Top 3 things operators want from manufacturers

Posted by IFMA January 25, 2013

Tagged in Foodservice Industry Research Industry Research Leadership Optimize Presidents Conference

Foodservice leaders from every corner of the industry - operators, distributors and manufacturers - came together at The IFMA/IFDA Presidents Conference 2012 to discuss critical issues facing channel partners. In case you missed it, we are asking the panelists even more hard-hitting questions and featuring them on

Click here to read the first article in this series.


Bill Hale (BH): Beyond product, what are the top three things you will be looking for from manufacturers in the future?

Dan Kish, VP, Food, Panera Bread: 1.) Less "manufacturing", more real cooking. 2) Cleaner ingredient statements. 3) Innovative products that...

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Nov 06

Presidents Conference

The IFMA Presidents Conference is the place “Where Leaders Meet.” The 54th annual premier top-to-top forum, co-hosted by the NRA and IFDA, brings together influential leaders of foodservice from the operator, manufacturer and distributor communities.

How can foodservice compete with grocery retailers?

Have you ever wanted to pick the brains of foodservice leaders? Here you will get candid answers to challenging questions from executives from Ben E. Keith, Panera Bread, Lyons Magnus, plus many more. This group brought their collective knowledge to The IFMA/IFDA Presidents Conference 2012 and the discussions are continued at to provide even greater insight.

Leaders answer tough questions on trading partner relationships, the future of foodservice and more

The IFMA/IFDA Presidents Conference 2012 was packed with candid dialogue between more than 21 panelists, including recognized executives from operator, distributor and manufacturer communities. Moderated by Bill Hale of The Hale Group, the hearty discussions led to a number of questions from the audience. Read on for real answers from the panelists.

Making Sense Out of the Complexities of Foodservice

Doug Brooks, former CEO of Brinker (Chili's and Maggiano's), described several key foodservice industry trends and discussed how operators can respond to these trends at Chain Operators Exchange, COEX. In this environment of marketplace mayhem, the challenge for restaurants is to adapt and improve without losing sight of their brand's core values.


Leading operators on innovation, sustainability and supplier relationships

Find out what leading foodservice operators had to say on innovation, sustainability and managing supplier relationships at COEX 2013.

Bennigan's, Del Taco & Zinga Frozen Yogurt on driving consumer traffic

Foodservice operators from across the country came together at COEX 2013 to discuss ways to drive new revenue at their foodservice establishments. Find out what their outlooks are on ways to bring in new customers.

Sysco, Arby’s & other customers share challenges – Find out how they affect you

A star-studded cast of senior executives discussed the most critical issues that keep them up at night during the IFMA/IFDA Presidents Conference 2012. Bill Hale of The Hale Group moderated the conversations and has now summarized this customer insight as well as implications for foodservice manufacturers.

Operators on Driving Consumer Demand

Consumers have become more knowledgeable about the food they eat, and are increasingly interested in doing business with companies in all industries, including foodservice, who share their values and are part of their community. They also care a great deal about experiences and value. Therefore, creating demand in the future will still be about the basics of food, service, and cleanliness, but will increasingly be about experiences and choices.

Jack Li On "The New Foodservice Landscape"

Being a part of the foodservice industry means having a constant hunger for valuable insights into consumer behavior. In this executive summary from Presidents Conference 2013, Datassential's Jack Li explains how understanding consumer "eater types" and dining occasions is changing our view of the foodservice landscape. 

The Operator Collaboration Model and FSnavigator

The foodservice industry has seen some challenging times. But a group of leading operators, manufacturers and industry experts have come together to create new frameworks and processes to better serve the consumer and improve industry wide collaboration.

Industry-Wide Initiatives Changing the Face of Foodservice

Foodservice manufacturers, distributors, and operators have many mutual goals - above all to grow the industry by providing greater value to consumers. In an unprecedented presentation at Presidents Conference 2013, Larry Oberkfell, Dawn Sweeney, and Mark Allen took the stage together to evoke a call-to-action for the entire industry.