FOOD SERVICE STARTING TO BOUNCE BACK

on Monday, 22 June 2020. Posted in Blog & News

Restaurant sales bounced back in May, according to new federal data, as consumers continued to emerge from quarantine to use drive-thrus and other takeout services as states started gradually reopening dining rooms. Food services and drinking places sales rose 29% to $38.6 billion, leading a 17.7% overall increase in retail sales last month, according to new U.S. Census data. The numbers suggest that the industry has hit a bottom. April sales were just under $30 billion, less than half of where they were in April a year ago and the lowest sales number for the industry in well over a decade.

Yet May’s sales, while an improvement, remain well below normal. The industry has a long way to go to fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic and state-led quarantines that closed dine-in service at restaurants around the country. May’s restaurant sales are still $25 billion below where they were a year ago. Sales have to improve another 39% before they can fully recover. Chains reporting their sales figures have all suggested things are improving. Denny’s, the family dining chain, said on Tuesday that same-store sales have improved each week since early April to a decline of 40% in the week ended June 10 from a decline of 79% in the last week of March. Meanwhile, the number of restaurants with operating dining rooms have increased from 11 on April 29 to 1,234 on June 10. Fast-food giant McDonald’s also said it’s improving, from a decline of 19.2% in the U.S. in April to a decline of 5.1% in May. (Restaurant Business Online)

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Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

As America’s Favorite Vegetable, potatoes can help provide students with the nutrients and energy they need to do their best during the school day. That’s why it’s important to remind school foodservice operators that potatoes are not only delicious, but also cost-effective and a nutritious addition to the school menu. In partnership with the School Nutrition Association (SNA), two webinars featured potatoes.  The first webinar, “Maximize Your Menus and Minimize Labor Constraints with Potatoes”, showcased potatoes through on-trend, student-friendly menu innovations and solutions to ease labor strains. The second webinar, “Fun Summer Feeding with Potatoes”, showcased how putting potatoes at the center of the plate can enhance summer feeding programs in fresh and fun ways. Both webinars included a live cooking demonstration with Potatoes USA Culinary Director Chef RJ Harvey, RD and Award-Winning Author Dayle Hayes, MS, RD. The demonstrations were pre-recorded in the Potatoes USA Spud Lab and were a big hit with the participants. Webinars Key Takeaways: Nutritional benefits of potatoes at an affordable price How potatoes can limit food waste Ways potatoes can take over as the center of the plate How serving potatoes to children over the summer can be fun Upon webinar completion, attendees were able to earn continuing education credits. All recipes and resources utilized in the webinar are available on the SNA website for future download. Following are some quotes from the operators who were very engaged in the webinar chat. “My favorite Webinar I’ve seen so far this year. VERY helpful and insightful. Well Done!”  “Love Dayle and RJ as a team. Can they please start a cooking youtube series? ‘Dayle and RJ: Potatoes for All!’” “Great webinar, gained new ideas for using potatoes. Thank you!” SNA is recognized as the authority on school nutrition and utilizes weekly webinars to educate their 50,000+ members. For more information on K-12 School Foodservice marketing activities, email potatoesraisethebar@potatoesusa.com.

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