May 21, 2020
DMA NEWS
Reopening Tools & Tips from the Frontline
Jamie Thielman (upper right) has been working closely with DMA customers for nearly five years and has been applying that experience to assist operators in successfully reopening across the country. “Everyone’s biggest challenge today,” said Thielman, “is planning for the unknown. State regulations, product supply, and, of course, consumers’ local demand are all unique for each location.”

Thielman’s toolkit includes a number of DMA processes and technologies that help her advise and assist her customers during relaunch. The Ramp-Up to Relaunch Checklist ranks near the top. “The checklist acts as a great guide for all customers regardless of their reliance on planning. For example, some operators are focused on speed to market and are reacting as they go—even for those teams, the checklist is a reliable reference to make sure things aren’t missed.”

But every customer is different—whether it’s their internal culture, their menu type, or even their footprint, closures impact them all in unique ways. “We have to find balance in matching customers’ expectations with distributors capabilities,” she reported. “Everyone is working with limited resources and we’re-all-in-this-together attitude has been the very best ‘tool’ in managing successful reopening.”

Her colleague Noah Beck (lower right) agreed, “We need to be as open and transparent as we can be to make mutually beneficial solutions possible.” His experience shows “stronger partnerships result from this type of teamwork.”

Thielman offered her top tips based on her time in the trenches over the past 10 weeks:
  • Communication. “Limited resources (staff, inventory, etc.) is the biggest challenge distributors and customers share. Making sure to communicate early and often is key to managing expectations on both sides.”
  • Collaboration. “Everyone in the supply chain has been working together to meet this challenge. DMA Supply Chain Specialists’ support has been key to coordinating efforts for all involved in reopening."
  • Flexibility. “Being nimble and adjusting our approach on the fly has been critical to balancing customer and distributor needs.”

For more information or to download the Ramp-Up Checklist, please visit the newly refreshed DMAdelivers.com website.
DISTRIBUTOR NEWS
Strategic Changes at Food Distributors
Sysco, Performance Food Group, and US Foods are the three largest foodservice companies in the U.S., representing a third of the industry collectively. All three reported quarterly earnings and shared their views on the current state of their businesses and of the overall food industry. Their CEOs shared how the industry has changed due to the pandemic, and how their business models have shifted as a result. These are the key takeaways from their reports.

Significant Decline and a Slow Recovery
All three companies indicated declines of about -50% to -60% during the last two weeks of March. Since the bulk of their revenues comes from the restaurant sector, it is no surprise the impact has been so severe, especially when considering that most states issued stay-at-home orders. Since the March lows, the restaurant industry has seen slow and gradual improvement with US Foods reporting 15% sequential weekly growth and Sysco indicating similar growth numbers.

The recovery in the restaurant sector has come from multiple sources: food businesses receiving the SBA loans, individuals getting their stimulus checks, and restaurants taking advantage of curbside pickup and delivery. The increase in drive-thru sales has also been a factor, which points to the relative advantage that quick-service restaurants and drive-thru restaurants have had in the new environment.
Looking forward, the CEOs remain optimistic of a recovery. Many restaurants are expected to reopen over the next few weeks, consumer foodservice spending is increasing, and customers are wanting to eat out again based on recent polls.

Above and Beyond Customer Service
The big three foodservice distributors also shifted their approach to customer service during the pandemic. They included significantly more "value-added services" for their customers through various means:
  • Educational webinars on the CARES Act
  • Website development
  • Social media training
  • Digital sales training
  • Training and assistance with delivery and curbside pickup
  • New menu design

All these efforts are helping their customers navigate the challenges and complexities of the current environment. These ancillary services will likely prove to be a differentiating factor as we move into a post-pandemic economy.

Retail/Grocery Channels: A Growth Engine in Foodservice
Another interesting trend is the significant growth in the retail/grocery segments, as more consumers have spent time cooking at home and avoiding large public spaces. US Foods reported signing 30 new grocery retail partnerships, PFG signed 25 new retail partnerships, and Sysco also echoed similar growth in new retail accounts.

Within the grocery segment, one new development is the increase in sales to the restaurant section in grocery stores ("grocerants"). US Foods and Sysco reported this trend as a potential new opportunity going forward.

Direct-To-Consumer: A New Platform for Foodservice
Due to the impact of the COVID pandemic, Sysco started rolling out direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, an area of business that it did not participate in pre-COVID. Two of its companies (i.e., Buckhead Meat and FreshPoint) implemented several pop-up events that sell specialty meat and produce direct to consumers. Furthermore, through Sysco's new websites, onthefly.com within the U.S. and Sysco@HOME in Canada, consumers can now purchase restaurant-quality steaks to be delivered direct to their home.

Sysco also started offering will-call opportunities from its physical locations through web-enabled ordering. Customers can purchase product directly from one of its operating companies and pick up the product themselves. And lastly, within the consumer space, Sysco partnered with third-party logistics services to offer pre-packaged meal boxes, which consists of specialty produce delivered straight to the customer.

Other distributors such as Baldor and Chef's Warehouse are also offering DTC sales. This is a trend that will likely continue as distributors search for more revenue opportunities. Food Institute Focus (May 8).
SUPPLY CHAIN
The Pandemic’s Lasting Effect
The coronavirus will have an enduring disruptive impact on supply chains as consumers revert to the one large, weekly shop, according to the CEO of Kerry Group. He noted there would be significant volatility ahead with pressure on pricing as consumers switch to cheaper products because of the economic impact of the virus, reported ReutersFull Story

“From an industry perspective the knock-on effects of all these dynamics are profound. The robustness of supply chains is clearly being tested,” Kerry Group CEO Edmond Scanlon told the company’s annual general meeting.

Beef price inflation could rise as high as 20% by Memorial Day with 30% less meat in stores when compared to 2019, according to a CoBank study. Meanwhile, a Perdue University analyst reported wholesale beef prices were up 67% compared to January, with ground beef prices nearly doubling in some parts of the country, reported AL.com (May 13). Full Story

“We have a lot of Americans who used to eat out many of their meals and now are trying to cook at home,” said Will Sawyer, the lead economist for animal protein at CoBank who authored report. “That’s a daunting proposition for a lot of people.”

Additionally, Lineage Logistics' 15 facilities in the UK were more than 90% full at the end of April, and it predicted by the end of May there could be an overflow of frozen and chilled volumes at its facilities. It is noticing pork and chicken stocks piling up and inbound volumes of frozen veggies and frozen meals are exceeding outbound volumes, reported Reuters (April 24). Full Story
INDUSTRY TRENDS
Dine-In Business Continues to Reopen with Precautions
Although restaurant traffic declined 22% in March when compared to the prior year, digital restaurant orders increased 63% and delivery by 67%, according to The NPD Group. Visits to quick-service restaurants declined 3% during the month, but family or larger party size visits drove dollar sales up 2% and the average eater check increased by 5%. Full Story

"Our March results only show a portion of the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the U.S. restaurant industry," said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. "Although it's fact that a larger portion of food and beverage consumption has shifted to in-home, it's clear that consumers are not willing to give up on the convenience and experience a restaurant meal brings to them and their families regardless of the barriers."

And now these consumers can start enjoying dining in their local restaurants as lockdown restrictions are lifted and more restaurants are allowed to reopen by following guidance from local authorities.
Restaurant Brands International revealed it will begin reopening its dining rooms. In addition to mandating masks and gloves for employees, the company installed acrylic shields and contactless service at most restaurants; is using tabletop signage to indicate which tables are open and which ones are reserved to help maintain safe distances; and it will move beverages, extra condiments, and trays behind the counter. Full Story

Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeye's parent will also be sanitizing tables and chairs after each use and will have hand sanitizer available in the dining room for guests.

Additionally, Popeyes will move ahead with the opening of its first outlet in China and is scheduled to set up "a few more" by the end of the year in several Chinese cities. The company plans to expand gradually into cities near Shanghai rather than open throughout the country at the same time. Popeye’s opening comes after the number of new coronavirus cases dropped sharply in China, reported Reuters (May 12). Full Story

Meanwhile, Rhode Island allowed restaurants to offer limited outdoor dining starting May 18, according to Gov. Gina Raimondo. The state's rules will allow dining by reservation only; limit party sizes to five; limit total tables to 20; and require tables to be spaced at least 8 ft. apart or separated by barriers. State officials recommend that restaurants use disposable or digital menus as well as single-use condiments and utensils, reported MassLive.com (May 12). Full Story

The restaurants will also be required to screen customers for the virus and take down their contact information for the state’s contact tracing efforts. The intensity of the screening will be left to restaurants but could include warning signs, having a server ask customers if they’re feeling sick, or even taking their temperatures, Gov. Raimondo said.

In addition, restaurants will have to sanitize tables and chairs after every customer and they won’t be allowed to offer valet parking.

Furthermore, Simon Property Group planned to have roughly 50% of malls and outlet centers reopened. Some of the measures it has put in place include limiting opening hours, reducing capacity, stripping some chairs from food courts, and handing out masks to visitors who ask for them, reported CNBC (May 11). Full Story

As of May 11, the company said it reopened 77 of its properties in the U.S. where local lockdown restrictions have been eased. CEO David Simon said the company is “encouraged by the consumer response thus far.” Food Institute Focus (May 12).

Is Reopening Sustainable?
New York City restaurant owners expressed concerns that proposed guidelines for reopening dining rooms will be unsustainable for business, reported New York Post (May 14). Full Story
Many noted operating at less than 75% capacity will be unprofitable, while others say it may be virtually impossible to keep 6 ft. between customers, particularly in small bars. “We have the same costs to open at limited capacity and, truthfully, I don’t think the income would be worth it,” said Susan Povich of Brooklyn crustacean destination Red Hook Lobster Pound. “I am not going to open the inside of my restaurant at a 25% or 35% capacity.”

Under the tentative proposal, restaurants and bars would reopen in three phases, finally ramping up to full capacity sometime after Labor Day. Andrew Rigie, head of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, told The Post that these worries have become pervasive throughout the already tenuous restaurant scene.
“There’s a lot of concern that restaurants could open up their restaurant, hire people back, only to learn they don’t have the sales to sustain their business and lay people off again,” said Rigie.
Local coffee shops are also faced with the decision of whether to reopen at 25% or to remain takeout-only. With typical coffee shops already having limited seating, the decision is a difficult one, reported Jacksonville Business Journal (May 14). Full Story

Southern Grounds Coffee Co. reopened its dining room at its San Marco, FL, location, while its Neptune Beach location is currently only allowing seating on its patio. Bold Bean Coffee Roasters is adhering to its curbside delivery model for at least the next few weeks. The owners of both companies cited limited seating and safety of staff and guests as factors in their consideration to open in-store seating.

Southern Grounds operating partner Mark Janasik said that while the San Marco location is open with 25% capacity seating, the coffee concept is holding off on doing the same for its Neptune Beach location due to its smaller seating capacity. Bold Bean Coffee Roasters' managing partner Zack Burnett said Bold Bean retail locations likely won't open up until June, adding the company is tentatively planning to reopen their locations for on-premises service on June 1, but that date isn't definite.

Some owners also have concerns about the effect on ambiance while serving food in a fine-dining setting wearing gloves and masks. “The experience of dining with masks and gloves and 6 ft. from your neighbor, I don’t think it’s an attractive option,” said Povich.

Union Square Hospitality Group's Danny Meyer expects his dining rooms will remain closed until a vaccine is released. The group plans to open quick-service locations first, and to start shipping a signature dish from each restaurant across the country via Goldbelly. The restaurateur is also considering the possibility of outdoor dining, reported Crain's New York Business (May 14). Full Story

Additionally, Potbelly Sandwich Shop is contemplating closing up to 100 locations. At the start of 2020, the chain was on pace to record its first positive quarterly comp since fourth quarter 2016, but it then saw same store sales drop 68% in March. The company temporarily closed 36 company-operated shops and furloughed one-third of its corporate employees. Full Story

“The pandemic dramatically impacted our sales and oriented our priorities first around the health and safety of our employees and customers, and second, toward aggressively protecting our balance sheet," said Alan Johnson, CEO of Potbelly Corp.

Meanwhile, food delivery companies are still struggling to profit. Companies including Grubhub and Uber Eats are losing money on delivery orders or barely breaking even. The companies also said they aren’t sure how many diners will stick with delivery after stay-at-home orders are relaxed, reported The Wall Street Journal (May 13). Full Story

Although sales are growing, according to the companies and credit card data, increased costs to fund promotions and safety equipment and pressure to reduce commissions have created an even worse financial proposition for food delivery companies. Food Institute Focus (May 14).

McDonald’s Adapts in a Pandemic World
McDonald's Corp. will ask its franchisees to make dozens of changes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in its restaurants, including pledges to clean bathrooms every half-hour and digital kiosks after each order. The company will ask operators to enforce social distancing and close public soda fountains, reported MarketWatch (May 15). Full Story

Meanwhile, the company is developing a trial restaurant in The Netherlands with features that may be used to operate amid coronavirus safety standards. Elements include hand sanitizing stations at the entrance and designated waiting spots. McDonald's is also considering table service where food is delivered on carts and plastic barriers between tables, reported CBC (May 14). Full Story

Back in the U.S., McDonald's is giving workers at company-owned stores a 10% bonus in May for working during the coronavirus pandemic. The bonus is in addition to other steps the company is taking, including new safety procedures, paid sick leave for employees impacted by COVID-19, and double first-quarter incentive bonuses to qualifying restaurant managers, reported Business Insider (May 5). Full Story

In Canada, McDonald's reopened 30 restaurants in Canada for takeout service, but will not yet allow drink refills or reusable mugs, and condiment stations will be closed. The company will use the locations as testing grounds for its protective measures before rolling them out across its 1,400 restaurants in the country, reported The Globe and Mail (May 14). Full Story

McDonald's aims to reopen all drive-thru locations in the UK and Ireland by early June using a phased approach. A limited menu will be offered, a $30 cap will be placed on orders, and contactless payments are encouraged. Competitor Burger King UK already began a phased reopening and plans to provide delivery or drive-thru service from 350 restaurants by the end of June. Burger King is requiring all orders be placed via food delivery apps and is also offering a limited menu. Both chains forewarn that service will be slower than in the past, reported BBC (May 12). Full Story
 
Chains Request Lower Rent
With many operators watching revenues drop drastically as governments across the world closed restaurants to in-person dining, restaurant chains are asking for rent relief from their landlords.
For example, Starbucks Corp. sent a letter to its landlords requesting rent relief for at least a year. The company's CFO expects losses will continue into the third quarter and beyond, and told landlords it "will require concessions to support modified operations and adjustments to lease terms and base rent structures," reported Triad Business Journal (May 14). Full Story

Meanwhile, Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. waived up to a month's worth of rental payments for its 900 franchisees, and allowed those properties to defer an additional two months of rent. Dunkin', which saw same-store sales fall 2% in its first quarter, expects a greater impact on its financial results in the second quarter due to the coronavirus, reported Pittsburgh Business Times (May 8). Full Story

“Early on, we rallied around a phrase that no one will remember an overreaction, but they will certainly never forget an underreaction,” said CEO Dave Hoffman. “Nothing is more important to us than safety. The decisions we've had to make over the last month are uncharted, but we've moved quickly to do what's right in the face of uncertainty. We've chosen to do what was timely over what was flawless.”
The dynamic is not constrained to the U.S. Across the pond, McDonald's is trying to negotiate lower rent in the UK as the company plans to reopen. The chains rent payments are made quarterly, and McDonald's paid for the previous quarter but is in talks with some landlords hoping for new terms before the next payment is due June 24, reported BBC (May 3). Full Story

"We have opened dialogue with some of our landlords to discuss how they might offer support on rent and service charges for a short period due to our restaurants not trading,” a spokesperson for McDonald’s confirmed.
 
Foodservice Expansions, Acquisitions, and Closures
  • Taco John's is shifting its target customer to couples in their mid- to late-30s with children and active lives. The chain is rolling out a new store prototype that features a slightly smaller dining room and bright colors that caters to Millennials. It plans to remodel 70 restaurants over the next two years, and develop 15 restaurants in the Kansas City, KS, market over the next three to five years, reported Kansas City Business Journal (May 10). Full Story (Subscription Required)
  • Garden Fresh Restaurants will permanently shutter its 97 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants, according to the company's CEO. The closures will mean lost jobs for 4,400 employees, and the company is exploring bankruptcy proceedings, reported San Diego Union-Tribune (May 7). Full Story
  • Steak 'n Shake permanently closed 51 restaurants in the first quarter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food sales in the first quarter, which ended March 31, decreased 41% from 2019. Owner Biglari Holdings Inc. reported a $137.9 million loss in the first quarter, primarily driven by investments in Cracker Barrel, reported Phoenix Business Journal (May 11). Full Story
  • BurgerFi International will expand its footprint to new markets under a licensing agreement with REEF Kitchens. By the end of the year, the burger chain's products will be available for delivery in Seattle, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Houston and additional markets will be added in 2021. Full Story
  • Lefty's Famous Cheesesteaks Hoagies & Grill opened five locations in Michigan and plans to have at least 75 stores by the end of 2021. Full Story
  • Yum China plans to open more Pizza Hut and KFC outlets in China's smaller cities in the coming months. The company's CEO notes while the virus drove up the takeaway rate at its businesses, it continues to see expansion opportunities especially in fourth- and fifth-tier cities, reported Reuters (May 6). Full Story
  • Burger King is trialing an app for ordering food and booking a table at its outlets in Italy. The app will allow customers to order food, pay, and book a table from home before coming to the restaurant. Around a third of the tables during peak hours will be reserved for this use, reported Reuters (May 5). Full Story
  • Muscle Maker Grill started construction on two of the five ghost kitchens planned for the Chicago market. Full Story
  • Bloomin' Brands filed notices under the WARN Act that it anticipates the "sudden and unexpected reduction in hours" for its 642 employees in the Dayton, OH, area could constitute a layoff under the act. Bloomin' Brands stated in the filing that it has no plans to terminate the employment of any restaurant worker, but it will not contest workers' claims for unemployment compensation, reported Dayton Business Journal (April 29). Full Story (Subscription Required)
  • KFC is testing plant-based chicken nuggets in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, China. The test is made possible by a partnership with CargillFull Story
  • Starbucks reopened 150 locations across the UK. Most are offering drive-thru service but a small number are allowing takeaway service. Although the cafes are offering nearly the full beverage menu, the food menu is more restricted, reported The Independent (May 14). Full Story
  • Yum China Holdings and the Lavazza Group opened a Lavazza Flagship Store in Shanghai as part of their joint venture, which aims to explore and develop the Lavazza coffee shop concept in China. Lavazza wants to expand further throughout Asia and views this partnership as an important step. Full Story
  • Pizza Inn launched the Right Way Buffet concept to improve safety during dine-in service. The effort includes measures such as directing buffet traffic one way; having staff provide items that were previously self-serve, such as plates, silverware, napkins, and condiments; and transitioning from self-serve beverage stations to staff-served beverages. Full Story
  • Engage Brands acquired Boston Market from Sun Capital Partners affiliates. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Full Story
  • Luckin Coffee fired its CEO and COO as part of an internal investigation into sales fraud. The board appointed board member and SVP Jinyi Guo as acting CEO, reported CNBC (May 12). Full Story
  • Dunkin is offering delivery via UberEatsFull Story

Executives on the Move:
  • Wingstop named Stacy Peterson Androes as chief technology officer. Full Story
  • Sysco Corp. named Marie Robinson EVP and chief supply chain officer. Full Story
  • sweetgreen appointed Chris Carr COO. Full Story
  • The National Restaurant Association named Tom Bene president and CEO as well as CEO of the Educational Foundation. Full Story
ECONOMIC PULSE
Eating and drinking places lost 5.5 million jobs in April, on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a net decline of nearly a half-million jobs in March, according to the National Restaurant Association. The number was nearly three times more jobs than any other industry. Full Story

Overall, the U.S. economy contracted at a 4.8% annual pace in the first quarter 2020 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, representing the steepest contraction since the Great Recession. Most economists expect a larger drop-off in economic activity during the second quarter, as the economy was mostly shut down in April, reported The Wall Street Journal (April 29). Full Story (Subscription Required)

Same-store sales plummeted nearly 55% in April as comparable traffic fell 55.3% during the month, according to Black Box Intelligence. Rolling three-month same-store sales were down 27.9% while rolling three-month comparable traffic declined by 29.1%. Black Box reported off-premise comparable sales topped 200% in the month, but it wasn’t enough to offset the total decline across the industry. Full Story

Some argued the restaurant industry had already experienced the worst of the pandemic’s effect, and that the long road to recovery was appearing. Sales at some quick-service chains started to improve after mandatory closures ground the restaurant industry to a halt in March. Companies across the industry reported much higher average spending per customer as large orders for families increased in frequency. Investments in online ordering capabilities also paid off.

Selected Restaurant Operator Results
  • Starbucks Corp.'s same-store sales fell 10% globally in its second quarter. Since the pandemic started to affect U.S. sales only at the end of the quarter, the company predicts the impact on third quarter results will be "significantly greater." However, its loyalty rewards program hit 19.4 million active members, an increase of 15% from a year earlier, reported Bloomberg (April 12). Full Story
  • Yum Brands Inc. reported a 7% fall in quarterly same-store sales, as many restaurants across its brands were closed or limited to delivery and takeaway. Same-store sales fell 8% at KFC and 11% at Pizza Hut, while they rose 1% at Taco Bell, reported Reuters (April 29). Full Story
  • Domino's expects its U.S. same-store sales grew 7.1% in the first four weeks of its second quarter, benefiting from a rise in home-delivery orders. Its U.S. same-store sales in the first quarter rose 1.6%, and profit was boosted by higher royalty revenues from U.S. and international franchise stores and a rise in supply chain volumes, reported Reuters (April 23). Full Story
  • April was the best month in Papa John's history, according to the company's CEO. The chain saw a nearly 27% increase in same-store sales for North America during the month, which it attributes not just to COVID-19, but menu innovation and partnerships with third-party delivery services, as well as momentum around its rewards program, reported CNBC (May 6). Full Story
  • The Cheesecake Factory's same-store sales decreased 12.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Currently, 32 locations are temporarily closed with the remaining locations shifted to an off-premise only operating model. The company suspended new unit development until more clarity on the restaurant industry operating environment emerges. Full Story
  • Wingstop reported a 9.9% same-store sales increase during the first quarter. The company built a digital ordering system over the past five years, with the company's CEO saying 80% of sales were from off-premise occasions before the pandemic, reported Forbes (May 8). Full Story
  • Panera launched Panera Curbside, a curbside pickup option. Only 45% of the company's 3,200 U.S. locations have a drive-thru, a dynamic which CEO Niren Chaudhary expects will fuel orders to the curbside program. The company is currently generating 65% of its revenues through its e-commerce business, reported Forbes (May 18). Full Story
PARTNER NEWS
R3 Packaging Has Your Off-Premises Packaging Needs Covered
As restaurants start to re-open and strive to create a safe environment for both customers and employees, the need for high-quality takeout packaging for off-premise dining will increase exponentially. R3 has all your packaging and off-premise dining essentials, especially our large selection of poly pro packaging containers. We have the right container for the right meal, ranging from single to multi sectioned containers and several black-bottom clear top options. As a result of the pandemic, off premise has become our new norm. Let R3 assist with your packaging needs!
U.S. Chemical Launches Safe Kitchens and Restaurants Program
When your staff and clients are confronted with a disease such as COVID-19, SARS, MERS, or others, there is always a need to ensure a safe environment. Failing to reduce the risk of disease may result in loss of business, risk to your brand value, reduced workforce efficiency and even lives.
During an outbreak there are a number of things that can be done to help prevent spreading disease. Key areas and touchpoints as well as high-risk areas need more frequent attention. Cleaning and sanitation are essential building blocks to infection prevention and outbreak control.
In all areas that you clean, disinfect, and sanitize, pay attention to standard operating procedures, using recommended products only. Specific attention should be paid to hand hygiene and frequently-touched hard surfaces to avoid cross-contamination. Full Story
Technomic Talks Webinar Series
Get ongoing foodservice industry coverage during COVID-19 with Technomic’s webinar series. Register to watch the on-demand webinars and gain insight into top-of-mind issues, including how to make post-pandemic business plans, explore off-premise options, and taking a magnifying glass to select segments. Watch Here
Tork’s COVID-19 Foodservice Toolkit
The COVID-19 outbreak profoundly impacted operations for many restaurant operators, and as consumers practice "social distancing" and stay home per public health officials' recommendations, many have had to quickly pivot business models, whether that means reducing operating hours, shutting down in-restaurant dining, or only offering takeout, drive-thru, and delivery services, according to Hanneke Kuipers, marketing director of foodservice at Essity Professional Hygiene.

“As the leading global professional hygiene brand, we're here to help. Our professional hygiene knowledge helps keep your employees and customers safe and reassured, both through the immediate crisis and beyond,” she said. The company shared a toolkit to help customers ensure safety at their operations.

Additionally, the company presented research indicating consumers are looking for paper hand towels as an alternative to air dryers, with 68% preferring them. The company’s PeakServe, PeakServe Mini, and PeakServe Recessed units can provide operators with a bathroom solution customers are searching for.
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