Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - (Page 96)

>r RESTAURANTS el meson sandwiches COMMUNITY LINKS El Meson Sandwiches maintains strong links to the surrounding community. “If you are working in the community, you have to help the community,” Perez remarks. “So, we try to contribute to different nonprofit organizations in different parts of the island. We try to be as much a part of the community as we can.” Some of the organizations close to the company’s heart are: > American Cancer Society > American Red Cross > Muscular Dystrophy Association > Educational Program HIV/AIDS in the region of Mayaguez > College of Nutritionists and Dieticians > Puerto Rican Coalition to reduce alcohol consumption by minors > Puerto Rican Olympic Committee this year,” Perez says. “It’s going to be a very active, very aggressive year.” Panama Debut One of the four restaurants opening this year is El Meson Sandwiches’ first franchised store and also its first location off the island – inside Panama’s Tocumen International Airport. “We decided to go for Panama because the Panama airport is a hub for South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Miami,” Perez says. “Many travelers that come from South or Central America stop through Panama on the way to the states.” El Meson Sandwiches is using its Panama franchisee as a test market. “We definitely would like to expand into the Latin American markets, and we think the Panama airport is a good testing ground for that,” he explains. “It all depends on the stores. A lot of effort is put into opening a new store with the same quality and good service that we have in Puerto Rico.” El Meson Sandwiches will be training the Panama-based employees at the company’s San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport location to give them an understanding of what it is like to serve customers in a bustling airport. “We will do what we do with every one of our stores, which is to have our ‘Dream Team’ – usually a manager and eight employees – spend 30 days training two managers and a couple of employees from Panama,” Perez says. “Then, for the store opening, we will be sending our Dream Team over to the Panama restaurant for 30 days to supervise and train on site because not all of their employees can come over to Puerto Rico for 30 days,” he continues. “We are sending them beforehand all of our operations manuals and everything they need to train their employees in Panama, and this way they’ll come over with some practical knowledge.” Employee Input Perez credits much of El Meson Sandwiches’ success to “the importance we give to training and to employee relationships,” he says. He often hosts roundtable discussions with employees to get their input. “I meet with an employee for breakfast in different locations where we have the privacy to speak out,” he says. “They can tell me what they think, and what we can do to provide a better working atmosphere and a better service to our customers.” It’s important to him that employees have an opportunity to advance in their careers, he adds. “One thing we are proud of is that 80 percent of our managers started out as regular employees,” Perez says. “We have a very high [employee] retention, and that’s been one of our main goals.” Another goal is to treat the clients much like it treats its employees – like family. “I know that we have that culture of treating our clients like family,” he > >> (From left to right) Vice President Gil Perez, founder Felipe Perez Sr. and President Felipe Perez are guiding El Meson into a new era. > in the dining area,” Perez says of the company’s freestanding stores. El Meson Sandwiches follows a trend common in the United States, which entails populating venues with heavy foot traffic, such as food courts in shopping malls and strip malls, as well as airports. Inhabiting centralized or high-traffic locations is a key strategy that has enabled El Meson Sandwiches to grow ever since Perez’s father, Felipe Perez Sr. – known among loved ones as “Don Felipe” – opened the first El Meson Sandwiches restaurant on July 4, 1972. He chose the holiday because he thought it would be a slow day, but to his surprise, the restaurant was packed and has continued this way throughout the years and across the island. “At this point, we have 33 restaurants, but we are opening four more 96 food and drink • summer 2011 • www.fooddrink-magazine.com http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink - Summer 2011

Food and Drink - Summer 2011
Tableside Chat
Contents
News a la Carte
Tradeshow Preview
Food for Thought
FAD Exclusive
Fresh From the Start Brands
Railex
Orchard View Farms Inc.
Grandma Hoerner’s
Greencore USA Inc.
FoodSwing Inc.
Pecans.com
RPE Inc.
Dari Mart Stores Inc.
Idylwilde Farms
Kemin Industries Inc.
Olga’s Kitchen
Distributors: How Green Can You Be?
Kohl Wholesale
Nebraskaland
Upper Lakes Foods Inc.
B. Giambrone & Co.
Food Sales West
Milne Fruit Products Inc.
Pellerito Foods
PrimeSource Foodservice Equipment
Town & Country Foods
Producers: The Industry Pitfall
Walker & Sons
Bright Coop Inc.
Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co.
Route 11 Potato Chips
Royal Sausage Co.
Restaurants: Values Drive Sales
El Meson Sandwiches
Peter Piper Pizza
Retailers: The Unwelcomed Guest
Arabica Coffeehouse
Kolache Factory
Reasor’s
Three Things

Food and Drink - Summer 2011

Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Food and Drink - Summer 2011 (Page Cover1)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Food and Drink - Summer 2011 (Page Cover2)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Tableside Chat (Page 1)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Tableside Chat (Page 2)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Contents (Page 3)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Contents (Page 4)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Contents (Page 5)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - News a la Carte (Page 6)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - News a la Carte (Page 7)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Tradeshow Preview (Page 8)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Tradeshow Preview (Page 9)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Food for Thought (Page 10)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Food for Thought (Page 11)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - FAD Exclusive (Page 12)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - FAD Exclusive (Page 13)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Fresh From the Start Brands (Page 14)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Fresh From the Start Brands (Page 15)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Fresh From the Start Brands (Page 16)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Fresh From the Start Brands (Page 17)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Fresh From the Start Brands (Page 18)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Fresh From the Start Brands (Page 19)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Fresh From the Start Brands (Page 20)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Railex (Page 21)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Railex (Page 22)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Railex (Page 23)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Railex (Page 24)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Orchard View Farms Inc. (Page 25)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Orchard View Farms Inc. (Page 26)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Grandma Hoerner’s (Page 27)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Grandma Hoerner’s (Page 28)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Grandma Hoerner’s (Page 29)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Greencore USA Inc. (Page 30)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Greencore USA Inc. (Page 31)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Greencore USA Inc. (Page 32)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - FoodSwing Inc. (Page 33)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - FoodSwing Inc. (Page 34)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - FoodSwing Inc. (Page 35)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Pecans.com (Page 36)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Pecans.com (Page 37)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Pecans.com (Page 38)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - RPE Inc. (Page 39)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - RPE Inc. (Page 40)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - RPE Inc. (Page 41)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Dari Mart Stores Inc. (Page 42)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Dari Mart Stores Inc. (Page 43)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Idylwilde Farms (Page 44)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Idylwilde Farms (Page 45)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kemin Industries Inc. (Page 46)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kemin Industries Inc. (Page 47)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Olga’s Kitchen (Page 48)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Olga’s Kitchen (Page 49)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Distributors: How Green Can You Be? (Page 50)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Distributors: How Green Can You Be? (Page 51)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kohl Wholesale (Page 52)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kohl Wholesale (Page 53)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kohl Wholesale (Page 54)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kohl Wholesale (Page 55)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kohl Wholesale (Page 56)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kohl Wholesale (Page 57)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Nebraskaland (Page 58)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Nebraskaland (Page 59)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Nebraskaland (Page 60)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Upper Lakes Foods Inc. (Page 61)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Upper Lakes Foods Inc. (Page 62)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Upper Lakes Foods Inc. (Page 63)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - B. Giambrone & Co. (Page 64)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - B. Giambrone & Co. (Page 65)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Food Sales West (Page 66)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Food Sales West (Page 67)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Milne Fruit Products Inc. (Page 68)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Milne Fruit Products Inc. (Page 69)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Pellerito Foods (Page 70)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Pellerito Foods (Page 71)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - PrimeSource Foodservice Equipment (Page 72)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - PrimeSource Foodservice Equipment (Page 73)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Town & Country Foods (Page 74)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Town & Country Foods (Page 75)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Producers: The Industry Pitfall (Page 76)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Producers: The Industry Pitfall (Page 77)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Walker & Sons (Page 78)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Walker & Sons (Page 79)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Walker & Sons (Page 80)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Bright Coop Inc. (Page 81)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Bright Coop Inc. (Page 82)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Bright Coop Inc. (Page 83)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co. (Page 84)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Covered Bridge Potato Chip Co. (Page 85)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Route 11 Potato Chips (Page 86)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Route 11 Potato Chips (Page 87)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Royal Sausage Co. (Page 88)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Royal Sausage Co. (Page 89)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Restaurants: Values Drive Sales (Page 90)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Restaurants: Values Drive Sales (Page 91)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - El Meson Sandwiches (Page 92)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - El Meson Sandwiches (Page 93)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - El Meson Sandwiches (Page 94)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - El Meson Sandwiches (Page 95)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - El Meson Sandwiches (Page 96)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - El Meson Sandwiches (Page 97)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - El Meson Sandwiches (Page 98)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Peter Piper Pizza (Page 99)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Peter Piper Pizza (Page 100)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Peter Piper Pizza (Page 101)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Retailers: The Unwelcomed Guest (Page 102)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Retailers: The Unwelcomed Guest (Page 103)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Retailers: The Unwelcomed Guest (Page 104)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Retailers: The Unwelcomed Guest (Page 105)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Arabica Coffeehouse (Page 106)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Arabica Coffeehouse (Page 107)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kolache Factory (Page 108)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Kolache Factory (Page 109)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Reasor’s (Page 110)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Reasor’s (Page 111)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Three Things (Page 112)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Three Things (Page Cover3)
Food and Drink - Summer 2011 - Three Things (Page Cover4)
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