By any measure, 2020 has been a historically difficult year for foodservice distributors. COVID-19 wiped out business for foundational customers like restaurants, hotels, caterers, stadiums, schools and other volume foodservice clients starting in March, and even today, as states attempt to re-open amid the uncertainty of where the pandemic is heading, an argument could be made that foodservice distributors have had to continuously pivot more than any other cold chain segment to stay afloat.
In the upcoming September issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, we highlight the pandemic pivots made by Sysco and US Foods in 2020 due to COVID-19 and its effect on foodservice clients like restaurants, hotels, caterers, stadiums, and other volume venues. While putting that story together, we also had a chance to speak to another foodservice distribution giant, Golden State Foods (GSF) and its Chairman and CEO, Mark Wetterau.
Sysco has donated 30 million meals across eight countries since mid-March as part of its community response strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic. These donations were valued at over $100 million and included nearly 16 million pounds of fresh produce and approximately six million pounds of fresh dairy products.
The reopening kits include supplies like masks and safety guidance posters for independent restaurant operators.
June 1, 2020
US Foods is giving away free reopening kits to qualifying independent restaurant owners to help support restaurant reopening efforts in communities across the U.S. The reopening kits provide independent restaurant operators with must-have supplies such as masks and safety guidance posters as well as resource guides to navigate state and local COVID-19 reopening requirements and help create a safer environment for staff and customers alike.
“The average restaurateur makes about 4 cents for every dollar, and now with decreased traffic and increased costs, it’s even more challenging for them,” says Jim Osborne of US Foods--one of the giants of foodservice distribution to restaurants, hotels, catering, schools and more. On the latest From the Cold Corner Podcast, I talk with Osborne about US Foods’ latest initiative—the Restaurant Reopening Blueprint—to help restaurateurs navigate new guidelines for service, staffing, and customer behavior due to coronavirus.
As some cities loosen COVID-19 mandates, guide offers best practices for safe reopening.
May 18, 2020
US Foods launched its latest COVID-19 online operator resource, the US Foods Restaurant Reopening Blueprint. The Restaurant Reopening Blueprint provides operators with a how-to for putting key COVID-19 guidelines into practice as they plan reopening efforts. The Restaurant Reopening Blueprint is informed by interviews with key stakeholders such as diners, restaurant staff and US Foods consultants and chefs. Interviews were also conducted with operators and diners in China to understand what learnings might be applicable for U.S. restaurant operations.
The money will go to the American Culinary Federation's Ferdinand Metz ACF Relief Fund.
May 13, 2020
Smithfield Culinary, the foodservice unit of Smithfield Foods, the nation’s leading pork processor, has donated $25,000 to the Ferdinand Metz American Culinary Federation (ACF) Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to chefs, culinarians, and foodservice workers across America who are experiencing hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I read the recent quarterly reports from Tyson and Sysco (Q2, and Q3, respectively) and both reflect the deep impact of restaurant, hotel, catering and other volume foodservice shutdowns on each of their businesses (and by extension, the cold foods supply chain) due to COVID-19. Here are my thoughts on the future of foodservice and what companies along the cold chain can do prepare for it.
2018 was filled with many newsworthy buzzwords. Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and automated solutions filled the headlines, while consumers voted with their dollars, opting for better-for-you products that donned bold flavor profiles and came packaged in 100% recyclable cartons.
The foodservice application sector will dominate the market, with shipments forecast to exceed 4.5 million units by 2024.
October 18, 2018
The U.S. commercial refrigeration equipment market, which approached $10 billion in revenue in 2017, is expected to witness growth due to growing foodservice sector, according to a report produced by Global Market Insights, Shelbyville, Del.
Check out the September 2020 edition of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Cold storage construction and COVID-19, how foodservice is adapting to coronavirus challenges, SugarCreek, 2020 cold storage construction guide & directory and much more!