That’s a wrap! Four years after COVID-19 put the pause button on The NAFEM Show, foodservice equipment and supplies industry professionals were able to reunite with friends and colleagues, make new connections and see and learn about new equipment and technologies on the market. As this year’s The NAFEM Show illustrated, a lot has changed.
Back in March of 2020, the notion of supply chain challenges associated with foodservice equipment and supplies seemed highly unlikely. Manufacturers’ capacity to produce such items was greater than operators’ ability to consume them. Then the pandemic hit and turned everything upside down. What once took weeks to produce now took months seemingly in the blink of an eye.
Typically reserved for the hours between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., when customer traffic tends to be slowest at restaurants and bars, happy hour helps bring in extra business with events, discounts and/or promotions. This moniker is rooted in the Prohibition era, when happy hour took place at speak-easies prior to people going out to dinner at restaurants where alcohol was prohibited.
For many in the hospitality industry — and, really, for many who aren’t — the constantly changing day-to-day challenges of the last few years led to an outlook primarily focused on the here and now. But as the storm gradually clears, there’s a return to looking forward. With that in mind, we reached out to chefs to talk about equipment on their wish lists, what they’d like to see in the future, and pandemic-inspired approaches that are still making a difference in their operations.
Storage. Sure, it may not be the sexiest part of a foodservice operation, but designers say it’s a crucial component for modern kitchen management, especially in the wake of the takeout explosion. Storage areas also tend to be the last thing operators think of when conceptualizing and planning a new facility — a common and unfortunate mistake.
Supply chain issues have been a hot topic in the foodservice industry for the past few years. While most of the conversation and consternation have focused on longer lead times and higher prices, a handful of other broad issues continue to impact the individual links on the supply chain that provides foodservice operators with equipment and supplies.
The foodservice industry is changing extremely fast these days, driven by significant challenges. Among these challenges are an unprecedented labor shortage, supply-chain snarls, and changes in the ways consumers patronize restaurants. Operators are increasingly turning to automation and robotics to cope.
Amidst all the changes that have buffeted foodservice in the past five years, operators have had to rethink their equipment from both an acquisition and usage standpoint. Here, four foodservice industry veterans weigh in on the state of equipment today.
A new year always brings a sense of renewal and (hopefully) optimism as we look ahead — this feels necessary this year perhaps more than ever. The airways truly seem to be clearing – for now — so let’s try to look at that glass halfway full, shall we?
Is it Tuesday? If so, you may be headed to your local restaurant or on-site foodservice facility to order up the Taco Tuesday special. So ubiquitous and beloved have tacos become in the United States, thanks in part to mainstream chain restaurants and in part to the fact that we share a border with Mexico, that they have their own day of the week.