Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 2019

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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24 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES JUNE 2019 CONSULTANT'S VIEWPOINT other consultants allows us to help each other. This is especially the case as the consulting business continues to become more complex than ever before. We can teach each other how to better run our companies, deal with contracts, succes- sion planning and more. Practice Active Listening I encourage our new team members to not just sit in meetings but actively listen and take a lot of notes, whether it's with a good old-fashioned pen and paper or a computer or smartphone, and then I recommend that they store those notes in a digital •le for future reference. We keep all of our notes on comments from the architects, contractors and others in digital •les because if there is an issue down the road, we can pull up those notes and •gure out intentions and what was said. Sometimes, you must ask the right questions to draw the answer and information out. This is not something that many can do instinctively. It is a learned skill — one that all consultants need desperately. Pay Attention to Changing Trends These days, you can see a lot of foodservice trends starting at the college and university level. No one seems to be interested in cafeterias and scrambles anymore but rather microrestaurants or food hall formats, with different concepts where you can get Mexican food at one platform or a salad or Asian food at another. We're also seeing this trend take shape in other segments, including B&I and healthcare. Be aware of what is going on around you; get out and see what is attracting the public and why. I told a club manager in a meeting recently that up until a couple of years ago, one of our main concerns with designing bars was where do we store 27 differ- ent †avors of vodka? Now, it is how and where we can store and pour 24 or more †avors of craft beer. Always Follow Up A project is never ever really over. I encourage our team members to get out to the jobsite weeks, months and even years after wrapping up the proj- ect and talk to the chefs and people working in the kitchen. Ask them what works well and what they would like to do different. Just last week, I was trav- eling and stopped by a country club project we had designed. I was able to meet and go over the layout and kitchen with the new executive chef. He had quite a few ideas of what he liked and would change in his kitchen. Now, I have the chance to come back and meet with the folks who designed the kitchen and share his thoughts and what could be done better for next time. That also helps me learn what we can do on our projects differently or better. Get out of the O„ce I do not want our staff to sit in the of•ce all the time. They need to go to jobsites, project meetings, conferences, factory trips, The NAFEM Show and other industry events. They need to meet others and build their professional relationships, especially with people not in their normal circle of in†uence. You never know who you may want to reach out to in the future or who you may be able to help down the road. It has been a long road to get to 40 years, and no, I am not •nished yet. Not even close. As we develop our succession plan, it is exciting to see our next group of leaders grow and develop. I will continue to teach them at least one thing a day, and they in turn are now teaching me every day as well. MISS ONE OF OUR WEBCASTS? WATCH ONLINE

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