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  • DSR of the Month, May 2015: Fred Potekin, Commercial Kitchen Equipment Sales and Design, Beltram Foodservice Group, Largo, Fla.

Foodservice News

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Blog Network

jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

Lesson Learned: The Cost of Staying the Same

For years now, if you were to ask most any member of the foodservice supply chain about some of their biggest challenges, they would include attracting and retaining top young talent and coming to terms with price pressures brought on by their arch nemesis, the internet.

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jMartinez
Juan Martinez

A Systematic Approach to Labor Economics

Foodservice operators can choose from countless ways to manage labor resources. Here consultant Juan Martinez outlines the 10 key attributes any labor management system should have, regardless of how a restaurant approaches this all-important topic.

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jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

Fast Food B'fast Wars Heat up, Americans Are Eating Their Savings and More

Government numbers show good restaurant sales in April. US Foods is getting antsy over delay in the Sysco merger but no quick decision is anticipated. Seattle operators struggle with minimum wage increase. YUM may divest its Chinese businesses. These stories and a lot more in This Week In Foodservice.

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Highlights

Says Who? - Zena Dater, dealer sales representative, Oswalt Restaurant Supply

Zena Dater, FE&S’ 2008 DSR of the Year, has been with Oswalt Restaurant Supply in Oklahoma City, Okla., for 16 years. A restaurant industry lifer, Dater spent 23 years on the operations side, moving up through the ranks from waitress and bartender to general manager and, later, area director with El Chico Corp. and La Roca-La Luna. As a result, Dater strikes a chord with her chain and mom and pop restaurant customers in her home state and across the country — knowing exactly what they need and being able to see the business from their shoes.

sayswho_background Zena Dater

FE&S: What keeps you working in the foodservice industry?

Zena Dater: The people. Definitely the people. The energy level and passion of the people keeps us youthful.

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

Zena Dater: Absolutely. I think it’s such a learning experience to be able to read people and interact. I think the foodservice industry is such a people business that it is a stepping stone for anything anyone wants to do in life, whether you’re a server or manager or selling something.

FE&S: What was your first job in the industry?

Zena Dater: I was a car hop on roller skates. Oh my gosh.

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

Zena Dater: It was Chris Hart, who I worked for at El Chico. His style of management was the kind where I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I got to that level. He was all about the people and he had a philosophy that there was a minimum level of acceptable performance that every employee needed to achieve, and if you tried to exceed that, you would go far in whatever career you would decide to do. He was all about taking care of the people who worked for him because he knew that would mean his guests would be taken care of.

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

Zena Dater: You only have your name so make sure that whatever you do you’re protecting your name. And to be honest. Honesty will take you as far as you want to go.

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