Industry reports indicate a staggering shortfall of 46,000 chefs across the Australian hospitality sector.

This coupled with staff turnover rates of 53 per cent, reduced availability of the traditional kitchen workforce, and the profound adverse impact of Covid lockdowns has created a ‘perfect storm’ that’s resulted in declining enthusiasm in the career path. 

Hotels are endlessly battling against limited culinary skill and standards, labour costs, margin squeeze, waste, product quality and consistency, all while trying to drive revenue in the face of escalating consumer expectations.

As an anonymous pub group general manager from North Queensland recently explained, “We’ve got the customers mid-week, but we simply don’t have enough chefs or skill to open the restaurant other than on weekends. It hurts.”

Excitingly, however, there’s now a new player on the national foodservice scene – Food Equity Group – which is tackling the kitchen de-skilling crisis head-on and helping hotel clients not only meet but exceed the rising expectations of their customers, and achieve sales growth and improved profitability along the way.

Heat and serve

Working under-the-radar for the past three years, Food Equity Group has been creating innovative premium ‘heat and serve’ foodservice products and disruptive brands, and building a fully integrated support team to offer pubs and clubs an exciting and holistic new solution to engage and convert their customers.

Food Equity Group’s hybrid ‘supply and support’ model combines the supply of trendsetting fully cooked products with tools to help venues market the products through engaging strategies and community-based initiatives.

Food Equity Group’s strategy is driven by strong in-house credentials in consumer trends, product development, creative design, photography and videography, digital marketing, supply chain, distribution and merchandise sales solutions, all of which are focussed on servicing and supporting venues.

“We’ve extensively reviewed the hospitality landscape and have strategically created a team to engage with pubs and clubs in a more dynamic and effective way,” Food Equity Group’s CEO, Graeme McCormack said.

“At the heart of our service offer is differentiated premium ‘heat and serve’ products which are fully supported by disruptive brands and dynamic in-venue and digital marketing.

“Our business is set-up to continually innovate, launch and support new brands and products going forward, with our lead-brand for hotels being Smoky Addiction, which recently launched with immediate success.”

Smoky Addiction

Smoky Addiction’s fully cooked sous vide range overcomes traditional challenges in the delivery of American BBQ, such as the complexity of ingredients, the time-consuming preparation and cook times, and waste and product inconsistency. The range does this by providing a simple on-trend ‘heat and serve’ solution which pubs and clubs can offer with very limited skill in the kitchen through a simple step-by-step procedure.

This is just one example of how Food Equity Group has developed a premium quality solution-based product to meet the operational and commercial needs of today’s hotel industry.

The American BBQ range consists of Louisiana Style Pork Ribs, Carolina Style Pulled Pork, Smoky Hickory Pulled Beef, Texas Style Beef Brisket and a Memphis Style Beef Short Rib, and is fast becoming the most sought-after product in its category in pubs and clubs across the county, according to Food Equity Group.

“Smoky Addiction is just the beginning, with more hotel-focused premium product ranges in the pipeline.” McCormack said.

Food Equity Group has also commenced bespoke product development and supply for a number of hotel groups, and this is further cementing its unique business model and overall offering in the foodservice market.

Look out for Food Equity Group’s Smoky Addiction range, and remember, this is just the beginning.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.