Many foodservice professionals often refer to the tabletop as the most important three feet in the house. That's because the tabletop represents the aspect of the foodservice operation that diners interact with most. So it would seem logical, then, that most restaurant and foodservice operators would put in plenty of thought, minding every detail, when developing their tabletops (page 18). Unfortunately, the opposite is often true.
During the depths of the recession, people would often joke that flat was the new up. In other words, if a company was not losing ground fiscally that was as good as gaining ground, given the challenging economic environment. Well, it's been a while since the recession ended and yet growth remains hard to come by for the foodservice industry.
W hen the economy tanked seven years ago, innovation became the panacea that was going to cure everyone's fiscal ills. Business leaders and politicians tripped over each other in a race to the microphone to let everyone know they were ready to lead the charge toward innovation, which ultimately would spark the economic growth the U.S. so desperately needed to break free from its economic tailspin.
If you saw the cover of this issue promoting our coverage of college and university foodservice innovators and thought the July edition of FE&S is not for you, think again. What's happening in college and university foodservice today will shape other foodservice industry segments for years to come.
In recent years, the fast-casual segment has been the darling of the foodservice industry — and with good reason. As Chicago-based market research firm Technomic continues to point out, sales and unit growth among fast-casual operators outpaces the overall restaurant industry. But quietly, almost behind the scenes, another operator segment continues to go through a significant transformation. And that segment is healthcare foodservice.
Ask most any foodservice professional about the most potent tool at their disposal and they will likely cite the tried and true response "relationships." And there's some truth in that answer. At the most basic level of any transaction, people generally do buy from people. But if I learned one thing in putting together this issue of FE&S, it's that relationships, while important, are far from the most impactful tool foodservice professionals have at their disposal.
Success. It's a concept we're all familiar with. Everyone reading this has their own definition of success and they use their own metrics to measure their progress.
Marketers today have a diverse tool box at their disposal, and thanks to email, text messages and social media the flow of information among trading partners moves faster than ever.
As the economic environment comes alive from its years-long slumber, many business leaders are waking up with a voracious appetite for growth. Many businesses survived the economic slowdown by doing more with less and scratched out whatever growth they could when they could and their leaders are now coming to the table ready to feast on new opportunities, the competition's weaknesses or both.
My father was a pretty good businessman. While in high school, dad began working in the family grocery store where my grandfather, and the other meat cutters on staff, taught my dad how to run the store's meat department.