What You Might Have Missed in 2018

December 2018

Like every year in foodservice, 2018 was filled with exciting storylines. From developments in K-12 delivery to a new generation of young consumers who love ethnic cuisine, so many new trends and ideas have come to life. To help you get up to speed on what you might have missed, here are several things that happened in the industry that are worth reflecting on:

  • Delivery services cast a wider net, as Domino’s opened 150,000 Delivery Hotspots so that customers could order pizzas to public places like parks, fields, beaches and more. This was far more than a publicity stunt, as the delivery industry is predicted to expand. This is especially true with third-party delivery services, which some strategists expect to grow from $13 billion in 2017 to $24.5 billion in 2022.
  • Employers sought to educate their employees. This April, KFC’s independent, franchisee-funded nonprofit, the KFC Foundation, opened a personal finance program aimed at improving its employees’ financial wellness by providing them with tools and tips for maintaining a budget, the ability to chat with a financial adviser, educational resources and a supportive online community.
  • Upcycling took center stage. Sustainability was a major point of discussion this year, as companies worked toward meeting the USDA’s mandate of a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030. Subsequently, the practice of upcycling, or using items that would otherwise go into the compost as ingredients, made headlines across the industry as a commendable solution.
  • Operators inked in promotions. Brands put their customer loyalty to the test—the University of Connecticut Dining Services created temporary tattoos and offered rewards to students who shared photos of them applied to their skin, while Arby’s created a series of designs that its most-serious fans could have permanently tattooed at a local parlor. It’s even been reported that the emerging chain &pizza reimbursed fans who got “&” tattooed on their body.

This is just a glimpse of the many trends operators have embraced this year. Many of them have been coming for a long time, while others appear to have emerged from nowhere. It’s impossible to guarantee what will stay and what will pass, but what we are sure of is that 2019 will be just as interesting to follow.

What’s been your favorite foodservice storyline this year? Let us know on Facebook or LinkedIn. To keep up with all things foodservice in 2019, make sure to check in on our Resource Center every month.



Klein, Danny. Domino’s Latest Delivery Move: 150,000 ‘Hotspots’ Nationwide, QSR, April 2018.

Klein, Danny. KFC Foundation Creates Financial Advice Program for Workers, QSR, April 2018.

Are You Going to Use All of That? The Upside of Upcycling Food in Your Operation, Winsight Grocery Business, December 2017.

Cobe, Patricia. How to integrate compost onto the plate, FoodService Director, July 2018.

Use temporary tattoos to promote new concepts, FoodService Director, April 2018.

Romeo, Peter. Arby’s latest giveaway: A real fast-food tattoo, Restaurant Business, September 2018.

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