Foodservice by Design

Team members from PROFITALITY discuss how industrial engineering can be applied to the foodservice industry.


April is the traditional start of the baseball season. And rightly or wrongly, many teams often feel how competitive they will be during the upcoming season will depend on their ability score runs, mainly via hitting home runs. It’s fun because I often encounter the same kind of thinking in the restaurant industry.

Oftentimes in the restaurant industry, we find ourselves laser-focused on the task at hand. It’s a good idea to lift our heads, on occasion, and take a look around at other industries as they can teach us plenty, too. One specific story that piqued my interest as of late is the saga surrounding WeWork.

Four years in the making The NAFEM Show 2023 and the events leading up to it did not disappoint.

Artificial intelligence and automation remain two of the more intriguing topics in today’s foodservice industry. For example, there’s no denying the potential impact of voice recognition AI systems can have in the drive-thru and other automated devices. Many continue to wonder when the robots will arrive in foodservice, when the fact is they are already among us.

If you attended any foodservice-related trade shows recently, I am sure you saw many robotic arms and machines being used in kitchen applications like frying chicken or making coffee.

With a new year fast upon us, you can’t help but wonder what is in store for the foodservice industry in 2023. I am very optimistic about this year, both personally and professionally. For one, having lived the last few years, I am convinced the restaurant industry is so resilient and strong, that we can endure almost anything; sometimes we even come through trying times stronger than we were before.

As the summer heat descends upon us, I am reminded of travel stories some of my colleagues have mentioned about their recent summer trips abroad.

Recently, I was invited to a gathering of chain restaurant operators and the support centers of said chains.

In the eyes of a foodservice consultant, the National Restaurant Association Show represents one of the most important and fun events of the year.

Everyone keeps saying that automation and robots are coming. In reality, though, they are already here.

Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized numerous industries, and foodservice will be no exception.

While my company and most of my clients are based here in the U.S., one month out of the year I temporarily relocate my office to Spain while I continue to work while we visit my in-laws. This year’s trip included a trip to London to visit a client.

The National Restaurant Association Show is set to open its doors May 20-23 in Chicago. I don’t know about you, but I am excited to see what new equipment and technologies will be on display.

Looking back on the past couple of years, it seems a growing number of restaurants outside of the quick-service space, namely fast-casual and full-service operations, continue to add drive-thru service to their offerings.