Assistant Vice President, elite studio | e
Which hospitality and foodservice services do you oversee and how does SHFM help you balance these responsibilities?
Elite|Studio e is a design/build company specializing in foodservice spaces. This includes but is not limited to, cafeteria, restaurants, dining rooms and coffee bars.
SHFM members are a melting pot of hospitality and foodservice professionals. To me, SHFM events are an outstanding forum to meet potential clients, as well as converse with industry peers on new concepts and ideas.
What do you see as the most important trend in the industry?
The most important trend in the industry, and maybe the world right now, is technology. There’s so much of it and more coming every day. A chef can prepare his or her entire menu on a USB thumb drive and download it into a combi oven. Refrigeration can alert you with a text message or email that it’s not keeping to temperature. Rapid cook ovens, like the TurboChef, are increasing food output and productivity. The possibilities are endless and I look forward to new and innovative concepts.
How do you keep your customers happy?
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s easy. We keep customers happy by providing foodservice designs that are inventive and fresh, while functional and operator-friendly. When our clients have comments and concerns, we listen and deliver.
How have you seen the association grow and change since you joined last year?
The fact that I meet new people at each event, leads me to believe that SHFM is indeed growing in size and popularity. It is also great that there are local events as well. If I’m traveling to a certain area of the country on business, I’ll usually check my calendar to see if there is an upcoming event nearby.
Which SHFM event has been your favorite to attend?
New Orleans by far. I had a blast on this trip. I met peers from all over the foodservice industry. The events were well thought out and engaging. The opening reception at the Superdome was my favorite. It’s not every day you get to kick field goals on an NFL field.
It should be noted that I missed all my attempts.