Market Spotlight

  • The Evolution of the Event Space Segment

    Pent-up demand has consumers now looking for more upscale and/or unique experiences when hosting events.

  • Burger Segment Facing Challenges

    There’s probably nothing more American than a good old-fashioned hamburger (although, admittedly, hot dog makers might disagree). They appear on 51% of menus, according to Mike Kostyo, trendologist for research firm Datassential. That makes them the sixth most common entree option on menus. And few other menu items match their popularity: 85% of customers say they like or love burgers, according to Datassential research.

  • Senior Living Preps for the Big Boomer Boom

    As in other industry segments, trends already at work reshaping senior living foodservice prior to the pandemic have intensified in strategic importance over the past two years.

  • Asian Segment Shows Few Boundaries

    Menus expand with fusion mash-ups, plant-forward elements build, and operators seek equipment efficiencies now more than ever.

  • All Signs Point to Continued Growth of Chicken on Menus

    Two areas of concern: supply chain issues and labor shortages.

  • Fine Dining Upswings and Downswings

    Shifting demographics, ingredient challenges and pricing impact fine-dining restaurants.

  • Virtual Brands Prove a Rapid-Growth Segment

    Three years ago, no one would have been able to tell you what a virtual foodservice brand was or what it was for. Today, many people still do not know. And yet, virtual brands continue to pop up all over the industry — so much so that they can be considered their own market segment.

  • Food Halls Position for the Future

    Built-in flexibility, from vendors to equipment, add to the resiliency of food halls.

  • Redefining Fine Dining

    While there may be a more relaxed dress code and fewer white tablecloths at fine dining establishments today, the quality of service and the menus remain in the upper echelon of dining.

  • C-Stores Increase Commitment to Foodservice

    Despite challenges ranging from limited space to an inexperienced workforce and the stigma of low-quality offerings, the convenience channel continues to evolve foodservice operations.

  • Can the Future of Diners Top the Segment’s Historical Success?

    Mix one part comfort food and one part sociability with two parts nostalgia and you’ll have the recipe for the success of diners. This formula has worked for decades, but will it work in the future?

  • Market Spotlight: Food Stations

    The food station has become a standard design component of many foodservice operations over the past few years.

  • Frozen Dessert Concepts Are a Mixed Bag

    While ice cream shops continue to innovate and expand offerings, frozen yogurt concepts have experienced more challenges.

  • Foodservice Shifts Loom Large at Casinos

    Foodservice in the gaming sector continues to evolve, pandemic or not.

  • Fast-Casual Mexican Continues to Carve Its Own Path

    New ideas, ingredients (healthy and not) and innovations keep the Mexican segment on-trend.

  • Event Spaces Revamp Protocols to Increase Customer Confidence

    In the last several months, the events segment has faced more than its share of challenges.

  • Bringing Back Brunch

    While it may take on different iterations moving forward, brunch remains a differentiator for many operators.

  • B&I Foodservice Adeptly Adapts

    With corporate feeding needs evolving in the face of COVID-19, operators react accordingly.

  • Salad Concepts Reimagined

    With health and food safety on the forefront of consumers’ minds today, salad would seem a safe and smart bet. Yet, when it is available in a self-serve format, diners may now take pause.

  • Sushi Checks All the Boxes

    Sushi concepts and inclusion on menus keep growing across the country, as the on-trend, healthful cuisine continues to gain widespread appeal.

  • Small Plates Offer Big Returns

    No longer relegated to Spanish-style fare, small plates have become ubiquitous on menus across a variety of foodservice segments. Chefs can experiment and be creative, while diners appreciate a lower-cost sampling opportunity.

  • Stadium Food Now Ready for Prime Time

    Stadium food as destination dining? That is not a far-fetched notion. Selection, food quality, menu flexibility and customer service have become focal points for stadium foodservice operators. Many stadium facilities already have become food destinations, according to Los Angeles-based IBISWorld. Demand for food and beverages in this segment grew between 2014 and 2019, along with the steady increase in attendance at sports and other entertainment events.

  • Burger Segment Mature but Strong

    A mature segment, the burger business continues its stronghold in this country as plant-based proteins start to take root on its menus.

  • Casino Foodservice No Gamble

    With the U.S. commercial casino industry posting another record-setting year with consumer spending in 2018, according to the most recent report from Washington, D.C.-based American Gaming Association (AGA), this segment of the foodservice industry remains ripe with opportunity.

  • Boning Up on Barbecue

    Much like a discussion of the Greatest Of All Time in any given sport, discussing the best barbecue style can evolve into a heated debate. “It is one of those few foods that holds nostalgia,” says Rémy Thurston, marketing director, FS Food Group, a Charlotte, N.C.-based operator that has four different restaurant brands under its umbrella. “People recognize barbecue more in the South, but it can be difficult because the best barbecue is the one you grew up with.”

  • Family Dining Remains Relevant

    The recent rebranding of family dining chains IHOP and Denny’s serve as indicators that the face of family dining continues to change. It comes at a good time, as Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group reports the decline of mid-scale/family dining traffic has bypassed the decline of both casual and fine dining in 2018 compared to the year prior.

  • A Sea of Influence

    Inspired by a number of regions, the Mediterranean restaurant segment’s popularity and reach is poised to mirror that of Mexican and Asian cuisines.

  • Vegetarian Restaurants: Rooting In

    Operators find new ways to tweak menu items as plant-based trends take hold.

  • Scratch Spells Success in School Foodservice

    Greenville County Schools in Greenville, S.C., reflects much of what school foodservice has become. The 44th-largest K-12 district in the country maintains fully equipped kitchens that produce 80,000 chef-driven meals a day for its 76,500 students at 106 schools and centers. “Our program has evolved from a typical K-12 school foodservice program that served highly processed products to one that scratch cooks the vast majority of our meals,” says Joe Urban, the district’s director of food and nutrition services. “The major shift started with the 2010-2011 school year, and it took us about four years to transition the entire district.”

  • Hitting the Sweet Spot

    When Amy’s Ice Creams set up shop in Austin, Texas, 35 years ago, its premium scoops were an anomaly among the frozen yogurt shops that were in their heyday at that time.

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