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Full Circle

Full Circle

Some of you reading this may recall my earlier stint at Food Management. If that’s the case, thanks for being such a loyal FM reader. Indeed, having spent the majority of my foodservice sales career here, I am delighted to rejoin the FM staff as publisher.

While much has changed in our industry through the years, this much has remained constant: you’re still challenged every day to improve the quality of your food and services, stay ahead of changing consumer trends, manage an increasingly diverse workforce, oversee the budget and planning process, build new revenue streams and stay competitive with the myriad restaurants and retail choices that surround your customers.

Another constant through the years has been your continuing reliance on FM for ideas and insights on handling these challenges. Indeed, you turn to FM for authoritative and practical management ideas, the scoop on who’s innovative and why, the latest recipes, and careful analysis of the onsite restaurants and foodservices landscape month after month.

A Growing Industry

The New Year dawns for the restaurant industry with yet another positive forecast for real growth. The National Restaurant Association predicts that 2008 will show an increase of 4.5%, the 18th consecutive year of growth for our industry.

What spurring that? There’s no question that we consumers consider restaurant visits practically a “Godgiven right“ these days. With the plethora of locations, menus, and service types at our disposal, we can have professionally-prepared foods and beverages made and delivered to us at our whim.

Our desire and expectation for high-quality food—no matter where we are or what we’re doing—drives foodservice sales and makes onsite restaurants and foodservices an integral part of our lives every day.

The Overarching Trend

Much of what we do at Food Management is share best practices and ideas with our audience. That means profiling innovative executives, managers and their operations, giving sunlight to new and interesting ideas, and, hopefully, sorting the trends from the fads. That’s not always easy, but it’s always enjoyable.

At FM, we’ve covered the emergence of trends such as convenience retailing, take out, grab and go, and mass customization, to name a few, that have now arguably become mainstream. Another trend that is growing rapidly and looks to have far-reaching implications across the entire restaurant spectrum is sustainability. Inherent in that term are subjects such as nutrition, health, wellness, energy management, food ethics, ecology, farm-to-table, green, organic, natural and functional.

It’s important to note that the supplier and distributor communities have actively embraced sustainability as well. It has meant changing the way they have done business and taking risks. But in the long run, it means better products that are grown, produced, and delivered in a more environmentally responsible manner. That’s good for all businesses.

Sustainability + Responsibility = Profitability

Food Management and Restaurant Hospitality magazines will explore health and wellness and its relationship to sustainability in a one-day seminar this March 14th in Anaheim. Entitled “Healthy Customers/Healthy Profits”, the seminar gives attendees an opportuniy to come learn and interact with some of the best thinkers from all segments of the restaurant marketplace as to how your customers’ desire for healthy, nutritious and flavorful foods can translate to profitability. For more information, please visit www.

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