Point of View

Content with a point of view from foodservice operators, dealers, consultants, service agents, manufacturers and reps.


Last fall Cris Gross assumed a new role at Stafford-Smith Inc. as VP sales and marketing. The new role comes with a renewed focus on street sales. After two decades as regional sales manager, the FE&S 2009 DSR of the Year says he is enthused about building even closer connections to customers and helping guide the slew of Stafford-Smith new hires into the industry.

It isn’t every day that you earn the kind of praise that makes you want to blush, but such was the case after our recent confab in Chicago, the Foodservice Equipment & Design Global Thought Leadership Summit.

 Many brands have had to deal with how to evolve their customer base and maintain relevance. For us, it’s a tight QSR space. I’m sure those in other sectors feel the same way.

With a 50-year career in the foodservice industry, Jim Richard Sr., princial of PES Design Group, has gone from wanting to be an architect to launching his own c-store design and foodservice consulting firm. His entrepreneurial spirit continues today.

Welcome to the first edition of FE&S for 2019 in what should prove to be an exciting and eventful year.

When it comes to purchasing foodservice equipment and supplies, operators always look for ways to buy better. It is not so much about buying better as it is buying smarter. This challenge doesn’t just apply to e-commerce transactions, despite what many industry observers may think. The same problem applies to brick-and-mortar stores.

Efficiency is a key part of the future for 1,000-plus-unit Firehouse Subs. The chain continues to focus on simplifying, both from the guest standpoint and for the crew. John Namey, vice president of real estate services for Firehouse Subs, says transforming guest engagement makes it a simpler process for franchisees to bring costs down and react — but not overreact — to changes in the industry. Off-premise dining and delivery rank among the biggest changes he sees.

I hope that you will take the time to read about Eric Harrison from Supplies on the Fly, FE&S’ 2018 DSR of the Year. As many of you know, this award is near and dear to my heart as a former DSR of the Year for ID, a magazine that covered the broadline foodservice distribution space. That award came early in my career and more than a few years ago. One might reasonably ask what relevance the award has in 2018 and my answer is ... plenty.

So … you haven’t decided whether to be a nanoinfluencer or a macroinfluencer in the foodservice industry in 2019. No matter, either way the FE&S  2019 Equipment & Supplies Directory serves as a great place to start your foodservice equipment and supplies-related research.

Remembering John Cini, Cini-Little International Inc.

It’s been said repeatedly that no industry combines work and pleasure quite like foodservice. And while that’s undoubtedly true, the foodservice industry stands out in another significant way as well: through its generosity.

 What exactly is meant by the term “pay to play” and why do we at Zoomba Group avoid it?

There is a trend afoot that is threatening to become a movement, the roots of which, if you will pardon the pun, can be found emanating from the noncommercial segment of foodservice. I’m talking about the quiet and inexorable move toward a more plant-based diet.

With five states now either establishing diversion goals for food waste diversion from landfills or outright banning commercial food waste from landfills, restaurant operators and suppliers are sometimes curious about what options are allowed in their jurisdiction. Foodservice establishments may also voluntarily look for alternatives to landfilling their organic waste. Either way, they often inquire whether their jurisdiction allows disposers or pulpers.

If there was a common theme that emerged from FE&S2018 Dealer of the Year and Industry Awards Gala held on May 19th at the Four Seasons Hotel – Chicago, I think it was finding success through doing things the right way. From the Dealer of the Year recipient, The Boelter Companies, emphasis on empowering their employees to follow their entrepreneurial instincts to Hall of Fame recipient Kathleen Seelye building a stellar career based on a lifetime of collaboration and inclusion, the whole evening seemed to underscore examples of winning companies and individuals committed as much to how they succeed as they are to what they accomplish.

A self-described Army brat, Chef Rommel Mendoza has lived all over the world and continues to travel regularly for his job today. A passionate and trained chef (via Stratford University in northern Virginia), Mendoza has cooked in many restaurant kitchens, owned his own smoothie and deli shop and now serves as a corporate chef and educator for Thompson Hospitality. A division of Compass Group, Thompson Hospitality is a facilities management company in the business and industry, healthcare and college/university segments.