Betty Hanlon-Deever: Serving hospitality

Betty has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover.

At a Glance

  • 940 employeesat Pfizer
  • $850,000 annual sales volume
  • 260 meals served per day (excluding catering)
  • 9 foodservice employees


Betty Hanlon-Deever has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by:

  • Maintaining a high standard of customer service that has defined the program and keeps guests on campus
  • Implementing client-requested health initiatives, including locally sourced produce, farmers’ markets and a juicing station
  • Supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover


After working for more than 30 years in commercial foodservice, Betty Hanlon-Deever discovered what she called the “best-kept secret” of the industry when she moved to corporate foodservice. She joined the Compass corporate dining team and was placed at Pfizer, in La Jolla, Calif., “six glorious years ago.” Since then, Hanlon-Deever has not only revamped the dining and catering programs, but has impressed her guests, her client, her employers and employees with her ability to provide more than just a satisfying meal but a complete experience.

Service with a smile

“When I think of Betty, I think of hospitality,” says Jerry Neverman, district manager for Compass Group. “When you go into her dining center, it’s like she’s inviting you into her home.”

For Hanlon-Deever, good customer service is simply about knowing her customers—their names, their birthdays, what they like and don’t like and recognizing that their time in her café is “their half hour of a vacation, so let’s make it exciting, let’s give them the experience we love,” she says.

“She brings customer service to just a whole new level,” says Nancy Stephenson, conference services supervisor for Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., the facilities management company at Pfizer La Jolla. “She’s just the mother hen that has to take care of everybody, and she does. It’s amazing her rapport with people. It’s just very special.”

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