Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 2018

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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a pro you should know an opportunity to get students to learn beyond just books. It's been pretty successful at universities too, and we're looking in the Houston area next. We have even seen some students change their major because they didn't realize how much they enjoyed the sales or advertising aspect of menu and product development. FE&S: Have any of the student creations made it to the permanent menu? JB: We do a menu update about once a year and have had to make a few tweaks from a costing standpoint, but yes, we have seen some of the menu items make their way onto the menu in different variations. For us, it provides great research to see what the students come up with because this is obviously what they are looking for in a product. FE&S: Do you have plans to expand the program? JB: Our Seal the Deal program has been a tremendous success in terms of teaching high school students real-life business lessons, inspiring their creativity and giving back to the local community. As we continue to expand The Big Salad franchise into new territories, we are excited to introduce Seal the Deal to those communities as well. In addition to Grosse Pointe High School and Madonna University, we have also worked with Novi High School and are looking at schools in the Houston area where we are growing. The challenge is getting the school to be interested in something like this that really goes out of the box of a traditional curriculum. FE&S: How have you personally enjoyed the Seal the Deal program? JB: I love it. It's been a blast working with the students. I also have that entrepreneurial drive so it's great to help kids with the same passion. I love any way that you can see someone's eyes light up when they're inspired and help others create something from very little. Sale day is so much fun because you see how much fun they have when they realize someone will pay for something they created. I love instilling that entrepreneurial drive in others and showing younger people that they can truly do anything they want if they have enough drive and passion. FE&S: The Big Salad has always focused on technology. How is technology an important part of menu development? JB: We opened in September 2008 — talk about bad timing, right? Because my background wasn't in restaurants, we didn't have any bad habits and were able to adjust quickly. I came from a tech background, so we instituted a lot of tech- nology in our restaurants right away. It's amazing to remem- ber how far behind the restaurant industry was — and still is, in some cases — with technology. Scheduling was always done on paper. Even inventory was done with a clipboard and spreadsheet. Point-of-sale systems didn't provide nearly the type of data it does now. Since we were early [adapters in technology] we had to do a lot of the development ourselves and come up with our own systems. We developed our own inventory and scheduling system right from the start. We also use our integrated technology systems to monitor brand quality and streamline how new products are rolled out. We use those systems to run market research reports, test new items and track sales, just like our students learn in their Seal the Deal classes. s I 949.709.4872 I 19732 Descartes, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 N

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