In a world full of me-too competitors, it is sometimes difficult to recognize true innovation. I was struck by this thought as I read this month's facility design project, which profiles Danforth Dining Hall. Much of what this University of Rochester project features will seem somewhat familiar to you: open prep areas, vegetarian and vegan options, Mongolian grill, and air conditioning. (It's OK to smile if you hadn't realized that there were still places in the continental United States that, up to this point, thought they could get by without air conditioning.)
These features are somewhat ubiquitous in today's college and university dining scene and for good reason. Many of these changes reflect well-established trends that have been raised to the level of expected amenities in the competitive world of college recruiting. Incoming freshmen, and just as importantly their parents, expect to see this level of planning in the living environments that students will inhabit.
What struck me was that the entire redesign was done with an eye toward being flexible enough to accommodate future menu developments. The ever-quickening pace of change now requires that we look not only to the immediate usefulness or effectiveness of a project or design, but also down the road at the changes that undoubtedly will occur in the future. Of course, it is impossible to know exactly what those changes will be, but good planning requires considering or anticipating them, none the less, to the best of one's ability.
We aspire to that kind of forethought at FE&S. And, that's why I am happy to introduce you to our second generation iPad app available now. If you used the first generation app you will especially appreciate the new version's enhancements: lightning-fast download speed, vastly improved functionality, and the new icon (the cover of the current issue) will reside in your Newsstand, where it belongs.
Lastly, I want to remind you about our 2013 Industry Forecast Study webcast coming up on September 11. Based primarily on our own proprietary research with the entire foodservice equipment and supplies channel, this interactive event should prove to be an insightful look at the year to come.