Cyndi Gloodt: Client’s Champion
CYNDI GLOODT has transformed the foodservice at NORTHERN TRUST BANK by;
- ELIMINATING paper receipts and implementing recycling programs, compostable takeout containers and trayless dining in catering as part of a comprehensive sustainability program
- MERGING Sodexo's wellness program with the client's nGood Health program, which included creating a wellness-branded takeout station
- MANAGING a face-lift of a dated café, which included a fresh coat of paint, new signage, seating areas and new stations
- REDUCING overall costs to her client organization two years in a row, which in 2010 translated into a savings of more than $125,000
Cyndi Gloodt’s enthusiasm infects everyone around her. As general manager for Sodexo at Northern Trust Bank in Chicago, Gloodt’s ability to work with her clients and her drive and passion for what she does has revolutionized the foodservice at Northern Trust Bank, according to Julius Horace, vice president/property manager and café services liaison.
“Cyndi has literally taken a foodservice operation, which was not using current industry best practices, and brought the operation into modern times,” Horace says. “Cyndi consistently shows increased overall sales revenue and a noticeable improvement in offerings and service. Due to her input and ideas, our seating areas have now become the place for informal meetings with staff, clients and guests. Our shop is no longer a cafeteria but truly a café.”
Gloodt says her success with clients is what has made the difference in her career.
“I go to my clients with ideas,” Gloodt says. “I do the research ahead of time and I engage them. I know there are a lot of clients out there who don’t want to be involved. I figure out how to reach them better and figure out what is important to them. For example, I had a client who was really a numbers guy, so anytime I wanted to make a change, I would make sure I had facts and figures to present to him. I think it’s all about knowing your clients and knowing what’s important to them.”
Gloodt learned how to deal with clients during her more than 20 years in foodservice.
“I was going to school for business at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, and really felt like it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Gloodt says. “I really liked to cook so my aunt suggested I go to culinary school. After graduating from Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago, I mostly worked in off-premise catering. Another friend of mine was working with Marriott and said I should come work with them as a manager. So I got a job with them and I worked with Marriott, which became Sodexo, for 10 years. After a 10-year stint in other things, I came back to work for Sodexo at Northern Trust. I have a great client. I’m lucky that I am able to have a client that is very focused on sustainability, so I’m able to really help them with all of their efforts.”
Sustainability: It’s these sustainability efforts that Gloodt says she is most proud of.
“We got rid of all foam from all three locations,” Gloodt says. “We replaced all takeout containers with compostable disposables. We started a recycling program in the front and back of the house. We have recycled about 70,000 pounds of material from our three locations. I installed single-pull napkin dispensers. I got rid of all the plastic trays from catering. We installed water filters. We do single-serve cutlery dispensers. One of the biggest things we did was stop printing paper receipts. We only print them on request and that saved us about 23,000 pounds of paper per year.”
Gloodt says next on her list is to eliminate paper cups. She says she sees people take more than 200 paper cups a day.
“That’s ridiculous,” Gloodt says. “Plus, all of those are being thrown out. I want to replace them with reusable items. I’m constantly going through the kitchen and saying, ‘you’ve got garbage in the recycling, you need to reeducate your staff.’ Education is always a challenge.”
Health & wellness: Education is also a factor with Gloodt’s efforts to sustain a healthy eating program. One challenge Gloodt tackled early on was merging Sodexo’s wellness program, Your Health Your Way, with Northern Trust’s wellness program, which is called nGood Health. Gloodt says they decided to partner up with the client’s wellness program because it created consistency with the other aspects of nGood Health.