than it needs to be. When that happens, businesses from all segments of the foodservice industry can lose focus on what truly drives success: creating great customer experiences.
Restaurants are performing well in the minds of most consumers according to a recent study. Sysco bows out of the US Foods merger. Buffalo Wild Wings pleases guests by adding staff. Ruth’s Chris and Hooters are both investing heavily in remodeling. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.
Knapp-Track finds causal restaurant same-store sales up slightly in May. Technomic reports restaurant same-store sales were up 4 percent in the first quarter. The number of restaurants increased 9,000 last year. A coalition has been created to fight NY Governor Cuomo’s plan to increase the state’s minimum wage. Food trucks could have sales of $2.7 billion in 2 years. These stories and a whole lot more in This Week In Foodservice.
Restaurant sales had a modest gain in May. U.S. job openings hit an all-time high. The NRA says foodservice will hire over half a million workers this summer. Businesses fight proposed changes in overtime pay regulations. L.A. raises minimum wage to $15. These stories and a whole more in This Week In Foodservice.
McDonald’s franchisees face numerous problems. Foodservice operators kept hiring in May. New York City fast food employment grew 87 percent in the last 15 years. NPD Group says traffic was flat but menu price increases drove dollar sales. These stories and a whole lot more in This Week In Foodservice.