Opinion pieces on the foodservice equipment and supplies industry from leaders and laymen from all aspects of the business, including dealers, distributors, design consultants and multi-unit operators.
Retail sales in February increased 1.3 percent over January's levels, according to the advance estimate from the U.S. Economic Census. Gasoline sales, up 5 percent, represents the major cause of the increase. Without gasoline, retail sales were up 0.6 percent and without gasoline and autos, retail sales were up 0.4 percent. Compared to February 2012, retail sales were up 4.7 percent.
There's an old cliché that goes "the more things change the more they stay the same." Seems to me that notion really applies to today's foodservice industry.
Wall Street analysts offer their take on which publicly traded restaurant chains have the brightest outlook in the coming months.
Foodservice operators' brightened their outlook and U.S. manufacturers got a boost by companies replenishing their inventories. Despite this good news, the U.S. jobs situation remains muddled. Take it all and mix it together and you have This Week in Foodservice.
Or, customer engagement in an age of virtualization. Sometimes there is just no substitute for meeting with a customer or business partner face to face.
Few foodservice industry events generate the type of excitement and anticipation that The NAFEM Show does. The mood at the event was undeniably upbeat as foodservice professionals from all industry segments came hungry for information and if they left unsatisfied, well, it was their own fault.
I write this with mixed feelings. My wife Nancy and I have been planning for and looking forward to my retirement day for quite some time. I certainly welcome the freedom that comes with retirement, yet at the same time I will miss the daily involvement with my friends and colleagues in the wonderful foodservice industry.
From renovations to computer systems, equipment to uniforms — restaurant costs have a tendency to add up quickly. We can always keep a renovation basic or chalk up the cost of a new piece of refrigeration equipment to its investment value, but the one area where it can be more challenging to manage is the cost of food.
Foodservice operators that want to maximize their labor investment and avoid under-staffing during peak business periods should pay close attention to their staff's work content, of course, but also the way they design and equip work stations.
While the sequester gobbles up all of the headlines, consumers continue to come to terms with the impact the newly enacted payroll tax is having on their disposable income, including their purchases of food prepared outside of the home. As a result, expect consumers to cut back and return to their value-conscious ways.
While the month to month gains continue to inch along, the restaurant industry did enjoy a better January than in 2012.