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

Sticking to sustainability

By increasing the amount of local products served, starting farmers’ markets where Pfizer employees can purchase local produce from the café for home use, establishing a juice bar and inviting local vendors to campus to meet guests and share information about their products, Hanlon-Deever has brought health and sustainability front and center, while adding revenue streams. “One of the things that we are proud of is our salad bar,” Hanlon-Deever explains. “There were a lot of canned items when I started, and now we have over 18 items on the bar, all fresh, all sourced from local farmers within a 250-mile radius.”

With the goals of both Pfizer and Compass in mind, “She’s very conscious in making sure whatever products she is actually sourcing are sustainable, eco-friendly and actually supporting the site goals,” Hasham says. “There are a lot of benefits to having these third parties come in to the site and promoting their products. It creates more of a community environment and people enjoy that as well. We’re supporting local businesses in town, and that’s something that Pfizer really wants to make sure they are also part of. Betty is instrumental in our vendor programs that she brings on site as well and makes sure that [the programs meet] the site goals at large.”

Hanlon-Deever’s impact also is felt beyond the café. She incorporates the same standards of customer service and quality into the company’s catering program. Hanlon-Deever exceeds catering expectations, Hasham says. “Even if it’s a boxed lunch—a boxed lunch is now a gourmet sandwich, not just a sandwich put together—all the way to fine china and silverware and a full-on prime rib dinner served to executives,” he says. “It’s the full spectrum. She’s able to really, really enable the customer to feel like, yep, she’s got exactly what their needs are.”

Through her attention to detail and service, Hanlon-Deever has been able to keep the bulk of catering on campus. “A lot of our executive admin staff are really engaged in sourcing and catering, and that’s a very tough group, and rightfully so, because they want the best for their bosses and their guests,” Hasham explains. “There’s a lot of confidence in Betty taking that and providing them exactly what their needs are. That requires a lot of partnership and trust and proven performance on Betty’s part. They have an open ticket, they can call anyone else and they choose to stay with Betty. The level of the food is absolutely fantastic here.”

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