Foodservice Opinions

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.

Reliability Includes More Than Equipment Performance

I've always maintained that if a manufacturers' representative, either independent or factory based, does not call on me, then I can safely assume they will not assist my firm in taking care of our clients for any issue or potential problem that may happen once a piece of equipment is installed. This is still a relationship-based business, and we have built relationships with the reps to the point that the good ones know the type and quality of equipment we look for and will work with us as we design projects and specify equipment.

The Value of the Foodservice Equipment and Supply Dealer

We all know of the nursery rhyme about the little boy who put his finger in a leaking dyke to prevent water from flowing into his city. In the tale, his finger averts a potential flood as he contained the leak until help arrived to plug the hole. We all know water can be trickier than that and if one leak is plugged it will usually find another way to leak in because water always follows the least resistant path to where it is going.

Trade Secrets for Free

I was re-reading several past Parting Shot articles written by a variety of industry insiders, including dealers, manufacturers, operators, service agents and consultants. Not surprisingly, this feature consistently ranks among our most widely read sections of the magazine. The wisdom and passion that your peers express on the last page of Foodservice Equipment & Supplies often contains the most thought-provoking ideas that we print each month.

Taking a Closer Look at Service

As we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of both the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA) and Duffy's Equipment Service it struck me just how much the role of the service agent has changed over the past 50 years.

Open Kitchens? You Must Be Crazy!

One can say that open kitchens are a trend, thanks in part, to the concept of transparency that fast-casual chains continue to incorporate into their designs. There is not much that you cannot see in a Five Guys or a Chipotle restaurant while ordering or standing in the dining room. Although such casual dining chains as Macaroni Grill and Carrabba's have had open kitchens since their inceptions, I have noticed a larger number of casual dining concepts making their back of the house visible to patrons in the front of the house by showing a lot more of the trials and tribulations of the kitchen operation.

 

Put a Ring on It!

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.

To Foodservice Industry Friends on My Retirement

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. 

Trimming the Fat: Lower Food Purchasing Costs

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.

The Customer Comes Second in Foodservice by Design

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.

Analytics in Foodservice Design

In this blog post I would like to explore the relationship between two different yet related design approaches and methodologies: analytical and empirical.

Embracing Technology (What’s the Alternative?)

Changing a mindset is a difficult task for anyone. But I believe that for you and your company to remain relevant in the coming years you will need to do exactly that.