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

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources