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: 113

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

Taco Bell takes on fast casual with U.S. Taco Co.

Taco Bell will test a new fast-casual concept called U.S. Taco Co.  -More

Avocados From Mexico: All New Recipe Brochure
Looking for the sweet spot between indulgence and fresh appeal? Say yes to fresh Avocados from Mexico, all year long. So rich and creamy, use them as a substitute for mayo to create a craveable crab salad sandwich that will make others green with envy. Discover more culinary inspirations and recipes here!

Ronald McDonald gets a makeover for social media debut

Ronald McDonald is giving off less of a clown vibe with a makeover that keeps the color scheme but adds a blazer, a yellow ve -More

Animal fats ramp up flavor

Chicago hot spots are serving up savory dishes flavored with animal fats such as Stephanie Izard's confit goat belly at Girl  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Dunkin' Brands Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth of 1.2% - Added 96 net new restaurants worldwide including 69 net new Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S. - Revenue increased 6.2%

Hurricane Grill & Wings Signs Franchise And Multi-Unit Development Agreements For Additional 22 Units

Hurricane Grill & Wings, a restaurant franchise known for its never-frozen jumbo wings and more than 35 signature flavors, announced today the signing of five multi-unit development agreements, representing 22 new locations. The Florida-based brand opened two locations in early 2014, with plans for a total of 14 new units by the end of the year.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For 20 New Restaurants In South Orange County And The San Fernando Valley

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of multi-unit store development agreements with two new franchise groups to develop 20 new restaurants in South Orange County and the San Fernando Valley area over the next several years.

Brinker International Reports Increases In Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 EPS And Comparable Restaurant Sales

Earnings per diluted share, excluding special items, increased 16.7 percent to $0.84 compared to $0.72 for the third quarter of fiscal 2013

Togo's Inks Deals In Idaho And Utah To Develop 13 New Restaurants

Togo's Eateries, Inc. announced it has signed franchise agreements to develop five restaurants in Eastern Idaho and eight locations in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2014, the brand will also mark its entry into Colorado, Idaho, and Utah with restaurant openings planned over the next few months.

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: James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands - James Patten (2013)

"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service