Remember simpler times, when the only competition you had to worry about was the operator down the street? No doubt they’re still there, keeping you on your toes. But today’s foodservice competition is far more elusive—and infinitely more disruptive.
We’re talking about the subscription-based meal kit market with a diversity of players from Blue Apron to Tyson and even The New York Times. We mean the modernization of the automat, in which concepts such as Eatsa are effectively taking the “service” out of foodservice and replacing it with 21st century bells and whistles. There are store-front-free concepts focused just on home delivery and app-based third-party delivery services—which at least provide the opportunity for traditional operators to get into the game.
And don’t forget consumers, a disruptor in their own right. They’re effectively jackhammering the bedrock of the supply chain by demanding ingredient transparency, clean labels and improved animal and worker welfare.
All this makes that sweet little food truck parked down the street a little less freaky, right?
It’s no longer just about c-store vs. QSR, QSR vs. fast casual, or fast casual vs. college dining hall. It’s also about realizing the disruption around the corner, and determining how to deal with it.
This environment makes it all the more valuable to come together with your peers across the foodservice segments, and why our FARE conference continues to grow. FARE is arguably the only venue where operators across restaurant, retail and noncommercial channels can share ideas and learn from one another in an intimate, focused way. The cross-segment content of the magazine you hold in your hands further reflects that experience, and that’s why it’s the official publication of the FARE conference.
The Foodservice Handbook is meant to be a yearlong resource for you on trends and insights across the industry. Use it to see what’s on the minds of your competitors, to gauge how your business is faring compared to others inside and outside of your segment, and to identify new opportunities for growth.
Has breakfast been a boon for you? It has for your competitors (p. 64). Can you describe your core consumer? The tools are here (p. 28). Is supermarket foodservice on your radar? It will be by the time you get to the last page.
It’s those disruptors within and beyond the traditional segments that will shape a rebirth in foodservice. How will they shape you?