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.
It is no coincidence that the distinct lines of service that used to define the various foodservice segments continue to blur. That's because this phenomenon is largely consumer driven. As consumers become more pressed for time, their expectations tend to be pretty similar for all operator segments. In fact, it can be futile trying to cater to all of the triggers that might get a consumer to use a foodservice operation. The reasons are vast, and they vary greatly; operators just have to be ready to answer the call when the consumer's need arises.
It seems to me that the foodservice industry has become dominated by buzzwords and clichés and as a result we would all benefit from a healthy dose of reality.
In this issue FE&S presents the results from its 2012 Distribution Giants Study, which ranks the top 100 dealers by sales volume. This is the industry's oldest and most comprehensive study that covers the world of foodservice equipment and supplies distribution. While incredibly time consuming, this study is a wonderful exercise for me and our team here at FE&S because it allows us to interact with a large portion of our readers and hear first-hand how things are playing out in the field each day.
"Instant is the new fast," speaker Ross Shafer told the attendees at NAFEM's Annual Meeting and Management Conference just last month. "And fast is the new slow."
Early in my career I had a mentor who preached that our growth as human beings would be determined by two things in life: the people we meet and the books that we read. One could argue that this is an oversimplification, ignoring such important influences as movies, music, art, poetry and, of course, Seinfeld. But, overall, it turned out to be pretty sage advice.
Energy awareness seems to be on the rise among foodservice operators, design consultants and other members of the supply chain. On a more frequent basis consumers are acknowledging they have a responsibility to conserve energy, and the greening of foodservice is here to stay.
An assessment of today's restaurant and catering operations indicates that most of these foodservice operations do not have accurate recipe costs.
For those of us who are old enough to recall our parents' stories of how their first job was working as an apprentice so they could learn a skill, I would hope we remember the importance of mentorship.
When it comes to foodservice fashion, I always think about the front of the house, specifically the tabletop. Proper tabletops help foodservice operators convey a certain fashion sense about their business, showcasing their style and helping shape the way they would like customers to perceive their restaurants.
I grew up in the restaurant business believing that the menu is the roadmap to profitability for any operation. And as my career transitioned from operator to broadline DSR this message was further reinforced time and again.