SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Craig Fissel

Recent Posts

Overcoming the Challenge of Managing Untested Kitchen Staff

Posted by Craig Fissel

Oct 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The path from your ingredient supply chain to your customer's plate is a winding one, with plenty of obstacles to overcome along the way. Balancing flavor profiles, designing an appealing menu, keeping both raw ingredients and finished dishes at the optimal temperatures — all that translates to a lot on your plate. If your kitchen is a well-oiled machine, your staff is the fuel that keeps it running, and many managers are so caught up with keeping issues like these at bay that they neglect the performance of that fuel. From sanitary best practices to sous vide, your employees should be able to handle it all without breaking a sweat, but what happens if untested staff is your only resource? There are three guidelines you'll need to incorporate into your operational approach.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Service

3 Characteristics of Competitiveness in the QSR Industry

Posted by Craig Fissel

Aug 26, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The QSR industry can be pretty cutthroat.

Consumers are spoiled for choice, but they have a finite amount of time and money. What makes eaters choose this restaurant and not that? What makes them choose fast food over grocery grab-and-go items, sit-down casual or staying in and eating at home? Moreover, what keeps a fast food restaurant ahead of its competitors? Cost margins are too tight to allow much room for error. And consumer taste preferences are ever-shifting, so robust marketing and R&D strategies are a must.

Today, let’s take a look at 3 characteristics that can spell the difference between success and failure in the QSR industry.

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Topics: Food Service, QSR

How the QSR Industry Can Decide Which Consumer Trends to Follow

Posted by Craig Fissel

Jul 29, 2016 3:30:00 PM

From creative ways to showcase spam to fairy bread and sriracha sauce, food trends come and go; embracing the wrong trends can cost you.  Following trends can help you capitalize on popularity and offer items that are likely to be accepted by your target demographic — provided you choose trends that have some staying power.

Choose the wrong trend to follow and you could miss out in a variety of ways.

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Topics: Food Service, Trends, QSR

How Consumers Are Driving the Future of Fast Food Sourcing

Posted by Craig Fissel

Jun 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The plate — or box and bag, for to-go customers — used to be the final say in consumer satisfaction. Consumers bought a fast food meal because the taste and quality of the food made the grade — or didn't patronize a chain because their food didn’t make the cut. While that's still true, the scope of discerning customers has pulled back to widen the frame, centering on the journey to that box, bag or plate as well.

Fast food sourcing is in a unique position of having to "untrain" itself out of decades of price-centered pursuit and start paying attention to the story of their supply chain as well. Make no mistake, pricing is still important — customers still demand great value for their QSR dollar, after all — but simply moving ingredients from origin to destination won't cut it in terms of competition. Customers are, by virtue of their wallet-votes, beginning to demand more from their chain experiences, and that means that smart QSR brands are paying attention and planning accordingly.

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Topics: Food Service, Trends, Sustainability, QSR

5 Ways Poor Supply Chain Management Can Ruin a Fast Food Business

Posted by Craig Fissel

May 9, 2016 2:30:00 PM

For many consumers on the go, mealtimes no longer offer a regular break in the daily schedule — they’re necessities that need to be wedged into compressed time spaces between other activities. The astounding growth we’ve seen in the fast-and-fresh sector and in ready-to-eat food sales at groceries proves that.

A significant portion of modern consumers lack either the time or the desire (or both) to fit food prep into their days. And that means that they’re placing the onus on the food industry to meet their needs and taste preferences. Much of that demand is now met by QSR concerns.

But where there is great opportunity, there is also risk. Today’s consumers don’t want to wait and they don’t want to be told “we’re out.” So, the keys to profitability and success in a fast food operation inevitably come down to this: how agile is your supply chain?

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Topics: Food Service, Supply Chain, QSR

The Real Skills You Should Look for in a Food Supply Chain Distribution Partner

Posted by Craig Fissel

Jan 22, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Every supply chain has its challenges. If the product you're moving is food, however, those challenges are multiplied. After all, food is often so fragile in a variety of complicated ways. Food products may need to be kept frozen, for instance, or protected from freezing. They may break easily, requiring specialized packaging and handling. And, almost all food, even the canned variety, comes with an expiration date. Expiration dates which can be — especially with products like berries, lettuce or seafood — alarmingly short.

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Topics: Supply Chain