The Top 5 Foodservice Article of 2018
By Building Block Associates
Image: Adonyi Gabor, Building Block Associates
Another year another top five. Yes, ladies and gents It’s time to take a look back at the top five foodservice articles of 2018. As the end of 2018, draws near Canadian foodservice operators have much to be happy about. According to Statics Canada, sales at foodservice and drinking places were up a very modest 0.7 per cent to $5.8 billion in 2018. The same is also true for foodservice operators in the U.S. who are also experiencing very modest grains as well. However, here at home, this increase is mainly due in part to higher menu prices and not higher foot traffic; when the minimum wage increased on January 2018, so did menu prices here in Ontario.
Furthermore, in the U.S., smaller than average foodservice gains are due in part to less independent foodservice operators according to a recent report by NPD Group. The report stated, “the total number of independent restaurants declined to 346,105 units, a decrease of 10,952 units.” The report also stated that chain restaurants grew to 301,183 units, a 982 unit increase and are also responsible for the industries modest gains. While a 982 unit increase is not much, it does show that chain operators seem to be bouncing back very nicely as independents continue to struggle in a discount heavy market.
"Independents will be under increasing pressure as chain operators continue to turn up the heat on their resurgence. We will continue to see market entries here in Canada from well-known U.S. fast food chains," said Dwayne Reno, CEO & Founder of Building Block Associates INC. "With large in-store restaurant tech investments driving down their labour costs, fast food chains are able to sustain themselves better in the current discount-driven marketplace. Independents must focus on differentiating themselves with strong value propositions, non-traditional sales, alcohol sales and from scratch cooking," he also added.
The votes are in for this year's best foodservice articles of 2018. Once again our list is comprised of the best foodservice articles from our newsletter and blog posts, voted for by your clicks. We also added an honourable mention which came up shy of the top five rankings this year.
Once again, thank you all for your continued support; we have a lot more coming in 2019, so please subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t already done so. Now without any further delay, we present to you our Top Five Foodservice Articles of 2018.
5. National Food Holiday Pairings are Paying Off for Big Food Brands
National holidays are usually assigned by a government official such as a mayor, but this is not always the case for many of the national food holidays celebrated throughout the year on social media. For example on the day I started my research for this article it was National Cheesecake Day and by the time this article will be published it’s going to be national beer lover's day.
Some of the influences behind many of the national food holidays are lobbyists or PR firms looking to gain sales for a particular food product. Due to social media's influence on popular culture, we are seeing many big food and fast food chains getting onboard the holiday food pairing trend, HERE.
4. The Cost of Foodservice Labour Going UP!
January 1, 2018, signified the start of a new year and another hike in Ontario’s minimum wage. The foodservice industry in Ontario is now under a fine microscope as operators from other Canadian provinces and the U.S. eagerly anticipate the results of our increased labour costs. Ontario’s minimum wage will be $15.00 an hour come January 1, 2019, over the next 11 months the foodservice industry in Ontario will go through some changes while operators adjust to the higher cost of labour, HERE.
3. Three Ways Independent Foodservice Operators can Benefit from the Healthy Eating Movement
There are things I enjoy about fast food chains and things that I really love about independent foodservices operators. For one fast food is quick and great if you’re on the go while independents have a unique quality you can’t find at many of the fast food chains. Also, the food offered by independents are of a much better quality than offerings provided by even the best fast food chain. This is because the chain operators are highly dependent on convenience foods (frozen or prepared foods).
In a highly competitive foodservice marketplace with consumers who are much more health conscious chain operators have found themselves branded as unhealthy. In an attempt to regain foot traffic the chain operators are now offering discounted menu items and re-branding themselves as healthy fast food. McDonald’s recently reintroduced a revamped dollar menu which offers $1, $2 and $3 menu items. Also, the fast food giant has started using fresh (not frozen) beef in their Quarter Pounder hamburgers and announced plans to reduced the calories, sodium and sugar in 50 per cent or more of their Happy Meal Bundles which now come with organic fruit juice, HERE.
2. Breakfast The Foodservice Daypart to Rule Them All
It comes as no surprise that the breakfast daypart seems to have conquered the foodservices industry with all-day breakfast now being served at many fast food and full-service restaurant (FSR) locations across North America. The added exposure for the breakfast daypart is also helping to create new foodservice trends such as the resurgence of the breakfast sandwich, a protein-rich meal on the go, HERE.
1. This Could Be The Last (Plastic) Straw…!
Recently, some Toronto restaurants announced a short-term ban on plastic drinking straws. The ban which took place in April stopped servers from giving out straws unless the customer requested one. While the ban was intentionally short-lived it did manage to get the attention of Canadians who probably didn’t consider the harm that drinking straws have on our oceans and sea life.
In an article written by Camille Bains for The Canadian Press, Karen Wristen, executive director of Living Oceans, which has worked to protect Canada's Pacific coast since the late 1990s, said "banning straws won't stem the tide of marine debris that animals often mistake for food. It won't make a dent in the use of single-use plastic that winds up as beach litter."
So why did these restaurants in Toronto get together to put the blame on the plastic drinking straw? HERE.
Catering to Guests with Food Allergies
According to Food Allergy Canada, food allergies or Anaphylaxis (pronounced anna-fill-axis) is a growing issue in Canada. One in 13 Canadians or 2.5 million Canadians are affected by food allergy and must consistently monitor the foods they consume. However, many Canadians with food allergies still like to dine out with friends and family which can cause additional stress for those involved. With food allergies on the rise does your restaurant, café or bar have the necessary protocols in place to deal with food sensitive customers? HERE.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe. So give them the goods!
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
Social Chat Blog
Once a month, Building Block Associates serves up some food for thought with our foodservice Social Chat Blog.