• 2015 Hall of Famer Ken Gill: A Serial Entrepreneur

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  • Facility Design Project of the Month for April 2015: Florence Moore Hall Kitchen and Servery at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

  • DSR of the Month: Amanda Janasik, Sr. Business Development Manager, R.W. Smith & Co., San Diego

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? - Cris Gross, regional manager & equipment Sales, Stafford-Smith, Inc.

As FE&S’ 2009 DSR of the Year, Cris Gross has a reputation for excellence in both relationship-building and equipment knowledge. A Traverse City, Mich. native, Gross started off as a teenager washing dishes in restaurants around town, quickly moving up the ranks to beverage director and general manager. Staying in his hometown to build a family and his career, Gross later joined Kirchman Bros., an equipment dealership where he again moved up the ranks to run the Traverse City sales territory. Stafford-Smith bought out the small, family-owned business in 1999, and Gross stayed on to continue growing the upper Michigan territory.

sayswho_background Cris Gross

FE&S: You have three children. Would you encourage them to work in this business?

Cris Gross: Yes! I think sales is one of the most underrated professions and the foodservice industry is both loyal and exciting.

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

Cris Gross: Jordan Byron who I worked for early in my career. He was incredible with people. He was kind to everyone he met and I always admire that quality in people.

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

Cris Gross: I love the rare opportunities I get these days working with small independent operators, churches adult foster care facilities, etc. These are the folks that don’t always know equipment and layout as well as some of my other customers. I get a huge charge out of walking them through my layout, selecting equipment together and delivering them a beautiful new kitchen. When you can deliver them goods and services that far exceed their expectations, they are more appreciative than the customers I see day in and day out. It’s a great feeling.

FE&S: Any interesting hobbies?

Cris Gross: I love to take my kids fishing any chance we get. My family and I also love to travel and discover this great country of ours.

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

Cris Gross: I’d like to think I’d be in the "left seat" piloting a corporate jet!

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