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Showing posts from 2023

Coffee or Tea? What Is Trending Now

The gross profit margin for a cup of coffee or tea can reach 95% or more for restaurants. Who doesn’t want to sell more drinks? Let’s check out the latest coffee and tea trends to ensure we stay on top.   What’s hot in coffee?     According to the   National Coffee Data Trends Report , in the fall of 2023 , 63% of U.S. consumers (65% in the Midwest) drank coffee within a day before they took the survey. Americans’ favorite espresso-based drinks include:    Lattes                  18% Espresso             16% Cappuccino         15% Americano           11% Mocha                  9% Macchiato            8% Flat white             5% Vanilla is the top flavor among the 30% of coffee drinkers who drank a flavored coffee within the past week when they responded to the survey. The top preparation methods include:   Drip coffee makers        40% Single-cup brewers       27% Cold brewing                 16% Espresso machines       11%   In-office coffee had increased from a low of 26% in 2021 to

In what ways will AI affect restaurant operations?

A new wave of industrial revolution is here --- AI (artificial intelligence) will change everything we do. Undoubtedly, AI can improve restaurant operations.     Menu Engineering and Quality Control    AI can provide insights into a restaurant’s menu offerings and pricing strategies based on consumer data and market trends. Restaurant owners can adjust the recipes/menu and price accordingly.     AI can help restaurants monitor food temperature, cleanliness, and safety procedures, ensuring they comply with health and safety regulations. For example, AI can remind a sushi chef to replace a sushi plate that has been “sitting” on the conveyor belt for too long with a more popular item.     Consumer Experience   AI can help restaurants create location-based, personalized marketing campaigns to reach specific and targeted customers at the right time. Then, AI-empowered chatbots, reservation, and table management systems can help restaurants answer customer inquiries, manage reservations, and

What opportunities do you see for the foodservice industry in 2024? Insights from Skift's State of Travel 2023.

Skift Research releases the State of Travel 2023   report. It shows the current state of the industry and points out the key consumer trends, among others. Drawing from those insights, we can identify new opportunities for the foodservice industry.   Has the industry fully recovered yet?   The global travel and tourism industry makes a strong comeback, surpassing the 2019 level in April 2023. Domestic travel fuels the recovery, while international travel is picking up. People begin showing interest in urban centers again.     Meanwhile, travelers have not fully “moved out” of the pandemic travel mode yet. Many still demand flexibility, keep a shorter booking window, and want to purchase travel insurance. High inflation pushes people to choose less expensive options.     Consumer Trends   Remote work may continue, boosting (bleisure) travel.   Coworking creates opportunities for hotels.   People want to spend more on entertainment. Affluent travelers want remarkable experiences (e.g., l

Besides helping the environment, what other benefits can restaurants see from green food packages?

Restaurant curbside pickup evolved from the old-fashioned takeout service and has gained momentum since COVID. Restaurateurs embrace the concept, and consumers want it. Curbside pickup will remain an essential restaurant distribution method even after the pandemic. Do off-premises restaurant services add a burden to the environment? The surge of restaurant off-premises services (curbside pickup, takeout, or delivery) could harm the environment because many retailers use food containers and packages made of plastic for one-time usage. Research shows that our world populations produce 130 million tons of single-use plastic a year (including more than food packages here), but in the U.S., only 8% of all plastic products get recycled. Some restaurants have begun using more sustainable materials in food packaging (e.g., disposable containers). Their efforts deserve a round of applause! Nevertheless, it is unclear if their good deeds can also bring them monetary rewards. For example, can gr

Are Americans on the tipping point of tipping?

In the old times, Americans typically tip 15 – 20% of the pre-tax bill in sit-down restaurants with wait staff. For hotel room service, tipping 10% is expected if gratuity is already included; otherwise, 20% or more should be added.   When tipping means more than gratitude   In California, tips do not count toward servers’ minimum wages. Accordingly, servers will earn the state’s or city’s minimum wage, plus tips. In some other states, servers make as little as   $2 - $3 an hour   because employers can count tips as part of their minimum wage. Still, tips have become an essential source of income for many service workers.   How have Americans changed their tipping habits since COVID?     Some consumers might appreciate the foodservice workers more during the pandemic for the extra work they performed.  Studies   showed that consumers tipped more to a pizza delivery driver and for many transactions at quick- and full-service restaurants, although tips for face-to-face transactions at fu

Why aren't you getting a call for job interviews? (Part II) How to build an appealing LinkedIn profile

Last Thursday, we shared a few resume-writing tips to pass AI screening and the 6-second test. Today, we will visit tips on how to build an appealing LinkedIn profile.  Based on the research findings from my work, I want to emphasize that having an appealing LinkedIn profile has become increasingly important in today’s job market. I define an appealing LinkedIn profile as one that is:   Free of spelling and grammar errors.   Complete : with all essential sections filled (e.g., a profile picture, work experience, and education). Relevant:   Having relevant work experience or educational background to the opening.   Consistent :   showing consistent information to the one revealed in the cover letter, resume, and job interviews.   Specifically, I recommend job seekers pay attention to the following areas:     Use a professional portrait picture:  A high-quality picture showing our professional look will be helpful. Avoid excess use of filters, jewelry, tattoos/piercings, or distracting

Why aren't you getting a call for job interviews? (Part I) Make sure your resume passes AI screening and the 6-second test

The unemployment rate is low. Our industry still faces an ongoing labor shortage challenge. Many restaurants and hotels struggle to fill vacant positions.     Then, will restaurants and hotels hire just anyone applying for the job? If that is the case, why some of us have never heard any follow-up calls?   Maybe we were unlucky by applying for a “ghost job” --- jobs employers do not want to fill. Alternatively, it was because we did not submit the “right” resume or failed to set up an appealing LinkedIn profile. It is time to review the resume-writing (this post) and LinkedIn (Part II or the next post) tips.     Make Sure Your Resume Passes AI Screening and the 6-second Test    Everyone wants to get a good job. A vacancy in most desirable companies will receive hundreds or even thousands of resumes.     To streamline the hiring process, many companies have already used AI to help their hiring managers screen resumes. Afterward, resumes piling up on a hiring manager’s desk (or folder) w

COVID has pushed a "Great Reset" to our work (II): What are the benefits of studying culinary arts in a foreign country?

  "Traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books." --- a Chinese proverb While many of the world’s renowned hospitality and culinary schools are located right here in the U.S., studying abroad for a culinary arts program can also be very beneficial. On April 25, we compared the options of studying in hospitality, culinary arts, or a graduate program. Today, we will discuss the options of studying in the U.S. vs. abroad for a culinary arts program.  Imagine that if one wants to be a master chef in Italian cuisine, will it be better to study culinary arts in Italy or a different country? Nothing can beat the immersive learning experience in the home country that originates the heritage and culture of the ethnic foods. Most of all, living in a foreign country could be the most rewarding experience in people’s life. They can Experience a whole new world: Living in the culture that gave birth to the ethnic cuisine, they get to taste its culture, the p

COVID has pushed a "Great Reset" to our work: Culinary, hospitality, or graduate school? Which one is the best fit?

When COVID hit, who would expect that our industry must deal with the toughest labor shortage ever in just a few months? By far, we have seen older staff want an early retirement; younger ones refuse to settle for what is offered. Just like the title of “ Everything Everywhere All at Once ,” “Great Retirement,” “Great Resignation,” “Great Refusal,” and “Great Relocation,” you name it, everything is happening now in the workplace ( McGowan and Shipley, 2023 ). Here comes the “Great Reset” The workplace needs a reset when people are now reassessing the purposes of their work and lives. Since the start of the pandemic, many people have switched jobs and even professions. Some also decided to go back to school to recharge and reskill. It is not a bad idea to gain additional training or a new degree because continuous education can often fuel career growth. The challenge is how to pick the right program that helps us accelerate our potential.  Culinary Arts vs. Hospitality  Culinary a