Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 128

r

RESTAURANTS

Lessing's Inc.

'Finding the Yes'

Lessing's Inc. has thrived for more than 125 years by diversifying its portfolio
and taking a hands-on approach to customer service. By Jim Harris
company profile
Lessing's Inc.
www.lessings.com
Headquarters: Great River, N.Y.
Employees: 2,000 (in season)
Specialty: Foodservice, catering,
restaurant operations, franchise group
Michael Lessing, president and
COO: "Our clients love doing business
with us because we say what we mean
and mean what we say."

>> Lessing's Inc.'s operations include catering, foodservice and restaurant operations, including the Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza franchise.

I

n 1890, Maxwell Lessing saw a

business opportunity in providing food and other supplies to
lower Manhattan's then-burgeoning coffee shops and lunch
counters. The business, Lessing Food
Service Management, proved to be so
successful that by 1920 it was serving meals to New York City workers
in 20 locations - including the famous
Woolworth building - from a central
bakeshop and commissary.
Although many of the company's
original coffee shop and lunch counter customers are long gone, the family's business has continued to thrive.
"We have the ability to find the yes in

128

every situation," says Michael Lessing, President and COO of Lessing's
Inc. "We don't take survival for granted - we've been around for more than
125 years because we have the ability to adapt to market situations very
well." Currently, there are 15 members of the Lessing family involved,
including Michael's father, Lawrence,
who serves as a senior advisor, and
his son Michael Jr., who recently
joined the business, representing six
generations total.

Diverse Operations
Today, Lessing's Inc. serves more
than 40,000 guests per day at over 100

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

corporate, educational, country club,
and manufacturing plant locations
throughout the Northeast within the
company's foodservice management
division. Lessing's Inc. also operates
15 high-end wedding and catering
venues, nine full-service restaurants
and a historic hotel built in 1751.
Most recently, the company added a
new division to its roster when it entered into a franchise agreement with
Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, forming the
Lessing's Franchise Group. Blaze offers made-to-order pizzas from fresh
ingredients prepared within three
minutes. To date Lessing's Inc. has
opened five Blaze locations, with five
more scheduled to open next year.
Michael Lessing notes that the company was one of the first franchising groups to sign with the concept,
which has 160 locations nationwide.
He also adds that the company's diversity across different segments of
the food industry allows it to manage
and overcome seasonal swings felt
throughout the industries.
Clients and customers served by
any of Lessing's Inc.'s divisions can
expect a personalized approach to


http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - Cover1
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