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jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

Labor Lessons

Real growth continues to be hard to come by for the foodservice industry. In fact, overall customer traffic was flat through the first quarter of 2016, according to The NPD Group, a market research firm covering the foodservice industry. Revenues and customer traffic may be inching along, but one area growing at breakneck speed is labor costs.

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jMartinez
Juan Martinez

Post NRA Thoughts: My Labor Costs are Killing Me! What Can I do About It?

The National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show has come and gone to much fanfare. From what I saw and read, the participation was phenomenal. We were able to bring our full consulting team from all of our offices and even made time to break some bread together.  This year, I also participated in a panel discussion that explored unit economics  and was moderated by Steve Romaniello, managing director of Roark Capital.

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jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

Study Projects Compound Growth Rate for U.S. Foodservice Market

Restaurant sales in June were slower than in May. A new report looks for foodservice to grow 3.33 percent in the next 5 years. A C-store chain says it will open at least 600 locations in the next few years. Taco Bell expands their Cantina concept. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

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Highlights

Pans Handled

How to get past the industrial look of standard pans in noncommercial environments.

serving pansHotel pans. Sheet pans. Full-size pans, 1/3-size pans...and the list goes on when it comes to presenting food in noncommercial environments. But what if it was possible to do an incredible just-in-time food presentation without using standard pans? What if the presentation could be done with decorative cookware, carafes and cruets instead of using institutional looking items to hold the food at safe temperatures? My colleague Ben Pollock shared with me a recently finished project at Colorado College in Colorado Springs that does just that.

By combining current technology and innovative design Rastall Dining Commons now features one of the most unique foodservice presentation platforms for the higher education market.

Concealed beneath the curving Caesar Stone counter tops in the Rastall Dining Commons are the secrets to avoiding the dreaded cafeteria-style serving pans. Throughout the serving counters but concealed from the customers are a series of induction warmers. Using a special trivet and decorative induction compatible cookware, the new system now provides a tantalizing display of delectable edibles. When service is complete, staff take the wares to the dishroom and wipe down the smooth stone counter tops.

Serving pansThe salad bar and deli areas also feature custom made frost tops strategically placed beneath the stone -topped unit in pre-determined locations. The stone then gets a nice layer of frost to chill the decorative serving platters, bowls and carafes in a visually appealing manner.

Induction cooking and frost top technologies have been available for some time but the method in which they are incorporated into design gives a limitless set of options. As innovation advances, designers will continue to find new ways to incorporate different materials into induction cooking applications.

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