- Published: March 18, 2020
- Written by Joseph Carbonara, Editorial Director
Opinion pieces from our editorial director and editor in chief.
Without question, just about every type of business feels the effects from COVID-19 but for various reasons restaurants remain front and center in this conversation. Maybe it’s because most of us would like to go to the corner bar to drown our sorrows over the new coronavirus with a drink. Or perhaps it’s because people often use restaurants as a gathering place to bring friends and family together to share a meal and a laugh during challenging times like these. Right now, that’s not an option.
For the past few years, off-premises consumption has played a prominent role in the restaurant industry’s ability to continue to post positive, real growth. And with a variety of states and other municipalities banning consumers from dining on-premises it seems that carryout, delivery and even curbside pickup should be poised for growth as the COVID-19 crises plays out.
The COVID-19 virus has taken the world by storm and the foodservice industry is no exception. From changing customer eating patterns to operators updating their approach to service, the industry keeps rolling with the changes from one minute to the next.
Looking back at the past five years in the foodservice industry, no one factor has had a bigger influence than the rapid evolution of technology in this space. From the way consumers order their meals to the way operators purchase their equipment and supplies, the tentacles of technology continue to affect all aspects of foodservice in new and different ways.
Lately I’ve been watching some movies from the ’80s with my daughters. And luckily for us, the hit “Ghostbusters” has been almost omnipresent on cable. (No, I have not yet cut the cord.) This family-friendly movie is rife with one-liners that I can now toss around with the hope that my children might actually find me funny. (Not holding my breath on that one.)
If there’s one thing the foodservice industry loves more than a good cocktail party, it’s a list of trends. Every publication, including FE&S, dedicates space to dissecting current trends and their impact on the foodservice industry. This month, for example, FE&S’ Trend department on page 16 explores the ever-evolving nature of kids’ menus.
It’s December, so that means many foodservice professionals are trying to wrap up the year while they simultaneously take a look ahead to see what 2020 will bring. Well, our friends at the National Restaurant Association went one better. Actually, the association went 10 better, and by that I mean it took a look at what the restaurant industry might look like by 2030.
Consumers’ cravings for the convenience of off-premise dining show no signs of being satiated. If you’re looking for proof, here’s exhibit A: Off-premise consumption accounts for roughly 60 percent of all restaurant occasions, according to data from the National Restaurant Association.
It’s easy for consumers, and members of the foodservice industry for that matter, to be awestruck by equipment with the greatest sex appeal. Wood-fired grills add drama to an open kitchen while pizza ovens often lend an aura of authenticity.
Reviewing the content for this issue, it was almost as if someone charged me with writing my dream menu.