COVID-19 (a.k.a. the coronavirus) may be an astonishing outbreak, but foodservice is far from broken. Though the dark clouds of coronavirus continue to gather, there have been bright spots that show the industry's resiliency and resolve.
Topics: Restaurant Operations, Trends, Independents, Family Restaurant, Regional, Commercial, Quick Service Restaurant, Casual Dining Restaurant, Meal Kits, National, Local, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Restaurant
Plant-based meat replacements are growing in popularity, and investors are sinking their teeth into their market potential. With consumers hungry for better-for-you meat alternatives that address their moral concerns about animal welfare and the environmental impact of meat consumption, it’s no wonder that plant-based protein has become fertile ground for capital funding.
Small is a big deal when it comes to foodservice operations these days. Just as consumers are gravitating toward locally grown, farm-to-table food options, many are choosing to patronize locally owned eateries that offer authentic cuisine and Instagram-worthy experiences. As Darren Tristano, chief insights officer at the foodservice research firm Technomic explained: “This really seems to be the dawning of the era of the independent. The independents and small chains are now outperforming. The big chains are now lagging.”1
As free online marketing platforms such as Yelp Inc. help raise the profiles of independents, major chains are yielding ground to these millennial-savvy upstarts. The foodservice industry research firm Pentallect Inc. projects a 5% growth rate for independents through 2020, compared to 3% for chains.1 And while sales at the top 500 U.S. chains rose 3.6% last year, the industry as a whole saw larger gains of 3.9%, according to Technomic data.1
Despite the ups and downs of the U.S. economy, the restaurant business offers a feast of opportunities for growth. With over a million establishments in the United States, the industry is a robust revenue engine that has served up billions in skyrocketing sales.1