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Remember Who Makes Your Business Run – Part I

We were always looking to be more efficient, and while we served the best food possible, we didn’t hesitate to experiment with new suppliers and/or new products. One item that we were not really satisfied with was bagels. 

As you know, you shouldn’t serve a day-old bagel, and producing them from scratch is a complicated process. While we eventually found a par-baked bagel we could work with, we many times purchased fresh bagels at a local Bruegger’s shop.

Analyze it

I was often elected to pick up the morning bakery, and I used the opportunity to learn about the Bruegger’s operation. I watched as a lone cook sweated over a big kettle as he dropped raw bagels into boiling water. Simultaneously he trayed just boiled bagels, adding poppy, sesame seeds, or other toppings; he then loaded just-boiled bagels into a large conveyer oven.

Next he removed perfectly the baked product as the conveyor shelves moved to the top. He never stopped the rotating oven shelves, and I knew I was watching a highly skilled cook.

He was it

One day I went to pick up our order at 7:00 a.m. and the front door was locked. The bagel cook hadn’t shown up that day—maybe he was sick, had car trouble, overslept or who knows—but without him everything stopped.

The first person who came to work that day probably called the manager and alternative arrangements were undoubtedly made. Nonetheless, the store opened late and I’m sure the rest of the employees didn’t have a fun day.

So, what happens when something goes wrong like this? What lesson can you learn from it? Check back next week, as I share my biggest lesson learned from this experience!


Editor’s note: Michael Rosman and Michael Attias will be conducting an interactive half-day seminar, “All Things Corporate Drop-off Catering” on March 15, 2017 at Catersource in New Orleans. The session is included in the purchase of a Catersource all access pass, or can be purchased separately as a one-off. For more information, visit

If you would like to contact Michael Rosman directly about his consulting and coaching services, you may call him at 781-641-3303, email him at [email protected] and visit his membership website Michael is a regular contributor to the website, and also has published two books which are available for purchase at

Michael Rosman

Michael Rosman

Owner/Founder, The Corporate Caterer, Boston, MA

Michael Rosman is the founder of, a consulting, coaching and lead generation company for businesses that aspire to take their corporate catering business to the next level or start a new division. He is also a Senior Consultant with He can be reached at [email protected].