Foodable Congratulates IFMA's 2019 Silver Plate Class

Presented in Chicago by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards honors some of the most successful innovators and professionals in the industry. Celebrating its 65th year, the award ceremony is in many ways considered the Academy Awards for foodservice.

Typically, only up to nine foodservice operators are selected for an award, but industry experts chose 10 special winners for this year’s Silver Plate Class:

  • Beverly Lynch, Golden Corral for Chain Full Service

  • Bill Marks, Hennepin Healthcare for Health Care

  • Don Falgoust, RLJ Lodging Trust for Hotels & Lodging

  • Lorna Donatone, Sodexo for Business & Industry/Foodservice Management

  • Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems for Chain Limited Service

  • Randy Montgomery Lait, North Carolina State University for Colleges & Universities

  • Regynald G. Washington, Paradies Lagardère for Retail & Specialty

  • Rodney Taylor, Fairfax County Public Schools Elementary & Secondary Schools

  • Sam Facchini & John Arena, Metro Pizza for Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept

Winners Rodney Taylor and Regynald Washington both shared their commitment to bettering the lives of young people through education. As Washington noted, helping people become more educated about the industry is simply “part of [his] DNA.”

Other winners like Don Falgoust, Lorna Donatone, and Bill Marks emphasized the importance of keeping the team focused on giving customers the experience they are looking for. Bill Marks in particular wanted to overcome hospital food’s stereotypical bad reputation and set a goal with his team to simply “serve good food.”

One particularly excellent Silver Plate winner is awarded with the Gold Plate. This award is determined by a panel of highly regarded foodservice experts, past winners, and national press. Watch the above video to see some interview highlights and learn more about Regynald G. Washington, who took home the gold!

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by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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IFMA's Prestigious Gold Plate Award Goes to Leadership Legend

IFMA's Prestigious Gold Plate Award Goes to Leadership Legend

Every year, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) holds their Gold & Silver Plate awards ceremony; a celebration of some of our industry’s most influential and successful minds. From chain restaurants to retail, to schools, the foodservice industry puts forth its best and brightest with up to 9 professionals receiving a Silver Plate award.

This year’s winners are an inspirational bunch:

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Consumer Planning Program: How to Better Understand Your Customer

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, we talk to some of the instrumental players in creating IFMA’s Consumer Planning Program. The Consumer Planning Program, or CPP, was a collaboration between IFMA and Datassential to dive deeper into the consumer mindset and find out why consumers pick a food-service venue, how those decisions are made and what manufacturers (and operators) can do to influence those decisions.

CPP began in 2012 when IFMA realized they were not as in touch with the consumer as they wanted to be and so the association dedicated resources to really building that understanding and relationship. This began their research into consumer needs and purchase motivations.

As Coca-Cola’s Ben Shanley put it, “At the end of the day from a manufacturing perspective, we’re trying to create consumer demand for our products and with all the changes that are going on right now in the industry it still all has to start with consumers.”

This initiative has been aimed at reaching consumers and helping brands understand their customers better. The team conducts qualitative research like focus groups with consumers to gather information and understand the language consumers use when they talk about their ‘away-from-home’ meals. That data is then validated through thousands of survey interviews– providing a lot of insight on what consumers are looking for.

Foodservice professionals can join the Consumer Planning Program and be a part of the committee that drives study topics and receives annual reports. Find out more about CPP here.

Supply Chain Optimization and Best Practices

Operators around the world are facing supply chain issues such as inventory placement, manufacturing costs, and transportation and distribution costs.

In order to improve efficiency and increase profitability across the industry, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) created the Supply Chain Optimization Committee (SCO).

Stemming from best practices developed by IFMA, the Supply Chain Optimization Committee is a way for chain operators, manufacturers, and distributors to collaborate and share the challenges they are facing, the solutions they have come up with– as well as data they have analyzed. The group also addresses the critical issues of stakeholders.

The SCO committee is made up of a couple different sectors. The Development board consists of chain operators, manufacturers and distributors. Other companies like Datassential and Havi (and of course IFMA) offer assistance behind the scenes with data analytics and supply chain services.

Operators might ask, “Why should I participate?”

Data from top industry leaders is imperative for analysis and results. That input gives insights on the current state of the industry. Such challenges like forecasting and speed to market are discussed.

For example, Cullen Andrews from Dot Foods notes “Forecastings tough. So I think everybody would say the silver bullet is, “Well if the forecast is right, then no problem!” There really isn’t a lot of planning that has to occur. And I think what we’ve all agreed to is that we have to come together with one primary assumption which is that the forecast likely will not be accurate.”

You can register for upcoming Supply Chain Optimization meetings here!

IFMA Presidents Conference: Making the Most of Today's and Tomorrow's Consumer Trends

On this episode of "On Foodable Weekly," Paul Barron meets up with industry leaders Dawn Sweeney and Larry Oberkfell at the IFMA Presidents Conference. The Presidents Conference provides cutting-edge research to operators, manufacturers, and distributors within the industry. With sessions discussing consumer trends, category management, and regulation impacts of the recent election, attendees packed the lecture halls. Much of the research presented was in reaction to questions asked by attendees. Today, we look at trends facing the industry as well as changes we can expect to see in the near future.

One such trend is the rise of the new-age consumer. Millennials are now the largest and most influential generation since the baby boomers, and as such, have been a major focus in the industry. However, Larry Oberkfell, president and CEO of IFMA, discusses how age is not the most important factor, nor is demographics.

“We look at it as how do we help our members get all the business, if they can, in their products to that consumer wherever they go. So to us, it’s not really a channel question as much as it is a consumer behavior question,” he said.

Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, also talks about millennials and their role as an emerging market. She notes that although 50 percent of  consumers are starting to demand restaurant-quality food in their homes, millennials are making up an enormous portion of the trend with 80 percent of millennials looking for restaurant-quality food in their homes. Sweeney discusses how the industry needs to react to these consumer behaviors.

“Years ago, we had the drive-through, then we had the three small parking spaces outside the restaurant where you can park if you’re getting something to go. I think we have to reinvent that restaurant experience,” she said.

Watch the full episode to learn more about the trends facing the industry and how industry leaders propose operators, manufacturers and distributors make the most of them.