Today’s consumer has unlimited choice. At the same time, they commit less effort making decisions and demand their venues give them what they want, when they want it. Clearly the old model of “build it and they will come” is a dying concept.

Chain operators, which make up roughly half of all food prepared away from home, know this all too well. How do you win and can you do it alone? We believe that by combining resources, operators and suppliers dramatically increase their ability to win in this hyper-competitive market.

During the last two years, IFMA, together with management consulting firm The Partnering Group (TPG) and 30 chain operators and manufacturers, have championed a winning best practice. The new and innovative Operator/Manufacturer Collaboration Model, the OCM for short, includes a toolset to help chain restaurant operators and suppliers work more efficiently and effectively together. Phase one work, which is complete, provides for key alignment on critical relationship areas such as: resource dedication, team organization, and metric analysis for measurement. 

The work is now entering its second phase, which will focus on Joint Business Planning. The result of this work will be best practices in areas from demand creation to fulfillment. These are best practices that our industry must have to be successful.

This is the most exciting time to be in the foodservice business! As the center of the grocery store shrinks, food prepared away from home, or foodservice grows across the country. This all-industry-team, working collaboratively, will bring real consumer insights together with best practice processes to win the consumer choice. We strongly encourage you to join in the Operator/Manufacturer Collaboration Model and take your seat at the table. To learn more about IFMA and the entire OCM initiative, please visit

Best of success to you!