Market Spotlight

  • 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.

  • Can Plant-Based Menus Go Mainstream?

    As consumers continue to eat cleaner and more healthful foods, operators are taking notice. And action.

  • Coffee-to-Cocktail Hybrid Concepts Heat Up

    When Starbucks launched its Starbucks Reserve Roastery concept, many in the foodservice industry took notice, not the least of which were those already operating hybrid coffee-to-cocktail concepts. Starbucks’ notable presence in the space brings attention to the segment.

  • Rep Roundup for March 2019

    Channel Manufacturing, Hatco and Winholt are among the manufacturers making updates to their networks of independent manufacturers’ reps.

  • What’s on Tap With Brew Pubs

    Brew pub operators’ creativity has not only kept the segment thriving but brought it to the forefront on the culinary scene. Case in point is Chicago’s Band of Bohemia, a Michelin-starred brew pub that infuses culinary flavors into its beer in an effort to create the perfect pairing with its food-focused menu.

  • Hotel Foodservice Takes Approachable Turn

    Though not typically seen as innovators in the foodservice arena, on-site hotel restaurants can boost a property’s appeal, both to prospective guests and locals.

  • C-Store Food and Equipment Trends

     Rutter’s Farm Stores, a c-store operator with 70 locations in central Pennsylvania and West Virginia, has a longstanding history with foodservice. The chain bills itself as the oldest vertically integrated food company in the country with its roots in agriculture, which became a still-operating dairy operation and eventually added its first c-store in 1968.

  • Best U.S. Views of Italy

    With an increasing number of diners seeking authentic, regional and more diverse ethnic dishes, Italian restaurateurs look to perfect their cuisine. Internationally inspired menu dishes present an opportunity for restaurants as international foods continue to trend. Only one in five consumers prefer Americanized international types over authentic versions, according to Mintel’s International Food Trends, U.S. report.

  • Java Growth Continues

  • Reinterpreting Asian

    When Klaus Mager visited China’s White Swan Hotel back in the ’70s, he was treated to an early preview of what was to become a sensation in the states decades later.

  • Sports Bars Hit a Home Run

    The sports bar segment ups its game with more high-end menus and trendy cocktails to entice customers to stay after the games end.

  • Seafood Segment Weathers Tough Waters

    Despite higher than average prices and consumer speculation on sourcing, seafood restaurants continue to keep their heads above water.

  • The Impact of Consumer-Direct Operations

    Meal kit providers, kitchen-only restaurants and other industry disruptors change the face of foodservice.

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