A Fundamental Shift In Consumer Expectations Leads to a New Restaurant Segment

A Fundamental Shift In Consumer Expectations Leads to a New Restaurant Segment

In this episode of On Foodable Weekly, we sit with Scott Davis, President of CoreLife and Steve Schulze, Co-founder of Nekter Juice Bar to talk about how the consumer is enforcing their values with their dollar and the industry is reacting.  The customer has created a whole new segment that we call, "future brands."  These restaurants are more focused on lifestyle and offer more than just a meal.

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NRA Special Report: ServSafe Updates and Broadening Food Safety Culture

Aside from the menu, food safety is arguably the biggest factor that underlines a restaurant’s success — or if done improperly, downfall.

In this NRA Special Report edition of “On Foodable Weekly,” we are joined by three food safety champions: Hal King, president and CEO of Public Health Innovations, LLC; Mick Miklos, senior manager for program compliance at the National Restaurant Association; and Dave Crownover, product manager at ServSafe®.

“One of the things Mick and I, and even Hal, talk about is [that] to serve food safely, it takes commitment from the top down,” Crownover said, from the smallest food card to the largest multinational chains. “...And it is recognizing that without that commitment, they’re not going to be in business.”

What are some of the most recurring issues restaurants face when it comes to food safety?

“I think sanitation and cleaning is still a big challenge. I’ll be [at] restaurants and see the red bucket and the rag,” King said, urging for more innovation. “It can be used safely if it’s maintained in a sanitizer solution, but often times what happens is they [the kitchen staff] gets so busy, they’ll use that as a way to clean and sanitize without actually using cleaners and sanitizers.”

Currently, most food codes suggest that there should be one certified food protection manager per establishment, but there is a potential in the next iteration of the food code in 2017 that a CFPM will need to be present at all shifts. But beyond the internal team being prepared, it is even more so important to establish a positive relationship with external regulatory agencies and to not have an us-against-them mentality.

“I can tell you from direct experience that a crisis is not the time to be exchanging business cards for the first time with the regulatory authority in the jurisdiction,” Miklos said. “We are partners with a common purpose, and that purpose to protect the dining public.”

Want to learn more about broadening the food safety culture? Watch the episode now!

NRA Special Report: How the Educational Foundation and ProStart Program Are Developing Leadership Within the Industry

Restaurants are known as a starting ground for people in their career paths. In fact, one in three workers can say they’ve been in foodservice in at least one point of their lives. As the workforce continues to advance and develop, and with 1.7 million jobs expected to arise in the next decade, how can we ensure that the proper research, training, resources, and talent add to the growth and prosperity of the industry?

In this “On Foodable Weekly” NRA Special Report, we are joined by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation EVP of Strategic Operations and Philanthropy, Rob Gifford.

The Educational Foundation focuses on three key areas: it works to tell the story of opportunity to attract people to the industry, it works with people who want to enter the industry by giving them the skills they need, and it works within the industry by exposing the current workforce to training tools to help them move upward in their professions. From QSR to fine dining, there may be different sectors and segments with various disciplines and missions, but customer service, the ability to think quick on your feet, and teamwork are valuable all across the board.

“There are certain core attributes that exist no matter where. So some of the work that we’ve done has really been to identify what some of those core foundational skills that make you successful in this industry no matter who you are, no matter where you go, and frankly, make you successful no matter whether you stay in this industry or whether you ultimately move on. The restaurant industry has an amazing track record of training America’s workforce,” Gifford said.

One of the ways the Educational Foundation accomplishes this is through its ProStart program. ProStart is a high-school-based culinary and career technical education program in 1,800 schools nationwide. Whether the 140,000 students involved are passionate about becoming a manager or a chef, the curriculum prepares them for both tracks. While some students enter the industry right after graduation, others continue the program in local colleges that partner with the NRAEF.

“The ProStart program embraces both, and it is really bringing about the next generation of managers and leaders within the industry,” he said.

Still, the youth isn’t the only group that needs to be educated. People who come from backgrounds in finance, medical, and other fields are switching over. The restaurant industry has evolutionized to a more welcoming and empowering arena. How do we meet the huge employment needs in the future? Find out by watching the episode or visiting NRAEF.org.