John Klier, CMA Restaurant Supply and Design
With 14 years of experience in design development and construction document preparation, John Klier’s involvement in projects ranges from designing a foodservice operation through final inspections and after-opening services. He now serves as a project manager with CMA Restaurant Supply & Design in Kirkland, Wash.
Prior to joining CMA, Klier also worked for Bargreen Ellingson Restaurant Supply for eight years and Marketeam Foodservice for four years. He made the transition back to the dealer world from the rep side of the foodservice industry because he missed the project management aspect of design, especially taking an operator’s vision and bringing it to fruition.
With CMA, Klier also specializes in preliminary foodservice space planning and specification of equipment for commercial foodservice, managing projects from beginning design phase through completion, as well as the delivery and installation of equipment while managing sub-contractors.
Q: What are some foodservice design trends that excite you?
A: One of the main ones is automation and robotics of cooking equipment. It’s intriguing and exciting, and you can also reallocate labor somewhere else in the kitchen. If you have a robot doing the fry dump, you can reallocate your labor for food prep or something else. With robotics, restaurateurs are able to allocate labor costs better.
The advancement in technology is a big one. You can have combi ovens where you just press the button and perfectly cook a chicken. It’s just the integration of technology into cooking equipment. You’re basically looking at cooking with a big iPad and a bunch of buttons on it. You click what you want to cook, and it knows what [temperature] to cook it to.
Q: How do your experiences as both a dealer and rep help shape your approach to working with both operators and your supply chain partners?
A: Working as a rep brought me more knowledge into how manufacturers work and on the supply chain. I gained more knowledge of how the whole process works.
Q: You often see your projects from concept to completion. What’s the key to getting a project finished both on time and on budget?
A: I know every aspect of the project and every piece of equipment. I’m there all the way through. I’m there to answer any questions they have. By doing the drawings, I’m able to make any changes necessary and keep the project moving, on budget and on time. That elevates our game and lets us work a lot faster and a lot smoother. I’m able to just take out my laptop and make all the changes to a design or spec.
Q: Why is getting equipment properly installed so important?
A: The reason for installing equipment properly is so you can maintain functionality of equipment and the kitchen itself. By doing this, you can eliminate any calls that the deep fryer is down or that the gas regulator wasn’t installed properly. We don’t work with people who don’t know what they’re doing. That allows me to get more projects and grow our pipeline.
John Klier, CMA Restaurant Supply and Design, 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.