One of the younger members of the industry and yet already a veteran, Eric Norman decided to go the foodservice consultant route at the young age of 22, joining his father Ed Norman’s full-time at the family consulting business. Now as vice president of the firm Norman oversees a plethora of projects both locally and nationally, including many K-12 school foodservice jobs. Eric is an active member of FCSI, including having earned his FCSI professional designation and leading the next generation of consultants through the Association’s ICON group for emerging professionals. He has also contributed opinion articles and blog posts to FE&S in the past.
FE&S: If you were not working in foodservice, what would you be doing?
Eric Norman: I truthfully do not know what I would be doing if I were not involved in the foodservice industry. I have worked my entire adult life in foodservice in some capacity or another and I cannot see myself doing anything but this.
FE&S: When traveling for business, what is one of your favorite past times?
Eric Norman: The best part about travelling extensively for business is meeting people from all around the world and all walks of life. Airports, trains and hotels all provide great opportunities to meet other fascinating business travelers and learn about their life stories and careers. This interaction has also spawned some decent business contacts and leads on potential future projects.
FE&S: What was your first job in foodservice?
Eric Norman: My first job in foodservice was working for Dairy Queen. I started at 14 cleaning the dining area and working the front counter. I eventually worked my way up to working drive thru, cooking and making ice cream cakes.
FE&S: Knowing what you now know, would you still pursue a career in foodservice?
Eric Norman: I would absolutely still pursue a career in the foodservice industry. I take pride in my work and I love what I do. The best part about coming to work is the fact that no two days will ever be the same. I can be in the office designing a facility one day and flying across the country for a project meeting the next.
FE&S: If I were just starting out in the foodservice industry, what advice would you give me?
Eric Norman: Build a network! Go out and meet people and listen to what they have to say. Some of my best learning has come from the stories and experiences of others in the industry that have been around for many years.