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FSMA Top2Top and The CRFA SHOW

13 Mar

March is an exciting month for those of us in the foodservice industry with plenty of trade shows to keep us busy. While we are still in the first half of the month, CHD Expert has been raking up the air miles with separate trips to Orlando, Florida and Toronto, Canada. In a quick 24hours we had to say good to our flip flops and hello to our snow boots!

The FSMA Top2Top conference is put on by the Foodservice Sales & Marketing Association. This national trade association works with food & equipment manufactures, vendors and sales agencies to help grow their businesses.  This year’s show was a little down in attendance, but there was still a lot of good information shared during the sessions and a lot of solid networking.

The CRFA Show or the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association Show is Canada’s Foodservice Event of the Year.  The show is held at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto and if you have not been in Toronto, it is worth a trip. The growth in the city is quite impressive, and down town Toronto skyline is full of cranes and promise for the future of the city.

Relationship building is critical in business, especially the foodservice industry. Food & Equipment Manufacturers use our data in a lot of different ways and we are always eager to introduce our products to businesses in different regions.  Below are some photos that we took at the two events. Check them out and consider joining us next year.

FSMA Top2Top


CHD Expert Releases New Product, Restaurant Chain Locator, Enabling Key Decision Makers To Visualize The Foodservice Market Landscape At The Click Of A Button

21 Nov

CHD Expert, debuts their newest foodservice marketing intelligence tool, Restaurant Chain Locator, helping food service businesses find, track, and footprint chain restaurants across the United States.

Chicago-based foodservice database, marketing, and analytics firm, CHD Expert unveils its latest innovation in foodservice data, The Restaurant Chain Locator. The new Restaurant Chain Locator tool is part of CHD Expert’s interactive online database platform that provides restaurant chains and foodservice providers with new ways to evaluate the foodservice market landscape. This tool identifies the chain operator landscape and density, and can postulate the data onto specific geographic maps, provide aggregated counts, graphs and other business intelligence around the chain and independent operators. The Restaurant Chain Locator has the ability to overlay current U.S. Census bureau information to further evaluate decisions in comparison with other geo-specific key indicators.

According to the latest figures from CHD Expert’s foodservice database, there are over 227,000 total chain restaurants located in the United States. These 227,000 chain restaurants consist of more than 1,900 unique restaurant brands. Subway leads the way with over 25,000 locations across the United States. McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Burger King round out the top 5 most prevalent U.S. restaurant chains. Chain restaurants are defined as restaurants with more than nine units in operation throughout the US. See Figure 1 for the chain restaurant density heat map by zip code.

Data indicates that chains are more heavily located in major cities, with some zip codes containing more than 55+ different chain restaurants. On the contrary, there are zip codes that contain two chain restaurants or less. Some restaurant chains and foodservice providers might see low density areas as a growth opportunity, while others may want to focus on the more heavily populated zip codes. This depends on the businesses’ strategy.

Executives who are looking to expand or consolidate their restaurants’ locations can use Restaurant Chain Locator to evaluate the market landscape and make strategic decisions. This tool allows restaurant chains to visualize their locations and the footprint of operators around each of their units for competitive intelligence as well as new location placement strategy.

Restaurant Chain Locator features include the ability to: locate competitor establishments, visualize density of independents and chains locations within a given market or segment, view census demographics, and map out the results of their selection. With all the intelligence available in the database, a restaurant chain can now view footprints by segment, menu type, annual sales, #employees and average check, giving them more intelligence around their competitors in any given market.

“The restaurant industry is one of the most dynamic and volatile industries to be involved in,” stated Catherine Kearns General Manager of CHD Expert North America. “Restaurants open and close on a regular basis and when considering expansion it is vital to understand the current market landscape and evaluate from a macro perspective. The insight provided by this tool is a game changer for foodservice professionals who are looking to better understand their competitive landscape.”

To get a free demonstration of Restaurant Chain Locator please contact bbloom(at)chd-expert(dot)com.

CHD Expert is the worldwide leader in collecting, managing, and analyzing data for the Away-from-Home Global Foodservice Market. For more than 10 years, CHD Expert has been dedicated to support Foodservice channel members in providing a global vision and an in-depth understanding of the industry (in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific).

Our objective is to support our clients in their sales and marketing strategies by providing the most comprehensive and accurate foodservice census housing market information for more than 4 million operators worldwide. For more information or learn about all of our products available, please visit

Happy Holidays – From The Foodservice Marketing and Analytics Team At CHD Expert

27 Dec

With 2012 coming to an end, and 2013 just around the corner, we wanted to make sure to tell our customers, friends, and foodservice colleagues, Happy Holidays! We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year from the Foodservice Marketing and Analytics Team at CHD Expert.

To celebrate another great year of work together, we wanted to do something small and special for our team and to say “Thank You” for making CHD Expert North America a great place to work. So, this year we had an office party full of food, fun and the holiday spirit!

Here are a few pictures from the office party:

Happy Holidays all! We can’t wait to connect with you in the New Year!

Dining Out for Thanksgiving: Foodservice Trends + Foodservice Marketing Best Practices

30 Nov

We always keep an eye on foodservice trends and foodservice marketing, and every November we consider, How many people will be dining out for Thanksgiving?

Before the holiday, the National Restaurant Association said that a survey found that nearly 14 million Americans will dine of for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Two top reasons for dining out are convenience and not having to “do the dishes.”

Another interesting foodservice marketing trend we saw this year is that restaurant booking websites identified restaurants that were going to be offering a Thanksgiving menu.  In particular, Open Table helped facilitate the “convenience” factor for people who wanted that option. They offered a search functionality for restaurants that were putting on a Thanksgiving Meal, with options that included, cuisine type, price, location, buffet and other tasting options.

Open Table also did a nice job of informing their users that dining out was an option for the Thanksgiving holiday. They used a lot of best practices in their email marketing campaign which we’d like to point out and share with our readers. The subject line for the email reads: Thanksgiving Made Easy

Here are some other best practices Open Table used in their email:

Open Table - Dining Out Email

1. Clear, benefit driven subject line. The better the subject line, the higher the open rate.

2. Scannable copy that is personalized to the reader, listing specific local restaurants that are offering Thanksgiving Meals (This email was sent to someone who lives in NYC).

3. There is a clear call to action, “Make a reservation.”

4. There is a secondary call to action. So, if you don’t dine out on Thanksgiving, there are other nights like Friday, Saturday and Sunday night that you can dine out too.

We thought this was a nice job by Open Table to promote dining out options on one of America’s favorite holidays and we wanted to share it with our readers. We hope you had a wonderful  Thanksgiving and if you have any other questions about foodservice marketing or foodservice trends, let us know. We are happy to help!

Feel free to call us at 312-768-6900 or email me (Nico) at – We can’t wait to hear from you.

Foodservice tradeshows in Florida

19 Sep

Autumn is now falling on Chicago, but a few fortunate members of our team are following the warm weather south, as September has some great foodservice tradeshows in Florida.  Loyal readers of our blog know that we look to attend at least one foodservice tradeshow a quarter, and sometimes we even go to one a month.

Well fortunately for us it looks like this month we are going to be killing two birds with one stone, as there are two awesome foodservice tradeshows taking place simultaneously in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.

Next week, from September 22-24 the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show takes place and as an added bonus this year’s show also includes PQM’s Orlando Pizza Show. And as we all know, everything is better with pizza!

We are also proud to announce that our friend Matthew Mandeltort, of our partner firm Technomic will be hosting a session titled “Trends in the Industry” on September 23rd at 11:30 AM.  He will be giving an overview on the “State of the Industry” and evaluate what trends Technomic has been seeing and what your business can expect from a foodservice industry trends perspective.

And while business is always the priority at any tradeshow, we also look forward to the fun events and goodies that come with attending a foodservice event.

This year PQM Pizza Magazine will host the 6th Annual U.S. Pizza Team Trials and the American Pizza Championship at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show.  Dough tossers from around the nation will be competing for a chance to represent the USA and compete in the World Pizza Championship in Italy in April of 2013.

These are just two events of many that we are looking forward to attending, but you can count on seeing us all around the tradeshow floor. If you are planning on attending the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show, shoot us an email and we can set up a time to meet . And if you can’t make it this year, but are still interested in our foodservice marketing tools, call our office and a sales person will be glad to help you out 1-888-243-0154.

Hope to see you in Florida!

Food Genius Partners with CHD Expert To Better Understand Restaurant Trends

12 Sep

We are really excited to announce a new partnership with Food Genius. Here is the news about our new partnership with Food Genius and information about their newsworthy achievements.

Food Genius, which provides data-based restaurant insights to the food industry, has raised $1.2 million in venture capital. Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners and Hyde Park Angels led the round; other investors include New World Ventures, IDEO, Amicus Capital, and the I2A Fund.
“With this funding, Food Genius is expanding the team in order to bring Food Genius Reports to market,” says founder & CEO Justin Massa. “Food Genius Reports is a leap forward for the food industry, providing intuitive and deep access to restaurant trends as they develop new products and craft marketing strategies.”

“Food Genius is direct evidence that Chicago has truly become a place where ideas evolve into viable businesses, creating jobs and economic growth in the City,” said Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Entities like 1871 and Excelerate Labs play crucial roles in the development of these young companies, and I am pleased to see an environment developing that supports entrepreneurship and business expansion. I look forward to many more small businesses developing out of these facilities and programs and fueling Chicago’s economy in the coming years.”

“The food and restaurant industry is ripe for data disruption, and Food Genius offers astounding insights in this market where the consumers’ voice has been opaque,” says Guy Turner, managing director at Hyde Park Venture Partners. “We are excited to see them grow.”

The company is also announcing that Owen Shapiro of Leo J Shapiro & Associates and Hyde Park Angels as well as Brian Distelburger of Yext have joined Food Genius’ board of directors. Shapiro notes, “Food Genius brings a powerful combination of talent and tools to address the pressing need for better real time information on food sold through restaurants. Starting with a firm grasp of ‘big data’ techniques and building with a unique set of data sources and tools, Food Genius is quickly positioning itself to be a primary source for insights that can drive innovation and profitability for foodservice and CPG companies that depend on restaurants directly for sales and insights into emerging trends.” According to Distelburger, “As the breadth, depth, and quality of local business data grows, there is an enormous opportunity to build new business intelligence services on top – Food Genius is leading this charge in the food vertical.”

Data Partnerships
In separate, key developments for the company, Food Genius is announcing data partnerships with CHD Expert and GrubHub.

A core element of Food Genius’ approach is to acquire, normalize, and extend massive amounts of menu item-level restaurant data. Food Genius is partnering with GrubHub, which will be the primary source of menu data. “GrubHub has the most comprehensive and highest quality database of restaurant menus,” says Massa. “We’re incredibly excited to work with not only the best data set around but also a company that regularly brings us lunch and dinner.”

Food Genius is also partnering with CHD Expert, a leading provider of data for foodservice sales and marketing strategies, to pair deep menu-level data points with detailed operator information. This new level of detail will provide foodservice sales teams with unparalleled insight into how specific locations use ingredients and preparation techniques. To see this Press Release on our website, click here.

About Food Genius
Food Genius is big data for the food industry. By tracking more than 16.3 million restaurant menu items and how consumers interact with them, Food Genius leverages the social web to generate high quality and incredibly granular data for an array of commercial and consumer uses. They provide manufacturers, distributors, operators, and CPG brands with actionable data on consumer behavior and restaurant trends. Their signature product Food Genius Reports, a robust restaurant trends dashboard for the food industry, will launch in early winter 2013.

Food Genius is a graduate of Excelerate Labs (class of ‘11), was the first-ever Startup-in-Residence at IDEO’s Chicago studio, and was the first graduate of 1871. For more information, visit

About Hyde Park Angels
Hyde Park Angels (HPA) is an organization that provides a forum for entrepreneurial-minded members to invest in seed and early stage businesses, primarily located in the Midwest. HPA is a group of current and former executives, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists who are interested in investing their time and money into outstanding startups. HPA also provides domain expertise, strategic advice and coaching to its companies. The Chicago-based Hyde Park Angel Network was founded in 2006 by a group of classmates from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive MBA Program. For more information, visit

About Hyde Park Venture Partners
Hyde Park Venture Partners (HPVP) is a venture capital fund investing in early stage technology companies in the Midwest, with particular focus in Chicago. HPVP invests in technology-enabled business and consumer services and healthcare IT companies raising their first or second round of institutional capital. HPVP draws on its strategic relationship with Hyde Park Angels (HPA) to provide industry and business expertise to its portfolio companies through a network of more than 90 seasoned business executives, entrepreneurs and service professionals. HPVP’s principals and the HPA network take an active role in mentoring and guiding portfolio companies in product development, business strategy, financing and exit through both formal director roles and informal mentorship relationships.
For more information, visit

College Foodservice Database & the NACUFS National Conference

6 Jul

The 2012 National Association of Campus and University Food Service (NACUFS) National Conference  is just around the corner (July 11th-14th) and it looks like its going to be a great show. This year’s attendees will hear speeches from some of the industries brightest minds including: Ming TsaI, Dr. John Francis and Robert Landolphi.  One of the other noteworthy pieces of this conference is the exhibit floor. This year, there are going to be more than 360 booths where you’ll find products, services, and ideas to take back to your operations. This is a great conference for foodservice industry professionals and we’d recommend attending.

Additionally, if you are looking for more information or data around university and college foodservice, we can help.  We have the world’s largest foodservice database. Via our foodservice solution framework, we help foodservice channel members connect with the right target audience, even if it’s as specific as university foodservice operators. Through our database, we provide businesses with the ability to visualize foodservice venues on campus and contact foodservice directors. Getting this granular level of foodservice operator data is our specialty.

What does this mean? This means that we have a university and campus foodservice database with detailed operator contact information. For example, if you want to contact the director of foodservice operations at a particular university because you want to introduce your new “to-go,” box that would be perfect for on campus dining facilities, we have the contact information for these decision makers. In addition, here are some of the other details our foodservice university database can provide you with:


  • Contact Details
  • Number of Schools in the District
  • Operation Type (Managed / Self-op)
  • # Free & Reduced Lunches
  • Ownership Type (Public / Private)
  • Enrollment
  • Number of Meals per Day

Moreover, you can also segment the education database by:


  • Operation type (self-operated, aramark, sodexo…)
  • Enrollment (250 and less, 251 to 500…)
  • Number of meals per day

If you’d like to receive more information about our foodservice education database, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to give you a demo of our Database and a free 30-Day trial. Just click here to register for more info. Have a great day!

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