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jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

Labor Lessons

Real growth continues to be hard to come by for the foodservice industry. In fact, overall customer traffic was flat through the first quarter of 2016, according to The NPD Group, a market research firm covering the foodservice industry. Revenues and customer traffic may be inching along, but one area growing at breakneck speed is labor costs.

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jMartinez
Juan Martinez

Post NRA Thoughts: My Labor Costs are Killing Me! What Can I do About It?

The National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show has come and gone to much fanfare. From what I saw and read, the participation was phenomenal. We were able to bring our full consulting team from all of our offices and even made time to break some bread together.  This year, I also participated in a panel discussion that explored unit economics  and was moderated by Steve Romaniello, managing director of Roark Capital.

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jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

Study Projects Compound Growth Rate for U.S. Foodservice Market

Restaurant sales in June were slower than in May. A new report looks for foodservice to grow 3.33 percent in the next 5 years. A C-store chain says it will open at least 600 locations in the next few years. Taco Bell expands their Cantina concept. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

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Highlights

Says Who? - Richard Young, dir. of education for Food Service Technology Center

Richard Young is a Senior Engineer and the Director of Education for the Food Service Technology Center, based in San Ramon, California.

sayswho_background Richard Young

FE&S: What keeps you working in the foodservice industry?

Richard Young: I paid my way through engineering school with various restaurant gigs and I fell in love with the camaraderie and spirit of the folks in foodservice. It’s a very hard way to make a living but there is something invigorating about embracing the “dinner rush” and making it through to the other side. I worked front-of-house and back-of-house and I learned a lot about people. Some of the best folks I’ve ever known were restaurant people and being able to serve the foodservice industry with my engineering talents is a great honor and a real joy!

FE&S: Would you encourage your children to work in this business?

Richard Young: Being an “engineering type” I’m probably going to encourage my kids towards the sciences but I’d be thrilled if they followed in my footsteps and applied their knowledge to creating more sustainable foodservice. Their generation faces so many challenges and one of the biggest is going to be ensuring a safe, healthy, and adequate food supply for the people of planet earth and clean, renewable, energy sources to cook that food.

FE&S: Who was the person that influenced your career most?

Richard Young: My bosses and mentors, Don Fisher and Judy Nickel, have had the most influence on my career. They saw a need for energy efficiency in foodservice and they stuck to their goals regardless of the challenges. In the early days, nobody wanted to talk to us about efficient equipment and now, 25 years later, we as a team have made saving energy and water a real part of this huge industry that we call foodservice. It takes a long vision and lots of dedication to change an entire industry!

FE&S: Who in the foodservice industry do you admire most?

Richard Young: I admire and respect everyone in foodservice. I meet people at all levels, from the baristas to the chefs to the food service directors and I understand how hard it is to survive in this industry. When I go in to any food establishment, I try to be the nicest customer they’ve ever had!

FE&S: What aspect of your career gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment?

Richard Young: Every day I get up and I’m excited to go to work because I know that our project is helping people to both stay in business and to be more sustainable. We’ve been privileged to help design green buildings and green building codes, to create energy guides and efficiency rebate programs, and to simply help small businesses save a buck. I used to serve BBQ at a little restaurant in Memphis and now I’m serving an entire industry.

FE&S: If you were not working in foodservice, what would you be doing?

Richard Young: Well, I gave the music business a try for a few years but that’s even harder than foodservice, so I’m grateful to be where I am!

FE&S: What type of charitable activities are you involved in?

Richard Young: We have four kids in all four levels of public schools - from elementary to college - and we are very involved with our local school community. I’m a big believer in public education and I find that the other parents who are involved with public education have the same fighting spirit that foodservice people have. There is a sense of camaraderie and a will to work together and stand up for what you believe in.

FE&S: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Richard Young: To find the “flow” and go with it. Sometimes the flow is dinner rush and sometimes the flow is folding napkins. Figure out which one it is and just accept it.

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