SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

2 Great Ways to Bring Your Restaurant Operations Up to Speed

Posted by Frank Barcelona

Oct 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In fast food restaurant operations, speed is everything. Customers make nearly instantaneous decisions — a long line at the drive-thru or walk-up window can mean the difference between a hungry customer pulling in or driving on to a competitor.

Menu items can’t take a lot of assembly time. Cook-to-order times can’t be very long. Asking customers to pull ahead and wait for their order to be brought out to them doesn’t work well — running orders slows down drive-thru times, and longer waits discourage repeat business. At the same time, modern consumers want fresh food prepared with premium ingredients. They want to be able to customize their orders. And they want their food at an affordable price.

So how can your QSR company stay ahead? How can it meet so many seemingly contradictory consumer demands? How can it be all things to all customers?

Let’s look at 2 strategies your restaurant could employ to speed up service, while meeting diners’ demands for fresh and inexpensive fare.

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Topics: Food Service, Innovation, Technology

Technology Empowers Sustainability in the Fast Food Supply Chain

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

May 20, 2016 11:30:00 AM

One of the biggest problems fast food supply chain managers and procurement directors have historically faced has been a lack of transparency within the supply chain. In a consumer environment in which we are seeing more demand by the day for increased transparency, the lack of knowledge about what is going on upstream is a real dilemma.

No one wants to be in the position of being caught in the middle of a social media-fired bad PR frenzy because of a supplier’s missteps or misdeeds. Companies, like Chipotle, have so far been able to stay ahead of them; other companies — Adidas, Nike and Apple for example — have found themselves in some cases behind the curve.

So how can procurement directors and supply chain managers keep better tabs on their suppliers and logistics vendors? For that matter, how can they find cheaper, more efficient and more ethical vendors? Technology offers us many capabilities that can be leveraged to do just that.

From greater visibility to better vendors, technology plays a critical role in ensuring sustainability in the fast food supply chain. Crowdsourcing software, data analysis tools and tracking technologies offer managers better top-to-bottom visibility over a fast food company’s entire supply chain.

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Topics: Supply Chain, QSR, Food Service, Technology

4 Supply Chain Management Tools Your Fast Food Business Can't Live Without

Posted by Lance Layman

May 2, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The competition between QSR businesses was cutthroat well before QSR-Plus entered the picture. Today, with QSR and fast casual duking it out for the same market share, keeping your fast food supply chain aligned with emerging trends is the best way to stay ahead of the pack. Using tools that are tuned into the rich rewards of big data streams help by adding accuracy and efficiency. If these four must-have tools aren't influencing your supply chain yet, it's time to get on board and start listening to what they have to say. 

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Topics: Supply Chain, QSR, Food Service, Technology

Why the Fast Food Industry Needs Better Supply Chain Metrics

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Apr 11, 2016 2:00:00 PM

If the pervasiveness of dollar menu mentality is any indication, price points are crucial to competitiveness in the fast food industry. So why is big data underutilized or outright ignored in the typical fast food supply chain? Still caught in a lingering procurement cycle plagued by shortages, safety scandals and other — admittedly important — distractions, the fast food industry is understandably hesitant to tackle yet another potential issue. As big data sweeps through industries like healthcare, leaving cost saving efficiency in its wake, it's becoming harder to ignore the benefits of data scrutiny.  So what can big data really do for fast food, an industry typically too focused on the road ahead to pay attention to the road behind? 

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Topics: Supply Chain, QSR, Technology, Food Service

The Right Technology Checks Can Make Your Procurement a Breeze

Posted by Steve Shutte

Mar 18, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Technology has revolutionized the growing, harvesting and packaging of food products, but too often, supply chain partners treat this as a one-way benefit. In fact, gathering data to analyze and use as a forecasting tool is one of best methods for improving procurement from a retailer's perspective. Food technology can be structured to convey considerably more information than mere stock shortages. It can become a mini SWOT-style analysis for what you're doing right — and help pinpoint areas that could use a little improvement. 

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Topics: Technology, Supply Chain

Why You Want a Meat Distributor with an Interest in the IoT

Posted by Ed Rodden

Mar 11, 2016 2:00:00 PM

While there are many new additions to flavorings, presentations, pack sizes and other format-based attributes of meat, the core product remains essentially the same. This means that meat distributors have begun to hone their offerings in the treatment, transport and storage of that product to remain competitive. If your current or potential meat distributor doesn't utilize the IoT and supply chain data in their handling, it may be time to find a new one. Careful and transparent supply chain control leads to a better presentation, taste and perception on the consumer end of the food supply chain, after all. Companies that are still using "analog" meat suppliers as tech marches forward could find themselves outmatched among competitors.

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Topics: Technology, Supply Chain

Why Bacon Manufacturing Is More about Food Technology Than Packaging

Posted by Steve Shutte

Feb 19, 2016 8:30:00 AM

A single recall or health scandal can turn a household name and market darling into the low bar for their competitors, virtually overnight. Just ask a brand like Blue Bell or Jeni's. Food safety is swiftly becoming a focus and a need for informed consumers, who expect impeccable behaviors in every step of the supply chain — from the initial supplier to the final plate. Ingredient viability and safety is a vital component when they're voting with their dollar, which is why they reach for brands that emphasize trustworthy handling procedures and innovative packaging solutions. However, these two brand-boosting moves alone aren't enough to fully secure a supply chain, especially if they're applied after the fact. Recovery from a food safety scandal can be infinitely more expensive than preventative measures, which is why you need to carefully evaluate your supply chain.

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Topics: Bacon, Technology, Supply Chain, Food Safety

Transparency is the Key to Keeping up with Today's Food Trends

Posted by Jim Coughlin

Feb 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Technology has revolutionized the warehouse, connecting the supply chain on levels that hadn't ever been considered even a few short years ago. It has also dramatically altered the supply and demand landscape outside of the warehouse walls, speeding up product cycles and popularity spikes. Customers now discuss and engage with brands and one another on social media and through mobile devices on the go. This means that in order to properly leverage opportunities, a food supply chain must be poised and ready to move, and it can't do that without transparency.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Technology, Trends

2 Things Your Procurement Process Is Missing When You're Only Focused on Price

Posted by SugarCreek

Feb 5, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Today's supply chain data is incredible. It's rich with opportunities for companies of all sizes to become more efficient, protect product until it reaches the customer, and reduce costs. Yet, many times, the only thing the procurement process looks at when selecting a distributor is price. That's a mistake.

Turn back the clock a few decades and your options in distributors were less diverse. The risks to your supply chain seemed fewer and farther between, too—or at least unavoidable, no matter which distributor you chose. There were a limited number of companies that were globally connected, especially at the small to mid-size business range, too. Choosing the distributor who offered the best product at the lowest price was more straightforward.

Today's marketplace is constantly growing and changing. While price is an important factor, it is not the only factor to consider when selecting a distributor.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Technology

5 Ways Legacy Technology Is Bad for Your Food Supply Chain

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Feb 1, 2016 9:15:00 AM

Legacy technology is easy and comfortable. It's what your organization has always used. It may be the affordable, simple thing to keep doing, but it is also costing your company more than you realize. If you haven't updated your technology in some time, it may no longer be functioning the way it should within your organization. With trends and technologies evolving at lightning speed within the food industry, it is critical to update and grow into new technologies. Not updating an underperforming legacy system can do a great deal of harm to your organization otherwise.

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Topics: Supply Chain, Technology