2013 Silver Plate Winners: The Future of Foodservice

Winners make their foodservice predictions for the next five years.

With the 2013 Silver Plate winners firmly at the top of their game, FSD thought we'd ask them for their industry predictions for the next five years. Here is what you can expect for the future of foodservice.

Julia Bauscher, Jefferson County Public Schools
“In five years I see us to continue improving our programs. Hopefully, with the trajectory that we’re on, foodservice departments in every district will be viewed as an important participant in improving students’ achievement. By that I mean that the amount of respect that foodservice plays in a district will increase and we will be on the same playing field working together to help students achieve.

“In five years we’ll be confident with all the challenges that the USDA has recommended [in the new school pattern regulations]. We will have handled all the challenges of administering the competitive foods regs that were recently proposed. Overall, I see children joyfully making healthier choices.”

Angelo Mojica, UNC Health Care
“I believe that this is an exciting time to work in the foodservice industry, because the future will see many changes. In healthcare, my thought is that [many] hospitals will form into large systems and seek efficiencies though purchasing and program standardization. The bar has been set high for quality, which will need to be maintained to ensure that reimbursements remain high. But we’ll also be looking for ways to cut expenses as food and labor costs continue to rise. New technologies like sous vide will provide opportunities to present new and interesting foods to our customers. These changes will require a well-trained workforce. We will be responsible to create programs to train and stimulate the next generation of foodservice professionals.”

Jay Silverstein, Credit Suisse
“I think food facilities are going to start to shrink down. As the cost of building them, and the value of real estate rises, companies are going to recognize that they need to provide something onsite, but it’s not going to be the mega cafeterias. Services will fulfill a basic need. Tagging off of that, I think the attendantless micro marts are going to grow in popularity. We have a few of them and they have been huge. It’s on the honor system and we’re honestly not seeing much theft. I still think catering, client dining and in-house conference centers will still be big. Being able to bring clients into your building to interface with CEOs is so necessary. You’ve got to fuel that energy by feeding them.”

Ken Toong, University of Massachusetts
“I think the future of foodservice is bright. I think directors know now that they must focus on what the customer wants. We can charge for retail whatever you want, but you have to make sure you are competitive and delivering healthy components that supports local suppliers. Food will also continue to become more portable. Using social media to deliver your message and improve sales is just going to get bigger. We have to get [customers] more excited about what we are doing.

"I think its happening now, there’s more connection between us all. Menuwise, I think one-pot dishes are becoming more popular. I also think healthy items are just going to be a part of the menu. There shouldn’t be special stations for those items. Food should be cleaner and less institutional. I think small portions are definitely here to stay.”