What does the second half of 2015 hold for the foodservice industry? How do operators keep the positive momentum into the fall and holiday season? Recently Technomic Inc. published their 2015 Mid-Year Restaurant Industry Forecast Update to answer some of these questions. The update looked at overall trends, segment and menu category growth, and potential sales growth for the industry. While opportunities vary greatly, there is one thing several of the Technomic updated trends have in common - kitchen equipment. Here’s how we would apply the trends to kitchen equipment.
Competition heats up - This year, Fast Casual concepts are outpacing QSR growth by an expected 7+%, thus putting the pressure on QSR’s to step up their game. The expansion of all day breakfast programs provides QSR’s an additional revenue opportunity that Fast Casual, who are focused on lunch and dinner, aren’t prepared to compete with currently. While Fast Casual is taking a bite out of QSR growth, QSR’s are responding with what Technomic, Inc. has dubbed the “QSR Plus.” Offering higher quality options like the Hardees/Carl’s Junior All Natural Burger or Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club at a premium check average.
Manitowoc Equipment Take-A-Way When purchasing new equipment for your operation examine not only your current menu, but also consumer and industry trends. Knowing what is on the horizon will ensure you are prepared for future menu changes and growth opportunities that may just be rising in popularity. Accelerated cooking technology like the Merrychef® eikon series allows for cook times up to 15 times faster than traditional cooking methods, with touch screen, menu upload and management technology you can cook practically anything fast and to perfection.
DYI comes to foodservice – Build Your Own (BYO) is driving customer expectation and industry growth. While customization used to consist of choice between several options on the menu in smaller sizes to create a full meal, BYO concepts have taken customization to whole new level. According to Technomic, Inc., BYO Fast Casual concepts will grow sales twice as fast as other Fast Casual concepts, and put even further pressure on QSR’s and Full Service Restaurants as they compete with this new subset of Fast Casual operations.
Manitowoc Equipment Take-A-Way Equipment that can be utilized for a variety of applications makes taking advantage of the DYI foodservice craze simple. Lincoln Countertop Impinger (CTI) ovens offer flexibility and speed for many operations with capacity is large enough to replace a half-sized convection oven or up to five microwave ovens. These ovens offer the ability to cook, bake, toast at rapid speeds with consistent results.
What am I eating? – Knowledge is power and consumers want to know. Where is my food sourced, what’s in it or more importantly what is it free of, hormones, additives, and GMO’s? Eating healthier is top of mind with consumers and while the definition of “healthy” may vary dramatically, what’s clear is consumers are more educated than ever and restaurants must be ready to respond their requests for knowledge. Panera Bread® has a No No List touting that food should be free of artificial preservatives, colorings, sweeteners or flavors and many are looking at local sourcing options for seasonal fresh produce.
Manitowoc Equipment Take-A-Way Keeping food fresh and easily accessible means choosing equipment that can easily adapt to seasonal changes and is equipped for multiple varieties of produce. The Delfield Versa Drawer™ is four units in one, designed specifically to save space, lower operating costs and increase productivity. Each drawer is its own separate compartment and can operate as a refrigerator, a freezer, a thaw cabinet, or a convenience chill unit, independent of the other drawers. Operate any of the drawers in any of the modes, at any time. Delfield offers a multitude of refrigeration and preparation options designed to fit any operational need including custom solutions to keep food fresh and ready to serve.
Industry and consumer trends continue to drive the need for operators to innovate more often than in the past. That is why it’s important to understand the trends but also how they relate to your operational goals and just as important how they apply to and affect your equipment choices.