Beth is the founder of Equipment Dynamics, Inc. (EDI), a kitchen design and equipment provider for restaurants, caterers, private clubs, city institutions and casinos. EDI has a number of long-lasting, high-profile clients, including more than 70 Lettuce Entertain You restaurants; James Beard Award winner Shawn McLain; Mike Ditka; Sweet Baby Ray's, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing. EDI also specializes in initial prototype development — clients there include Gordon Biersch, Maggiano’s, Corner Bakery, Big Bowl, Wow Bao, CPK ASAP, Kona Grill, Go Roma Italian Kitchen, and La Madia.
FE&S: What keeps you working in the foodservice industry?
Beth Kuczera: Being involved in the creative and inspired ideas of the great and varied clients we serve.
FE&S: Would you encourage your children to work in this business?
Beth Kuczera: I encourage all children to find something they love, something they can really sink their teeth into, and not to settle in until they do. And there is a lot to love in foodservice!
FE&S: Who was the person that influenced your career most?
Beth Kuczera: Joe Duellman: client first, then mentor and friend. It was his idea to start my business and his resources that made it happen. He said I was one of two people who kept their word during his project, and because of that core, I have a business. Joe wanted to pay back the breaks he was given, give a woman in this industry an assist, and have some fun — how great is that man?
FE&S: Who in the foodservice industry do you admire most?
Beth Kuczera: People who really sell for a living; people who believe their skills and abilities are worth something.
FE&S: If I were just starting out in the foodservice industry, what advice would you give me?
Beth Kuczera: Cream rises to the top. Study. Seek out mentors. Sell. Margaritas help.