Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 2016

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 85 of 104

FEBRUARY 2016 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 83 DSR of the month Steve Ruck, Outside Sales Chefs' Toys, Fountain Valley, Calif. By Lisa White, Contributing Editor I t's always advantageous when skills from one job are transferrable to another. Such was the case with Steve Ruck who, upon the advice of his stepfather, a dealer/ sales rep, moved from general contract work to join an independent manufacturer's rep frm. About a year later, the economic downturn forced Steve Ruck to rethink his career options again. He joined Chefs' Toys, starting out in inside sales and inventory management, before eventually becoming an outside sales rep. He's now been at the company for about seven years. "I started by developing smallwares contracts for the dealership, then transitioned into heavy equipment sales," says Ruck. Drawing on his background as a contractor and rep, Ruck created a book of business that consists of regional chain accounts and larger project work, such as hotel-related foodservice projects. FE&S: Your stepfather works in the foodservice industry, too. What advice has he given you? What lessons have you learned from him? SR: My stepfather, John Muller, has enjoyed a lot of success in his career. We've fortunately had the pleasure of work- ing together on several projects in recent years. The most important thing I gleaned from working with him is his confdence and morality in his business practice. Also, he has provided me with advice on what a contract should look like and how to help customers value engineer projects without sacrifcing quality. FE&S: What goes into developing a good equipment spec? SR: Clients are diverse, and everyone comes from a different angle and is looking for something unique. For those who are price-driven, my job is to help them understand the frst cost is not always the fnal cost. It starts with recognizing customers' needs, knowing the application and having expansive product knowledge. FE&S: You earned your CFSP designation. Why was this important to you? SR: I want to be excellent at what I do, so when I found out about CFSP, I thought it was a unique way to grow profes- sionally. The designation gives me more credibility as well as added confdence in what I'm selling. FE&S: You're known for having equally good working relationships with your customers and suppliers. What's your secret or approach to creating such harmony throughout a project team? SR: Across the board, it's knowing the people I'm working with have needs and are trying to accomplish something as much as I am. When I approach reps and customers, I'm not looking to take advantage of anyone, but instead play a part in their success. FE&S: You have a diverse background. How did your ex- periences from your previous roles help you better serve customers today? SR: My background in contracting allowed me to seek out and obtain my own contracting license this past year. Then, with a licensed employee, Chefs' Toys was able to acquire its own pre- fab contracting license. We can now provide full installations to complement our equipment supply and, in turn, this provides me with the opportunity to seek out larger projects with confdence. It starts with recognizing customers' needs, knowing the application and having expansive product knowledge. natural refrigerants Reduced Utility Costs Environmentally Friendly Improved Efficiency and Performance Regulatory Safety Standard Compliant

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