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Devastating was the word that Wade Hanson, principal in the advisory practice at Technomic, used to describe the impact of 2020 on the foodservice industry. Sales across the entire industry were down 25.6% in 2020 and 11% of restaurants closed permanently. And all this for an industry that rarely experiences a downturn.

“The journey has been devastating in many ways, including to people’s livelihoods, but the impact of 2020 was felt differently depending on the type of operation that we’re talking about,” Mr. Hanson said in this episode of Since Sliced Bread.

While all foodservice categories struggled in 2020, quick-service restaurants fared better and have experienced a full recovery against 2019 data. Hotel foodservice, on the other hand, was one of the hardest hit and continues to experience a slow recovery as travel remains unstable.

In this episode of Since Sliced Bread, Mr. Hanson sits down with Charlotte Atchley, editor of Baking & Snack, to provide some context to how the foodservice industry was impacted by the pandemic and what the recovery looks like today. While consumer demand for restaurants is high and the future looks bright, the picture has nuance.

“Anyone involved in this industry needs to develop strategies for each segment or different type of operator,” Mr. Hanson explained. “What a fast-casual operator needs right now is very different from what a hotel foodservice operator needs right now.”

Listen to this episode to learn more about what the future holds for foodservice and what bakers can expect as they support these customers.

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