Restaurant Technologies Inc. (RTI) does more than just help its restaurant and foodservice customers manage their cooking oil needs – it ensures that the food its clients make is of the highest quality possible. 

“The foodservice industry is a low-margin, penny-based business,” says Jeffrey Kiesel, CEO of the St. Paul, Minn.-based company. “Most companies can usually help restaurants with either the pennies or the quality and consistency of their food, but we’re able to do both.”

Acquisitions are typically a cause of worry and fear among the employees of a newly purchased company. Questions of procedural changes, possible relocations and, above all, retention of existing employees all lay heavily on the minds of executives and entry-level employees alike when takeovers are finalized.

The employees of the companies acquired by Diversified Foodservice Supply Inc. (DFSI), however, don’t share these concerns. “I’m proud of our ability to retain fantastic talent through our acquisition strategy,” says Mike Cate, CEO of the Mount Prospect, Ill.-based company. “Some organizations churn and burn; that’s not our model. We look for well-run companies with a great customer base and great teams, and invest in those brands.”

For many people, eating isn’t just a necessity, it’s an experience, and the right setting can either elevate it or detract from it. Savvy restaurateurs know that their guests come not only for the food, but for the atmosphere, making it crucial to find architects, designers and contractors who get it. It doesn’t mean that one aspect – setting or sustenance – overrides the other, but that both play equal parts in creating a unique identity.

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Abuelo’s has worked to be an innovative force in the evolution and growth of Mexican cuisine. Founded in 1989 and a subsidiary of Food Concepts International, the company has combined menu diversity, food quality, affordability, customer service and an authentic experience to become one of the top Mexican food chains in the United States.

“James Young, Chuck Anderson and I started this company in 1989, as James initially owned a chain of 11 fast-casual Chinese restaurants that started in 1974,” COO Dirk Rambo says. “We converted one into our first venture into Mexican food. James subsequently sold the Chinese restaurant group and we turned our focus over to Mexican cuisine.”

When people eat, they like to do it with the comforting knowledge that their food has been tested thoroughly for safety and quality before it reaches their plates. The National Food Lab (The NFL) provides that sense of security, President and CEO Kevin Waters says.

Based in Livermore, Calif., the consulting and testing firm provides creative, practical and science-based insights for food and beverage companies in the areas of food safety and quality, product and process development, and consumer and sensory research. A group of veterans in the food safety and canning industry started the company in 1976 as The Technical Service Corp., which served manufacturers with their processing needs. “That is really the genesis of the company,” Waters says.


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