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the big picture

Operations

Sustainability initiatives

Recycling and waste reduction are the two sustainability initiatives that operators use. Nearly every college recycles (95%), making it the segment that employs this tactic the most. Nursing homes/long-term care and senior living are the most likely segments to not employ any of these environmentally friendly programs, at 14%.

Operations

Purchasing equipment top budget challenge

Four out of 10 operators indicated that finding the money to purchase new equipment and an overall declining budget were their top budget challenges.

Reducing staff hours/positions is the most often cited tactic operators employ to cut costs (48%). B&I, colleges and schools are more likely than hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care, senior living and retirement homes to cut the number of menu items as a way to reduce costs. Schools (28%) are the most likely to lower costs by making fewer items from scratch. Colleges are the most likely segment to reduce hours of operation (34%).

According to The Big Picture, non-commercial operators (43%, the highest for any equipment category) are planning to spend their equipment budgets buying cooking gear (e.g., stoves, ovens or fryers) in the next two years.

Most operators believe their job responsibilities have expanded outside of their traditional roles—even though the great majority of them do not manage multiple departments.

B&I (42%) and colleges (37%) were the most likely segments to report an increase in costs due to sustainability initiatives like compostable disposables and local purchasing.

Schools say their costs for fresh fruits and vegetables have increased the most in the past two years (76% and 79%, respectively). Only 22% of schools indicated that their beef costs have increased, while the remainder of the non-commercial market chose beef (70%) as the product registering their highest cost increase.

In a period of rising costs, it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that, according to The Big Picture, foodservice budgets have also been increasing during the last couple of years. Overall, 73% of operators say their food budgets have increased in the last two years, 55% say their labor budgets have increased and 43% say their equipment/technology budgets have risen.

Seventy percent of operators offer grab and go as part of their programs, and of those, 79% said they have created their own brands for these items.

Half of the respondents to our survey indicated that they are more concerned about food safety now than they were five years ago, and 46% say they are just as concerned now.

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