Many foodservice professionals often refer to the tabletop as the most important three feet in the house. That's because the tabletop represents the aspect of the foodservice operation that diners interact with most. So it would seem logical, then, that most restaurant and foodservice operators would put in plenty of thought, minding every detail, when developing their tabletops (page 18). Unfortunately, the opposite is often true.Read more...
The concept of co-branding, meaning having two restaurants share the same space, is nothing new. Sometimes it works. Other times it does not. So what’s the difference between successful and unsuccessful co-branding initiatives?Read more...
The Commerce Department reported weak September retail sales but restaurants enjoyed a fair increase. First-time jobless claims fell to a 14-year low. The Sysco/U.S. Foods merger may have hit a stumbling block. Malcolm Knapp is optimistic about casual restaurant sales. McDonald’s is still searching for answers.Read more...
As the 2014-2015 school year draws to a close, I'd like to share the final outcomes of Nardin Academy's new self-operated foodservice program.Read more...
David M. Stafford, president, Stafford-Smith, a Kalamazoo, Mich.,-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealer. Prior to joining the company Stafford graduated from Western Michigan University with a double major and then went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. Stafford began working at the dealership 18 years ago, making him the third generation to join the family business, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
David M. Stafford: Winning a job and making money on it in the end — that whole process is what does it for me. And it’s great to be able to see your whole team do such a good job.
David M. Stafford: I coach high school lacrosse. Also I like to work out and read.
David M. Stafford: When I am there I am not the boss. So I have to take complete orders from someone other than my family. That’s different from working in the family business and it teaches me humility. Plus, I have something I can teach them and I want to give back. You learn a lot working with the players.
David M. Stafford: Someone is there to work with you and you are there to work with them. They are honest and straightforward. They don’t have any hidden agendas. That is a real partner. You know how many times you work with someone only to find out they had a hidden agenda? When that happens you are mad, frustrated or hurt. You feel like you got punched in the stomach. Nobody wants to do business that way. And I am not a fan of watching our employees or my partners get treated poorly.
David M. Stafford: A good business partner is an honest, trustworthy and loyal person. It is a relationship business and that’s what attracted me to it.
David M. Stafford: Don’t tell everybody everything. You don’t want to tell everyone everything you know. Also to always listen.
David M. Stafford: Yes. There are times when you ask yourself that question but yes I would do it again.
David M. Stafford: Listen. When you first start, it takes you about five years to learn this industry. No, it’s not rocket science but there are a lot of nuances to this industry. Don’t assume you know everything. So ask lots of questions and study. This work is not done from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You have to work at it. My dad taught me that and that’s one of the most important things he taught me.
David M. Stafford: Reading. I love to read anything. If it is a book for business? Great. If it is a book for pleasure, great. I will read anything.
David M. Stafford: I was 12 years old when I started working here and I did a variety of janitorial tasks like cleaning toilets and taking out the trash.
David M. Stafford: ...People think I am a screamer. But when things get heated, I don’t have to raise my voice. I try to remain level and calm. The only people I raise my voice to are factory reps when they are not treating our team correctly. Even there I do not yell but firmly explain our position as a company. Everything I do at work I try to do it with a smile on my face because our employees/team should enjoy coming to work here.
Click here to read part one of the interview with David M. Stafford.
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