Mitch is the manager of our government bid and sales department. He’s one of the leading men that have helped us grow exponentially in the last few years, now ranked by the FES Magazine as the 35th foodservice equipment distributor in the country.

To highlight his success, work, and to gain his insight into the foodservice industry, we recently interviewed him. Below we have shared the interview with you.

How and when did you begin working in the foodservice industry?

I began working in the industry April 2010. I was a new college graduate coming out of college at the end of The Great Recession. I spent about 5 months delivering nuclear medicine in the middle of the night, searching for a new career, before ultimately accepting a Bid Specialist role at Douglas Equipment.

How would you describe your current role at Douglas Equipment?

I am currently the Bid Department Manager.

What does managing the bid department entail?

Mitch

Managing the Bid Department entails working with the heads of both sections of the department, Sourcing/Opportunities, and Project Management. This includes guidance on searching for new opportunities, pricing strategies, problem-solving, etc.

What concerns and challenges are your customers currently facing?

Equipment supply. Just like most other industries, getting goods is a major struggle. A lot of the products our customers use are not the typical “off the shelf” type items, so their average lead times have increased from 4-6 weeks to 16-20 weeks. Recently, some lead times have increased to an unprecedented one full year.

How would you recommend foodservice kitchens cope with those challenges and concerns?

If you can’t wait the lead times, accept and utilize what is available. With lead times and pricing uncertain, you never know when you may be put in a bind without proper equipment. Get your orders in as soon as possible! Pricing and lead times can literally change by the day.

How has COVID-19 impacted school, university, and healthcare kitchens?

Overall, most schools seem to be back in session. They are definitely feeding less people, thus using less equipment, with remote learning options available.

What types of businesses does bid provide equipment for?

Public/private schools, universities/colleges, correctional facilities, healthcare facilities, city/state level municipalities, and anything else under the Government umbrella.

What types of equipment are most commonly purchased?

Convection ovens, combi ovens, reach-in refrigeration, walk-in refrigeration, ice machines, dishwashers and serving lines are the top items sold to our customer base.

Are there brands or models that you would recommend?

I’m supposed to be unbiased and price the customer the best price meeting their required specifications in the bid world, but I have to admit that I do have some biases toward companies that have fewer issues and stand behind their products when things do fail. With that said, I have high regard for Hobart, Vulcan, True, and Beverage Air products.

Are there any memories of your time at Douglas Equipment you would to share with us?

My greatest memories of Douglas Equipment come from how things were handled when things weren’t going well. First, when my son got sick in 2018, I couldn’t imagine the support that I received and continue to receive. The outpouring of love and support still amazes me, nearly 4 years later.

Secondly, during the last 22 months of the pandemic, no one has had to worry if they would lose their job. Honestly, I don’t believe anyone’s hours were even cut. If anything, many have worked more hours to power through the pandemic. Meeting with some factories, we heard stories of 90% decline in sales, which resulted in laying off staff, down to the bare bones. The entire time, I have had no doubt that we would push through it and eventually bounce back stronger. Many times over the years, I’ve heard phrases like 'The Douglas Way,' 'The Douglas Difference,' etc. In my opinion, THAT is the Douglas Way/Difference. We ALWAYS find a way.

Thank you, Mitch, for all that you do for the company and your customers! We appreciate you.

If any of our readers would like to apply, you can find us on Indeed. If anyone would like to learn more about who we are and the brands we sell, check out the link here.

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Email: sales@deqonline.com