IFMA's Small & Midsized Business (SMB) community is happy to welcome Kevin Bechtel as our guest. Kevin joined Shari's Restaurant and Pies in 1992 as a District Manager and he currently leads culinary and menu development as the Sr. Vice President of Purchasing/R&D and Menu Development. Shari's, a family dining concept based in Beaverton, Oregon, has 104 locations. It is well known for its 20+ varieties of pie, many of which have won Blue Ribbons at the National Pie Championship.
SMB Community (SMB): Thanks for joining us, Kevin! As an organization, what are your specific foodservice needs over the next 12 months?
Kevin Bechtel (KB): We are looking for ways to manage commodities, which includes examining portion size without compromising product quality or guest perception. We are also developing a new cooking platform so what we can add flatbread to our menu, identifying opportunities to improve execution with a less skilled work force, and looking at innovation around Weekend Breakfast occasions.
SMB: How has the economy impacted the way you do business?
KB: The two largest impacts are menu management as it relates to waste control and product development. Our pipeline for menu item development is more research dependent to maximize success.
SMB: Who is your Distributor?
SMB: What characteristics/traits do you look for in supplier partners?
KB: Loyalty. Consistent communication. Transition plans for representative change. Culinary Support. Data Insight support. Understanding of the relationship with customer - Transactional to Strategic. Learning about our business and not assuming to know our business.
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