If you have an empire, and that empire is made out of selling wholesale bread. You might think that the majority of time is spent on business expansion.
Who else can I sell to? How far can I stretch my borders?
These are musings of an empire in it's infancy.
Most concepts that experience growth reach a point of leveling off. If they pass this point....well, then you have to ramp up with more staff, more automation, the list goes on.
Klecko is attached to 300 some accounts in the Twin Cities. Sure, not all of them order at once.
Some of these accounts are seasonal as well, but if you follow odds-statistics and probibilities, it shouldn't be too difficult to understand that when Big Papi hits the plant.....no matter how early, there will always be a flashing light on the Emergeny "Bat-Phone".
So much of my job is putting out fires and conducting conflict resoloution.
Sometimes the problems are our fault, sometimes it's theirs, but the bottom line always remains the same....Fix it, or face the possibility of losing the account.
Another way,in fact the most common way we lose accounts is when these restaurants, casino's, stadiums, catering concepts,coffee houses or schools replace their chef/cook.
Almost every-every-every time this happens, the new chef/cook will want to mark their territory by peeing on a different fire hydrant than their predeccesor.
This was the case yesterday.
I was going to a meeting in a neighborhood that contained a former account that was not only profitable, but actually a fun place to be.
The cooks were really above average and often times I'd practically office out of their dining area.
So yesterday, I brought a "promo" which is basically bread totes filled with standard items and an invoice so they can check the pricing.
When you deliver a promo, you never enter the front door, you wouldn't think of asking for a host/hostess to see if the chef was available.
The best way to approach this is look for the garbage dumpster, 99 out of 100 times they will be located next to the door that will take you straight to the kitchen.
There are very few downtown buildings that I haven't navigated multiple times. Like a rat, Klecko forges his way through tunnels and hallways, the underbelly of the Twin Cities..LOL, but I digress.
So yesterday, I pop into said restaurant, slide in through the back door, turn the corner and carefully navigate my bread totes down a stairwell that will lead me into the kitchen.
As I was decending, I noticed that on the wall, over your head, the wall you looked up at as your moved downward, they added a sign that said....
"WELCOME TO HELL".
Alright, I get it. That whole "Look at us, we are manual laborers, we are pirates, we are the unwanted dolls on toybox island.
Yeah....I get it.
Now what I'm about to say could easily come off as a rant in written form, but you're just going to have to trust me....it isn't.
I thought about that sign for a long time last night, and I'm just going to give my brief impressions, and then I'll let you get back to your busy day.
Whoever posted that sign may very well have meant it in fun, but to see those words everyday, every time you start and complete a work shift....eventually it's going to take it's toll.
And if for whatever reason, who knows...maybe your spirit is as strong as bear trap, when a person frames themselves or their daily tasks with self pity, or self loathing, they simply will not be able to harness their potential.
Yeah...a potential that every laborer is entitled to, but is all starts with a persons additude.
Back when I raised children, I always taught them that the worst enemy you can possibly have in life is yourself.
If you quit on yourself,feel sorry for yourself, or refuse to believe in your skill set....dude, you are so dead.
I don't know when the Food Service Worker found it vogue to become so cynical.
Was it after Anthony Bourdain wrote Kitchen Confidential?
Was it after the inception of the Food Network?
I don't know.
In closing, I can already hear the posts blasting me, saying my view may be hyper sensitive, but I'm here to tell you....Klecko if nothing else, is observant and will state for the record....
"Why would a person chose to be negitive about any part of the role they are about to embark on for 40, 50 hours a week. Walking down that staircase and having the oppurtunity to cook for people is a privlege. If you get good at it....your options in life will grow exponentially."
In closing, Klecko doesn't like to rag on something and not offer a soloution.....
If it were my joint, I'd tear down the "WELCOME TO HELL" sign today, and simply duck tape part of a Nike shoe box to the wall.
The part that says......
"Just Do It".
I'm Danny Klecko, wishing you all a good day.