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.
In a world full of me-too competitors, it is sometimes difficult to recognize true innovation. I was struck by this thought as I read this month's facility design project, which profiles Danforth Dining Hall. Much of what this University of Rochester project features will seem somewhat familiar to you: open prep areas, vegetarian and vegan options, Mongolian grill, and air conditioning. (It's OK to smile if you hadn't realized that there were still places in the continental United States that, up to this point, thought they could get by without air conditioning.)
Nobody likes it when someone moves our cheese but everyone loves it when a change really enhances our experience. And that's the catch that most businesses — including those in the foodservice industry — face today. How can a company evolve to remain relevant and efficient without alienating its current customer base? It's as tricky as it sounds but when done thoughtfully and with vision, the results can be spectacular.
Last year I got up on my soap box and wrote an article entitled "A Climate of Denial." The article discussed how the foodservice equipment industry's business model changed to one where everyone buys direct thus destroying or eliminating entire channels of distribution. For years I have written articles for publications and never received a response like this: 254 emails or phone calls. And these calls and letters weren't to touch base but to share opinions.
The expectations for today's foodservice operations continue to mount. The net result is that the process to design and build a new foodservice operation or remodel an existing one has never been more complex
In addition to the National Restaurant Association releasing its June Restaurant Performance Index, a number of restaurant companies released their second quarter operating results this week. After swimming through this sea of numbers, it seems as if the industry remains on a slight growth curve despite battling a variety of outside factors.
In the past full-service restaurants could insulate themselves somewhat from the impact of higher prices, as long as they were better than fast-food venues in customer satisfaction. But this is no longer the case, ACSI reported.
Yoshinoya America Inc. is a 1,600-unit global restaurant chain based in Japan, with 90-plus franchisees throughout California and Nevada.
Labor may be but one component of any foodservice operation but it remains one of the most expensive. Applied correctly, labor can make most any foodservice operation more efficient and help drive sales.
Is the number of restaurants growing or contracting? The National Restaurant Association says yes while other data says no. You decide.
While overall retail sales continue to struggle, the restaurant and bar segment remain somewhat of a bright spot for the U.S. economy.