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“Whatever happens, wherever this industry is headed, let’s be sure not to forfeit our relationships and friendships along the way. Those relationships are what makes this whole thing worth it and, if you ask me, it’s why it works.”


— Michael Keck President Concept Services


experience will continue to come through, whether the customer sits in the restaurant or chooses to eat their food off-site,” Keck says. “Cool things are on the horizon.”


Maintaining Relationships


Operators will lean on foodservice equipment dealers and distributors to make those shifts possible. “The QSRs are doing their best to support the needs of their customers and to adapt to the challenges of getting back to normal,” Keck says. “As dealers and distributors, we owe it to our customers to listen to them and support them to the best of our ability.”


The way dealers and distributors go about listening to their customers may have changed – Zoom meetings and text chats are now the norm as everyone tries to adhere to social distancing, for instance – but Keck believes personal relationships will remain the foundation of the foodservice equipment industry. “We all know technology-based meetings aren’t nearly as fulfilling or rewarding as a nice dinner that goes way too late into the night,” he says. “Real time with real people allows us to really get know to the people with whom we’re sharing our time. Friendships are born out of the time we spend together. It’s where trust is built. It’s where ideas are shared and problems are solved. It’s where the best deals are made.”


Despite the new ways in which people must collaborate, Keck still sees evidence every day of customer relationships being formed and strengthened. “Whatever happens, wherever this industry is headed, let’s be sure not to forfeit our relationships and friendships along the way,” he urges. “Those relationships are what makes this whole thing worth it and, if you ask me, it’s why it works.” Those friendships and professional relationships have remained a bright spot for Keck and helped him to see the success stories within the coronavirus crisis. “Frankly, it’s the optimism of our customer base that reinforces my optimistic view of the future of the QSR market segment,” he says. “I am incredibly excited to see what will happen next.”


34 FEDA News & Views


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