By Brent T. Frei
Successful operations today communicate flavor, attitude and spirit, and are using less-expensive ingredients far more than before. Say hello to serving lunch on the loading dock, and goodbye to the toque.
At ACF’s Central Regional Conference in Indianapolis, March 26, Chef Gerry Ludwig of Gordon Food Service based in Grand Rapids, Mich., presented on the “megatrend” of casualization, particularly “upscaled flavor with humble ingredients,” to a packed room.
Ludwig’s chief job is to analyze consumer dining trends. “It’s a huge misconception that half of all meals are in foodservice,” he said. “Nearly three-quarters of all meals are prepared at home.” In 2009, only 19% of meals were served in foodservice outlets, according to NPD Group. “If you’re a full-service restaurant, the number of times a diner chooses places like yours is very infrequent.”