Foodservice Opinions

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.

Needs Assessment

It’s August and that means most companies are about to begin formulating their plans for the coming fiscal year, if they have not done so already. Corporate planning exercises can quickly become introverted experiences, meaning it is easy to focus only on the company when trying to move forward.

Dealer of the Year 2015: A Night to Remember

August is our DSR of the Year issue and it gives me a chance to relive one of my favorite nights of the year. Combing through the photos and deciding what to include as representative of the Dealer of the Year and Industry Awards Gala is a big job — but a rewarding one.

Chef's Corner: John Caputo, Executive Chef, Labriola Ristorante & Café, Chicago

The latest venture from Chicago baker Rich Labriola, Labriola Ristorante & Café, opened this past May just off Chicago's Magnificent Mile. The 12,000-square-foot, mixed-use building features a full-service restaurant, a casual lunch and dinner café, a full-scale bakery, and a carry-out section. In the 300-seat restaurant, subway tiles, dark wood, and leather reside alongside gunmetal, jewel tones and marble to create an elegant-urban feel. A 60-seat sidewalk patio off the café will open this year.

Reversing the Roles in Relationship Management

As part of my duties as a volunteer leader for the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association, I was appointed to serve as assistant program chair for the 2015 annual convention. In this position, I had the opportunity to speak on any industry issue that stirred my passions. But what would be of interest to such a diverse group of foodservice equipment dealers and manufacturers?

NY Plots $15 Wage Hike, McDonald’s Breakfast Ambitions & More

McDonald’s could be buying a lot of new equipment. Existing home sales hit an 8-year high while first time jobless claims hit a 40-year low. Fast food employees in New York State may be earning $15 an hour. These stories and a whole lot more in This Week In Foodservice.

Casual Dining Sales Soft, Fast-Casual Sales Still Strong, Lunch Traffic on Uptick and More

Knapp-Track reports casual dining sales remain soft. Technomic says fast-casual operations are still charging along with build-your-own concepts leading the way. The NPD Group finds lunch traffic around the world shows improvement. Hispanics are a great target audience for foodservice. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

More Patrons Dining In, FDA Delays Menu Posting Requirements and More

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fall in June. The NPD Group reports more patrons are choosing to eat in restaurants. The FDA has postponed menu nutritional data posting requirements until December next year. Meals served at full-service restaurants are no healthier than those served at fast food operations. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

Brand Optimization on a Global Stage

What does it take for restaurant chain to achieve success in foreign lands? Consultant Juan Martinez shares his thoughts and experiences.

Technomic Rethinks Refranchising, McDonald's Get Flexible and More

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. 

Chef's Corner: Camp Howard, Director, Vanderbilt University, Campus Dining

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.

A Food Waste Solution That’s Easy to Digest

“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.