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

Two chefs at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., are trying to help solve the Mars food dilemma, myfoxspokane.com reports .

Just outside the school’s cafeteria, Executive Chef Timothy Grayson and his partner, Christine Logan-Travis, are trying their hand at growing tomatoes, oregano, basil and other plants in Martian Regolith Soil, the closest soil on Earth to that found on the fourth planet from the sun.

All of the plants in the Mars-inspired garden are intended for human consumption.

“It is a reality that at some point, if man goes to Mars, they will need to...

Industry News & Opinion

Access to fresh produce just got easier for students at the University of Virginia.

The Charlottesville, Va., university’s dining service has partnered with Greens to Grounds , a student-run nonprofit organization that delivers locally grown produce to students. Though students could previously purchase Greens to Grounds produce, they can now use a portion of their meal plans to do so, thecavalier.com reports .

Students can choose between a snack box or produce box, the ingredients in which usually require no cooking, and can place their orders online. The base boxes cost...

Industry News & Opinion

The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of a smoothie chain.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

The department noted that it had traced earlier outbreaks of hepatitis A to strawberries imported from Egypt. But it warned that supplies may still be in the freezers of other foodservice operations...

Managing Your Business
business man smash computer

Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

“Stress is very difficult in our world, and work-life balance is very much a...

FSD Resources