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.
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.
Springtime in Chicago means many things for those us who love Chi-town. For those of us who live here, and for anyone in a northern clime who has endured yet another brutal winter, the traditional themes of renewal are impossible to escape. The flowers blooming along Michigan Avenue aren't simply flowers; they are colorful, petaled testimonials to our perseverance and survival skills.
During this year's Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA) convention I had the honor and privilege to pass the gavel to the next FEDA president. As this time approached, it was only natural for me to reflect on my two years as president of the association.
The foodservice industry is all about the relationships. If you have heard it once, chances are you have heard it 100 times. But if relationships really are the foundation of the foodservice industry, then we had better call a structural engineer because an abundance of cracks are starting to show.
As a follow up to my previous blog on last month's NAFEM Show, I wanted to share thoughts about some of the equipment offerings that caught my attention.
What a topic. The food service industry has embraced sustainability as a core requirement — yet with everyone going green and an abundance of advice coming our way, how do we know who and what to believe when it comes to energy efficiency?
For those of us who attend a lot of trade shows and conferences, let's be honest: sometimes they can begin to feel a little bit stale or create a sense of déjà vu kind of like what Bill Murray experienced in the movie Groundhog Day. But The NAFEM Show, which took place last month, had an atmosphere that future shows will strive to emulate. There was an unmistakable energy that permeated the show floor as manufacturers put their best foot forward to engage a willing audience of foodservice equipment and supplies dealers, consultants, operators and service agents.
When it comes to the way foodservice operators purchase equipment and supplies, it's no secret that the internet dealers have changed the game, just as cash and carry dealers did years ago in providing a new venue for customers. The difference now is that instead of a handful of cash and carry stores popping up causing a local sales rep grief, the accessibility of the online marketplace has greatly expanded the exposure of lower pricing to end users.
A ground swell of hot new and innovative products helped generate a cool wave of optimism that washed over the roughly 20,000 foodservice professionals that attended The NAFEM Show. And the good news is that it appears as if the foodservice industry is ready to ride this wave of optimism toward its first year of real growth in quite some time, writes editor Joe Carbonara.