This Week In Foodservice

The editorial team aggregates key industry information and provides brief analysis to help foodservice professionals navigate the data.


Which City Tips the Best? Plus, a new Club Designed for Members of the Metaverse

A new club will offer a physical place for members of the metaverse to gather. Kitchen United shifts its development strategy. Which city tips the best? Lots and lots and lots of employment data, plus a local look at the global economic outlook for the coming year. These stories and more This Week in Foodservice.

The latest brick-and-mortar foodservice concept will target people who share a common bond working in cyberspace. CLUB 3 will be a members-only club developed via a joint venture between Planet Hollywood Group will team up with Animoca Brands known as Meta Hollywood. CLUB 3 will be a members-only club that will act as the physical meeting place for the greater global community involved in Web3, NFTs, and open metaverse industries.

twif Club 3CLUB 3 will be a members-only club developed via a joint venture between Planet Hollywood Group will team up with Animoca Brands known as Meta Hollywood. Images courtesy of CLUB 3

Set to open during the second half of 2023 in Los Angeles, the first location will measure 10,000 square feet and consist of “diverse dining options, including a main dining room and a rooftop restaurant, eclectic bars and a cocktail lounge, meeting rooms, karaoke rooms, and other facilities,” per a release. CLUB 3 will also offer fully programmable areas for experiential events that will be available both in person and virtually, such as industry events, community meetups, talks, experiences, seminars, AMA [ask me anything] sessions, and more.

CLUB 3 will integrate Web3 mechanics into its operations such as “community voting on seasonal menus, specialized perks, and collaborative promotions for certain NFT projects and membership holders.”

CLUB 3 intends to open locations in such cosmopolitan cities as New York, Miami, Tokyo, London, Paris, and Hong Kong.

twif Rev 02 CPB Cam 04CLUB 3 intends to open locations in New York, Miami, Tokyo, London, Paris, and Hong Kong.

This Week in Foodservice

  • Kitchen United will update its development plans to focus more on grocery stores and less on malls, per a Restaurant Dive report. The ghost-kitchen operator, which has a partnership with Kroger, realized that its units in grocery stores gave it more consistent access to customers than its mall locations.
  • Designing smaller kitchens is something most operators strive to do, but it’s often easier said than done. Two restaurant chains having some success in this area are East Coast Wings + Grill and Scooters Coffee. From using overhead storage to learning to think more about flexibility, restaurant development + design magazine spoke with both chains in developing a list of eight best practices for designing smaller commercial kitchens.
  • Rising prices may have consumers tightening their belts and that could ultimately impact how they use restaurants. According to a story in Supermarket News, when it comes to spending cutbacks, 39% of consumers say restaurants, bars and food delivery will lead the way. The good news is that 57% of consumers have a high level of concern about the economy, which is a 7-point improvement compared to February. Supermarket News cited data from a Numerator survey for this story.
  • Which pandemic pivots do operators think will be permanent? According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2023 “State of the Restaurant Industry” report, the list includes enhanced use of technology, selling alcohol to go and more. restaurant development + design takes a closer look at these changes and operators’ outlook for these issues and more.
  • Apparently, Chicagoans are better tippers than the rest of the country, per a report in Crain’s Chicago Business. Chicagoans tipped at a rate of 19.3% during the fourth quarter of 2022, which was slightly greater than the national average of 19% for the period. And Chicagoans’ generosity was greater than that of restaurant patrons in New York City and Los Angeles, whose gratuities averaged 18.7% and 17.5%, respectively. The data for the story came from restaurant point-of-sale and management system company Toast.
  • Growth chains: Gatti's Pizza plans to open 17 new, franchised units across Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri over the next six years. Salad and Go opened its second location in Surprise, Ariz.

Economic News This Week

  • The U.S. economy added 311,000 jobs in February, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate inched up to 3.6% from 3.4% in January but overall has shown little movement since early 2022, per the BLS. Eating and drinking places added a net 69,900 jobs in February. As of February 2023, industry employment was only 0.9% less than where it was in February 2020, per the National Restaurant Association, which provided a more detailed look at industry employment. Other segments showing strong growth include retail trade, government, and healthcare. As a result of such a strong report, many economists anticipate the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to increase interest rates once again, per published reports.
  • Initial unemployment claims totaled 211,000 for the week ending March 4, 2023, per data from the U.S. Department of Labor. This represents an increase of 21,000 claims from the previous week. This is greater than the 195,000 claims economists had projected, per various published reports. The 4-week moving average was 197,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week.
  • Private sector employment increased by 242,000 jobs in February and annual pay was up 7.2% year-over-year, according to the February ADP National Employment Report. Overall, this is better than the 205,000 jobs economists expected businesses to add during the month, per published reports. This month’s data produced some interesting regional results. Specifically, the West led the way with more than 128,000 new hires, followed by the South with 94,000. In contrast, the Midwest saw the number of new hires decline by 12,000. Small businesses (1-49 employees) saw their number of new hires decline by 61,000 in February, while medium-sized businesses (50-499 employees) and large businesses (more than 500 employees) added 148,000 and 160,000 employees each.
  • The number of job openings decreased to 10.8 million on the last business day of January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the month, the number of hires and total separations changed a little at 6.4 million and 5.9 million, respectively. Within separations, quits (3.9 million) decreased, while layoffs and discharges (1.7 million) increased.
  • U.S.-based employers announced 77,770 job cuts in February, down 24% from the 102,943 cuts announced in January, per executive coaching and outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. February’s total is the highest for the month since 2009, when 186,350 cuts were recorded. So far this year, employers announced plans to cut 180,713 jobs, up 427% from the 34,309 cuts announced in the first two months of 2022. Tech led the way with 21,387 or 28% of the total cuts announced. Healthcare was second with 9,749 cuts.
  • Global real GDP will grow at a rate of 2.3% in 2023, down 1% from the previous year, per Euromonitor’s Q1 Global Economic Forecast. In addition, global inflation will come in at 6.8%, down from 9.1% in 2022 but still is significantly greater than the long-term trend, per Euromonitor. Looking ahead to 2024, Euromonitor projects the global GDP will grow at a rate of 3.1% in real terms. Taking a closer look at the U.S., Euromonitor projects real GDP will grow at a rate of 0.2% in 2023 and 3.1% in 2024. Euromonitor describes the 2023 economic outlook as the weakest in decades, citing “The economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will weigh heavily on growth as demand is dampened by persistent inflation and the increasing impact of rising borrowing costs for businesses and consumers.”