What drives the nation’s top foodservice operators? To celebrate IFMA's 66th annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards, we asked the 2020 Silver Plate Class to share some perspectives and words of wisdom with the industry. Find out what they have to say about their passion for foodservice, career accomplishments and what it means to be part of a legendary group of operators.
Meet Scott Redler, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. Scott received the 2020 Silver Plate Award in the Chain Limited Service category, and was nominated by Conagra Foodservice.
How did you get your start in the foodservice industry?
Growing up in St. Louis, I got my start in the restaurant industry at age 15. I went along with a friend who was going to get a job at a catering company, and I was also offered a job. From that point on, my passion for foodservice had been ignited. As my career progressed, I managed everything from 5-star restaurants to corporate cafeterias in Wichita, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.
What do you enjoy most about your career in foodservice?
I enjoy working with team members and watching them grow up and advance within the ranks. It’s amazing to watch a line cook grow and eventually become a franchisee.
Tell us about your biggest career accomplishment.
My partners and I started Freddy’s with the intent of opening only one location. The concept resonated with our guests. We’ve now grown to 380 locations by continuing to do things the Freddy’s Way and consistently remaining focused on our three core values of Hospitality, Quality, and Cleanliness.
How is your segment making a difference for the foodservice industry?
The lifestyles of our guests are continually changing, and we must adapt to meet their needs. The Fast-Casual restaurant segment wasn’t identified 20 years ago, but now it has become a major growth tool for many companies. That growth may be in part due to our ability to grow and adapt with technology. The emergence of loyalty apps, mobile ordering and now delivery have introduced our segment to a number of new challenges but has also opened up a whole range of new opportunities.
What advice do you have for someone new to the foodservice industry?
First, realize and focus on your passion for the work. It’s important to take care of the guests’ food and entertainment needs in order to make their experience a home run. Next, remain a student of your craft, ensuring continual growth for you and your business. Finally, your ability to retain long-term employees will determine your success. There are many people in our office that I’ve worked with for 20 years. There is a tremendous relationship between turnover and success of the operation, whether it’s at the corporate office or management within the restaurants.
What does being an IFMA Silver Plate recipient mean to you?
When Larry Oberkfell, the President & CEO of IFMA, called to tell me I was going to receive this great honor, I was truly humbled. After the call, I went online to look through past award winners. Honestly, I was almost in a state of shock to be ranked with so many great influencers of our industry.
What is your favorite meal?
A Freddy’s #1 combo, which includes the Freddy’s Original Double (two steakburger patties, cheese, mustard, onion & pickle on a toasted bun) with our shoestring fries. The secret is I like to add grilled jalapeños. Then for dessert, I enjoy a vanilla custard Concrete mixed with Reese’s pieces and Reese’s peanut butter cups. It only takes a couple of bites to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Celebrate Scott and the rest of the Silver Plate Class on Monday, Nov 2 in Scottsdale at the 66th Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration. This year’s program has been added to IFMA’s Presidents Conference and tickets are now available.