1. History of the food service industry?
The word “history” conjures up memories of high school and college days when students memorized dry facts and names that appeared to have no bearing on their day-to-day lives. But when it comes to learning everything about a chosen career field, reading about its history can serve some very important purposes. For example, the phrase “History always repeats itself” is not without some elements of truth. Let’s say someone has an idea that can improve his or her company’s standing in the market or bring more customers in the door. There is a good chance that another person in the past has already executed a similar idea. Knowing the history of what worked and what did not, and especially why, can save the grief of launching an idea that has already failed many times in the past. It can also inspire people to think of innovative ways to customize their ideas so that they will work. Another important reason to read up on industry history is to understand its trends. Unless an employee has years of experience in the industry, studying its history is the next best way to pick up on important trends. Chef Dave Martin, teacher and chef at New York City’s Vynl restaurants, is most well-known as a Season One contestant on Bravo TV Network’s Top Chef and presents an example of an important trend. He says that during tough times Americans tend to turn to comfort foods. “In today’s economy the fancy fluff is not working,” says Martin. “People want real food that tastes good and doesn’t break the pocketbook.” And lastly, the story of how the industry got to this point in time when on a typical day 130 million Americans will eat at a restaurant (according to the National Restaurant Association), is actually pretty darn interesting. From feudal times to the arrival of the fast casual segment, this history will give you insights on why the food services industry is one of the largest in the world today...
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