Total Food Service sat down with Jeff Becker, Vice President-Sales & Branch Development at Day & Nite/All Service, New Hyde Park, NY, to discuss his background, what lead him to Day & Nite, and his goals for the future.
What sparked your interest in the industry that led you to Johnson and Wales? What did you take from, that experience?
I was working in restaurants while attending the College of Charleston, majoring in Psychology. At some point during my junior year, I came to the realization that my passion lay in service and hospitality and continuing my education was a natural fit, although I tend to use more of my psychology background when leading people.
What was the opportunity you saw at Aramark? What did you learn during your tenure at Aramark?
When I joined Aramark, I was seeking an opportunity to join an organization that would provide both career growth as well as a quality of life that would allow me to start a family.
I was very fortunate to work under several leaders such as Jim Yamauchi and Marti Gorum, who have since departed Aramark, but had a very lasting impact on my leadership skills. The experiences that these individuals exposed me to and the milestones that I was able to accomplish under their guidance and direction supported my growth as a leader.
You were able to get a unique perspective at Aramark in terms of the kitchen equipment service industry. From a “buyers” standpoint, what did the service companies that did it “right” bring to the table?
The ability to deliver the most efficient service as it relates to response time and first time fix rate. When dealing with an equipment service provider, I was always looking for the most effortless experience.
I did not mention cost in my response, because this service requires highly technical individuals and should not be commoditized.
It’s not easy to go from one side of the desk to the other, where a buyer becomes a seller. That’s what you’ve been able to accomplish with your move to Day and Nite. How did you accomplish that?
I never viewed my transition as going from ‘one side of the desk to the other’. I am still very much in the hospitality business, providing a complex and technical service and I am of the belief that the same leadership skills transcend the service that Day & Nite provides.
What brought you to Day and Nite? What was the attraction? What was the opportunity?
My first introduction to Day & Nite was close to 10 years ago through SHFM (the Society for Hospitality & Foodservice Management), a professional organization for the onsite dining industry. This was during a period of my career when I was a District Manager with Aramark in the Charlotte market.
I hired Day & Nite to provide service at one of my large locations and as a result of the quality of service that I experienced, I was able to support their growth at other Aramark locations.
After nearly 20 years with Aramark, I wanted to join a service organization with great brand equity, a team of leaders that are both collaborative and committed to service excellence as well as the ability to make an impact on growth of the organization both from a revenue and people perspective.
I currently serve a dual role with Day & Nite leading our contract sales team as well as our branch expansion efforts. Since we are a smaller organization, I have found that I can wear multiple hats that allow me to leverage my diverse experiences to the benefit of the broader team.
Lots of companies selling a service can “talk the talk” a very different animal to be able to “walk the walk”? What does Day & Nite bring to the food service community? Technology? Infrastructure? The technician team on the street? The parts inventory?
We are a professional service organization that specializes in asset management for commercial HVAC and refrigeration systems, plumbing and kitchen facilities. Our goal is to deliver the most efficient service while improving our customer’s Total Cost of Ownership for the assets that we manage.
Improved Reliability: A preventative maintenance platform with cloud-based tracking to enable predictive decision-making resulting in improved uptime and revenue as well as customer satisfaction.
Cost Avoidance: Certified technicians executing a preventative maintenance program that will result in energy reduction and equipment risk identification that could impact products or services.
Gained Efficiencies: GPS-based dispatching that aligns a technician’s skill set with the job scope to deliver contract service within 4 hours and an industry leading first time fixed rate of 85% supported by our predictive parts inventory and field distribution process.
Sustainability: Experienced in LEED project work. Core to our plumbing service is a focus on sustainable grease trap maintenance. Our GPS-based dispatch system has reduced fuel consumption by 30%.
I was fascinated with your perspective on changing the “model”. Getting customers to plan for service rather than to react. Sounds good is it doable?
I believe so. As the industry continues to feel market pressures, innovative hospitality leaders will recognize the benefit of asset management and predictive maintenance to improve uptime, revenue and employee engagement resulting in a lower Total Cost of Ownership.
Is the question one of re-educating the marketplace to look at the solutions that Day & Nite brings as an opportunity to change the way the marketplace looks at service?
Yes, I see my role and that of my team as being ‘teachers’ to the marketplace. By taking this approach, we are able to elevate our organizational value to customers and prospects.
The industry is preparing for the annual NAFEM show, which brings new product to the marketplace. What do you expect to see from manufacturers that will impact how commercial kitchens function? Hot…cooking and prep etc. Cold…refrigeration and ice making
I look at future innovation being a function of external factors impacting operators such as challenges with identifying future service talent as well as rising real estate prices.
I expect there to be a continued focus on multi-use equipment such as combi ovens that can provide multiple cooking options in a smaller footprint while leveraging technology to provide greater production efficiencies for operators.
As a service company, how do you prepare and react to the changes that can be expected from a manufacturer?
The key is ongoing communication with manufacturers and training. We are very fortunate to have relationships with over 50 manufacturers who we perform both warranty and installation work. We leverage these relationships to educate our teams and will hold monthly manufacturer training classes in-house as well as sending team members for specialized training. I have been very impressed thus far with the ongoing investment that we make in our technical development curriculum in order to have the most knowledgeable team with the most relevant information.
What advice do you have for an operator to maximize operational efficiency and minimize the cost of service?
Broad stroke, my advice would be to focus on hiring the right talent, providing ongoing training and development and empowering these service professionals.
An investment in the right team with a continued focus on employee engagement will pay dividends in cost control and service efficiencies.
You’ve been entrusted with a fascinating challenge of rolling out Day & Nite’s two generations of success in Metro New York into a number of East Coast markets. What’s the game plan? Crystal ball? Dec. 2017, Dec 2022?
Yes, I feel very privileged to join and be welcomed by such a dynamic team. Our strategic plan is focused on continued growth in three areas, existing markets, new markets and talent.
We are fortunate to have a number of clients who frequently ask us to expand into new markets. We take a very responsible approach to ensure that we can deliver a level of service that has been the cornerstone of the Day & Nite brand. By focusing on the development of our internal talent we are preparing future leaders for this growth.
By the end of 2017, we will have 12 branches operating and we are currently on track to achieve this goal. Six years from now, I fully expect for us to be providing service in multiple time zones.
To learn more about Day & Nite, visit their website.