The On-Demand Economy
President, Hotel & Restaurant Supply
This special issue of News & Views recognizes the leaders of the top equipment and supplies manufacturers in the U.S. that are advancing our industry. Our focus here isn’t about the companies with the highest annual sales, but about the people and teams who are creatively transforming how they develop products and use technology to stay ahead of market trends and offer solutions to help customers with their most pressing challenges, i.e., the need to control operating costs, reduce food waste and compensate for a lingering labor shortage.
Pushed by consumers to deliver more options, quality and convenience, our end-user customers are looking to us for the same. As Hatco President and CEO David Rolston says, “We used to say better, faster, cheaper—choose two. Now, it’s better, faster, cheaper—I want all three.”
The manufacturers featured in this issue have answered the call by being both visionaries and great listeners, as a mixture of the two is needed to respond to the whirlwind of change taking place in our industry. Lei Schlitz, the executive vice president of ITW Food Equipment Group, shares how her company has found its niche by rolling out innovations that are “close to the ground,” while Welbilt talks of transforming the kitchen into a digital world to help QSRs and other large chains keep pace with trends like the explosion of delivery and the popularity of smart technology.
As a distributor, I feel fortunate to work in the E&S arena with these manufacturers and the 15 others in this issue. Be it more energy-efficient induction cookers, space-saving options to accommodate smaller footprints, or the number of new lines designed with sustainability in mind, the solutions generated by our manufacturer partners have elevated the quality of E&S and continue to challenge us to rethink how we serve future customers.
These companies also have been long-time supporters of News & Views, a publication now evolving to provide expanded content for distributors, manufacturers and other industry partners. Thanks to the support of these manufacturers, our Association, FEDA members, and our channel partners are improving how we operate and compete in the future marketplace. I encourage you to read every article in this issue to learn more about these exceptional manufacturing leaders and their thoughtful views on topics ranging from broad economic trends to specific new product and technology trends. ■