BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Aug 21, 2013) - Kandessa Digital, an inspired, sustainable consultancy, marketing and media services firm, has closed its Kandessa Marketplace concept, following the closing of its Kandessa Web+Digital publications.
Together with its "informed, inspired"™ Web+Digital publications, it has reached 100,000 restaurant professionals cumulatively across the country, disseminated best practices and strategies for foodservice professionals and restaurateurs through trade publications, Restaurant News App™, as well as its Marketplace consultancy.
"It's such a critical time for restaurateurs to continue to improve their operations and strengthen their brands," said Rick Zambrano, director, Kandessa Digital. "We're saddened that we can no longer support the industry with the same magnitude going forward. It has been a pleasure to learn and work with top industry leaders and experts since our start in 2009."
While the challenges for restaurateurs have increased over the past few years with the need to embrace and juggle more complex forms of social engagement, content marketing and intelligence to help them compete effectively, it's also a time for opportunity.
Emerging trends hold key opportunities for savvy restaurateurs
The changing landscape in foodservice brings new opportunities for restaurateurs that are prepared for and informed of these ongoing changes.
For those that have the necessary tools, are well-capitalized and have access to reliable business intelligence, it's a time to gain competitive advantages.
Zambrano called out emerging opportunities from a review of Kandessa's intelligence archive:
- "Fresh" is king. Fresh is nearly an industry onto itself, providing many industry purveyors with profitable opportunities in helping foodservice operations provide fresh product that can be assembled and customized quickly for consumers. Fighting competition from retailers and grocers, restaurants continue to look for differentiation in how they offer innovative and fresh product. This opens up opportunities for suppliers to explore new channels, supplying ready-to-eat and more flavorful fresh options to restaurants and retailers. "For retailers, this is also a time to look for increased market share with fresh, prepared foods, and commissaries will play a crucial role in helping foodservice continue to supply fresher product to finickier customers at customers' pace and preference," said Zambrano. "For suppliers to restaurants, innovation and education will be tools to partner with them more closely in a symbiotic fashion."
- Small is the next big thing. Eating occasions are evolving as any major foodservice consultancy will attest. Grazing is a whole new revolutionary movement for diners to eat in smaller portions and to partake in mini-social occasions around food. While small plate menus is a good start in satisfying these new needs, operators will layer in a deeper understanding about how to feed customers at all times of the day.
- Street food is alive and well. As the grazing trend becomes more popular, food carts, food trucks, special menus and small plates will continue to provide finickier, more adventurous diners a way to explore a variety of food experiences in one sitting. Restaurants should embrace ethnic introductions, playful and bold flavors, and customizable portions. "We're well beyond fusion and entering into food journeys," said Zambrano.
- Hyper-local comes into its own. Regional suppliers and distributors are well positioned to use local-market knowledge and their connections to sustainable sourcing in order to offer new competencies to restaurateurs. Restaurant operators are looking for sustainable sourcing and cultivation methods ranging from regional farmers and co-ops to neighborhood and rooftop gardens. These emerging needs position regional suppliers to be exposed to immense growth opportunities.
- Education and business intelligence ecosystems. There's a need for new ecosystems to help restaurateurs absorb and process the information that will help guide their businesses. The opportunity is right for major investors to help build support-service and educational ecosystems within the restaurant industry. The model of helping pizzeria owners succeed through education and learning that is being espoused by the new Pizzeria Industry Council in partnership with the National Restaurant Association is an example of these types of new gateways.
"What's clear is that we don't need yet another social hub," added Zambrano. "We need an entire system of tools to give restaurateurs a real chance for success. From providing real business education to helping restaurateurs manage information overload, these new ecosystems will be something industry influencers and restaurant membership organizations will start to embrace and back."
"Right now, we're still focusing on the content aspect, and not as much on the technological side as we should."
Zambrano anticipates to remain in the foodservice vertical to utilize his expertise to catalyze new opportunities for cut-above organizations.
About Kandessa Web+Digital and Kandessa Marketplace
Operating in the premium foodservice news space, the Kandessa Digital information services brand provided multifaceted business intelligence to foodservice management sourced from the national scene. Kandessa Web+Digital publication Eatery Pulse and its mobile library, Restaurant News App™, informed and inspired restaurant management to run better operations.
Together with Kandessa Marketplace, readers and clients had access to news, business intelligence, and a range of marketing and consulting services to succeed in foodservice.