What the Industry’s Soothsayers are Predicting
In 2022. Restaurant and hotel brands, professional trendologists, industry groups and food and beverage companies are all having a say in what the next year will bring to menus and operations. We culled through the reports to find the common threads. Starting as early as October, the trend reports landed in our inboxes predicting what the industry can expect in 2022. Although everyone has a unique point of view, there was some overlap and agreement among the forecasters. These are the common themes that rose to the top. The National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot” survey of 350professional chefs cites “menu streamlining” as one of the top 10 trends, which covers reducing SKUS and the number of menu items. Flexibility is also an important part of menu planning, as supply chain challenges will continue to make it necessary to swap out ingredients and dishes and cross-utilize more products in multiple preparations.
Restaurants Nationwide Temporarily Close
As staff test positive, case counts rise. Restaurants are suddenly in a situation not dissimilar to that of the early pandemic, as the omicron variant of coronavirus, which now accounts for 73 percent of new cases, sweeps the country: Case counts are shockingly high, staff and guests are testing positive, and restaurants — the responsible ones, at least — are choosing to close while staff are tested. Restaurants that would otherwise be experiencing some of their most profitable weeks are being forced to reckon with COVID surges. Again. In New York, where new COVID cases are nearing their highest daily rate since the onset of the pandemic, restaurants started closing in droves during the week of December 13. Now, it’s impossible to scroll Instagram without coming across a post from a favorite restaurant announcing a temporary closure. In some cases, staff are testing positive, and in others, it’s diners who have spent a prolonged time in the confines of a restaurant’s dining room before discovering they had COVID.
Restaurants After COVID
An industry for the better? One of the most endorsed themes of COVID-19 is that it didn’t invent new innovations as much as it sparked fast-coming ones. Especially for quick service, dine-in lockdowns forced operators to go where customers were. And so, the question at this juncture becomes, will a global crisis end up revealing a silver lining for restaurants? Will the industry emerge better equipped to give guests what they want? You can see this potential peeking through, despite ongoing setbacks of labor and commodity inflation. Year-to-date through the middle of October, quick-service restaurants reported same-store sales growth of 10.15 percent, according to industry tracker Black Box Intelligence. The rest of the foodservice world? Just 2.83 percent. Drive-thru sales were 46.96 percent higher than last year, showing stability in the channel’s surge, while delivery was also up 84.53 percent.
How the Pandemic Knocked Chefs Off Their Pedestal
A future in which workers are celebrated above chefs. COVID-19 has been a throat punch to the genre of chef-driven restaurants. Since the pandemic began in March, fast-thinking restaurateurs and chefs have thrown everything at the wall to see what sticks — patio service, meal kits, delivery, and online classes. None of it is enough to meet Cohen’s revenue needs. “It’s a huge disaster, and I don’t think we understand what is going to happen. I am not sure we can understand what is about to happen. Most of my colleagues are on the brink of closure.” Chef-driven restaurants are ones that operate and orbit around the persona of the chef. Sometimes their culinary imagination is the center of attention. Or it’s just their personality. They stand in contrast to other categories: Quick Service Restaurants (a.k.a. fast food or fast casual), full-service chains, immigrant restaurants, and so on.
How Restaurant Operators Can Write a Cleaning and Sanitation Plan
One of the most common sources of food-borne illnesses and outbreaks. To protect food safety and prevent the spread of food-borne illnesses, food safety regulations require all food service establishments to have a cleaning and sanitation plan in addition to a HACCP plan. An effective cleaning and sanitation plan is critical to food safety. The sanitation plan is a prerequisite requirement that specifies how surfaces, equipment and areas will be cleaned and sanitized to prevent biological, chemical and physical hazards from contaminating the food. Before we go any further, it’s important to understand the distinction between cleaning and sanitizing. Cleaning is the removal of visible dirt, debris or grease using a detergent, whereas sanitizing is the reduction of harmful microorganisms to safe levels using sanitizing chemicals. It is important to remember that cleaning and sanitizing go hand in hand. Sanitization cannot be performed on dirty surfaces, so all equipment and surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned prior to sanitization. Because sanitizers cannot penetrate soil, they are less effective when soil is present on the surface. Furthermore, even if the surface appears clean, it may harbor disease-causing pathogens that are invisible to the naked eye and can lead to contamination.
Four Key Predictions for Restaurant Tech
Key predictions to help operators get a leg up. The nature of restaurant management is a pendulum; each year operators swing back and forth to prepare for challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. While 2022 may bring new problems, at its heart, it still follows the same cycle of preparation and prevention. Reviewing the market landscape is a great way to get ahead of the competition. The ‘Great Resignation’ continues to be the topic on everyone’s minds. Despite labor shortages, QR codes and digital ordering and payment relieve some of the burden by ensuring teams don’t have to be everywhere at once. While combating empty roles and maneuvering vacation policies, technology offers support without added stress. Teams are able to increase tips and revenue without burnout, all while creating a positive customer experience. Technology also allows for seamless delivery operations during colder months.
Customer Intelligence is Key to Revolutionizing
Restaurants inside and out. It may not look like it at first glance, but every interaction you have with your guests generates data. From the moment they set foot inside your restaurant to the first time they log onto your website, your customers are sharing vital pieces of information that can fundamentally change how your brand operates. To understand what customer intelligence is, we have to define what it means for restaurants. At its core, customer intelligence involves collecting and analyzing data to build better relationships with guests and improve operations through smarter decision-making. Typically, customer data is collected by the point-of-sale platform and website, along with other online properties, apps, and third-party platforms. This raw data is often difficult to understand and even harder to act on, but when it can be combined into actionable insights, restaurants have a 360-degree view of their operations. The right data empowers restaurants to spot trends, identify high-value and long-term customers, reduce costs, and improve the bottom line.
NJEDA Releases Draft List of NJ Food Desert Communities
Addressing food security needs of communities across New Jersey. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) released a draft list of New Jersey’s 50 designated Food Desert Communities for public feedback. Over the next several years, up to $240 million in funding through the Food Desert Relief Act, part of the Economic Recovery Act (ERA) signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in January 2021, will be available to the designated communities. The draft Food Desert Community designations were developed in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA) and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), along with input from the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH). The Food Desert Relief Act directs the NJEDA to address the food security needs of communities across New Jersey by providing up to $40 million per year for six years in tax credits, loans, grants, and/or technical assistance to increase access to nutritious foods and develop new approaches to alleviate food deserts.
Did You Know?
NJ tops list again as most moved from State. New Jersey again tops the list as the state with the most outbound moves according to United Van Lines 45th Annual National Movers Study. The annual study, which tracks United Van Line’s exclusive data for customers’ state-to-state migration patterns, determined that Vermont was the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration (74%) with United Van Lines in 2021. However, for the fourth consecutive year, the study found that more residents were moving out of New Jersey than into the state, as 71% of New Jersey moves were outbound in 2021. Three New Jersey regions also ranked among the nation’s top ten metropolitan areas with outbound moves: Bergen-Passaic (76% outbound), Newark (74% outbound), and Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon (72%).
Nearly 7% of hospitality’s workforce quit in November. Nearly 7% of the restaurant and hotel workforce quit in November, generating 920,000 at least temporary job vacancies that month alone, according to new federal statistics. No other sector of the U.S. labor market came close to those figures, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found. In total, 4.3 million workers in the private sector quit their jobs, meaning the hospitality industry accounted for roughly 1 of every 5 workers who gave notice during November in what’s been dubbed The Great Resignation. Despite the slowdown in hiring, the hospitality industry narrowed its employment gap during the month. As of Nov. 31, the hospitality trade was short about 1.3 million workers, a drop of 260,000 from October.
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MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ – ITALIAN SPECIALTY STORE & GOURMET DELI
Commonly known as the best in the area; located in a busy shopping center; owners have developed a rich tradition of serving “Only the Best” quality sandwiches, Italian prepared foods, market items, and custom cut prime meats; everything is made fresh daily, on-premise, from family recipes handed down from generation to generation; a true COVID survivor, this store flourished during the pandemic and has come back even stronger in 2021.
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