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.
I can only hope that you will enjoy this month's FE&S offering half as much as I have already. I have had an unmitigated blast going through the photos from the 2011 Dealer of the Year and Industry Awards Gala. What a pleasure to see so many smiling faces enjoying the company of old friends and new acquaintances. I can't imagine very many industries have a spirit of camaraderie, like the one in foodservice, that readily brings together colleagues and competitors alike to earnestly celebrate success within the community.
For many foodservice operators and members of the supply chain, the concept of sustainability focuses on the sourcing of locally or organically produced raw ingredients that eventually occupy the center of the plate.
Historically, hospital foodservice has been very complex. There have been two menus: one for the patients and another for everyone else on campus.
The topic of sustainability is fairly ubiquitous in today's foodservice industry. And when we discuss sustainability in foodservice circles the conversation tends to focus on local sourcing of produce, energy efficient equipment and, if we're lucky, water and waste reduction. While these are all excellent and important parts of the discussion, it seems to me that we often fail to discuss an equally important aspect of sustainability: our business model.
Earlier this year, many of the professionals in our industry attended The NAFEM Show, an exciting event featuring countless new products, focused educational opportunities and lots of networking. Indeed, many of us were out glad-handing and renewing old relationships.
When the business climate gets tight, it is very easy and common for most people to start to panic. The knee jerk reaction is always, "Well, we have to do something!" And it is during those times that business leaders and, subsequently, their rank and file employees, lose sight of what's really important and start compromising long-term success for short-lived stability.
During a recent conversation with one of the funnier and more irreverent members of the manufacturing community, I was asked where one might go to visit the Foodservice Equipment & Supplies' Dealer Hall of Fame? Canton, Ohio? St Louis? Chicago?
Earlier this spring, the restaurant community braced itself to deal with a sharp increase in food prices that came about due to rising oil costs and other factors. Undoubtedly, we all have to be aware of rising food costs, but increased energy costs is just as important an issue facing foodservice facilities today. It's a topic that facility professionals regularly discuss and often try to tackle. Unfortunately, our efforts tend to get stalled by the notion that reducing energy is pretty complex, costly or both.