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The foodservice industry is the birthplace of the latest food trends, and in talking to Jeffrey Quasha, corporate executive R&D chef of Morrison Healthcare, that hasn’t stopped during the past 18 months, though it might have slowed down in some places or taken on a different flavor.

“For years we had this model and we could keep driving innovations and trends, but now we had to completely change that model but still continue to drive innovation and trends,” he said about the pivots the foodservice industry had to make to address the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While once the industry may have been focused on limited time offers and quarterly promotions, today is all about menu optimization while still bringing tantalizing dishes to the customer. As the world emerges into this slow recovery and people accept risk to enjoy food outside of the home, Mr. Quasha noted take-out exhaustion and a desire for fresh.

“We realized a lot of our consumers wanted to interact with us — socially distant of course — but they also wanted to see their food made fresh,” he said. “It’s the Chipotle experience, where they want to point to what they want and see their food made in front of them. A lot of people are tired of takeout and want to visualize their food being made.”

But don’t misunderstand. Mr. Quasha doesn’t anticipate delivery and takeout going anywhere and is testing new concepts accordingly.

Listen to this episode of Since Sliced Bread to find out which major shifts he anticipates will stick around and how that’s changing what Morrison Healthcare needs from bakery suppliers.

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