Is Dining Out on Its Way Out?

Is Dining Out on Its Way Out?

The restaurant industry is no longer benefiting from a growing economy.

Numerous factors have contributed to lower sales and meager profit margins, forcing the industry to identify its mistakes, reevaluate trends, and hopefully, clear the path for a future renaissance.


Video Spotlight:  Achieving Sustainability in Fine-Dining through Customer Loyalty and Chef Retention


This post is based on the Washington Post article, We’ve Just Lived through the Greatest Period of Restaurant Growth in U.S. History. Here’s Why It’s Ending, by L. Reiley, July 8, 2019, and the YouTube video, Mikael Jonsson. Discussing: Specialisation – The Future of Fine Diningby Foodontheedge, December 18, 2015. Image source: DreamPictures/Blend Images LLC.

Discussion Questions: 

1. What forecasting technique could you use to predict demand in the restaurant industry for the next three years? What predictor variables would you include in your model?

Guidance: Forecasts for the next three years would involve a trend (not necessarily linear) and a regression model. According to the article, likely predictors may include economic indices, number of competitors, costs, socio-economic factors, mall traffic, lending rates, demographic variables, etc.

2. Based on the article, at what stage of the service life cycle is Continue reading

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Salad Vending Machine

Salad Vending Machine

July 21, 2019

On the go, looking for something to eat?  In most cases, your choices are not healthy.

Fresh Bowl may solve this problem.  At the Fulton Street subway station in Manhattan, you can get a salad from a vending machine.  These salads range in cost from $6 to $12, and are provided in a glass jar.  When you return the glass jar, you receive a $2 discount.

Fresh Bowl restocks the vending machine daily, and the salads are made daily.  They hope to expand the number of vending machines in the future.


Video Spotlight: Fresh Bowl Healthy Vending Machines


This post is based on the Fast Company article, Need A Quick Salad? These New Vending Machines Have You Covered, by Adele Peters, June 24, 2019, and the YouTube video, Fresh Bowl Healthy Vending Machines, by Zach Lawless, August 1, 2018. Image source: © Ariel Skelley/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions: 

1. What are the operational issues associated with a salad vending machine compared to other vending machines?

Guidance: The biggest issue deals with the shelf life of the product.  Obviously, salads have a very short shelf life.  Consider that a can Continue reading

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Amazon Prime Moves to 1-Day Free Shipping

Amazon Prime Moves to 1-Day Free Shipping

Amazon has announced its plan to shift Prime to free 1-day shipping in the near future. The current Prime shipping plan on most items is two days.

The rollout will be gradual, with certain areas receiving 1-day shipping sooner.

At present, Amazon Prime offers a variety of delivery speeds depending on your location and the product offered.  In order to accomplish 1-day shipping, Amazon plans to spend over $800 million in the second quarter of 2019.


Video Spotlight: Amazon is making 1-day shipping the new standard for Prime members


This post is based on the USA Today article, Amazon’s 1-Day Free-Shipping Plan Changes the Game Again, by Daniel B. Kline, April 29, 2019; and the YouTube video, Amazon is making 1-day shipping the new standard for Prime members, by CNBC Television, April 26, 2019. Image source: Image Source/Shannon Fagan

Discussion Questions:

1. Should Amazon make this change to 1-day free shipping?

Guidance: It is a definite game changer. Competitors such as Walmart and Target have been changing their operations to address Prime’s 2-day shipping.  Amazon has upped the expectation on delivery speed again.

2. What changes will Amazon need to make to accomplish 1-day Continue reading

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