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Remember Who Makes Your Business Run – Part I

We were always looking to be more efficient, and while we served the best food possible, we didn’t hesitate to experiment with new suppliers and/or new products. One item that we were not really satisfied with was bagels. 

As you know, you shouldn’t serve a day-old bagel, and producing them from scratch is a complicated process. While we eventually found a par-baked bagel we could work with, we many times purchased fresh bagels at a local Bruegger’s shop.

Analyze it

I was often elected to pick up the morning bakery, and I used the opportunity to learn about the Bruegger’s operation. I watched as a lone cook sweated over a big kettle as he dropped raw bagels into boiling water. Simultaneously he trayed just boiled bagels, adding poppy, sesame seeds, or other toppings; he then loaded just-boiled bagels into a large conveyer oven.

Next he removed perfectly the baked product as the conveyor shelves moved to the top. He never stopped the rotating oven shelves, and I knew I was watching a highly skilled cook.

He was it

One day I went to pick up our order at 7:00 a.m. and the front door was locked. The bagel cook hadn’t shown up that day—maybe he was sick, had car trouble, overslept or who knows—but without him everything stopped.

The first person who came to work that day probably called the manager and alternative arrangements were undoubtedly made. Nonetheless, the store opened late and I’m sure the rest of the employees didn’t have a fun day.

So, what happens when something goes wrong like this? What lesson can you learn from it? Check back next week, as I share my biggest lesson learned from this experience!


Editor’s note: Michael Rosman and Michael Attias will be conducting an interactive half-day seminar, “All Things Corporate Drop-off Catering” on March 15, 2017 at Catersource in New Orleans. The session is included in the purchase of a Catersource all access pass, or can be purchased separately as a one-off. For more information, visit

If you would like to contact Michael Rosman directly about his consulting and coaching services, you may call him at 781-641-3303, email him at [email protected] and visit his membership website Michael is a regular contributor to the website, and also has published two books which are available for purchase at

Michael Rosman

Michael Rosman

Owner/Founder, The Corporate Caterer, Boston, MA

Michael Rosman has over three decades of experience in the catering and restaurant industry. His career began in the management-training program with Creative Gourmets in Boston, where he spent five years working in different corporate dining facilities and catering venues throughout the city. He then purchased an existing café in Boston’s financial district and eventually took ownership of a nearby pizzeria. During this time he began creating the infrastructure for a corporate drop-off catering operation and five years later, he sold his client list to the largest independent catering company in the city.

As Director of Corporate Catering with Via Lago Café and Catering in Lexington, MA, he built an almost two million...


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