The US is probably the largest market for online food and beverage companies. There's the fact the majority of Americans prefer eating out, and there's also the fact that hundreds of these companies just spring up everywhere. Of course, not every restaurant or grocery store will provide good quality meals or foodstuff, so you'll want to stick with those that do. And you've got Collected.Reviews to help you do just that. Read what customers have to say about the popular or not so popular companies and decide where to visit or where not to visit. It's super simple.
Types of Food and Beverage Companies
Restaurants are the first thing that comes to mind, aren't they? Many food and beverage companies are considered restaurants by default, but in reality, there are different classifications, including:
An eating establishment that offers food and drinks to customers at a price. Restaurants feature a space where you can sit down, and your meal is served at your table by a waiter or waitress. You also generally pay after eating.
This is the common term for a dining hall in a school or an office. However, in other contexts, it is a self-service eatery where you select your food yourself and bring it to your table. Cafeterias can be very large, and holding so many people, it would be challenging for the food and beverage manager to supervise the hall. Hence you always have to pay before you eat.
Commonly called a coffee shop or coffee house, these destinations are notable for serving hot beverages like coffee and tea. They also offer light refreshments like sweet and savory pastries. People often visit the café for a quick breakfast, a short refreshment break. You can find out more differences between a café and a restaurant here.
Ever heard the term Quick Service Restaurants? That's just another term for this kind of eatery. Fast food is also called take-away or take-out. It has minimal table service, so customers regularly buy packaged meals to eat at some other location. Another notable feature of fast food joints is that they offer customers meal packages or meal combos at discounted prices.
Like at a typical restaurant, food or drinks bought at a bar are consumed on-premises. For instance, you can't get a beer to go because they are only served in pint glasses. Although primarily designated for selling alcohol, it also offers comfort foods, appetizers, and bar snacks like French fries, nachos, burger sliders, onion rings, chicken wings, etc.
These are retail stores where you can find exotic and foreign foods ready to eat. These establishments sell foods like cooked meat, cold-cut meats, cheese slices, sandwiches, salads, and other specialty foods. The best delis make things like pesto, hummus, samosas, and quiches, fresh from scratch. So they are usually characterized by high-quality.
Food and beverage companies include food transportation services too, and you can read up on it in our article on food delivery services.
Online Reviews on Food and Beverage Companies
Clearly, different types of eating destinations provide different services. Knowing where to find a specific kind of food isn't the only significant piece of information you need. It is even more pertinent to know which companies will offer you the best all-around experience.
You've probably guessed it. Online reviews are the way to find out all the insider details on these eating destinations. Since real customers like you leave these reviews, they offer honest and unbiased opinions on the business or company. You can read detailed recounts of people's experiences to guide you in making your own decision.
Here are the top ways that reviews can help you out with getting reliable food and beverage solutions.
Finding the Best Restaurants Near You
Strangely, finding a good place to eat is a cause for concern for many people. The problem is that, more often than not, people end up at the wrong spots - those with poor customer service, those that are unsanitary, or those with downright lousy tasting food.
But does this mean there are no good restaurants? Quite the contrary. There are tons of fantastic eating establishments scattered across the country. All you need is the right resources to find them. We've done the first part by providing you with a list of all the prominent restaurants in the US. You'll simply have to read up on real customer reviews to determine if that attractive meal promo or discount coupon is worth it.
If you've got plans for a trip anytime soon, you can take a look at our guide to finding restaurants while on vacation.
Finding the best Wine and Beer Companies
Here it gets a little tricky because, with wine and beer, most people find it hard to discern what's quality and what isn't. It's alcohol, so it's naturally meant to taste funny. And unless you're an expert wine taster, I doubt you can differentiate the good sour from the bad sour. Hence, reviews become even more pertinent for this category of food and beverages.
Although not many, there are people who are fantastic judges of quality alcohol, and their opinions on wine and beer companies will prove a valuable input in arriving at your decision. They've been customers too, and having tried out these products personally, their reviews are your best bet at finding the webshops that offer top-quality alcoholic beverages.
For more insight, we have a separate article on how to choose the right alcohol. So you could read up on that too.
Finding the Best Food Delivery Service
Food delivery has become a significant part of the food and beverage companies nowadays, and there are two kinds namely, in-house and third-party services.
Larger franchises often opt for third-party services because of the sheer number of orders they get daily. When fulfilling such a high volume of orders, third-party services are important to ensure that every customer receives their order on time. On the other hand, In-house deliveries may not be as efficient. However, since smaller restaurants have relatively fewer customers to cater to, the food and beverage manager should be able to control the incoming and outgoing deliveries without any relevant complaints from customers.
Third-party services have a drawback. As the delivery company is independent of the restaurant, you have to depend on the reliability of the restaurant and that of the delivery service, individually. It is risky because if either one falters, you can expect a massive delay in getting your order. In comparison, with in-house services, you only have to rely on the restaurant itself.
Food delivery services
are often available as an app that can be downloaded on your device. The Apps make it more convenient to access the various menus. It also enables customers to reach multiple restaurants on a single platform. On the contrary, if you've got your sights set on a particular restaurant, food delivery should be available directly on the business website.There are significant variations with in-house delivery services and third-party companies. However, for the most part, customers are unaffected as long as the service is reliable.
What Can You Order Online?
Anything! You can order practically anything from online food ordering services. However, through the years, a few meal choices have conquered the food ordering scene. Pizza is leading the trend. But not too far off are fried chicken, grilled meat, and Deli sandwiches. New Yorkers especially can testify to the popularity of the latter.
These foods are the go-to foods to order online, and the primary reason is that they travel well. They also reheat nicely, they don't get soggy quickly, and they're easy to pack.
Before wrapping up, why don't we take a short trip down memory lane to how the industry became what it is today. You'll be shocked at how much has changed. At the same time the improvements through the years will leave you impressed.
History of the Food and Beverage Industry - Then and Now
It's hard to pinpoint a time in history when it all began, so it appears as if the food and beverage industry has always been around. Of course, thousands of years ago, small-scale agriculture would see farm owners harvesting produce and selling it to those within the community. Food manufacturing at the time comprised manual processes like picking and fermentation.
Then came the progress to mechanized farming, pasteurization, and canning, following the Industrial revolution. Postwar America was characterized by the advent of refrigeration, processed commercial foods, and the establishment of safety standards by the Food and Drug Administration.
Thanks to the technological revolution, the industry now consists of a full-fledged supply chain and logistics management that includes agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and food services. In the US, the industry currently makes up about 5% of the GDP and is responsible for 10% of nationwide employment.