Editor's Perspective

  • Up with People

    While driving my daughter to one of her early-morning swim practices we went past a fast-casual restaurant chain our family used to regularly visit. When I mentioned to Annie that it had been a while since we had been there, she laughed and said, “That was the only place we could go where we all could find something we liked.”

  • Future-Proofing Foodservice

    After more than two years where chaos was the norm, everyone in the foodservice industry seems ready to go back to a more stable approach to serving consumers, concept development and yes, even the terms and timing that pertain to the buying and selling of equipment and supply items.

  • Foodservice Do’s and Don’ts

    Here is some simple advice for complicated times.

  • Good Fellas

    In many respects, the foodservice industry is a lot like Martin Scorsese’s hit movie “Goodfellas,” given how relationship-based it truly is. As Ray Liotta’s character Henry Hill said, “You know, we always called each other good fellas. Like you’d say to, uh, somebody, ‘You’re gonna like this guy. He’s all right. He’s a good fella. He’s one of us.’ You understand? We were good fellas.”

  • Lessons Learned

    Prognosticating during a pandemic can be like spitting into the wind in that it’s simultaneously messy and unpredictable.

  • Fundamentally Flexible

    Like certain relatives at the end of a holiday party, you know the ones, there’s a trio of foundation-shaking business challenges the foodservice industry faces that don’t show any signs of leaving anytime soon. It does not matter what role a company plays in the foodservice industry; everyone faces the same three challenges as the industry enters 2022: cost, supply chain and labor.

  • Digital Delights

    The idea of automating foodservice operations by using robots is nothing new. Most everyone in the foodservice industry likes to reminisce about seeing burger or pancake flipping robots at various times at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Yet outside of a salad-making robot that came of age at the NRA Show a few years ago, the fact remains widespread automation has been slow to catch on in the foodservice industry.

  • At Issue

    As the year drags on two main issues continue to dominate the conversation throughout the foodservice industry: supply chain and labor.

  • Flexible by Design

    Over the past year or so, two terms have dominated the foodservice industry’s lexicon: pivot and flexibility. Unless you’ve been living on a desert island, I don’t think this requires any further explanation.

  • The Family Business

    In the movie “The Godfather III,” there’s an iconic scene where Michael Corleone, after years of trying to make his family business legitimate, bellows in exasperation, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” I am sure that sentiment was shared by many throughout the foodservice industry in early August when, after months of progress, a surge in COVID-19 cases courtesy of the delta variant threatened to set back the industry.

  • Innovation Lives Here

    In mid-July #CovidIsNotOver was regularly trending across social media platforms. It referred to an uptick in cases across various parts of the country as mostly nonvaccinated folks danced with this disease. But this could have just as easily applied to the foodservice industry, which continues to grapple with the fallout from the pandemic.

  • Back to School with College Foodservice

    Just about every operator segment had to abruptly change direction due to the pandemic. Take for example, college foodservice.

  • Lead by Example

    Just last month, many businesses started calling their teams back to the office.

  • The Long and Winding Road to Recovery

    Few would disagree that the current business environment is better than it was a year ago at this time.

  • Putting Technology to Work for You

    As the pandemic plays out, lots of conversations continue to take place trying to dissect the long-term impact this public health crisis will have on the industry.

  • Enduring Traits

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • Transparency in All Things

    Add transparency to the list of foodservice trends already in motion but gained new momentum and meaning due to COVID-19. And, much like the need to social distance and wear a mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the concept of transparency isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

  • A Beautiful Bounty of Beverages

    As foodservice operators from all segments prepare to mount a comeback from the trials and tribulations of COVID-19, expect beverages to be a key element in any successful campaign.

  • Controlling the Uncontrollable

    It’s December and that means the year 2020 is about to finally come to an end. This has been an unprecedented year in so many ways. From a pandemic to murder hornets to perhaps the most emotionally charged election cycle in the history of the U.S., the only thing that seemed to reign for most of the year is chaos. As the calendar turns over to 2021, however, let’s all make a pledge to furlough chaos and get on with our personal and professional lives.

  • Thinking Thanksgiving

    At the start of the iconic holiday television special “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” Lucy holds the football for her old pal to kick. We all know how this turns out: Charlie Brown charges toward the football and Lucy pulls it away, yet again, before he can kick it. Charlie Brown is left lying on the ground feeling frustrated again. 

  • Lessons of COVID-19

    It was an occasion fitting for a Friday the 13th. Like so many other parents across the country, on that March date we received word our daughters’ school was shifting to remote learning for the next two weeks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Spring break was still close to a month off. Certainly, students would be back in class by then, right? Well, you know the answer to that.

  • Turn and Face the Strange

    When David Bowie wrote those lyrics in his hit song “Changes” it’s highly doubtful he did so with the foodservice industry in mind. But that’s where the industry finds itself roughly five months into the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time to face the strange.

  • Colleges Lead the Way Back

    When campus life came to an abrupt halt in March, college foodservice providers had to scramble to shut down their operations just as commercial restaurants did.

  • C-Store Nabs Chain Restaurant Veteran for Foodservice Role

    Looking to continue to heighten food quality and the overall guest experience, Casey’s General Stores hired a veteran of the chain restaurant industry to serve as vice president, foodservice.

  • 2020 Top Achiever—Consultant: Scott Reitano, Principal, Reitano Design Group, Indianapolis

    If you know Scott Reitano, you know his laugh — it’s easily heard from across a room. “Scott has never entered a room and not owned it immediately,” says friend of 34 years and design principal Chris Wair, who joined Reitano Design Group (RDG) in 2017.

  • Listen … You Smell Something?

    Lately I’ve been watching some movies from the ’80s with my daughters. And luckily for us, the hit “Ghostbusters” has been almost omnipresent on cable. (No, I have not yet cut the cord.) This family-friendly movie is rife with one-liners that I can now toss around with the hope that my children might actually find me funny. (Not holding my breath on that one.)

  • Test Your Resolve

    The New Year is upon us and for many Americans a fresh calendar translates into a fresh start, which motivates them to change their lives for the better. That’s why 40 percent to 45 percent of American adults will make some type of New Year’s resolution to improve their lives by eating better, exercising more, spending more time with family or even quitting smoking.

  • More Than a Numbers Game

    We at FE&S have the privilege of being the custodians of some of the foodservice equipment and supplies industry's most time-honored awards. Awards such as Dealer of the Year, Hall of Fame, Top Achiever, DSR of the Year, Facility Design Project of the Year and even ...