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Foodservice News

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Blog Network

jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

California Dreamin’: Looking Back on The NAFEM Show

Nothing brings out the best in the foodservice equipment and supplies industry quite like The NAFEM Show. For three days it seems everyone is in the best possible mood while hobnobbing beneath NAFEM’s biennial big top. The burdens of business challenges seem to fade to the background as various new applications of stainless steel, melamine and even china have everyone forgetting the past, even for a moment — because, to paraphrase one-hit wonder Timbuk3: their future’s so bright they’ve gotta wear shades.

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jMartinez
Juan Martinez

Give Me Labor Economics or Give Me Death!

Labor costs usually represent the highest, or second highest, expense as a percent of sales for a restaurant. As such, proper labor management plays a critical role in driving better unit economics for a foodservice concept. If you buy into this principle, continue to read, and if you don’t then it is more important for you to continue to read on.

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jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

Casual Dining Sales Slow Down, the Sysco/US Foods Merger Continues to Draw Fire and More

Sales among casual restaurant chains slowed in March according to Knapp-Track. Job openings hit a 14-year high in February. Some states go on record opposing the Sysco/US Foods merger. An Oakland, Calif. minimum wage increase leaves some businesses unhappy. These stories and more in This Week in Foodservice.

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Highlights

Says Who? - Gale Gand, Executive Pastry Chef

Gale Gand is a nationally acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, television personality, root beer maker, and mom. She is the executive pastry chef and partner of Chicago-based Tru, with Rich Melman and culinary partner Rick Tramonto. She was recognized in 2001 as Outstanding Pastry Chef by The James Beard Foundation.

sayswho_background Gale Gand

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

Gale Gand: Yes, if they love it and get as much satisfaction out of it as I do. I really found my calling when I got into food and restaurants. I hope they find theirs. But I'm always encouraging them to have a career in wine making so mommy can have a free place in Napa when she retires!

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

Gale Gand: Probably teaching, teaching art I think. I have a BFA and really get excited when I lead art classes at my kids' schools.

FE&S: Any interesting hobbies?

Gale Gand: Gardening (yawn), collecting old cook books, postcard collecting (mostly food images or recipes cards), collecting old pie tins and bakeware, old cooking brochures, chocolate labels, sewing, drawing, collecting old children's books, playing folk music with my kids and family and cooking (duh). I also like hunting for the best BLT, fried chicken and Caesar salad in the world, staging in pastry kitchens and bakeries in France, and working on goat farms to learn to make goat cheese.

FE&S: When traveling for business, what is one of your favorite past times?

Gale Gand: Checking out bakeries, small ones, big ones, ethnic ones, and old fashion ones. Any bakery, really.

FE&S: What is your favorite kitchen tool?

Gale Gand: Probably my grandmother's rolling pin.

FE&S: What was your first job in foodservice?

Gale Gand: I was a waitress, and just loved it. I loved nurturing the customers, teaching them about the menu items and where the ingredients came from; helping them choose what paired well and serving the food was like a dance to me. I went on to wash dishes, check coats, work the door, answer phones, be a line cook a pastry cook, a sous chef, and voila! That's how you make a restaurateur!

FE&S: If I were just starting out in the foodservice industry, what advice would you give me?

Gale Gand: When someone asks you if you can do something always say "yes," whether you know how to do it or not. You'll figure it out eventually. That's how to push you to grow. And ALWAYS wear comfortable shoes.

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