US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD) today released the results of a new
survey of 500 independent restaurant decision makers to gauge their
outlook on critical operational decisions. Although half of restaurant
decision makers think technology is a way to address food waste, manage
staff and drive customer traffic, only one-third of them are
“This gap between the promise and adoption of technology to run
restaurants successfully is an important one to close,” said Adam Stinn,
director of business solutions for US Foods. “There is a universe of
technology solutions that can reduce the operating headaches. But that’s
also the problem – the number of choices and the time it takes to sort
through them. Through our CHECK Business Tools program, we have taken
the guesswork out of the equation by helping operators diagnose the
opportunity and invest in the right solution. Whether it’s a website
upgrade, online ordering or back of the house efficiency, we have vetted
hundreds of solutions to bring our customers the right technology to
solve their biggest challenges.”
There are three primary areas in which independent operators have
identified the biggest opportunities: driving customer traffic,
simplifying staffing and reducing food waste. US Foods’ survey further
explores restaurant decision makers’ views on these topics.
Driving Customer Traffic
It’s no surprise that in today’s shifting digital world, the way
restaurants attract new customers has changed. According to the survey
results, a quarter of restaurant decision makers feel that attracting
customers has gotten harder in the last year.
Compared to a year ago, marketing decision makers are investing more
into how they promote their restaurants, with 75 percent offering more
specials for customers, 68 percent spending more on digital advertising,
67 percent hosting more events and 51 percent using third-party
services. Most marketing decision makers (80 percent) said keeping up
with the competition’s marketing efforts was important to them.
To help drive online and in-store customer traffic, US Foods offers a
suite of solutions through CHECK Business Tools, including menu design
support to drive profitability, online ordering capabilities for to-go
sales and website design support.
Staffing Can Be Stressful
Thirty-five percent of restaurant operators say that they currently have
job openings that are proving hard to fill.1 So it’s no
surprise that US Foods’ survey found that half of restaurant decision
makers named hiring, training or managing staff as their greatest
sources of stress.
Forty-nine percent also expressed concern about a labor shortage in the
restaurant industry, and only 59 percent felt confident in hiring
skilled employees. Further, only 20 percent said they were increasing
their recruiting efforts and only 30 percent were creating robust
employee training programs.
To help solve for these staffing challenges, CHECK Business Tools can
help operators optimize key restaurant staffing processes including team
management, scheduling and staff training so operators can recruit
quality candidates, track labor expense, simplify payroll, and attract
and retain quality staff.
Fighting Food Waste
Waste is a costly part of running a restaurant. More than a third of
food in the U.S. is lost or wasted, which amounts to 133 billion pounds
or $161 billion worth of food each year.2 According to the US
Foods survey, 79 percent of restaurant decision makers are at least
somewhat concerned about food waste in their restaurant, but they
struggle to prioritize and act on their concern, citing inefficient food
preparation (36 percent), the inability to accurately forecast demand
(35 percent) and portion sizes (34 percent) as the main drivers of waste
in their restaurants.
Three in five (58 percent) food decision makers say they are tracking
some things related to food waste but know they could be doing more to
meet their goals. Meanwhile, only about a third (30
percent) have a formal process in place to track their goals.
To combat spoilage, over-portioning and pilferage, CHECK Business Tools
include menu profitability support that will monitor the profitability
of each menu item and standardize all recipes. Purchasing and inventory
management solutions are also available so that operators know exactly
what to order and when, based on accurate predictive sales forecasting.
New to the CHECK Business Tools Lineup
US Foods is also announcing a new partnership to add Toast,
the fastest-growing restaurant management platform in the U.S., to the
CHECK Business Tools portfolio. Toast powers successful restaurants of
all sizes with a technology platform that combines restaurant POS, front
of house, back of house and guest-facing technology with a diverse
marketplace of third-party applications.
For more information on CHECK Business Tools, please visit https://www.usfoods.com/our-services/check.html.
About US Foods
US Foods is one of America’s great food companies and a leading
foodservice distributor, partnering with approximately 250,000
restaurants and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed.
With 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations, US Foods provides its
customers with a broad and innovative food offering and a comprehensive
suite of e-commerce, technology and business solutions. US Foods is
headquartered in Rosemont, Ill. and generates approximately $24 billion
in annual revenue. Visit usfoods.com to learn more.
US Foods and TRUE Global Intelligence™, the in-house research practice
of FleishmanHillard, conducted a 10-minute online survey among a sample
of 508 restaurant operators, from April 19 through April 29, to explore
the operational challenges, needs and attitudes among restaurant
operators. Sub-groups of restaurant operators with staffing
decision-making responsibilities (n=456), marketing decision-making
responsibilities (n=439), and food management decision-making
responsibilities (n=389) were analyzed. The margin of error is +/-4.4
percent at a 95 percent confidence level.