Foodservice Equipment & Design Global Thought Leadership Summit, held Sept. 20-21 in Chicago.Three longtime and highly accomplished industry professionals shared their views on how the trends shaping today’s foodservice industry impact foodservice design and equipment selection during a panel discussion at the
Moderated by FE&S' Editorial Director Joe Carbonara, panelists included: Dan Henroid, director nutrition & food services, sustainability officer, University of California San Francisco Health; Guy Rigby, Hospitality Consultant; and Elizabeth Blau, Blau + Associates.
Three takeaways from FED panelists:
- Use technology to solve a problem. That crystalizes things, said Henroid, since technology should ultimately help you be more productive. Technology is expected in his market area of San Francisco and it can be empowering in healthcare foodservice. One notable example he talked about was tablets in every hospital room to allow for extreme menu customization, such as eliminating sodium if that matches the patient’s food profile.
- Watch for new and old kitchens as centerpieces. Today’s foodservice designs place equipment front and center more than ever before, said Rigby. Given that high-profile placement, foodservice equipment needs to look pristine to help convey the proper image for the restaurant and support its brand promise. He forecasts a trip back to the future as designers will want the next genre of equipment to have a vintage appearance, as if it’s been there for 100 years, while still functioning at today’s standards.
- Recognize extended customer engagement periods. The customer experience has been completely elongated, said Blau. People now frequently begin their experience with a restaurant on a website or through an online reservation platform. That engagement with a brand may occur again weeks after a customer’s dining experience through a feedback e-mail prompt. The end result: customer interaction with the brand extends far beyond the actual dining experience.
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