Any dealer sales rep worth their salt has developed the ability to adapt to unexpected changes. In real life, orders don’t always come in on time, plans and circumstances around installations change, and sometimes the wider world imposes with unanticipated disruptions.
Kent Estep, Field Supervisor, CES, Mesquite, Texas
Ghost kitchens — foodservice operations that prepare orders for off-premises dining only — and virtual brands were among the few foodservice business models that proved resilient to the pandemic’s negative economic effects.
Like every other business, each facet of ours (healthcare foodservice) underwent radical changes with updated policies and practices as the pandemic stretched across the globe. It would be commonplace for one day’s updated policy to negate everything we put in place the day previous. The next day would also require recalculating and updating, feeding into a practice we called the pandemic pivot.
As the United States turns the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic and restaurant owners determine their reopening plans or reassess long-term operating strategies, this could be an opportune time to consider other business goals, including reducing operating costs through energy efficiency. Making energy choices that count is good for a restaurant’s bottom line and the climate.
The past 18 months have been trying on all businesses. Foodservice and publishing have not been immune. Back when the pandemic first started everyone thought, or hoped is probably more like it, that this would be a short-term situation. And the mantra of many companies was to do what it took to weather the storm and emerge from this even stronger.
Over the past 20 years, Dan Rowe has built New Alexandria, Va.-based Fransmart into one of the largest restaurant franchise development firms in the world. His specialty? Finding the next big thing in emerging brands and shepherding them into the world of franchising. He’s sold more than 5,000 franchises worldwide and helped brands including QDOBA Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, The Halal Guys and others grow from small, multiunit operations into powerhouse chains.
The United States surpassed the milestone of 65% of eligible U.S. adults having received at least one vaccination as of mid-June, per the U.S. Center for Disease Control. And the broader goal of 70% of adults having at least one shot by Independence Day remains within reach as I write this.
Retiring from TriMark in February of this year has given me the chance to reflect on the industry and my career.
Energy efficiency and sustainability issues continue to make fast inroads into foodservice. Right now, for many operators, reducing energy consumption and decarbonizing their kitchens is a choice. But that may not be the case for long.
For many restaurant guests, enjoying a glass of wine or even sharing a bottle with their dining companions is all part of the experience. Realizing this, many restaurant operators spend significant time and thought developing wine lists that match their menus. Equally important, though, is developing the infrastructure that supports such a program, including glassware, storage and more.
This week marks the official start of the Major League Baseball season. And this year while fans hope players from their favorite teams make hard contact with the baseball, they will also cheer for something contactless. This is in reference, of course, to the contactless service throughout ballparks aimed at minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Even casual readers of FE&S have probably realized that I am no fan of name-dropping. While it may feel good for me, in the moment, to mention that I have been out to dinner with an industry luminary or at a conference with them or talking one on one to someone, I understand that it really has no intrinsic value for you, the reader. In virtually every instance it would detract from our editorial purpose and probably cheapen the very relationship that I was attempting to highlight.
We always say that the commercial foodservice equipment and supplies industry is low-tech/high-touch in terms of how we like to do business. It feels empty when we can’t get together and network as a community. I hope this is a very temporary situation.