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.
For those of us who attend a lot of trade shows and conferences, let's be honest: sometimes they can begin to feel a little bit stale or create a sense of déjà vu kind of like what Bill Murray experienced in the movie Groundhog Day. But The NAFEM Show, which took place last month, had an atmosphere that future shows will strive to emulate. There was an unmistakable energy that permeated the show floor as manufacturers put their best foot forward to engage a willing audience of foodservice equipment and supplies dealers, consultants, operators and service agents.
When it comes to the way foodservice operators purchase equipment and supplies, it's no secret that the internet dealers have changed the game, just as cash and carry dealers did years ago in providing a new venue for customers. The difference now is that instead of a handful of cash and carry stores popping up causing a local sales rep grief, the accessibility of the online marketplace has greatly expanded the exposure of lower pricing to end users.
A ground swell of hot new and innovative products helped generate a cool wave of optimism that washed over the roughly 20,000 foodservice professionals that attended The NAFEM Show. And the good news is that it appears as if the foodservice industry is ready to ride this wave of optimism toward its first year of real growth in quite some time, writes editor Joe Carbonara.
There's a question that will strike fear in the heart of any publisher. Whether it's imagined to have come from the mouth of some future toddler who asks it while offhandedly wiping out aliens inhabiting a 3D monitor forty feet away from the breakfast table with a casual sweep of his cereal spoon (note to aliens: don't visit earth, our children are prepared), or it comes from the mouth of some self-appointed television pundit who has somehow tired of discussing the future of healthcare and guns in America. Either way, for those of us in the magazine business this is a hypothetical question that gets our attention.
A growing number of foodservice operators are turning to off-premise service options to enhance customer convenience and increase sales.
If you're in the service industry and haven't felt the pinch, or at least heard about the changing landscape of OEM parts, then you haven't been paying attention. Non-OEM's are flooding the marketplace and service agents are often held hostage to take it on the chin as some manufacturers try to make up margin on the steep equipment discounts they offer to the dealer community.
Happy New Year and welcome to the 2011 version of FE&S magazine. To those of you who have been faithful readers of this magazine for years, we hope that you will appreciate the many changes and improvements that we have in store for 2011.