April Restaurant Industry News Roundup
Summer is on the horizon and as the industry slowly reopens, we’re introducing fresh seasonal selections. Take a bite out of supply chain shortage issues and then cleanse your palate with new marketing campaigns. Follow up your meal with some Kentucky Derby projections and as usual, enjoy a refreshing glass of tea throughout to keep you cool as you dine.
Playing Catchup With Ketchup!
If you love ketchup, this news will leave you aghast! In the latest supply chain shortage caused by the pandemic, ketchup packets are in short supply. The pandemic has forced restaurants to step up their takeout efforts due to industry-wide closures. Fast food restaurants have always used disposable packets, but now that dine-in restaurants can no longer use bottles on the table, both segments are competing for ketchup sachets. Following the rules of supply and demand, there’s been a 13 percent increase in the prices of ketchup packets since 2020 according to The Wall Street Journal. Since more people are dining at home, ketchup bottle sales are also up 15% since last year.
The most well-known ketchup manufacturer, Kraft Heinz, is working hard to keep up with the demand including introducing a no-touch dispenser to help continue to prioritize customer sanitation. According to Steve Cornell, Kraft Heinz’s president of Enhancers, Specialty and Away from Home Business Unit, “we made strategic manufacturing investments at the start of the pandemic to keep up with the surge in demand for ketchup packets driven by the accelerated delivery and take-out trends.”
He adds, “At the same time, we also fast-tracked future-focused culinary and packaging innovations, as well as further manufacturing expansion plans, as we believe there is an enormous opportunity to grow our brands.”
Beer To The Rescue
While restaurants are making plans to reopen by the end of the year, almost 80 percent of restaurants across the country are still at risk of permanently closing. Stella Artois and the James Beard Foundation have teamed up to further support the industry by releasing an aluminum “Open for Good” bottle, which will contribute a portion of its proceeds to aid the restaurant industry.
The bottle will also feature signature QR code technology making it ideal for your contactless restaurant strategies. The code allows customers to actively participate in helping to rebuild the restaurant industry and support their favorite local eating establishments. The bottles are going to be a part of an upcoming multichannel campaign that will encourage people to gather at restaurant tables called “Your Table Is Ready.
Colby Kiene, EAM, City Beverages Orlando states that the “pandemic completely redefined the restaurant industry and we expect the recovery will take months if not years to be back to normal.”
Kentucky Derby Signals That The Restaurant Industry is Off To The Races
Things are looking hopeful, but are still not “normal.” The Derby 147 estimates bringing in under a fourth of the revenue that a pre-pandemic “good year” would, but there has been an increase in hotel occupancy and incoming flights into Louisville, KY. The Galt House is almost 85% occupied, with about 1,100 of the more than 1,300 rooms booked. Comparatively, since Derby 146, which was moved from May to September, limited spectators and hotel guests. Travel seems to be in “recovery from the pandemic.” Especially because 14,500 arrivals are expected at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport from Wednesday to Friday of Derby week. This is about half of the amount of activity of 2019. A “regular Derby year would generate $200 million for Louisville and this year is likely to generate right around $35 million.
April Restaurant Industry News Roundup: Conclusion
We’ve all still got a little ways to go, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting clearer every day. Did we miss anything in our April Restaurant Industry News Roundup? Let us know in the comments section below.
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About the Author
Devyn Nance is the Marketing Coordinator at QSR Automations. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and from Loyola University Chicago with a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication. She considers herself an (amateur) profiler – trained solely from watching every episode of Criminal Minds. Outside of work, Devyn loves to shop, travel, hang out with friends and family, read, and watch shows on various streaming platforms.