Making foodservice consultancy cool and relevant
Once described by star chef Anthony Bourdain as the guys that traditionally only appear on the scene “when a restaurant is losing money”, foodservice consultancy had suffered from something of a bad reputation over the years. For the profession’s membership association, Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), this, coupled with an ageing, male-dominated membership that could often seem out of step with fast-moving developments in the food sector, was becoming a concern.
Founded in 1955 FCSI has been helping its members do more for clients for over 50 years. They needed a publication and digital presence that not only carried on this important legacy, but would make people outside of the profession think differently about the industry while making members feel proud of their society.
A fresh take
In 2012 they came to us to help them re-launch their magazine, so we set out to turn heads with our new quarterly publication, Foodservice Consultant.
The magazine targeted a growing global membership, but also spoke to the interests of the wider catering and hospitality industry. It went beyond the typical chef interviews and culinary photography to create three tailored regional editions that balance news with regular columns, like the ‘Secret Chef’. And its high-impact cover designs represent the diverse nature of this global industry and pique people’s interest.
The rejuvenated print publication has been complemented with a new FCSI website, a weekly newsletter, magazine app and a host of roundtables and moderated panel sessions at major foodservice events around the world. This opens the content up to whole new audiences.
Reaching new audiences
The reception from readers speaks for itself. A December 2016 survey of 200 readers showed 82% of members agree that the magazine is a valued part of their membership and average read time is 32 minutes (10 minutes higher than industry average).
It has also helped FCSI grow. A third of readers said it had encouraged them to renew their membership and the significant advertising revenue generated each year by Progressive means FCSI can do more for its members.
Just as importantly, the digital channels have opened up FCSI to whole new audiences, with online traffic increasing month on month, helping change perceptions of foodservice consultancy outside of the profession.
“Foodservice Consultant has been a real success story for us. We are delighted with the engagement members have with the portfolio. The magazine looks beautiful, is commercially very successful and gives us a great platform to promote FCSI.”
William Taunton, chair, FCSI Worldwide