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.
Last month Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake made global headlines when he told the Brookings Institute that the recession is “very likely over.” If the recession is, in fact, over, what does that mean for the foodservice industry?
Last month Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made global headlines when he told The Brookings Institution that the recession is "very likely over." If the recession is, in fact, over, what does that mean for the foodservice industry?
In the short term, this ray of economic hope probably does not mean much to the foodservice industry. Foodservice operators' equipment and supplies budgets are expected to decrease by 2.8 percent, on average, in 2010 according to FE&S' annual Forecast Study. In contrast, 39 percent of the operators surveyed anticipate an increase in their food and beverage expenditures, while 45 percent anticipate this budget item will remain flat. Overall, we project that foodservice equipment and supplies sales for 2010 will remain flat when compared to this year.
One of the (many) unfortunate aspects of downward business spirals is that they never call ahead to let anyone know they are coming. Once the tumultuous periods come to an end, nobody announces that the business environment has stabilized. Such is the situation for today’s foodservice industry.
Has the foodservice industry reach the bottom of this economic free fall? If so, there's nowhere to go but up.
“What is your common purpose?” That was a question posed by the Disney Institute’s Scott Milligan during a presentation at Technomic’s 2009 Trends and Directions Conference. While Milligan asked this of the record number of foodservice operators and other industry professionals in attendance, it is really a question that any member of the industry needs to be able to answer to help ensure long-term success.
In light of the much ballyhooed economic challenges the world faces today, many clever marketers have decided to play the panic card when trying to peddle their products and services. And why shouldn’t they? Throughout last year’s political campaigns both parties did an exemplary job of trying to scare us into not voting for the other candidate. As a result of this trend, a new phrase of sorts has taken root in the marketing lexicon of the day.
It's no secret that many of the individual companies that comprise the foodservice equipment industry have struggled in finding individuals interested in pursuing a career in our corner of the world. And the many members of the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association are no exception.
Over the years, the service agencies that comprise our association have found it challenging to attract trained technicians to repair commercial cooking and refrigeration equipment. The simple fact of the matter is unless you grew up in this industry, it's highly unlikely that you dreamt of pursuing a career in it. That's why our members felt we needed to take action to broaden the appeal of employment in all aspects of the foodservice equipment industry, including service, sales, manufacturing, marketing, design and operations. More to the point, we realized in order for younger people, as well as those individuals interested in an alternate profession, to find us, we first had to find them during a time when they are exploring career options.
The way the foodservice industry presents itself, both to prospective employees and customers, needs to evolve as it struggles to fill a growing number of jobs and meet patrons’ ever-changing demands.
Why do we, in the convenience store community, keep trying to “fix” the foodservice industry as we integrate their concepts into our retail developments? We often look to the foodservice industry as a panacea filled with high margins and happy customers. The reality is far from that. The foodservice industry, like every other, has its own unique recipe for success and its own set of hurdles to overcome on the road to profitability.