Made in America

Will an uptick in manufacturing plants lead to more B&I foodservice locations?

The cover story for the April 22 issue of Time was about the rebounding manufacturing industry in the United States. Companies like Apple, Dow Chemical and JetBlue are opening new plants in the U.S., and manufacturing is one industry that has actually created jobs during the recession.

Nine percent of the U.S. workforce—12 million people—is directly employed in manufacturing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here’s what Time had to say:

“Climbing out of the recession, the U.S. has seen its manufacturing growth outpace that of other advanced nations, with some 500,000 jobs created in the past three years. It marks the first time in more than a decade that the number of factory jobs had gone up instead of down.”

The question I couldn’t help but ask was: Will that growth translate to more B&I foodservice operations?

I’d like to think so. Many of these manufacturing plants aren’t located in areas that are teeming with options where employees can dine. That food desert lends itself quite nicely to an in-house run foodservice operation.

B&I foodservice shouldn’t be options for only those Silicon Valley businesses—think Facebook and Google. There’s an opportunity to provide a service to employees—and make money for the client company—in manufacturing plants as well. Let’s hope companies are smart enough to see the value. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

FSD Resources