Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAY 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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Page 49 of 152

MAY 2017 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 47 The company spends time researching prospective employees to ensure they are the right fit. For example, when it comes to handling contract foodservice jobs, Johnson-Lancaster looks for enthusiastic and tech savvy project managers. When an associate first comes onboard in the contract division, they spend 18 to 24 months with a senior project manager. "We start them off with smaller jobs before eventually feeding them into the more complicated jobs," Zabel says. It's a conservative formula that not many companies would apply but in the case of Johnson-Lancaster this ap- proach really works. "Our turnover is minimal. Four of our project managers have been with the company for more than seven years. And not having turnover plays a critical role in the success of our department," Zabel says "They stay because of the company. It's a family owned, small business. And they stay because they see we are a growing company." Taking such a deliberate approach to finding the right fit creates a tighter bond between the company and its associates. "Our people take ownership in the business," Donna says. "They think of it as their own. We were lucky with the people we started with. It was a family of seven or eight people." Jerry's straightforward, plain-talking approach helps build an open and honest working environment. "We always high- lighted our mistakes. If we made a mistake we owned up to it, saw what caused it and moved on. Don't dwell on it," he says. "When I make a mistake, I admit [it]. And when the team sees that they become open and honest about things." Leaders at plenty of companies will say they treat their as- sociates like family. Johnson-Lancaster and Associates' leaders, though, demonstrate this through their actions. And it all starts at the top. For example, when one associate could not work for a year due to a bout with cancer, the company took care of this person and is now doing the same with another person who is sick and can only work intermittently. "Our associates are like family. We care for them and their children and they care for us," says Donna, who serves as vice president for the dealership. Congratulations Johnson-Lancaster Dealer of the Year "Thank you for choosing us when quality matters most." Custom Fabricator Amanda Swain (left) serves as customer success manager for, Johnson- Lancaster's e-commerce division. Despite being an e-commerce platform, is just as customer service oriented as other aspects of the company.

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