I love the hospitality industry because I think it attracts the best people.

People who, no matter their level of personal success, approach life with a servant’s heart. These are social beings, who have a profound need to be around other people and at some level cater to their needs: people who embrace teamwork as a natural extension of their other-based world view.

As a result, there is an undercurrent of helpfulness that runs through the foodservice equipment and supplies industry, a subset of hospitality, as it tends to attract the same type of person. It never ceases to amaze and impress me when companies that, by all rights, should be locked in battle with one another, instead find a way to reach out and help one another.

One of my favorite examples is that of two dealers, both FE&S Dealer of the Year winners, four years apart, who not only share a city, San Antonio, but even a parking lot. The story goes that when Ace Mart Restaurant Supply (2016 DOY) was going through a remodel that occupied much of their parking lot, nearby Mission Restaurant Supply (2012 DOY) offered to let them use theirs during the
construction.

Examples like this serve as a reminder that sometimes it just pays to be nice.

As much as I love this foodservice industry, an industry that I began my career in, first as an operator and then a dealer, and the wonderful people who inhabit it, I always refrain from claiming it as my own now that I am a publisher. The way I see it, this is your industry, and we are here to cover it. Hopefully, by maintaining a level of thoughtful objectivity, we can provide clear-eyed commentary and useful insight that helps the industry continue to thrive.