In Erin Buntin's current role at Schreiber Foods, she is charged with being "customer obsessed", which means she leads the company's field sales team to build strategies and business plans that focus on exceeding customer expectations and of course, selling more cases profitably. When her friends ask her what she does, she simply replies "I am changing the world one slice of cheese at a time." Get to know her.
What do your customers appreciate most about your company?
I would narrow it down to three main things: our culture, our people, and our products. The foundation of Schreiber Foods is built on honesty and respect. Our people are caring, energetic, and customer focused. We actually call each other "partners" internally which is unique. And each day, we have 7,000 partners across the globe focused on delivering high quality products to our customers and consumers.
Share a story about your first job in foodservice.
My first job was at a fine dining, independent operator in a suburb of Philadelphia. I worked in the back of the house as the Salad and Dessert girl. I remember being very nervous on my first day because I had never been in a kitchen and had no idea what to expect. I'll never forget when the head chef pulled me aside one night. He told me that I was one of the most important people in the kitchen. I was perplexed and asked him why.....chef told me, "Your salads are the first impression of the food our customers will enjoy.....and your desserts are the last impression of the customers experience....we cannot be great without YOU." WOW, pretty powerful. And I've been hooked ever since then.
In 2020, what do you think the foodservice industry will be like?
I often times wonder if a standard menu will even exist anymore in 2020. I envision a place where everything is customizable and customers have the ability to "build your own anything." Technology will continue to change this industry!
In your opinion, what is the best industry event?
IFMA Presidents Conference is a "must attend" event for me every year.
What industry challenge keeps you up at night?
Talent diversity and retention. In my opinion, we work in one of the greatest industries and we need to be the "go-to" industry. Foodservice needs strong leadership at all levels - and our tables should all be stacked with sustainable and diverse talent so we can continue to elevate the industry.
If you had to describe IFMA in just three words, what would they be?
Insightful. Collaborative. Passionate.
How important is social media to the foodservice industry?
It will be a critical lifeline. It wasn't too long ago that having a website was enough to be successful. In today's world, you a need a storefront of social media platforms to stay connected to the ever-changing consumer. It helps communicate to your target audience real time. Social media will just be a part of doing business in the future.
What is your favorite sports team?
Green Bay Packers - GO PACK GO - our house bleeds green and gold!
Finally, give us a shameless plug. Don't hold back!
Drink the IFMA Kool-Aid - you'll be surrounded by leaders who deeply care and are passionate about the foodservice industry - together we can shape the future.
IFMA featured members are selected based on their accomplishments in the food industry. Recognized as leaders, they are the people moving the industry forward with big ideas and even bigger goals. Know someone who fits the bill? Tell us.