The saturation of the food service industry is widely discussed, primarily because factors like unemployment rates and supply chain challenges affect the sector. External aspects like competition and seasonality are also important in understanding the dynamics of the food industry, which is slowly reaching a turning point.
However, the sector’s global market size is forecasted to increase considerably until 2028. Although this seems like a good thing, companies might face serious problems maintaining their brand, while small businesses will find it difficult to stand out, considering the market saturation.
Customer behaviors constantly change, and environmental and social issues influence their preferences, so guessing what they want is almost impossible.
Still, the food service industry surely needs an update on its approaches, so companies that know how to adapt to different currents will always attract attention, regardless of the market’s condition. Here’s how your business can do it, too.
Start by Choosing High-quality Suppliers
The success of your business begins with suppliers of high quality. Unfortunately, up to today’s business standards, it’s not enough for a supplier to provide satisfying goods. The relationship between your company and the supplying business should be based on common views and settled contracts. Choosing a food ingredient supplier should be done considering the following aspects:
- The production capabilities that meet your standards;
- The expertise processes in identifying and fixing challenges;
- The company culture they present;
- The cooperation process with third parties;
- The ethical compliance implied in the manufacturing step;
This step is crucial in working with a reliable and trustworthy supplier whose practices and actions are in regard to social, economic and environmental aspects of the world. At the same time, the level and ease of communication between your company and the supplier is essential for settling proper relationships.
Develop Proper Manufacturing Processes
Manufacturing is an essential step in a company’s success in the food production process. Since it’s a vast sector, all food manufacturing industries require different equipment and regulations, such as the following:
- Meat processing is done differently for all types of meat and requires dangerous equipment;
- Dairy products need complex storage places and machines, such as separators or batch mixers;
- Snack foods made of cereals, nuts and fruits are more straightforward to create, but you need a reliable nuts manufacturer, for example, for the product to be of high quality;
- Beverages demand a long process of purification, filtration and ultraviolet treatment for the final drink to be safe;
Your company must be prepared for each product type in developing a correct manufacturing process while being wary of potential risks. Devising a plan B for anything is necessary because you better reduce the risk of contamination and reduce waste. At the same time, introducing GMPs (good manufacturing practices) is essential to ensure your workers’ safety and the quality of your products.
Improve your Social Media Approach
It’s a general truth that companies with great social media visibility are more successful than those that are not present on any platform. Social media is beneficial for both small businesses because it’s affordable and for well-developed companies since it offers an efficient tool for analyzing metrics and improving current strategies.
Reaching great results with social media is possible if your team is able to follow online trends and use the existing content to develop a unique brand image for the business. Being present on platforms like Instagram and taking advantage of the Reel format will increase visibility. However, TikTok is leading the social media industry, so make sure to post frequently on these platforms to gain more attention for your brand.
Correct your Customer Service Methods
Although technology is widely developed and helps streamline businesses, you’ll notice that most customers still seek human interaction when engaging with a company. This proved true, especially after the pandemic, when clients had no choice but to rely on robots and tech solutions to minimize human interaction.
Customers are easily frustrated with automated support because it’s not accurately helping most of the time. Companies that continue using automated support despite their poor service will immediately be switched to other businesses that prioritize human interaction. But for this to work, organizations must adequately train their employees so they’ll be able to help clients in any situation.
Reduce Food Waste
As a company in the food service industry, you must maintain the goal of reducing food waste, which is essential for customers to know, but also a contribution to nature’s wellbeing. You may have noticed that numerous businesses are prone to greenwashing, promoting the company as mitigating for sustainability, but without any evidence.
Reducing food waste while working in this sector might seem challenging. The improper use of food, leftovers and even poor packaging led to 13% of produce being wasted between harvesting and retailing. Along with 17% of wasted household food, these statistics make up for 38% of the energy usage globally within the food service industry.
Hence, reducing waste would not only save money but also resources, which would help companies greatly in reaching their profit goals. Here are some ideas to minimize food waste as a business:
- Avoid overproduction by manufacturing only according to demand;
- Make use of excess food by transforming them into new products;
- Recycle non-edible parts of the foods, such as packaging;
- Approach making compost that can be later used in growing produce;
- Find efficient storing applications and processes;
- Donate excess food as long as it’s still healthy;
Considering the thrilling competition, standing out in the food service industry is a real challenge for current and future companies. Seeing how crowded the market is with several businesses that sell the same thing, the only things your company can do is prioritize social media, customer support, and environmentalism. These factors will help customers identify the businesses that know what’s important and don’t want only profit. However, you must also be wary of the direction the food sector is going because you should base your strategies on how the real world is changing.