It’s never been easy to operate a restaurant, and in recent years it’s been even harder.
In 2020, Covid restrictions ground the nation’s bustling restaurant industry to a halt. Since then, there have been significant signs of a rebound: Dining rooms have reopened and customers have returned to cafes, fine-dining establishments and fast food joints.
But there are fewer US restaurants today than in 2019. It’s not clear when —if ever — they’re coming back. Click here to read the full article.
The worst-ever outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza continued, with the virus affecting flocks in the U.S. and abroad.
On Feb. 21, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced an HPAI outbreak in a commercial broiler production flock in Lancaster County, Pa. The USDA stated that 97,700 birds were affected, and the outbreak is still considered active.
That is the third commercial broiler outbreak so far in 2023. On Jan. 20, a detection in Weakley County, Tenn. affected 267,800 birds, and a Feb. 7 outbreak in Leake County, Miss. affected 89,800 birds.
Like the U.S., Canada is also grappling with historic HPAI outbreaks. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, approximately 7.2 million domestic birds in Canada have been affected in the last year, with 3.7 million cullings in British Columbia alone. The Globe and Mail notes that more than $82 million has been paid, to date, as compensation for cullings.
South America, Caribbean cases
HPAI was recently declared "endemic" by world health experts, and the virus has continued its spread to other countries.
In the last week, both Argentina and Uruguay confirmed their first cases among wild birds, according to Poultry World. Currently, Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname are the only South American countries without detections. Argentina’s secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Juan José Bahillo, blamed migratory birds for the country's detection; the secretary called an emergency meeting to address matters.
Additionally, WATT cited WOAH reports that three birds at Cuba's Jardín Zoológico de La Habana zoo in Havana died from HPAI. The detection resulted in the culling of 82 birds in the zoo's area.
The price for a restaurant meal continued to increase at a rate faster than overall inflation in January, according to federal data released on Tuesday, as operators kept increasing their charges to offset narrowing profit margins.
Food-away-from-home prices increased 0.6% in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past year, those prices are up 8.2%.
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Positive customer engagement can build long-lasting connections between customers and your brand. However, if you're not doing it right, customers will disengage, negatively affecting your overall revenue. Click here to read the full article.
The burgeoning influence of Generation Alpha, whose oldest members will start hitting their teens this year, will have a growing effect on food trends in the coming years, Datassential's Samantha Des Jardins writes. Other factors expected to drive food trends in 2023 include artificial intelligence, greater risk-taking with menus, and a broadening of the definition of "third place" as more people shift to working from home.
Datassential, the leading food and beverage insights platform connecting the dots between consumers and the food industry, has unveiled the tentpole themes and macro trends that will impact the food industry in the coming year. Click here to read the full article.
Higher ingredient costs will continue to plague restaurant operators in 2023, forcing them to streamline menus, according to several foodservice industry experts. Click here to read more.
USDA confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey farm in Virginia, the second such incident in the space of a week.
The latest HPAI outbreak affected 10,700 turkeys at a farm in Rockingham County, Va., and is the second in the Shenandoah Valley at a commercial turkey farm in January, USDA reported.
The earlier outbreak, also in Rockingham County, affected 25,300 birds, according to a report from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that also was confirmed by USDA. The turkeys in that incident were culled to prevent the spread of the virus and represented the first such HPAI outbreak in the state.
Unlike the 17 states where USDA has confirmed at least one HPAI outbreak since late 2021, the Virginia outbreaks have affected only commercial poultry operations as infections nationwide continue to show only moderate signs of slowing down.
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