Our Time Gaining Perspective and Cultivating Relationships

Some foodservice design consultants walk into a custom fabrication shop . . .

. . . no, this is not the beginning of a really great joke, nope, just another day at the office for some members of Team Rippe.

Thanks to Brandon Hansen and his crew at Albers Commercial Kitchen Services, we were welcomed into – or invaded (however you want to look at it) – their shop last week. Members of our team had the opportunity to see custom fabricated pieces, in progress, from projects they had drawn. They also discussed various construction methods, asked questions about our standard details, and gained a better understanding of the fabricator’s job and perspective.

Zach wanted to go to Albers in an effort to “better understand the inner workings of a counter. It’s one thing to see something in 2D on a computer, but it always helps to see it in person.”

Rippe Touring Albers

Mark and Brandon discussing construction while others look at the in-progress cabinets.

You see, occasionally, we must admit that what we thought would work in our heads and on paper, doesn’t necessarily translate into real-life the way we envisioned. Having a positive relationship with Albers, helps us to do our job better. When we do our job better, Brandon, Jason, Tom and the team at Albers are better able to do quotes, produce accurate shop drawings, and build the final piece from our construction documents because they are clear and reliable.

While at the shop, the group was able to take a few measurements and photos of the framework for the counters he draws in Revit. “It was also helpful to understand the restraints and capabilities of their equipment because it will help to think ‘can this be done’ during design.”

Rippe Touring Albers

Serving counter in progress.

Our project managers also value having a good relationship with the fabricators we recommend and work with during the construction administration phase of a project. Getting a phone call with a problem AND potential solution is always preferred. “I’d much rather have a fabricator call and say, ‘Your drawings say you want this, but that doesn’t work because of this site condition. If I do this other thing instead, you will end up with a very similar result. Is that acceptable?’ It doesn’t serve anyone well when they don’t call at all and I see something that is unusable or detrimental to the efficiencies of an end user when I show up at the punchlist.” says Jill

During the visit, Ashley wanted to see the fabrication process and while there was unexpectedly able to “learn more about muffin fans than I ever thought I needed to know.” Which, some people may just get a confused look on their face, while others will be elated that foodservice design consultants even CONSIDER muffin fans!

Rippe Touring Albers

Check out these muffin fans!

And while we like to stay on-task and all business, we did learn that the team at Albers does have a sense of humor!  You see when the inspector came through and said they had to label ALL of their buildings (some of which seen in the picture below) they decided to name one of their buildings the White House!

Rippe Touring Albers

Millwork, Stainless Cabinets . . . where’s the White House?!

Thanks again to the Albers crew – I’m sure we’ll bother you again soon!

~Team Rippe

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Good Luck Catering Teams!

Catering

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Throughout my career, I have joked with food service professionals about how catering operations are “special”.  This conversation usually takes place when there is a perception that catering employees get special treatment, or how they are held to a different standard than other employees (that never happens!)😊

To be honest, all food service operations and employees are unique in their own way, but anyone that has had the opportunity to work on a catering team understands the passion and flexibility needed to get those smiles from the customer.  Good luck to ALL of the higher education catering operations during this busy graduation and year-end season!!

~Darren

The Growing and Strengthening College & University Team

Rippe Associates is excited to announce the expansion of its College & University Team with the addition of Darren Peterson. From his most recent position as the Director of Dining for North Dakota State University, Darren comes to Rippe with 23 years of experience in the foodservice industry. He brings extensive operational knowledge & support to Rippe’s growing higher education market.

“Darren is a great addition to the team for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the depth & breadth of his experience and the type of person he is and strives to be every day,” said Terry Pellegrino, principal.

In addition to his most recent role, his 10 years of college & university experience includes leadership positions at Gonzaga University and the University of South Dakota.

“I’m excited about the additional perspective his contract management experience will bring to our team and our clients,” said Joie Schoonover, principal.   

The first thirteen years of Peterson’s career were spent gaining experience and responsibilities in the hotel, convention center and arena segment, eventually becoming a General Manager of a full-service hotel in Sioux City, Iowa.

Group Casual Square

“Having had the opportunity to professionally grow up in a company such as John Q Hammons Hotels, it really instilled in me the need for standards and how to do things the right way,” said Peterson. “The hotel & convention center business is so customer service-focused. I’ve been able to use that base to ask questions and help raise the bar within dining teams in college foodservice.”

Welcome to the team Darren! We are all excited to have you on board!

Confessions Of A Former Operator After An Amazing Conference

Dinner

Attending the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) Conferences are one of the highlights of my year. The passion that the individuals have for their school and their program is always energetic and this year in Nashville was no exception. Occasionally I even miss being in operations when I’m at these conferences hearing about the amazing accomplishments of individuals, such as the newest Minah Award Winner Rich Neumann, or all of the incredible programs on various campuses. The education committee for each conference takes their job very seriously and I always enjoy the various speakers and edu-tainment which they provide. This year, among other professional speakers, 63 individuals from various institutions presented successful programs, information, and ideas on how to make their program better with their peers! Can you even believe it? 63 people just giving away their secrets as to how they were (and weren’t) successful so others can learn and succeed! The amount of information that these individuals share with one another is just amazing!

The items that stood out for me in the sessions I could attend were:

  • The definition of True Collaboration includes the word “PROCESS”
  • For a prospective student, when all other items about a college are equal (program, opportunity, scholarships, etc.), the DINING program can be the deciding factor!
  • I still totally GEEK out at analyzing numbers
  • Reducing food waste is on the mind of many and figuring out WHERE to start can be difficult
  • Being EPIC does not mean you are perfect
  • Including things like TVs, video game consoles and pool tables in a facility with an unlimited all you care to eat meal plan does not mean that there will be an increase in food cost or waste; it does mean is that student engagement INCREASES dramatically!
  • How we think we sound and what the rest of the world hears can be very DIFFERENT

Thank you to all the hardworking committee members of NACUFS for a great conference! In a world of so much negativity, it was a wonderful reminder that there are people who still want to Band Together – Learn together. Work together. Succeed together.

See y’all soon! – Megan 

 

Christine Guyott is honored with FER’s 2017 Industry Service Award

In February, Christine Guyott was honored with Foodservice Equipment Reports’ Industry Service Award. On the eve of the ceremony, she spoke about her career and why healthcare will always be her professional passion. Enjoy this FCSI Interview with Michael Jones.

FCSI Interview w CG-TakingCare_2017-2-cropped Read interview

“It takes a long time to learn how to be a consultant. And it’s hard to be the expert in the room until you have the experience behind you.”

Navigating Design-Build and P3 Projects

Terry Pellegrino presents at 2017 NACUFS Midwest Regional

 

Many campus projects have varying timelines, requirements and methods to get to the end result. We as Foodservice Operators only have one common goal – to end up with spaces that work in locations where students will come with enough support space to run our operation efficiently. The University of Iowa and the University of Kansas were asked to create two very different documents that went out with their RFPs. Both of these documents had great ideas and both of them caused challenges.

This presentation included case studies from projects on these two campuses. Terry and her colleagues shared lessons learned and best practices to enable operators in helping their department create successful projects. We received positive feedback from those who attended the session in that it gave them a better understanding of reporting relationships involved in a construction project and how to make sure you as operators can be involved.NACUFS MW-2017 Design-BuildNACUFS MW-2017 P3 slide

If your campus is planning a renovation or building project whether it be a Public-Private Partnership or a Design-Build, it helps to understand construction terms and phases. Knowing the players and timelines of Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, Construction Management at Risk, etc.

If you would like further information, have any questions or needs we can help you with, please give us a call 952-933-0313.

 

*Navigating Design-Build and P3 Projects co-presenters were two clients – Jill Irvin, Director of University Dining at the University of Iowa and Alecia Stultz, Assistant Director of Retail Dining at KU Dining Services.