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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? - Joe Schmitt, Part 2

Joe Schmitt has been the co-owner of Rapids Wholesale Equipment for almost 20 years. Rapids has a strong reputation among foodservice equipment and supplies dealers, as well as in the industry at large, for its relationship-oriented business model and strong focus on customer service. In addition to his time spent in the foodservice industry, Joe also has a solid financial industry background. A certified public accountant, he served as the vice president of Heartland Financial USA and was also a senior manager at Arthur Andersen & Company. Joe is an active member of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA), serving on the board of directors for the past four years and being elected an officer last March.

sayswho_background Joe Schmitt

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

Joe Schmitt: I enjoy spending time with my wife Geri when she can travel, and we really try to identify good restaurants that the locals enjoy.

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

Joe Schmitt: Seeing young people learn the industry and get excited about the potential to succeed.

FE&S: Other than your own, name the foodservice company that you admire most and why?

Joe Schmitt: True Manufacturing. It’s a family-owned business that seems to have more pricing integrity than anyone in the industry.

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

Joe Schmitt: "Dishpig" — I worked in high school for a place known as Roberts Smorgasboard 40 Feet of Fine Food. Robert has gone on to become a very successful casino operator and we just completed a project for him in Northwest Iowa.

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

Joe Schmitt: Yes. I feel fortunate to have been able to have the freedom and responsibility of a small business owner.

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

Joe Schmitt: Educate yourself, get to know as many factory people and manufacturer reps as possible, and be a solution provider.

Click here to read part one of the interview with Joe Schmitt.

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