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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

Food Delivery Up, Meal Kit Potential and More

What’s up with meal kits? More consumers are having restaurant meals delivered but there’s a catch. Dunkin’ Donuts cuts a major deal with BJ’s Wholesale club. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice

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Highlights

Says Who? - Cris Gross, Part 2

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

Cris Gross: A mentor once told me that you can NEVER back a customer into a corner. No matter how right you think you are, you always have to give them a way out. For me, that is about respect and good customer service.

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

Cris Gross: I only wish I had time to develop a pastime when on the road, so, I’d have to say calling my kids at night and saying prayers with them before they go to bed is the my favorite thing to do while away. Exploring the local cuisine is a distant second.

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

Cris Gross: Dishwasher...and I guarantee I’m not the only “Says Who” with that response!

FE&S: Knowing what you now know, would you still pursue a career in foodservice?

Cris Gross: Absolutely. When I was working in the restaurants and attending flight school, I didn’t ever think I’d end up in foodservice sales. It has been a real privilege to be a part of this industry and have the successes I’ve had in life so far because of it.

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

Cris Gross: Learn from the best people around you (there are many) in this business. They are all eager to teach you, and if you build strong alliances based on trust and provide your customers with honest, diligent service, success and longevity in this business will follow.

Click here to read part one of the interview with Cris Gross.

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