With health and freshness two of the major forces driving menus today, produce is top on operators’ purchase orders. Indeed, restaurants have been making a big effort to put more fruits and vegetables on the plate. But this effort hit a roadblock with recent E.coli scares and salmonella outbreaks. As a result, food safety has become the priority for suppliers and buyers of fresh produce.
Dairy prices seem to be going up faster than cream rises to the top of a vat of milk. While relative bargains were available when cheese prices crashed in January 2009, there's been a surge upward since then. To ease the pain, some operators can cut down on the number of cheesy appetizers and entrees they serve, but concepts that focus on pizza, cheeseburgers, enchiladas and quesadillas simply can't do without it.