The Big Picture

A comprehensive, data-driven overview of the non-commercial foodservice industry
This month FoodService Director releases the results of The Big Picture, which we believe is the most comprehensive non-commercial research project ever conducted.
Colleges and schools are significantly more likely than other segments to have unionized employees. These two segments are also significantly more likely than other markets to have higher-than-average part-time foodservice employees. Our profile also examines sex, age, racial/ethnic and staff position makeups for the college market.
If you’re looking to freshen up your breakfast menu, try adding fruit (fresh or prepackaged), yogurt/parfaits or cold cereal/cereal bars.
Demand for freshness is spurring foodservices of all types to consider more scratch cooking in the morning, but school cafeterias are finding that quest tougher to pursue when they start serving breakfast in the classroom.
Schools and colleges are significantly more likely than other segments to have unionized employees. These two segments are also significantly more likely than other markets to have higher-than-average part-time foodservice employees.
Milk does a body good, and it also helps operators’ bottom line. Milk, at 18%, makes up the highest sales percentage of beverages for non-commercial operators, according to The Big Picture research.
Half of operators say fruit is the snack category (excluding vending) that has growth potential in the next two years. Second to fruit is the dips/salsa/hummus category, with 24% of operators saying this area will increase in sales.
Only 5% of operators have an on-site garden or farm for which the foodservice team is responsible. Most operators say they don’t have an on-site garden/farm and have no plans to start one.
Call them what you will: mobile canteens, lunch wagons, catering vans or even the pejorative “roach coaches.” Food trucks, once the “restaurant” of choice for employees outside of manufacturing plants, steel mills, military bases and more, are back.
Renovations and new construction are two of the surest ways to create buzz around an operation’s foodservice.

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