The closures of restaurants, hotels, and schools have left growers with heaps of fresh produce without a destination. With crops often grown exclusively for the foodservice industry, growers who produce crops with a large percentage of production destined for this vital market segment are faced with incredible challenges amidst COVID-19 closures.
“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.
US Foods has donated more than $10 million in food and supplies to local food banks and charitable organizations across the country since the beginning of March. The donations include items such as meat, dairy, produce and other non-food supplies. Given the impacts of COVID-19, many food banks are struggling to meet the increasing needs of their communities as more Americans seek support. According to Feeding America, school closures, rising unemployment and rising poverty due to stay-at-home orders will disproportionately impact people already at risk of hunger and could result in an estimated additional 17.1 million people experiencing food insecurity.
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.
Sysco Corporation announced the launch of a new “Foodservice Doesn’t Brake for Adversity” campaign designed to help small foodservice businesses stay in business. The campaign will consist of strategically placed messages across multiple channels designed to encourage Americans to support their local restaurants and also highlights the resilience of all foodservice workers.
Foodservice distributor assigns more than 700 associates to help maintain the nation's food supply.
April 3, 2020
US Foods has secured approximately 20 retail distribution partnerships across national grocery store chains, and is selling much-needed product to retailers across the country as they strive to maintain inventory given unprecedented consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foodservice distributor will donate money to No Kid Hungry for every social media post during the initiative.
April 3, 2020
Sysco Corporation will kick off a month-long social media campaign, Take Out To Give Back, in conjunction with No Kid Hungry in order to provide healthy and nutritious meals in underserved communities while promoting the restaurant industry during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
US Foods has donated $2.5 million dollars in food and supplies over the last four weeks to fight hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic. The donations equate to more than 150 semi-truck loads of product. US Foods worked with its longtime partner Feeding America and other local charitable organizations across the country to distribute food such as meat, dairy, and produce and other non-food supplies.
“With numerous enhancements from one-on-one networking meetings to a late-night party for some 800 attendees at the House of Blues, United Fresh 2019 lived up to the vision of a value-add trade event that was shaped by our Convention Committee,” said United Fresh Chairman Greg Corrigan, Senior Director of Produce & Floral at Raley’s Family of Fine Stores.
The May 2020 issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine highlights sustainable solutions for companies along the cold chain, plus coronavirus and food safety coverage, lift truck technology, pizza innovations, new dairy and dairy-alternative products, plus much more—just click the stories below to start reading.