Rep Prep: 10 Minutes with Foodservice Equipment Expert Randy Souza
Rep Prep from Eaton Marketing is an informative series that gives you access to one of our foodservice equipment experts. In this edition, spend 10 minutes with Randy Souza, and find out who he thinks will drive foodservice demand and what projects he's found to be the most successful.
Give us a little background on yourself.
I have been a foodservice manufacturers' sales rep since 1999. In those years, I have worked and lived in South Florida and in Central Florida. Before that I was in management with Red Lobster with a specialty on the culinary side, including new menu development and testing.
Out of all the lines represented by Eaton Marketing, which one is your favorite?
I do not have a “favorite” as I enjoy all the lines that I represent. Each of our factories have their own niche, and I enjoy the opportunity to market them when I have the chance.
Why is it your favorite?
I do favor and enjoy the opportunity when I have a chance to showcase more than one factory on a project, and I get to see it all come together. It is great when I have the chance to start at a conception phase with a consultant or designer on a custom school serving line, a custom cooking suite, or even a challenging bar layout with a large beer system with specialty beer towers. I especially like engineering difficult beer systems, incorporating wine or other beverages in that system. It is really exciting to be involved throughout the process to completion.
How does it provide return on investment for operators?
By being involved from the beginning, it allows me to pinpoint exactly what the customer's needs are, and I am able to focus on that with using my skills as a trained sales rep, as well as a former foodservice operator.
Tell us about the most successful install you've ever seen using products from this line?
Some of my most successful outcomes include engineering a 48 product beer system to 96 faucets from a very small beer cooler. Or, working with a school district and designing 18 serving lines that included custom personalized graphics with stone tops. Working with a specifier and replacing a cooking suite that is specifically designed for that customer's operation. The pleased reaction from the customer makes it very rewarding.
Where is your favorite place to go out to dinner?
We have many favorites, especially since Robyn and I have three children, so it can vary. For seafood we enjoy Bonefish Grill. Casual dining would be Miller’s Alehouse. Fast Casual would be Stir Crazy. I do enjoy the locally owned concepts too. We love trying any new craft brewery concepts as well.
Does it contain foodservice equipment represented by Eaton?
Yes, most of them support Eaton Marketing, therefore, we enjoy supporting them.
What do you usually order?
My favorites are grouper, ribeye or just a good juicy burger.
How has foodservice equipment changed in recent years?
The equipment today is easier to customize. I have seen an increase of requests from the operators, designers and equipment dealers for custom modifications to standard equipment, and the factories have answered with that flexibility.
What do you see in store for the foodservice industry?
The foodservice industry has constantly been changing. I see the future operations being driven by the demand of the Generation Y and the Millennials. They are pushing for the fast casual, high energy concepts. They are the driving force behind this food segment especially in the craft beer, specialty coffee and beverage segments.