The segment is highly dependent on consumer spending patterns and requires constant innovation to keep customers satisfied. One restaurant trend that is sweeping across stadiums nationwide is the change from central, back-of-the house kitchens to several decentralized kitchens spread throughout the facility. These satellite kitchens allow for fresher, made-to-order food options that appeal to the consumer. For example, the recent renovations to the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City even installed low-profile countertops so customer can view their food being prepared as they wait.
Operators within the leisure segment are facing several daunting challenges and consumer requests, impacting them in 2017 and the years to come. In addition to the need for more fresh and healthy concession alternatives, operators are struggling to find skilled labor to staff kitchens and prepare expanded food offerings. By introducing self-serve kiosks and expanding mobile ordering, operators are trying to reduce wait times and lines, minimize labor costs and alleviate possible food safety concerns that can occur through direct human interaction with the food items. The introduction of sealed, freshly prepared snacks, such as hummus with pretzels or raw vegetable medleys, can further alleviate food safety issues.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.