If you and I were having coffee, how would you answer that question? At first, it may seem like a pretty easy and innocent question. But once you realize that your answer can mean the difference between winning or losing a customer, then formulating a response becomes more complex.
Over the past several years, Apple’s iPhone has become the poster child for innovation. Consumers, from early adapters to dyed-in-the-wool Luddites, have found common ground in the iPhone. And why not? Its sharp design and flexibility allows users to morph it into whatever they want it to be. Its appeal spans generations. (Full disclosure: I do not own an iPhone.)
The foodservice industry’s view of the smart kitchen is similar to society’s view of mermaids and unicorns: We all know what they look like but nobody expects to actually encounter one any time soon. It might be time, however, to adjust your definition of what actually constitutes a smart kitchen.
Few people would argue that the current economic climate has been examined ad nausea. The mainstream media has spilled countless gallons of ink and talked until they are nearly blue in the face, trying to assess the blame for our economy’s most recent recession. And politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to prey upon consumers’ fears to drive home their ideological agendas.
Efficiency is one of the great buzz words being tossed around in the foodservice industry today. Just about every foodservice company is struggling to determine what it means for their business to be more efficient in light of the challenging business environment.
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.