- Published: September 19, 2018
- Written by Amelia Levin, Contributing Editor
Spotlights the challenges and opportunities that impact the application of foodservice equipment and supplies in the real world including green and energy efficiency concerns, foodservice equipment concerns, the impact of technology on foodservice, and the state of the foodservice economy.
Food may have the big name-making potential, but any restaurant operator will tell you that when it comes to adding energy and boosting profitability, the bar is the star. Markups and margins on liquor are exponentially better than those on food. What’s more, liquor isn’t perishable, and a tight team in a relatively small amount of space can run a highly profitable bar.
By mid-summer, 2018 had already been a busy year on the food-safety front. Hit with a long list of recalls and high-profile outbreaks from a variety of sources — romaine lettuce, precut melon and veggie trays, fresh eggs, a cereal brand and McDonald’s salads among them — industry and consumers alike were reminded that victory remains elusive in the battle against foodborne illness. Despite today’s more sophisticated systems and increased regulation, pathogens, pests and other substances harmful to human health continue to make their way into the food supply.
Making restaurants allergen friendly is no longer a fad. It’s a serious business decision that dictates a multifaceted process that spans from ordering to serving.
Sliced, diced, shredded, spiralized, juiced — no matter how foodservice operators use or serve it, fresh produce keeps growing its presence on the plate. Trends like plant-forward menus, farm-to-table concepts, vegan and vegetarian diets, clean eating, and whole foods continue to flourish. And that means more produce coming in the back door — cases and cases of it, all needing to be kept cool, trimmed, washed, drained, processed, prepped and stored again before service.
There was a time when patient feeding was the center of the healthcare foodservice universe. Thanks to insurance companies and managed care, though, the length of time patients spend in hospitals continues to shrink. As a result, most healthcare foodservice operations tend to resemble more of a hybrid model, one that includes some patient feeding with a growing emphasis on corporate dining/retail solutions, catering and more.
Food and nutrition services leaders in hospitals and senior living facilities face daunting challenges in this era of unpredictability about government funding, the effect of mergers and acquisitions among healthcare systems and staff recruiting and retention.
There is a trend afoot that is threatening to become a movement, the roots of which, if you will pardon the pun, can be found emanating from the noncommercial segment of foodservice. I’m talking about the quiet and inexorable move toward a more plant-based diet.