2020 was particularly hard for the foodservice industry and 2021 doesn’t look any better. The good news is that businesses who survived the global pandemic will probably live to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are looking especially good for companies involved in vegan food. By 2026, the market is expected to reach $31.4 billion, at a CAGR of approximately 10-11% (2019-2016).
Ghost kitchens have been one of the dominant topics in the foodservice business in 2020, and not just since Covid-19. Successful concepts are celebrated and challenges discussed. The consensus is that ghost kitchens are here to stay. The only remaining question is: at what price?
Yes, working in this industry is hard. The long hours and the stress are sometimes more than one can take. From experience, there are very few moments where you can feel the satisfying rush of the moment than in a restaurant that has just finished a busy service. This energy and excitement can make great teams and people – or break them.
2020 was the year of Covid-19. Restrictions, lockdowns, reopening… and lockdowns again. The foodservice industry got hit the hardest by contact restrictions and the forced closures of restaurants. We will face an unprecedented revenue loss of up to 300 billion US$ by the end of 2020 . The decline in Europe may be as high as 51-77% . The story of 2020 couldn’t have been better described in some dystopian novel.
Finding good staff and retaining it is not only a challenge anymore; it is getting a serious threat for the foodservice industry. The average turnover rate in the U.S. in 2018 was at an astronomical high of 74.9% and European turnover reached almost similar numbers (70%). Losing an employee can cost a pretty penny – up to 115% of an annual salary.
You are right. It is difficult to see the pandemic’s positive effect and accept some of the change as a benefit, especially if these changes were made to the industry without warning. It would be cynical to speak of Covid-19 as a positive impetus in the face of closures in almost all segments and strokes of fate for so many, which become more real the closer we are to those affected. Despite alarming numbers and the fact that the pandemic is far from being over, Covid-19 forces to reshape and reinvent the industry accelerating changes in a few months, which we would otherwise have seen only in years.
The food- and foodservice industry as we know it today will not change – it will turn upside down! Looking at 2030, consumers will understand their influence and share on the way ahead of us. Being in the comfortable position to choose whatever food we desire, there will be more choices and at the same time limitations on the table. Especially ethical and environmental issues will come even more in sight, while individual behavior and needs fragment the food (-service) industry. However, there is no reason to worry, because the chances within are plenty!