From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Foodservice or catering industry (also known as hospitality industry) includes businesses, institutions, and companies responsible for any meal prepared outside the home. This industry includes restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, catering operations, and many other formats, including 'on-premises' and 'off-premises' caterings.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The food services industry plays an integral role in the economy. It is responsible for serving a wide range of prepared foods to individuals outside of their home environment. These services can be provided through a variety of establishments, ranging from restaurants and cafeterias to catering businesses.

Types of Foodservice[edit | edit source]

There are several types of foodservice models that exist within the industry. These include:

Foodservice Operations[edit | edit source]

Foodservice operations involve a multitude of tasks including food preparation, serving, cleaning, and administrative tasks. The operations are often divided into the following areas:

  • Food Preparation: This involves the actual cooking of the food, including chopping vegetables, butchering meat, or preparing sauces.
  • Serving: This involves presenting the food to the customer, either by a waiter or waitress in a sit-down restaurant or by a counter service in a fast food establishment.
  • Cleaning: This involves maintaining cleanliness in the food preparation and serving areas, as well as cleaning dishes and utensils.
  • Administration: This involves tasks such as ordering supplies, managing staff, and ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations.

Challenges in the Foodservice Industry[edit | edit source]

The foodservice industry faces several challenges, including:

  • Food Safety: Ensuring the safety of the food from preparation to serving is a major concern in the foodservice industry.
  • Labor Issues: The industry often faces issues related to labor, including high turnover rates and difficulty in attracting and retaining staff.
  • Sustainability: With increasing awareness about environmental issues, many foodservice businesses are seeking ways to operate in a more sustainable manner.

See Also[edit | edit source]

Foodservice Resources
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD