"Relationships are what really drives me in this industry. Some of my closest friends are clients and vendors alike," says Dustin Kennedy. "They all know my family and I know theirs. It makes doing business much more fun when you know you are helping out a friend or partner."
Kennedy's passion for the food service industry is driven by his commitment to building lasting customer relationships. From small projects to large, he treats each one the same and stresses the importance of organization and communication in order to be successful. Read more of his interview below.
What interested you in becoming a salesperson for Bargreen Ellingson?
When I met Paul and David during my interview, I saw their passion for this business as a family. I have always worked for private companies and the Ellingson family showed so much passion for their company that I really wanted to be a part of it. The company gives us so many tools; I knew I could be successful.
What are some of the challenges and rewards that come with being a salesperson?
The challenges can be the fast pace of which things are needed. You have to be very organized to make sure you can be quick and accurate in everything needed for your customer. Being able to pull off jobs in a short period of time and see your customer happy in the end is very rewarding, especially when others said it could not be done.
What is an item that is often overlooked but should be in every kitchen?
For me, it's small wall storage grids. Every restaurant can use them in so many ways. They offer great storage and organization for small items in a small space, leaving more room available on dry storage racks in the back. Anyone can find a use for them.
Describe a common problem that your customers face. How do you resolve this?
A common problem is customers not knowing exactly which piece of equipment will work best for their menu. With all the training that Bargreen Ellingson provides its salespeople, I am better prepared with equipment options and ideas that will best suit their needs. Being able to show equipment while explaining how it works to my customers is very helpful, and ensures that the customer will be happy with the purchase in the end.
What is the most rewarding customer story you've recently experienced?
We had to move an entire store of existing equipment from the Chicago area to the Atlanta area for installation. This was not an easy job, and had a lot of moving parts over a week time so being able to pull off the logistics was very rewarding when everything worked out perfectly.
Communication. Communication. Communication. I preach this to everyone who works with my customers. When customers know everything that is going on they will feel much more comfortable and worry less about things not getting done. I have never had a customer tell me that I have communicated too much - even if it's just a quick email saying I received your email and will have something to you by the end of the week. Customers always feel more comfortable knowing that the job is being taken care of.
Dustin Kennedy is located in Fort Worth, TX. For your restaurant supply needs, contact him at d.kennedy