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2022's highlight video here to see what it's all about!We've expanded the footprint at the Old Post Office to ensure we have both the indoor and rooftop spaces available and expect more then 500 attendees. This event is a one-of-a-kind chance to network and celebrate chains in Chicago on the eve of the National Restaurant Show.
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Meetthe leadership of DMA
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for Employee Retention in 2023
The past few
years have presented numerous challenges to business owners, including an
ongoing labor shortage. The hospitality industry certainly isn't immune to the
struggles of employee retention.
“For a long
time, the hospitality industry has relied on having an abundance of applicants
even if some of those were not well-qualified. Now we see a problem with both
the quality and quantity," said Amanda Belarmino, professor with University
of Nevada, Las Vegas' College of Hospitality, in an interview with The
everyone talking about competitive pay, positive working environments, and
flexible schedules to attract and maintain labor, the fact that restaurants
aren't able to find workers is far too real for most operators today," said Sam
Zietz, CEO of GRUBBRR.
boomers have left the workforce, birth rates are declining, and tight
immigration policies have (left) a limited labor pool of candidates, leaving
restaurant owners searching for answers."
everyone is struggling with employee retention, it begs the question, what can
be done to improve workplace atmospheres? Recently, the National Association
of Food Equipment Manufacturers had a conference that addressed this issue.
Here are a few tips that the conference provided, according to Restaurant
Think of new
and creative ways to find employees instead of sticking to help-wanted ads. One
example was a company that joined a Facebook group that included people
they'd like to work for them.
want to feel like humans, not just workers. Treat your current employees with
respect and find out what they need to be successful in order to retain them.
Perhaps they want more flexibility in their hours or help with childcare,
Restaurant Business noted.
certain tasks that can be outsourced through technology. Find out if there are
any that are giving employees headaches or creating bottlenecks and take that
burden away. Zietz suggests using self-ordering technology like kiosks and
online ordering to help restaurants run with a smaller staff. This can benefit
employees in multiple ways, Zietz said, including increased tips that can be
split between fewer team members.
offered additional tips to The Food Institute. She suggests looking at
marketing and doing a better job of communicating your company's specific
benefits in order to differentiate yourself from the competition.
professor also suggested considering retirees who are looking to supplement
would encourage employers to look beyond their own surveys for satisfaction and
examine online review sites like Indeed and Glassdoor," Belarmino said,
“to find out if there are issues they're not addressing that could help to
retain their team members. Responses to these reviews also demonstrate to job
seekers that this is a desirable workplace." Food
Costs Continue to Climb
may have to start rethinking breakfast as eggs flirt with $5 a dozen and with
orange juice prices set to jump because of a poor Florida citrus crop and low
cold storage stocks.
“Even at $5
per dozen (eggs) are a very cheap source of nutrient rich fat and protein. If
anything changes at all, backyard chickens will become even more popular," Kam
Talebi of the Butchers Tale catering company told The Food
New York Times recently reported demand for chicks that will grow into
egg-laying hens has skyrocketed.
wants the heavy layers," Ginger Stevenson, director of marketing at Murray
McMurray Hatchery in Iowa, told the Times. Hatcheries are having a
hard time keeping up and running low on some breeds, partly because they
haven't expanded in three years due to the pandemic and partly because they're
having trouble hiring workers.
Costs, Bird Flu Key Factors
“One of our
biggest cost increases is continuing to raise wages to compete," Jeff Smith,
one of the owners of Cackle Hatchery in Missouri, told the Times.
“I don't see the inflation going anywhere."
agriculture department reported earlier this month that egg prices had fallen
to about $3.40 a dozen. The cost doubled between 2021 and 2022. The huge
increase was due in large part to the avian influenza epidemic, which led to
the slaughter of more than 40 million egg-laying hens across the country.
chickens is not easy and there's an initial upfront investment for the chicks
themselves, and construction materials for a coop. Then there are the predators.
breakfast table, restaurants and bakeries also are feeling the impact and
looking for ways around it: sourcing ingredients locally and changing recipes.
“If eggs are
prohibitively expensive and would drive up costs which would inevitably have to
be passed down to the consumers, then it's vital to pivot from the current menu
and explore other options, Los Angeles registered dietitian nutritionist Yelena
Wheeler told The Food Institute.
pushing the typical eggs and bacon breakfast, maybe look at mixtures of
potatoes, vegetables and cheese. For instance, a breakfast veggie quesadilla or
fruit and yogurt parfait. Exploring other cultural breakfast staples that don't
include eggs can also be helpful."
Marin, CEO of Vegan
Hospitality, said eggs can be left out of just about any recipe, either by
adding baking powder or egg substitutes.
with pancakes, waffles, and many breads. ... The great news is, guests will love
their meal just as much, and you may even choose to keep these new recipes on
your menu. You'll save costs while opening up your menu to vegans and those
with food sensitivities, as eggs are among the top eight allergens," Marin
comes to washing down that alternative breakfast, consumers may need to look
for an alternative to orange juice. The USDA's revised forecast said the
Florida orange crop is likely to be the smallest since the 1935-36 season.
projected harvest of 16 million boxes is the result of Hurricane Ian and a
winter freeze. Groves also are suffering from two decades of greening disease,
which produces fruits that are green, misshapen and bitter, making them
unsuitable for sale as fresh fruit or for juice. Infected trees generally die
within a few years.
from concentrate recently hit $6.27 a gallon; fresh-squeezed juice prices hit
$10, The Wall Street Journal reported. Cold storage stocks of
concentrate are extremely low. Food
persists, it becomes more challenging for restaurants to lure customers.
Nevertheless, new research shows a few chains are making strides when it comes
to winning guests.
Centric, a data
analytics and reputation management company, recently identified which
restaurant chains are winning customers the most and found that Chicken
Salad Chick, Tazikis, and CAVA are earning especially
positive reviews these days.
telling restaurant chains what is most important to them via their reviews –
and not all brands are paying attention," Adam Leff, Merchant Centric's
chief strategy officer, told The Food Institute. “Those that are
listening and taking heed are getting high (customer-review) scores within
their segments, growing sales and adding units."
Centric used proprietary Theme Performance Scores – which represent the ratio
of positive mentions in online reviews for a theme (such as price/value, or
loyalty/referral) relative to the negative mentions of the same theme – to
calculate customer sentiment. A TPS score of 1.0 indicates that praise and
complaints are equal, while TPS scores of 1.1+ indicate more praise than
look at chains that earned some of the highest TPS scores in the
loyalty/referral category, per Merchant Centric:
it's imperative for restaurant chains to analyze customer reviews and leverage
that feedback to improve their businesses.
talk about their brand promise, but how do they quantify the efficacy of that
brand promise?" Leff asked.
need to listen to what guests are saying in their reviews so they can measure
and understand if they're delivering on their brand promise and providing value
over competitors. ... These are insights that will drive success when
Salad Chick, which has grown to 286 locations since being founded in 2008, has
earned praise predominantly for its customer service. The Alabama-based chain
earned a 4.4 loyalty/referral score and a 1.8 in the price/value category.
another Alabama-based fast-casual chain with 90 locations in 16 states, earned
an exemplary score (2.0) in terms of price/value.
fast-casual chains highlighted by Merchant Centric's research, however, CAVA
especially seems to be enjoying a moment of late. CAVA garnered positive
reviews for its relatively healthy, Mediterranean-inspired menu featuring
protein items ranging from chicken to falafel to meatballs, with a variety of
greens, as well.
performance scores, Leff said, “tell us guests feel CAVA is so well-priced for
what guests receive that guests are, in turn, expressing high degrees of
loyalty and referral. They also have high TPS scores for selection/availability
(6.2), food (5.1), and quality/flavor (3.9), thus indicating that guests are
very happy with the quality, selection, and general food offerings provided by
the brand." Food
Lobster has closed
eight locations in recent months that it deemed “no longer viable." The
restaurants were primarily in the eastern half of the U.S., reported Restaurant
Business (Jan. 23).Full
Mexican Grill is
adding 15,000 jobs across its North American locations. The hiring push is
meant to ensure the chain's more than 3,000 U.S. restaurants are fully staffed
for the company's busiest season, which stretches from March to May, reported Bloomberg
(Jan. 26). Full
has revealed the details of its new California-inspired fresh eatery, Farmesa.
Focused on customizable bowls priced from about $12 to $17, Farmesa will also
serve as a test and help position Chipotle for future growth, reported Restaurant
Business (Feb. 15). Full
·McDonald's is testing strawless lids. The chain
is testing lids that don't need straws in select U.S. markets as it aims to
bolster sustainability, reported Restaurant Business (Jan. 25). Full
Fridays has unveiled
a new 3-course meal deal as value wars intensify. Fridays is the latest
full-service restaurant chain to add a bargain offer amid fears that
inflation-weary customers are trading down, reported Restaurant Business
(Jan. 25). Full
John's is testing a
new store layout as its international prototype for increased flexibility,
tailored to clients' specific needs. Made to accommodate indoor seating as well
as takeout, the design highlights the chain's focus on premium ingredients.
Despite flat growth in the U.S., Papa John's is thriving internationally and up
41% over the past five years, reported Restaurant Business (Jan. 27). Full
Johns has launched a new Crispy Parm Pizza, which has a layer of parmesan and
Romano cheese baked underneath the bottom crust, creating an extra-crisp
exterior, reported Food & Wine (Jan. 31). Full
company Middleby has acquired Flavor Burst Innovation for
beverage and soft serve. Flavor Burst's technology automates multi-flavor syrup
dispensers, improving flavor consistency. Full
CEO of Jimmy John's has launched a new platform for growing fast-casual
brands. Gregg ·Majewski partnered with FG Financial Group to create the new Craveworthy
LLC, which is launching with four restaurant brands under its umbrella: Wing
It On!; Krafted Burger + Tap; The Budlong Hot Chicken; and The
Lucky Cat Poke Company, reported Restaurant Business (Jan. 27). Full
·Subway will add thousands of restaurants
outside the U.S. After years of declining sales, CEO John Chidsey said the
sandwich brand hopes to increase sales by 50% by adding about 25,000 stores
over the next 10 years and increase annual sales from $16 billion to $25
billion, reported The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 2). Full
has confirmed it is for sale. Doctor's Associates Inc., its owner, did
not disclose a timeline but verified it is conducting a “sales exploration
process." The sandwich chain's sales expectations rose in 2022; Subway counts
37,000 restaurants in 100 countries around the globe and plans to expand its
non-traditional business segment, reported Food Business News (Feb. 14).
·Chili's is pushing its value and $10.99 meal
deals in its first TV ads in three years. Parent company Brinker International
said the marketing push is affordable due to improved restaurant economics
after same-store sales growth of 8% last quarter, reported Restaurant Business
(Feb. 1). Full
·KFC is adding Kentucky Fried Chicken
Wraps for a limited time. The new menu items come in two options: the Classic
Chicken Wrap, which features an extra-crispy tender, pickles, and mayo, and the
Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap, featuring a tender covered in KFC coleslaw and spicy
Bell and KFC are using artificial intelligence (AI) to make their weekly
supply orders, which is designed to increase accuracy and cut back on food
waste, reported Restaurant Business (Feb. 10). Full
·Quiznos has brought back its Lemon-Herb
Lobster Sub and Classic Lobster Sub for a limited time. Both sandwiches, priced
at around $9, are made with a lobster and seafood salad featuring North
Atlantic Lobster and Alaskan whitefish from King & Prince Seafood. Full Story
Group Inc. confidentially
filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The total number of shares to be offered and the price range
remain undetermined, reported Reuters (Feb. 6). Full
will test a
plant-based sandwich at three locations. The fast food chain reportedly
experimented with mushrooms and chickpeas before settling on breaded
cauliflower, reported The Guardian (Feb. 9). Full
·Wendy's is making a significant climate
action commitment. The burger chain claims it will reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3
greenhouse gas emissions by 47% by the end of this decade. Full
·Denny's has revamped its kitchens to expand
its menu and diversify its customer base. On Monday, executives told investors
that 98% of domestic Denny's restaurants had undergone the change; the new menu
will debut in March, reported Restaurant Business (Feb. 14). Full
on the Move:
Restaurant Association has named Freddy's COO Scott Redler as
the organization's chairman for 2023. Jeff Lobdell, founder of Restaurant
Partners Management, will serve as vice chairman. Full
Caesars has named
former Wendy's CFO Leigh Burnside as its new CFO, reported Restaurant
Business (Feb. 6). Full
·Red Robin has hired Brian Sullivan as
its culinary chief. Sullivan had served as the longtime top chef at California
Pizza Kitchen. Full
Restaurant Group has
named hotel executive Cody Plott its CEO. The casual-dining operator
also named Jeremy Shelton to the role of executive corporate culinary
director, reported FSR (Feb. 10). Full
has named Debbie
Stroud its chief operating officer. Stroud previously worked with McDonald's
and Starbucks, reported Restaurant Dive (Feb. 10).Full
has named Josh Kobza as its new CEO. The 11-year company veteran, who
had been COO, will take over for Jose Cil starting March 1. Full
SUPPLY CHAIN NEWS
Fermentation Promises a More Sustainable Future
fermentation technology makes it possible to create alternative egg and milk
proteins identical in taste, texture, and functionality to the traditional
stuff—without using any animals.
reimagining a foundational process that has existed for decades, food tech
companies are using precision fermentation to produce animal-free proteins in
pursuit of a more sustainable future.
Company and Perfect
Day Inc. are two such companies at the forefront of the animal-free protein
Does it Work?
the process of making rennet for cheese (a protein ingredient found in 80-90%
of store-bought cheeses), we produce animal-free proteins via fermentation," Nick
Toriello, VP head of partnerships at EVERY told The Food Institute.
lab-grown meat, which requires harvesting stem cells from a living animal,
precision fermentation uses DNA sequences as a protein recipe.
sequence serves as a set of genetic instructions that can be followed
step-by-step and inserted into yeast. Then, “similar to the way beer and wine
are brewed, we add sugar, and the yeast uses this energy to kick-start
fermentation," Toriello explained.
result is nature-equivalent protein made without using a single animal," he said.
technology is still relatively new and just starting to scale, but there are
already several different applications. Perfect Day has created real dairy milk
that's animal-free, while EVERY is focused on egg white and pepsin proteins.
And as the
technology improves, companies like EVERY and Perfect day are growing at a
rapid clip. “We recently sprang forward from a seven-year R&D period to
launch three novel proteins in 12 months," said Toriello.
companies using precision fermentation to create alternative proteins secured
$1.7 billion in investments in 2021, nearly a threefold increase from the $600
million raised in 2020, according to The Good Food Institute.
1st, EVERY announced that actress Anne Hathaway made her first B2B investment
in the company. Simultaneously, EVERY is scaling up production in partnership
with BioBrew from AB InBev, the world's largest fermentation company.
is also scaling to meet the “incredible demand" for their animal-free proteins,
Nicki Briggs, VP of corporate communications at Perfect Day, told The Food
we increased our production by three times and we're only accelerating from
there—on the path to produce tens of thousands of metric tons of protein in the
next five years," said Briggs.
a study commissioned by Perfect Day, their whey milk protein is between 91% and
97% lower in greenhouse gas emissions than traditional milk. Figures like these
have attracted attention from large food companies trying to reduce the climate
impact of their supply chains.
has already collaborated with key players like Nestle SA and Starbucks,
and Unilever is currently working on a dairy ice cream made from
industry is in a sustainable evolution—with solutions from traditional leaders,
plant-based visionaries, and innovators like us," Briggs explained. “We believe
that the future is one where contributions from and collaboration between all
of these groups will create a more diverse, sustainable food system."
and Toriello spoke passionately about a “future food system" that could be made
possible by animal-free proteins.
first time, an animal-free protein is offering the same nutritional value and
performance as the original. Unlike with plant-based alternatives, you don't
have to sacrifice—the flavor, textures, and performance are there," explained
Sales Grow in December, but Pace is Starting to Slow
U.S. restaurant sales continued to grow at the end of 2022, Black Box
Intelligence noted the pace of growth is starting to slow, which could be a
prelude to impending challenges for the industry.
restaurant same-store sales increased 4.8% year-over-year in December 2022,
representing a 1.5 percentage point increase compared to November's
year-over-year results. That said, the two months were the weakest for sales
growth since the industry began a rebound back in August 2022.
continue to be a struggle for the industry, with comparable traffic down 3.5%
in December when compared to the year before. Same-store traffic growth has
been negative since March 2022. Full
·McDonald's quarterly profits beat expectations
and were bolstered by new menu offerings despite price increases. Global sales
rose 12.6% year-over-year and benefitted from novel (and returning) menu items
such as the McRib, adult Happy Meals, and its partnership with Dunkin Donuts,
reported The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 31). Full
Mexican Grill falls
short of expected earnings, revenue, and same-store sales. Fourth-quarter
results were bleaker than expected for Chipotle, and CEO Brian Niccol says the
company hasn't seen a negative response to higher-priced burrito bowls and tacos.
Chipotle plans to open over 250 new locations in 2023 and wants to hire 15,000
workers, reported CNBC (Feb. 7). Full
sales rose 11% in the fourth quarter. Same-store sales grew 8% in the U.S. and
7% internationally. The brand continues to find success with the return of
Mexican Pizza and improved breakfast sales with ads featuring comedian Pete
Davidson, reported Restaurant Business (Feb. 8). Full
Roadhouse has set a
traffic record. Traffic is up 10% through seven weeks and same-store sales are
up 15.8% during that time at the 697-unit chain, reported Restaurant
Business (Feb. 16). Full
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