Raising Up the Next-Generation of Buyers & Sellers

This rant started as a running joke between foodservice buyers and sales colleagues: “we’ll never lead a normal life, and our friends outside the industry don’t understand our level of commitment for just average wages.” But even during my “golden age of foodservice” procurement , when we worked hard, we defended the utmost importance of God, family, and country even harder.   

How are we raising up the next generation of foodservice professionals? Are we instilling in them those old-fashioned values alongside the hard-working, go-getting business attitude? Generation “Y” foodservice buyers/sellers, the 30-somethings, have kept alive some of the flame of the Baby Boomers, unlike the “YouTube”, “Z” generation. It seems this new generation has some narcissistic traits that preoccupy them with issues that usually don’t translate to traditional values. 

Where the Golden Agers and Generation Y-ers sought out mentors to teach them the ropes, the post-college “Z”ers are catching “zzz”s, according to a comprehensive study by Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. The new thinking seems to be, “I think I am a special person” and “I can live my life any way I want to.”  For a glimpse of your future foodservice PA's and MA's.  take a look at the “Z” personalities on display from the “American Idol” rejects: “you are so wrong”, “everyone says that I can sing!” According to the professor, these kids exhibit game playing dishonesty, have over-controlling behaviors, lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism, and favor self-promotion over self-help. 

I remember the times of my "second Greatest Generation" career; when someone was out sick for more than just a few days,  the “team” would cover their job responsibilities without being asked, and for the most part the person was not left on their own when they returned.   The average food salesmen could spend more time with their restaurant customers than their computers, and the company brass were actually in touch with the sales force. 

Today’s regional sales managers are being asked to travel more route miles than  Magellan, just to spend less time with more customers spread out over a greater  geography.  The purchasing staff by comparison, does not have time to see new vendors, and because of the heavy workload too many contracts are rolled-over.  Most buyers do not have time to complete a spend analysis, price-compliance audit or manage the promotional calendar with marketing.  The weekends for both buyers and sellers are no longer for relaxing they’ve become a one-day pause between work weeks.

This is not to say that the old days were perfect days.  Even during the good-times, when everyone knew your name, and expense accounts purchased lavish two drink lunches, we knew about the hidden problems in American business. But we’ve worked hard to fix that.

Now, as the summer afternoons heat up here in Georgia, even as SEC football is one week away, it’s rewarding to spend time by the pier seeking out young professionals to discuss the world as I see it.  I worry about our foodservice industry after this next election and the future buyers and sellers, and ask what I can do to improve things for the next generation. 

To A Better Future!

Fred

 

Fred Favole is Founder & President of Strategic Purchasing Services (SPS) , America's most experienced foodservice purchasing firm specializing in department outsourcing, cost-reduction  and product development for emerging chains. 

 

Views: 114

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Angie Fellers Beard on September 26, 2012 at 7:37am

Loved this article!  Having grown up in this industry I recall when my dad knew our reps so well that he brought them home for dinner with the family.   Times have really changed.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

PepsiCo exec Lisa Walsh shares path to leadership

Industry leader Lisa Walsh, vice president of PepsiCo Customer Management, has risen through the ranks at the company since j -More

Checkers, Philly Pretzel Factory seize opportunity at Wal-Mart

Checkers and Philly Pretzel Factory are hoping to benefit from Wal-Mart's popularity by embracing new franchise development o -More

Quickserve eateries entice customers with local and sustainable angle

Locally-sourced, conscientious ingredients are gracing menus and grabbing loyal consumers at an increasing number of restaura -More

Galbani® Mascarpone. Gold Standard True Italian Taste.
Italy has a flavor all its own. When it comes to cheese, chefs who know choose Galbani. For irresistibly savory risottos and pastas, try classic Galbani mascarpone. Its rich, creamy goodness makes it perfect for favorites like tiramisu and cannoli. Galbani mascarpone, one of the fine brands from Lactalis Culinary. For paring suggestions, click here.

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Gen Z, the First True Digital Generation, Represents the Future Foodservice Consumer

Gen Z, the first true digital generation, represents the future foodservice consumer. They're a generation on the move that strongly prioritizes speed of service, technology, and having what they want, when they want it. Millennials, more so than older generations, prefer to visit restaurants that offer new and unique foods and flavors. Gen X and Boomers converge on several preferences—such as the importance of a convenient location.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Celebrates Its 500th New Restaurant Opening

Red Robin's 500th new restaurant opening will open on Aug. 4 at 11 a.m., in Milpitas, Calif. at the Great Mall of the Bay Area.

Darden Completes Sale Of Red Lobster To Golden Gate Capital

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) and Golden Gate Capital today announced that Golden Gate has completed the acquisition of the Red Lobster business and certain other related assets and assumed liabilities for approximately $2.1 billion in cash.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For Seven New Restaurants In Duluth, Minnesota With New Franchisees Brian And Sharon Weidendorf

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with new franchisees, Brian and Sharon Weidendorf, to develop seven restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota and the surrounding areas. The first restaurant is planned to open in spring 2015.

Wendy's Names Brandon Solano Senior Vice President of Marketing

The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) announced today that Brandon Solano, 43, a veteran brand builder and product innovator, has been named Senior Vice President of Marketing.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service