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Take note: Rudy Miick on the trends for the new year

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From tech to emotional intelligence, the Foodservice Consultant columnist outlines his seven trends to look out for in 2023

We’ve learned a lot in the last couple of years. Here are seven trends you should pay attention to in the new year.

Tech’s time is here

Artificial intelligence and tech will turn our heads, and “app” us to death.  Some of the elements that are less obvious, but we should pay attention nonetheless are:

With robotics, what does maintenance look like?  What’s the cost over and above the simple cost of acquisition? For those not doing a good job of routine maintenance on traditional equipment, what’s the impact to the tech with the lack of discipline to maintain it.

With AI and the app rampage, how do we get what we need in real data and performance from the developers?  Note: the app alone is not a solution. Operators still need discipline to use the tools.

More green

We’re headed into ever more “green,” and in every way. Take LEED certification and double it. All touch points are an opportunity. B Corp status will grow as a marketable part of our industry on all fronts.

Sadly, there are leaders that couldn’t care less about this trend. It’s incumbent on us as world class consultants to raise awareness on this issue.

Shifts in business segments

Fine Dining is back with a vengeance and it’s here to stay for some years ahead. And, the menu items there had better be thought through for carry out and delivery. Pay attention to menu equipment design and packaging for this reason.

The world of QSR is only going to keep growing for the same reason as fine dining. Price point, cost of living against wages continues to be challenging at best. QSR concepts will continue to flourish. QSR experiments will expand in all directions, expect more ethnic options, organic/vegan and vegetarian.

As for B&I, welcome back! Like QSR, we’ll see concepts expand in all directions, all things “sustainable/green”, expanded options of organic, vegan and more.

Fast Casual is sadly caught in the middle and overbuilt.

For ghost kitchen concepts, my money’s on shared production space blowing up in the next three years. That said, internal multi-concept production kitchens will continue to expand. Catering and commissary kitchens make sense.

Finding and keeping the right people

Hiring will continue to be in the top five challenges in our industry, regardless of segment. And, people issues are only a symptom. This presents an opportunity to define one’s business culture and leadership communication in a way that builds staff engagement with clarity of performance and creating an inspired workplace.

More diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a must. This will be the case for every company, ours and our clients.

Engagement is a must

Gallup’s data shows US staff engagement is only 36% and 22% globally. Engagement is a result of leadership, coaching and clarity of all things “brand performance.”  This is not rocket science, in 2023, it is work to be defined and executed.

Stakeholder capitalism

There’s a big opportunity here: Share how financial statement line-item management works. The operators doing this in 2023 win big. The trend is profit sharing – let’s talk about how.

Emotional intelligence

As a leader conscious personal and emotional management is not just a trend, it’s a must in 2023 and beyond. More on this in the new year!

These seven trends each stand alone.  They also integrate and overlap with each other. Have fun stepping into each and all. Notice the positive impact for your clients and your team.

Rudy Miick FCSI is the founder and president of The Miick Companies, LLC.

Send your questions or comments to rudy@miick.com