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.
The topic of sustainability is fairly ubiquitous in today's foodservice industry. And when we discuss sustainability in foodservice circles the conversation tends to focus on local sourcing of produce, energy efficient equipment and, if we're lucky, water and waste reduction. While these are all excellent and important parts of the discussion, it seems to me that we often fail to discuss an equally important aspect of sustainability: our business model.
Earlier this year, many of the professionals in our industry attended The NAFEM Show, an exciting event featuring countless new products, focused educational opportunities and lots of networking. Indeed, many of us were out glad-handing and renewing old relationships.
When the business climate gets tight, it is very easy and common for most people to start to panic. The knee jerk reaction is always, "Well, we have to do something!" And it is during those times that business leaders and, subsequently, their rank and file employees, lose sight of what's really important and start compromising long-term success for short-lived stability.
During a recent conversation with one of the funnier and more irreverent members of the manufacturing community, I was asked where one might go to visit the Foodservice Equipment & Supplies' Dealer Hall of Fame? Canton, Ohio? St Louis? Chicago?
Earlier this spring, the restaurant community braced itself to deal with a sharp increase in food prices that came about due to rising oil costs and other factors. Undoubtedly, we all have to be aware of rising food costs, but increased energy costs is just as important an issue facing foodservice facilities today. It's a topic that facility professionals regularly discuss and often try to tackle. Unfortunately, our efforts tend to get stalled by the notion that reducing energy is pretty complex, costly or both.
Springtime in Chicago means many things for those us who love Chi-town. For those of us who live here, and for anyone in a northern clime who has endured yet another brutal winter, the traditional themes of renewal are impossible to escape. The flowers blooming along Michigan Avenue aren't simply flowers; they are colorful, petaled testimonials to our perseverance and survival skills.
During this year's Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA) convention I had the honor and privilege to pass the gavel to the next FEDA president. As this time approached, it was only natural for me to reflect on my two years as president of the association.
The foodservice industry is all about the relationships. If you have heard it once, chances are you have heard it 100 times. But if relationships really are the foundation of the foodservice industry, then we had better call a structural engineer because an abundance of cracks are starting to show.