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.
What a difference a year makes. According to the National Restaurant Association, one year ago, only 9 percent of its members rated the economy as their top business challenge. Today, 40 percent of the NRA members surveyed said the economy is their top concern.
“You can see how dramatically the landscape has changed,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and information services for the National Restaurant Association.
Indeed the foodservice equipment and supplies industry landscape has changed considerably in just 12 months. A year ago, the industries experiencing the greatest pain were those tied to the financial and housing markets and economists were debating whether the U.S. economy had entered a recessionary period. Now it’s widely accepted that the economy’s in a recession, one that promises to be deeper and wider than any the United States has experienced in the past 50 years.
Healthcare foodservice has come a long way in the past 20 years and it continues to progress. To get a better idea about how this segment is incorporating consumer-driven trends into its operations and what healthcare foodservice operators will need to do to be successful moving forward, FE&S chatted with Bruce Thomas, president of the National Association of Healthcare Foodservice Management. Thomas is also associate vice president of guest services for Geisinger Health System.
The way the foodservice industry presents itself, both to prospective employees and customers, needs to evolve as it struggles to fill a growing number of jobs and meet patrons’ ever-changing demands.
As supermarkets have evolved into convenient destinations for time-strapped customers to grab high-quality prepared foods to enjoy at home, store operations have increasingly required a variety of versatile equipment pieces to support their expanded service and menu offerings, and to market their products successfully.
Each summer, collegiate foodservice departments all across the country scramble to hire enough student employees to staff the myriad positions set aside for them. Frequently, a large student staff can make the difference between a positive and a negative bottom line. Hiring enough student employees is the first step. Training, motivating, evaluating, involving, developing loyalty and promoting take a continuous cycle that correlates with the timing of each school year, that school foodservice professionals often have to repeat each semester or quarter.
In an increasingly health-conscious society, more operators rely on antimicrobial technology, HACCP-based safety programs, and strict temperature control to prevent devastating outbreaks.
A foodservice operation not mastering basic food safety principles is like a baseball player who lacks the ability to hit, catch or throw the ball properly. Simply put, it represents a deficiency in the most basic fundamentals of our industry.
Where would food safety be without temperature monitoring? Engineers and process control professionals understood the growing need and built in an array of feedback mechanisms converting the science of Microbiology into simple instruments for the person-in-charge. This gives the operators process control ... for temperature.