How Do You Measure Success?

Success. It's a concept we're all familiar with. Everyone reading this has their own definition of success and they use their own metrics to measure their progress.

For example, revenue represents the metric most commonly associated with business success. In this issue FE&S presents the results from its 2014 Distribution Giants Study, which ranks the industry's top 100 dealers by sales volume.

But success is about more than revenue. Take, for example, the foodservice operation at McMurdo Station. Given that this operation is in Antarctica, it's highly unlikely that many of you have ever heard of it, much less visited it. Despite its relative anonymity, this is probably one of the most effective and efficient foodservice operations on the planet. McMurdo Station's foodservice operation not only feeds up to 1,100 scientists and support workers each day, its 30 cooks also serve as the morale committee. In addition to managing a foodservice operation that only receives deliveries once a year, the culinary team at McMurdo Station must also do its level best to keep everyone's spirits high and help create a sense of community.

Indeed, as the McMurdo Station team clearly illustrates, you can also measure the success of an individual or an organization by the impact they have on those around them. Take, for example, Tom Ricca, FE&S' 2014 Hall of Fame Award recipient. Ricca has long been regarded as one of the industry's best designers and his company, Ricca Newmark Design, is one of the industry's largest design firms. But Tom's impact on the foodservice community seemingly knows no bounds. Ricca has long been a professor at the University of Denver's School of Hotel, Restaurants and Tourism, where he continues to help bring new blood to the foodservice industry. And to his business partners, Ricca is more than a colleague, he's a mentor. And he's not done.

Ricca's at a stage in his career where if he sat back and rested on his laurels, nobody would blink an eye because his legacy is one that most people would envy. Though I have never heard him say it, Ricca's actions clearly show that he embraces the philosophy that how you do something is as important as what you do. As such, Ricca continues to work with junior and senior staffers, teaching them the principles of good design, customer service and personal effectiveness.

And Ricca remains on a personal mission to rid the industry of flying deuces, those two-top tables that sit by themselves in the middle of a dining room making diners slightly uncomfortable because they offer little to no privacy. "Some operators feel they will turn those tables faster because people hate it. But that's not why they are in business. They are in business to maximize the guest experience," Ricca says.

As you can see, success takes many forms and it's important to celebrate those accomplishments when you can.

Related Articles
  • A Caring Climate
    Ask most any foodservice professional about the most potent tool at th...