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.
One can say that open kitchens are a trend, thanks in part, to the concept of transparency that fast-casual chains continue to incorporate into their designs. There is not much that you cannot see in a Five Guys or a Chipotle restaurant while ordering or standing in the dining room. Although such casual dining chains as Macaroni Grill and Carrabba's have had open kitchens since their inceptions, I have noticed a larger number of casual dining concepts making their back of the house visible to patrons in the front of the house by showing a lot more of the trials and tribulations of the kitchen operation.
Mergers and acquisitions activities start to show signs of life for suppliers and chains alike as the economy slowly and steadily heads in the right direction.
Retail sales in February increased 1.3 percent over January's levels, according to the advance estimate from the U.S. Economic Census. Gasoline sales, up 5 percent, represents the major cause of the increase. Without gasoline, retail sales were up 0.6 percent and without gasoline and autos, retail sales were up 0.4 percent. Compared to February 2012, retail sales were up 4.7 percent.
There's an old cliché that goes "the more things change the more they stay the same." Seems to me that notion really applies to today's foodservice industry.
Wall Street analysts offer their take on which publicly traded restaurant chains have the brightest outlook in the coming months.
Foodservice operators' brightened their outlook and U.S. manufacturers got a boost by companies replenishing their inventories. Despite this good news, the U.S. jobs situation remains muddled. Take it all and mix it together and you have This Week in Foodservice.
Or, customer engagement in an age of virtualization. Sometimes there is just no substitute for meeting with a customer or business partner face to face.
Few foodservice industry events generate the type of excitement and anticipation that The NAFEM Show does. The mood at the event was undeniably upbeat as foodservice professionals from all industry segments came hungry for information and if they left unsatisfied, well, it was their own fault.
I write this with mixed feelings. My wife Nancy and I have been planning for and looking forward to my retirement day for quite some time. I certainly welcome the freedom that comes with retirement, yet at the same time I will miss the daily involvement with my friends and colleagues in the wonderful foodservice industry.
From renovations to computer systems, equipment to uniforms — restaurant costs have a tendency to add up quickly. We can always keep a renovation basic or chalk up the cost of a new piece of refrigeration equipment to its investment value, but the one area where it can be more challenging to manage is the cost of food.
Foodservice operators that want to maximize their labor investment and avoid under-staffing during peak business periods should pay close attention to their staff's work content, of course, but also the way they design and equip work stations.