Foodservice Equipment Reports

How You Can Help Operators

Our friend Doug Fryett, one of the leading consultants in our world, said some very smart things in Minneapolis in March, at the worldwide meeting of the Foodservice Consultants Society Int'l. I liked his comments so much, I borrowed them for a presentation I made to the Excell Dealer Buying Network meeting in April. While Doug originally addressed his remarks to consultants, they apply to most of the recipients of this magazine, including those in equipment and supplies specifying and purchasing roles at operator organizations.

Fryett's simple but cogent ideas are that the role of an E&S specifier or specialist is to take care of the operators and their needs. And one way to think of that is to focus on helping them take care of their patrons.

    • New technologies. There are many of them and their benefits to an operator need to be detailed.
    • Overhead costs. Everyone in this environment is looking to cut overhead costs.
    • Food safety. There's nothing more critical in a foodservice operation than ways and tools to promote food safety.
    • Sustainability issues. All the techniques and technologies around this broad concept are pertinent: energy and water efficiencies, sustainable materials and building practices, waste management and minimization.
    • Food and flavor trends. It's always all about the food, and the menu always dictates equipment selection.
    • Work-flow optimization. Labor is the single largest cost for most foodservice operators.
    • Worker productivity. Productivity goes hand-in-hand with flow optimization but also includes other labor-saving techniques and tools.
    • Worker-friendly environments. Kitchens can be brutal places to work. Making them less hostile can improve productivity and reduce turnover.
    • Regulations, standards and codes.The specialist should help the operator with the rules and the reasons behind the regulations and codes.

All these suggestions are derived from operator needs and the needs and demands of their customers and patrons. You'll notice nowhere does Fryett mention kitchen or front-of-the-house design or equipment and supplies selection. Nor does he mention price. That's because these E&S stock-in-trade activities will naturally flow from helping the operator with the needs outlined above.

If one takes care of operator needs and helps them better serve their guests, success will also flow naturally.

Robin Ashton
Robin Ashton

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