Four Trends from RFMA 2018


March 22, 2018

Legacy challenges, new perspectives and innovative solutions. RFMA 2018 was abuzz with conference attendees eager to find ways to create a safer back-of-house operation while improving the front-of-house experience for restaurant-goers.

Four themes emerged at RFMA to keep top of mind in 2018:

Four Trends from RFMA 2018

#1 Minimize Risk

There are more than 20 reported fire outbreaks daily in U.S. restaurants and commercial kitchens.1 The “Fires Don’t Discriminate” session focused on how critical it is for all facility managers, no matter the kitchen setting, to stay informed and up to date on the latest fire-prevention techniques and technologies.

#2 Have a Connected Kitchen

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers virtually endless opportunities to positively impact a facility manager’s bottom line and create efficiencies in day-to-day operations. Aided by smart equipment, kitchen operators can now effectively track and monitor back-of-house tasks and know when to take action accordingly to optimize operations (e.g., filter cooking oil, reduce temperature) for improved patron dining experiences.

1 NFPA Research, Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments Fact Sheet,
statistics/Fact-sheets/EatingFactSheets.pdf (accessed February 6, 2018).
2 Ibid.

#3 Maximize Results

During the “How Technology and Analytics Enable All Restaurant Chains to Work Smarter” session, technology advancements such as prescriptive analytics, machine learning and using data to keep operations consistent and efficient were discussed. As maintenance budgets continue to decline, leveraging data and technology can help remove human error from the equation, creating a safer and more efficient operation.

#4 Serve Up Sustainability

While sustainability has been a broad industry topic for quite some time, discussions at RFMA 2018 focused on tangible ways to achieve sustainable practices. Facility managers focused on topics such as water conservation, waste avoidance, and fats, oils and grease (FOG) disposal compliance.

3 Restaurant Technology in 2017 Industry Report, Toast,
(accessed November 13, 2017).
4 Ibid.
5 “Evolving Trust in the Food Industry,” Sullivan Higdon & Sink, FoodThink, March 24, 2016, (accessed December 14, 2017).

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