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Foodservice News

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jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

Allies

All aspects of the foodservice industry love the romance of the entrepreneur. The story usually involves someone having a vision and the determination to see it through and applies equally to operators, consultants, dealers, reps and service agents.

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jMartinez
Juan Martinez

Best Business Practices: How Do You Run Your Business?

Technology alone cannot and should not be a conduit through which we build our business relationships.

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jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

Knapp-Track’s Take on Restaurant Performance, IKEA Considers Freestanding Restaurants, and Dean & Deluca’s Food-as-Theater Concept

Malcolm Knapp weighs in on restaurant performance now and for the rest of the year. IKEA considers building freestanding restaurants. McDonald’s appears to be getting tough with franchisees. Dean & Deluca are opening a new fast food concept with food as theatre. These stories and a whole lot more 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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