Matthew Vasquez

Matthew Vasquez is a superb team player, and he is always available when you need him to assist the team or region.

Why Selected?

R.T. Wargo, district manager for Eurest Dining Services, says: Matt is a superb team player. He is always available when you need him to assist the team or region. He has the client relationship building and operational knowledge and knows how to balance the client needs with the company needs.

Details

General Manager, Eurest Dining Services, Lowe's, Mooresville, NC
Age: 27
Education: B.S. in foodservice management from Johnson & Wales University, Charleston, S.C.
Years at organization: 6

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Becoming general manager. I had started at Lowe’s as an hourly associate five years prior. After my first year I left and began as regional support for the Southeast. After a year of traveling, I was asked to rejoin the Lowe’s team.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I think as a young manager I felt that I had—and still do—some catching up to do compared to more seasoned managers due to lack of experiences. So I started becoming a sponge and took notes while I was working with different individuals.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Never be intimidated by the unknown.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Learning that I don’t need to do everything and it’s OK to delegate duties to my team. In the beginning, I worked very hard and it seemed that I could never catch up. As I’ve grown into my own management style I’ve learned that delegation is a necessity in becoming an effective manager. It empowers your team and starts to develop them for the next step in their career. Plus, it takes tasks off your own plate so that you can start working on other opportunities and grow more as a manager.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

When we have a bad ice storm in the mountains our team sets up service tents for a client, which usually feeds up to 1,500 workers. We had this ice storm where we only served 300 of our 1,500 expected guests. We found a shelter to donate the extra food, so hauled it down there. The food shifted and we spilled about 30 gallons of beef stew all over the cargo area of the truck. With temperature at 20°F, the soup turned into a slippery mess. We had to clean out the truck with mops and hoses and with our lack of sleep and the slickness of the floor, we could not stand up in the truck. As we tried to clean we fell over and couldn’t stop laughing at the situation.

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

How uptight I was when I first started. I remember at my first account I was so nervous about following company polices and being by the book. I was always told to take great notes and document, document, document, and I wore myself out with documenting every single incident or situation.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minn., invited students to help serve lunch in an effort to encourage their peers to try new, healthy recipes, Hutchinson Leader reports.

The students, who are part of the school’s Students in Action Club, created posters to advertise the new meal and helped serve it to students during lunch.

The school’s kitchen manager, Janet Schmidt, said that around 37 more students than normal got in line to try the meal. The school plans to have students from the club help serve lunch once every month.

Read the full story via Hutchinson...

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

FSD Resources