Foodservice Issues

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.

The University of Alabama: Self-Serve Markets Offer Grab-and-Go Options on Campus

Self-serve markets continue to grow in popularity across a variety of foodservice operator segments. The University of Alabama, though, took this to the next level by combining this setup with an academic research initiative and then rolling out two more of the markets.

Authentically Ethnic

A number of terms continue to define foodservice today: artisanal, farm-to-table, global and regional, to name just a few. Almost all of them tie in one way or another to the concept of authenticity. Today’s consumers demand their food not just taste great but also connect with its origins, whether that be in terms of ingredients or prep method. That’s particularly true when it comes to ethnic dishes.

Community Matters Cafe Rehabs its Space and Staff

 For 81 years, Charlotte Rescue Mission has helped people struggling with addiction to achieve long-term sobriety, find employment and stable housing, and restore and build healthy relationships. The leaders wanted to expand the mission’s program to give graduates an opportunity to thrive, rather than just survive, in the community.

Functional by Design: Designing to the Needs of Drive-Thru

The original foodservice convenience, drive-thru options at restaurants have been a big deal for American consumers since at least the 1960s. And while the scope of convenience continues to snowball, drive-thrus remain a big deal and an increasingly critical part of the American foodservice landscape.

Beverages Play a Prominent Role in Operators’ Menu and Prototype Designs

Given the tight market conditions that continue to permeate today’s foodservice industry, operators remain wise when they follow the flow of consumers money. Oftentimes following that flow leads right to the beverage business. In fact, beverage programs remain a key ingredient in many operators’ recipe for success.

Communication, Planning are Key for Mini Kitchen Service

Operators have always tried to limit the size of their kitchens. After all, a smaller kitchen equals more room for seats -- and more revenue -- from the front of the house.

Some operations, along with industry trends like food halls, take the small kitchen ethos to the extreme, resulting in full kitchens that occupy just a few hundred square feet or even less.

While this can maximize revenue, operators must keep service in mind when they set up shop in such a small space.

Functional by Design: Operational Efficiency, Customer Experience Drive Service Line Design

Customers’ experience at service lines contributes greatly to their overall dining satisfaction. For staff members, efficiency takes priority in a service line. Their experience in how well the line runs affects their morale and, in turn, how well they interact with customers. Layout and equipment selection contribute to all of the above.

Room Service and a Kitchen Renovation Set a High Standard

Built in 1971, the original trayline at Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center was in need of an overhaul. “We had an aging facility and patient meal and delivery system,” says Emma Atanasio, RD, director of Food and Nutrition Services, Morristown Medical Center (MMC) in Morristown, N.J. She arrived at the facility in 2017 and identified patient meal service as one of the most important issues to tackle. “We wanted to improve the patient experience and take service to a new level of excellence. We’re moving into an age in which hospitality and healthcare are merging, and patients expect more than they ever have.”

Norris Center at Northwestern University: Reconfigured and Rebranded Concepts

Reactivating the Norris University Center seemed appropriate when Compass Group joined the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Ill., in July 2018. “We’re offering an eclectic menu that meets the unique needs of the students, faculty and staff in an engaging and inviting atmosphere that helps connect the Northwestern community at the Norris Center,” says Jennifer Byrdsong, vice president of operations with Chartwells Higher Education, a subsidiary of Compass Group, the foodservice provider at Northwestern.

Functional by Design: Designing for Pickup and Delivery

On-site diners have typically sought two things: a positive dining experience, created by good service and a pleasing environment, and a variety of high-quality menu items to choose from.

Consultants' Roundtable

Foodservice designers share insights on kitchen trends, the impact of off-premise dining and other shifts in the foodservice industry.