Harry Dorofee: “Family” Business

Harry Dorofee encourages ownership at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Accomplishments

HARRY DOROFEE has improved dining services for Flik International Corp. at CLEARY GOTTLIEB STEEN & HAMILTON by:

  • MANAGING an off-premise kitchen during a renovation of the main café, which provided food for a temporary café and catering, without a reduction in service
  • INCREASING café participation by 11% and catering sales by 23% through renovations and the addition of well-known local brands
  • MAKING the program more efficient by combining the catering and café menus into one
  • CREATING an environment where associates are encouraged to see themselves as “owners” of their jobs 

Harry Dorofee believes instilling a sense of ownership in his employees is the key to a successful operation. As food service director for Flik International Corp. at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, a New York law firm, Dorofee encourages his staff to work as if each station within the 23 pantries, conference catering, new barista bar and main café at the firm were their own business.

Adam Freed, Flik’s senior vice president of creative development, says it is Dorofee’s ability to collaborate and his creativity that have made him a success at the account, which has been managed by Flik for more than 20 years.

“Harry’s captivating personality mixed with knowledge is a gift for those he touches,” Freed says. “We, as a family, are thankful for Harry’s dedication in understanding the true essence of what is our common purpose—to help create a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

Feeding on the fly: One way Dorofee made a difference to customers was diminishing the impact of a nine-month renovation of the firm’s kitchen/café space, which opened in August 2011. Dorofee says during construction it was a challenge to provide the same level of service while operating out of a remote kitchen.

“It was a big endeavor to do the amount of sales that we did during that period while keeping customer satisfaction as high as always,” Dorofee says. “It took a lot of planning and a ton of teamwork.”

To maintain service the staff was split in half, with one group running the temporary café, which was set up in a conference room, and one group preparing meals in a satellite kitchen 30 miles away on Long Island.

“Due to traffic concerns, we decided to make all the food at the satellite kitchen, chill it and then send it to the temporary café the night before, while adhering to the most stringent food and sanitation guidelines,” Dorofee says. “This approach allowed us to rethermalize the food just before service in order to maintain optimum quality.

Obviously, participation in the cafeteria decreased slightly, but catering sales increased 10% during construction. The key was that at no point during the renovation did we lose the sense of community the café brings to the business.”

The renovated café is a modern space on the 39th floor with lots of natural light and an impressive view of downtown New York City. Stations include a grill, which serves hand-cut steaks, market-fresh seafood and grilled vegetables; a pizza station with a brick oven where chefs make pizza dough from scratch, casseroles and pastas; a deli, which features a counter where Flik’s FIT—more healthful options—are positioned so they are the first items a guest sees when entering the café to help guide healthy eating choices; a salad bar that features local and seasonal produce; and an action station that offers a chef demonstration and a cook-to-order special of the day.

The café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, closing at 8:30 p.m. Around the corner from the 270-seat dining area is a new barista bar, which was designed to take advantage of the building’s view of the Statue of Liberty.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
usa map regions

From global flavors to clean labels, it’s clear that some buzzworthy noncommercial menu trends are universal. But FoodService Director ’s 2016 surveys have revealed some noteworthy differences within segments in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions. We combed through data from our College and University Census, Hospital Census and Long-Term Care/Senior Living Census for the most surprising variations in menu trends and expectations.

1. Plant-based dishes are on the rise at Midwestern colleges and universities

Seventy-seven percent of C&U operators in this region say...

Industry News & Opinion

Ithaca College is turning to new solutions to address overcrowding at a dining hall that is already understaffed, The Ithacan reports .

The Ithaca, N.Y., school's Terrace Dining Hall has seen a large influx of students this year after being renovated, causing lines to wrap around the dining hall.

To ease congestion, Sodexo Area General Manager Jeffrey Scott told The Ithacan that the eatery has added a separate entree line, as well as signage displaying menu items at less-crowded food stations in an effort to draw students to the other side of the dining hall.

The...

Menu Development
mac cheese pizza

Anybody think the popularity of mac and cheese has played out? Anyone?

More likely, foodservice directors are trying to bake new life into the comfort staple by tweaking the presentation and components. Here’s a snapshot of how that rejuvenation effort looks in streetside restaurants.

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

FSD Resources