Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 141

Southern Foodservice Management Inc.

has always been the No. 1 challenge in our industry," Barclay
says. "How do you recruit, develop and retain skilled people
in the world of onsite dining. One of the keys to achieving
those goals is to constantly find ways to allow movement up
the ladder for those interested in doing so your organization. Success for your staff means success for your client
and your company.
"We're very proud to have people who stay with us a long,
long time," he says, noting that individual members of its
regional and executive management team average over two
decades with the company. "Our daily goal is to recruit people who are willing to buy into Southern's strategy, which
is 'something extra in onsite dining,' then assist them with
accomplishing just that."
Southern is fortunate to have a lot of all stars, including Senior Vice President - Operations Fred Hoefer, who has been
with the company for nearly 35 years. "Fred is a Cornell grad
and a true industry professional who is a key component of
the Southern management structure," Barclay says.

"We recognize staff members for their 'something extra'
efforts and also for their growing tenure with Southern,"
he says. This helps makes people comfortable with being
a team member for Southern Foodservice and comfortable
with each other. And that helps achieve consistently solid
operating results and company growth.
Barclay sees a strong future for Southern Foodservice.
"While our industry is ... evolving at a faster rate these days,
primary challenges like human resources are always going
to be in front of us," he says. "We must continue to evolve
[and] stay up to speed on our clients' needs and what Southern and the industry must do to fully address those needs."
Barclay plans to attend the Society for Hospitality and
Foodservice Management's national conference in Phoenix this fall. This annual event is yet another tool which has
helped keep Southern Foodservice "in touch with what's going on in the onsite dining industry," he says.
The company also will stay focused on its three key goals.
"The first is client retention, the second is client additions
and the third is solid operating results," Barclay adds.

Making People Happy
Customer service training is an important part of Southern
Foodservice's operations, particularly in the areas of safety
and sanitation, Barclay says. "One of our favorite staff training programs is FISH, [which] reminds Southern employees
every day to not only show up but to choose the right attitude, enjoy the day and help make each customer enjoy his
or her experience in the dining facility," he says.
"FISH has several tools that teach employees to engage
their customers and to make them comfortable with their
visit to the dining facility. Servers are not just glancing at the
customers then looking at the floor," he says. "The unique
thing for the onsite dining industry is (for the most part)
we're feeding the same people each and every day.
"It would be easy for those same customers to become
bored if you're not making them feel good about what they're
eating, how they're being treated and the positive environment they're in," he says. "In the at-work dining venue, we
must work hard to keep our client's employees interested in
visiting the cafeteria regularly instead of jumping in the car
and heading to a drive-through operation."

A Comfortable Place
Southern Foodservice operates with a family environment,
Barclay says. "My day-to-day experience at corporate headquarters here is very much like what we try to create in the
operations environment, [with] everyone pulling in the same
direction," he says.
food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

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

Contents
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