Restaurants' Business Week is Shrinking as Pandemic Effects Linger, Study Finds
Staffing shortfalls and other lingering effects of the pandemic have prompted the typical U.S. restaurant to cut its hours by an average of 6.4 hours per week since 2019, according to a new report from the research company Datassential.
A study by the firm shows the rollbacks in operating times are particularly severe for full-service restaurants. Casual-dining restaurants typically cut their hours by 8.9 hours per week, or almost an entire 11 a.m. to 11 p.m shift. Click here to read the full article.
This winter will mark the first time in the history of U.S. management that the Bering Sea snow crab fishery will be closed.
While other crab stocks have been declining in the North Pacific for years, the snow crab fishery’s collapse is doubly shocking for the industry. Not only is it one of the larger crab fisheries by volume in Alaska, it has also gone from booming and healthy to overfished and collapsing within five years, with little warning or clear explanation. Fishermen who made investments in permits and boats less than five years ago are now looking at bankruptcy. To read the full article, click here.
Food was the No. 1 wallet priority for male spending at 23% share, according to Piper Sandler’s Fall Taking Stock with Teens survey, while clothing (30%) outranked food (21%) to capture the highest level of female wallet share since 2012.
The survey highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences from 14,500 teens with an average age of 15.8 years. Click here to read the full article.
Americans are increasingly noticing higher prices for groceries and restaurants and are reacting by trading down.
That’s according to a new study by Yelp that analyzed user searches and reviews in the third quarter and found that more people were searching for affordable food and restaurant options as their angst over prices grew.
Year-over-year inflation actually eased slightly in the quarter after peaking at 9.1% in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and gas prices came down. But September’s 8.2% inflation was higher than expected, and Yelp users’ price complaints grew louder during the period. Click here to read the full article from Restaurant Business.
'Heartbreaking' Hurricane Ian damage to Florida agriculture estimated up to $1.56B
Drawing comparisons to the damage wrought by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hurricane Ian’s damage to Florida crops and livestock has been estimated by University of Florida economists from $787 million to $1.56 billion.
Vegetables and citrus were hard hit by Hurricane Ian in late September, according to the preliminary analysis, available online.
Despite heavy flooding prohibiting full assessments of some fields, the researchers predicted economic impacts to citrus, vegetables and livestock from Hurricane Ian, which hit southwest Florida Sept. 28. Click here to read the full article.
Get ready to see orange juice prices spike at the grocery store thanks to Hurricane Ian
Enjoying a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice is about to get more expensive.
Central Florida, home to sprawling citrus groves responsible for the vast production of fresh oranges and orange juice across the country, took a hit when Hurricane Ian recently ravaged the state. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it could result in record lows for the orange crop. Click here to read the full article.
Driver turnover at private fleets jumped this year to nearly 23%, a record spike, according to the National Private Truck Council’s annual benchmarking survey of 104 private fleets across the U.S.
Despite a year marked by capacity constraints in many areas, including equipment and component shortages, driver shortages and rising diesel fuel prices, private fleets reported growth. In 2022, the private fleets surveyed in NPTC’s 2022 Benchmarking Survey increased shipments by about 10% from last year and increased volume by about 7%. The value of shipments also rose by 11.5%. Click here to read the full article.
A study on the potential for cross-contaminating kitchen surfaces with pathogens during food preparation has pointed to an unlikely culprit for spreading sickness: spice containers. To read the full article, click here.
While food delivery on demand is here to stay, restaurants may still find it makes more sense to focus on their takeout business given consumers’ shifting preference for pickup. Click here to read the full article.
Labor forecast paints a grim picture for independent restaurants this holiday season
The restaurant industry remains about 500,000 employees short of pre-pandemic numbers. A new report from Alignable indicates that this labor picture will be even more challenged for small business owners as they head into the holiday season. According to Alignable’s Holiday Hiring Report, just 7% of small business owners across all industries are recruiting help for Q4, which is down from last year’s seasonal hiring rate of 36%. Click here to read the full article from Nation's Restaurant News.
Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio says higher inflation and supply issues are coursing through the food industry, forcing companies to adopt new strategies for everything from production to promotion to packaging.
And he doesn’t see an end to either issue anytime soon.
“We’ve already increased the prices that we were expecting this year, but I’m predicting that next year, inflation will continue, and as a consequence [we] will have other rounds of price increases,” Patricio said in an interview with CNN Business. Click here to read the full article from CNN Business.
California’s tomato farmers are getting squeezed by water crisis as growing costs continue to rise
Take a summertime drive on Interstate 5 through the heart of the Golden State and it is nearly impossible to miss the truckloads of tomatoes being hauled straight from harvest to production.
This year, however, fewer tomatoes were grown as rising interest rates, inflation and the crushing drought squeezed farmers who saw their margins sliced and diced. While the cost of growing tomatoes continues to rise, it’s ultimately hitting consumers in the wallet as well. Click here to read the full article from CNN.
After 80% population drop in 4 years, Alaska cancels snow crab season in unprecedented move
Alaska officials have canceled several crab harvests in a conservation effort that sent shock waves through the crabbing industry in the region.
Officials canceled the fall Bristol Bay red king crab harvest and, for the first time on record, are holding off on the winter harvest of snow crab, according to multiple reports. Click here to read the full article from USA Today.
Global Eats that Bring the Heat
When the weather gets colder, food gets hotter. There’s a whole world of hot, spicy dishes—but some of them are just starting to get attention on U.S. menus.
Today’s diners have an appetite for international cuisine and heat. Datassential found that one-third of consumers want to try new global foods, and 42 percent seek out spice. Restaurants can vary their winter menus by experimenting with emerging global stars that bring the heat. Click here to read the full article.
The fall emergence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is taking a particular toll on turkey meat producers.
HPAI was confirmed on Wednesday at commercial turkey facilities in Beadle, S.D., and Sanpete, Utah, affecting 71,400 and 47,200 birds respectively, according to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The agency’s 2022 tally of confirmed detections on Thursday stood at 528 commercial and backyard flocks in 42 states, impacting 47.39 million birds.
“This is the time of year that people start importing poultry to their farms and backyard flocks, so it is also the perfect time for poultry growers to review their biosecurity plans,” Alaska’s state veterinarian said this week.
The first case of HPAI in the state was confirmed in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks in April, with additional cases in domestic flocks announced on Tuesday, the official said.
The American Farm Bureau recently cautioned Americans to expect record turkey prices as Thanksgiving approaches, citing the impact of bird flu and inflation.
Within the Sunshine State’s produce industry, it is Florida’s citrus growers facing devastating damage from Hurricane Ian.
In recent days since Sept. 28, when Ian struck southwest Florida, reports from the state’s vast agricultural industry have been emerging. Of course, the hurricane not only flooded gulf-side resorts, such as Ft. Myers, but the vegetable production areas of the Everglades. Ian, the rain and wind maker, also certainly roared through Florida’s southwest and central citrus and vegetable producing areas. Click here to read the full article.
Pickles Surging in Popularity
Pickles have been around for thousands of years, yet they appear to be as popular as ever. Whether as a side or as a burger topping, pickles have become a true staple at restaurants, especially in 2022.
In fact, 43.9% of restaurant menus mentioned pickled ingredients in the second quarter of this year, according to Technomic data. That represents a rise in popularity for pickles during the last couple years. Click here to read the full article.
The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) released its 2023 Foodservice Industry and Segment Projections at its annual Marketing & Sales Conference. The forecast projects that operator spend in the foodservice industry will decline by 0.1 percent, considered flat on a real basis in 2023, compared to 2022. The forecast models were created in conjunction with Datassential, a foodservice research firm, and validated by operators from the Foodservice Leadership Councils, who act as advisors to IFMA and its Board of Directors. Click here to read the full article.
Do you have a plan to help yourself and your client weather difficult economic times? Some businesspeople, while complaining about tough times, feel powerless to do anything that will stimulate business. To pull through the crunch times, your prospects need your value-added solutions more than ever. Here are eight ways you can help sell your way out of tough times. Click here to read the full article.
Breakfast was the top meal of the day for the U.S. restaurant industry in August as traffic grew by 4% compared to August 2021, according to a report from The NPD Group.
The traffic growth is now within 1% of recovering pre-pandemic levels. Quick service restaurant breakfast represented 87% of all breakfast traffic and visits increased by 5% in August – 1% above the pre-pandemic level of August 2019, according to a press release. Click here to read the full article.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza is continuing a destructive path across the United States, with the virus confirmed at poultry producers in half a dozen states in just the last few days.
HPAI was detected Friday among backyard producers in Colorado, North Dakota and Oregon, according to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. HPAI was confirmed on Thursday at a commercial turkey facility with 25,200 birds in York, Pa., alongside outbreaks among other large turkey facilities in Utah and Wisconsin, APHIS said.
As of Monday, the agency’s tally for the year came to 490 confirmed HPAI cases among 490 commercial and backyard flocks in 40 states, affecting 46.86 million birds.
The resurgence of the virus prompted Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday to declare a disaster for a second time this year. The executive order came in the wake of the virus striking a facility with 1.1 million birds in Weld County last month.
The executive order gives state agencies another six months to use what is left of $1 million set aside in April to address the outbreaks.
Farmers in Florida rushed to reach their cattle on Thursday after trees downed by Hurricane Ian broke fences used to contain the animals and rain from the fierce storm flooded fields used for grazing.
One of the mightiest storms to hit the U.S. mainland in recent years, Ian flooded communities on the Gulf Coast before plowing across the peninsula to the Atlantic seaboard. Click here to read the full article.
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