Supplying The Healthcare and Hospital Food Service Front Line To Meet The Challenge of COVID-19
Interview by Joyce Appelman
PBAC & Associates has a team that brings the foodservice industry’s best equipment and supply brands to the world’s most complex and diverse Metro New York foodservice marketplace. Keith Fitzgerald is on the front line providing solutions for clients during this time of crisis due to Covid-19.
Total Food Service continues our coverage sharing accurate information to help understand the hurdles that your colleagues in healthcare and hospital foodservice are facing now. We are thankful to Keith Fitzgerald for his time during this crisis to share his insights and strategies on feeding the community of patients and staff with our readers.
It’s not business as usual during the Covid-19 crisis, what are you doing to reinvent yourselves to provide the best possible service to your healthcare clients?
Having worked primarily out of a home office for the past 30 years, the current “shelter in place” requirement that has many doing this for the first time, has not been an issue for me. The challenge is not being able to visit with prospective clients to assist with specifications and startup. We’ve been utilizing Zoom and Skype for meetings in addition to email and phone calls. The fact is that many of our clients in healthcare are just too busy to meet anyway so they seem to prefer this “new” way of doing business.
What are the brands and equipment being requested from your community at this time?
Our primary focus in healthcare is our Dinex line of meal delivery systems and disposable products that are produced to support these systems. The trend in long term care for the past few years has been congregate dining and that concept has turned 180 degrees in just a matter of weeks. The COVID-19 crisis has forced residents back into their rooms to shelter in place. This, in turn, has caused all long-term care facilities to provide in-room dining for their residents. Consequently, we are seeing tremendous demand for the products needed to service these needs. Trays, insulated wear and increased disposable use has grown exponentially. Fortunately, all of these products are produced by Dinex at their factory here in the United States and we have been able to meet the increased
Additionally, with more insulated ware in use, we are seeing more demand for warewash equipment and our leading brand of Hobart. We have also seen a surge of business for San Jamar products as they are the leading supplier of sanitation products such as hands-free towel dispensers and Sanitizing products like SaniStation.
What are PBAC and MAFSI doing at this time for special training and education?
As mentioned earlier, we are also utilizing Zoom video conferencing with many of our factories. We’re using the extra time that we now have to schedule product training with our factories, consultants and dealers.
Any new resources?
Coincidently, we just launched our new website: www.pbacrep.com. We hope to see more traffic on it and to utilize it to promote products that are appropriate for the challenge ahead of us. We also recently implemented a CRM from SalesForce, that we use to stay on top of our current business, but also to keep our factories up to date with forecasting and sales development.
Please share your creative solutions and best practices to get through this crisis with our readers.
Be safe out there! Take every precaution possible and keep a positive outlook. We will prevail and overcome! Be ready for the surge of future business that will come once the crisis is resolved. PBAC will continue industry leadership within the rep community and partnership with our principals, dealers and customers.
To learn more about Keith Fitzgerald and how PBAC can help your business, visit their website.