The Changing Landscape of Foodservice
Foodservice after the COVID-19 Pandemic
Over the past two years, COVID-19 has been an exhausting, headache inducing, and sometimes debilitating experience for restaurateurs. However, heading into our third year of the pandemic, there are finally signs that the food scene might be returning to pre-pandemic volumes. The NPD Group, a world-renowned data analytics company, created a data analytics model that is predicting the United States’ restaurant industry will “recover 98% of its pre-pandemic visits by the end of 2022”.
This is fantastic news for the industry! While the volume of restaurant visits may be returning to previous levels, the expectations of the customer may have changed. The newfound convenience of pickup, to-go, and delivery services seem to be here to stay and, if they haven’t done so already, restaurants need to adapt.
FWE manufactures a wide array of products that will provide solutions to new customer demands in the ever-changing world of food service. Continue reading below to see how you can improve your restaurant operations…
Restaurants are constantly adapting to the ever-changing needs of their customers’. Perhaps the largest dynamic shift occurring now is the customer’s desire to pick up their meal and take it home instead of dining at the restaurant, or even have delivery services pick it up and bring it to their home. This has caused many establishments to create pickup areas precisely for these operations. Thus, creating a whole host of new problems operators might not have foreseen. One of which is holding food at appropriate temperatures while waiting on the customer to pick it up.
In fact, a study by The NDP Group in 2018 saw that 52% of customers would not use an establishment’s to-go service again if they received their food at an unsatisfactory temperature. That study was done pre-pandemic, and with how customer values’ have shifted during the past two years, this percentage is sure to be higher in today’s To-Go climate.
This has caused many restaurants to invest in Heated Holding Shelves. These Heated Holding Shelves, such as FWE’s HHS-513-2039, keep food hot and ready for customers to arrive at the restaurant, easily pick up their order, and then be on their way. The shelves’ simple yet efficient design creates a quick and convenient process for both the staff of the restaurant and customers to operate.
Combined with a proper staging area, Heated Holding Shelves can streamline a restaurant’s operations by minimizing labor usage and maintaining a steady flow of customers from when they place their order, to when they have departed the establishment. Keeping food at optimal temperatures should be imperative for all operators trying to adapt to the world’s new grab-and-go style.
Another circumstance that is impacting restaurants is trouble finding and retaining staff. If you’ve ever worked in food service before, you understand how important it is that you have a highly trained and trustworthy staff that will show up for their shift and operate as efficiently as possible.
When this doesn’t happen it can generate a multitude of problems, most of which create a chain reaction that eventually gets passed on to the customer. Which is never a good thing. As the current staff shortage continues, qualified individuals are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and when they are found they are asking for higher wages than ever before.
To compensate for this, foodservice operators are preparing food in advance of their busiest hours to alleviate possible bottlenecks during rushes. Then, they utilize various holding equipment to maintain their product’s “just cooked” quality until needed. There are many different options when it comes to holding equipment that can accomplish this. The question is how do operator’s know which solution is right?
The answer to that question is not a simple one to answer. There are many factors that must be considered before deciding on a solution that is right. A good place to start is knowing these two basic questions:
FWE prides itself upon our ability to provide custom solutions to all operators, no matter how unique their situation may be. For holding food for long periods of time we have multiple Heated Holding Cabinet options. From our basic UHS-12, with it’s user friendly Humi-Temp system, to our PHTT-12 ,with precision controls and Clymate IQ Heat System, FWE provides the perfect solution to operator’s in need of holding product for extended periods of time.
Investing in new equipment may seem like a daunting task at first, but with the increased demand for workers, rising labor costs, and higher than ever expectations from customers, the investment may no longer be an option, but a necessity.
Additionally, the long-term savings that FWE’s food service equipment provides will allow you to pass these savings onto your customers, keeping your loyal customers coming back and encouraging new customers to increase your restaurant’s growth.
The demands of customers have changed during the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to do so. It is now more important than ever to adapt to these changes. Get a customized quote on FWE equipment today or subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest industry news by filling out the form below.
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