Our Take

Musings on the Foodservice Industry

The Delicious Taste of $50 Oil

The New Year begins with a huge change in cost structure and assumptions.  The big collapse in worldwide energy prices shifted wealth and power from oil producing nations to oil consuming nations. The surge in the U.S. shale industry comes just as economic slowdowns surfaced in Europe and in Asia. At the same time, the 



Agave: A Naturally Sweet Success Story

Agave is a true example of less equaling more.  That’s because Agave is lighter than honey and 125 percent sweeter than sugar, so the consumer, the foodservice operator, the baker and anyone else who uses sweeteners in their food can use less and sweeten more.   



Loyalty programs in restaurants: A primary customer engagement platform

With consumer eating out habits changing, competition is yet again expanding across previous borders. One of the primary marketing platforms, restaurants are adopting, is Loyalty programs. Loyalty programs designed to reward loyal customers with unique and customized benefits and at the same time to maintain a long standing [mutually rewarding] relationship. According to a recent 



Polish Up for the New Year

The turning of the calendar is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your foodservice operation. Restaurants take a beating: weather, dirty shoes, grease and smoke in the air, all contribute to wear and tear. Dishes crack, menus stain and servers’ uniforms become tattered.  The old cliché that “you can’t see the forest 



2015 Trends & Dairy Solutions

The year turns next week, and most businesses are deep in planning and finalizing their budgets for 2015.  So much about foodservice is changed. Traditional powerhouse companies like McDonald’s, Kraft and Coca-Cola are reeling from slipped sales. The days of mass market, low-cost producer products is ending. Consumers want natural, sustainable and healthful foods. While 



The Breakfast Wars

Up and down the foodservice spectrum, breakfast is heating up. Here are some recent developments: • Taco Bell introduced a breakfast menu trading on ubiquitous locations and a massive promo of the Waffle Taco. The Bell blitzed social media and took direct aim at rival McDonald’s, including an ad campaign making fun of Ronald the 



Guest Post – The American hot sauce craze in one mouth-watering chart

Hot sauce is having more than just a moment; it’s having a decade. The US hot sauce market has grown by 150% since 2000, which is more than that of BBQ sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard—combined America’s fast-growing palate for hot sauce has a lot to do with the country’s rising immigrant population. The influx of 



An Era of Breadwinner Moms

In the 1950’s of “Father Knows Best”, dad had a job and arrived home at precisely 5:30 for dinner. The family would gather ‘round, eat together and then the kids did their homework, mom did the dishes and dad retired to his lounge chair, with pipe and newspaper in hand. That was a long time 



The New Reality of a World Dairy Market

Twenty years ago, a foodservice operator could take a chart of the cheese market and overlay year after year in order to predict the cost for the next few months. Fast forward to cheese trades at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) plus an expansion to a world dairy market and predictions are a difficult science. 



How Hiking is Like Running a Business

I live in one of the most spectacular areas in the country for hiking. Northern California is loaded with well-maintained hiking trails but the foothills of Mt. Tam (home to Muir Woods) is truly the top of the heap. With spring fully settled here, I headed out this morning to explore some new terrain. After 



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