Nathan Beucler, Burkett Restaurant Equipment and Supplies
Some people go to school to be a lawyer or a chef — or, in the case of Nathan Beucler of Burkett Restaurant Equipment and Supplies, to pursue a career in sales. Beucler attended the University of Toledo, where he earned a degree from the Edward H. Smith School for Professional Sales. Upon graduation, Beucler interned with a manufacturer of tabletop items and worked there for nine years. In December 2012, Beucler joined Burkett as a national sales manager, working with the inside sales team as well as the dealer’s showroom team. Roughly five years later Burkett created his current role of account executive and team lead. He works with general contractors, architects, independent restaurants, senior living operators and more. Here, Beucler discusses his approach to relationship building and more.
Q: How have customer requests changed over the past few years?
A: The biggest change has been finding products that meet their lead times. A customer might want a combi oven, and they want the one they can get in the least amount of time. That’s broadened my horizons in terms of the manufacturers I work with to meet the end user’s needs for timing. Customers also need more storage for equipment. As contractors come to understand the lead time for equipment is longer, they are planning farther out. As a result, they are asking us to warehouse and consolidate the equipment to ensure on-time delivery.
Q: What can larger customers learn from smaller ones, or vice versa?
A: The biggest thing they all need to learn is patience — and keep in mind, we are all working toward the same goal, which is providing them with the product they need in a timely manner. I’ve seen a larger demand for design-build projects. There’s time involved in terms of consultation and then designing the space. It’s not something where you can flip the switch overnight. You want to design a space that has the proper flow and is efficient. It takes time to come up with a cohesive design that meets the needs of each operation. The best end results take a lot of work and prep. And we have to remember there’s a lot of work in prep. We really bring everything together and fine-tune the end results. But it takes time to do that.
Q: Relationship building is critical to your business. How do you go about building and maintaining good working relationships with operators as well as general contractors?
A: It starts with learning who they are and what they are about. I have to put myself in their shoes and look at things as if I were spending my own money. That way, I am looking at it as if I were a business owner. This approach means I won’t over specify products that they don’t need. And I won’t under specify products, so they won’t need more later on. I also pick up the phone when they call and provide answers as quickly as possible. I like to tell customers, “I am not the smartest guy in the room, but I know a lot of smart people that specialize in specific areas that can help us all learn something.” The number one resource we have is people who are willing to share the insight, expertise and advice.
Nathan Beucler, Burkett Restaurant Equipment and Supplies, sits down with Jason Wange, Foodservice Powerplant Network, to talk about being named an FE&S DSR of the Month.
Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Presents DSR 3-2-1 is sponsored by Salvajor.