Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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• Arrives pre-wired, fully constructed, factory tested & ready to operate. • Highest energy efficiency of any outdoor walk-in. • Custom color available at no additional charge. • Available in any size from 6'x6' to 16'x65'. • Seamless fiberglass interior & exterior. • 12-year structural warranty. 877-860-6397 Seamless Fiberglass Outdoor Walk-In Coolers & Freezers market spotlight Marina Del Rey, Calif. "There is new technology today being developed for sports bars that specifically allows customers to tune in to the game on their smartphones, so they can hear the commentary without the aural conflict of multi-TV game noise in a bar." One big change in recent years is that large sports fran- chises like the National Football League have updated their broadcast packages available beyond a team's local area. This scores big points with sports bars. "It has become a big driver for sports bar business that fans all over the country can visit sports bars to view games that they can't watch in their own homes," says DeBoer. "Sports bars that subscribe to such network packages, whether it be NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR or other sports, ensure customers come back on game days." The sports bar segment represents an example of how business trends contribute to a combination of customer ex- pectations, advances in technology and consumer awareness. "Today's consumer is savvier than 10 or 20 years ago," says DeBoer. "Sports fans are particularly loyal, whether it be to their favorite sports team, beer or ritual food, and are always seeking a new experience or something they cannot get or afford at home." Billiards and darts remain a big part of a sports bar offering, but these venues now offer trivia nights, games like table hockey and foosball, and in some states slot machines and the opportunity for gambling. Kenneth Lovi, director of restaurants for RMD Hospital- ity Group, based in San Diego, notes several distinct changes in sports bars, starting with its customers. "Over the course of time, I've seen customers becoming more sophisticated," he says. "Looking at sports bars 10 years ago, frozen food came out of a box and was fried. Now customers want handmade burgers and to know where the meat came from. They want buns from the local bakery, along with craft beer, better alcohol, upscale decor and a place that is more diverse with a lounge feel." Like in other restaurant segments, sports bars continue to seek ways to offset labor costs, including the role technol- ogy can play. At RMD's locations, customers can order and pay tableside through a handheld device that connects to the restaurant's point of sale system. "As minimum wage contin- ues to go up, technology is being implemented at a quicker rate to offset this amount and still provide guests with a good experience," says Lovi. "We need to weigh the benefits and cost, since every new technology has a consequence," says Lovi. "The impact will be 90 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JUNE 2018

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