In these days of limiting travel and increased social distancing for health and safety reasons, the benefits of local customer service and in-person support have never been more important. And while that may sound counterintuitive in theory, real experience in the foodservice industry proves that no amount of remote support can replace good, old-fashioned, in-person representation.

 No amount of remote support can replace good, old-fashioned, in-person representation.

Before we go further, let’s be clear: Our companies and our teams understand, have adopted, practice and adhere to social distancing practices. In your places of business and ours, we are respectful of and make our best efforts to comply with recommendations from the CDC and other health guidelines to slow and avoid the spread of coronavirus. Beyond that, our experiences in thousands of foodservice operations from coast-to-coast allow us to help local operations find and implement practical solutions that are helping keep restaurants open and safe during this pandemic.

Regional firms are uniquely positioned and highly qualified to deliver expert support. Our top partners are depending more on our teams for in-person support instead of attempting to deploy sparse personnel from distant locations.

And that’s exactly what we mean saying that proximity wins in the age of social distance. With local representation coast-to-coast and around-the-corner by experienced professionals, representatives from our Paradigm members are uniquely positioned and highly qualified to deliver expert support. Strategically, the best manufacturing companies we represent and the foodservice supply chain partners they utilize are depending more on our large regional teams for in-person support instead of attempting to deploy sparse factory personnel from distant locations.

Here are a few examples of how proximity wins in the age of social distance:

  1. Common Sense(s). Foodservice is a sensory business, and humans depend on five physical senses each day. Two of those – seeing and hearing – are easily delivered through technologies like video conferences. But in-person senses like touch, smell and taste — essential in the foodservice experience – just aren’t technology-enabled. There’s no substitute for having a real person on-site to feel how a walk-in door seals or evaluate the thickness and consistency of a blended beverage. And let’s agree that trained chefs attempting to describe their culinary creations is a poor substitute for the immersive experience of deeply inhaling food aromas while anticipating that explosion of flavor from an inventive new dish. Having the right professionals within geographic proximity allows us to participate in-person, and even use our sixth-sense of experience-borne intuition to be of assistance.
  2. Get Real. Despite massive investments in facilities, people and connectivity technologies, sometimes you just need a real person in real time to offer real solutions. When our experienced local and regional team members visit in person or through technology, our foodservice customers aren’t talking to some stranger with a made-up name located halfway around the world. Instead, they are consulting with a trusted, dependable advisor who has taken the time to learn their business and who often can deliver real actions, now, on-site, without an automated phone system, call-reference number and long hold times.
  3. Just Do It. Aside from resetting a gateway or taking control of your computer, has a remote-based agent ever completed a needed task in a foodservice operation? Made an adjustment to a misaligned oven door? Delivered and installed a damaged caster for a table? Assisted a new staff on completing a fryer filtering cycle, practical use of a touchpad control, or optimum loading of a dish machine? In those situations and many others, instructing from afar or sharing a video just doesn’t get it done. In real kitchens, there’s no substitute for having a professional do it for you, or do it with you, to demonstrate in detail and encourage confidence.
  4. I’ll Be Back. That’s not just a famous line from each of The Terminator movies. it’s a binding promise our Paradigm representatives make to our foodservice customers. With representatives based in local communities and traveling regionally to all types of foodservice operations, our customers can count on personal attention and in-person support from our masked, socially-distancing team members when their presence is needed or requested.

There’s no substitute for the real, right-now, expert support offered through a regionally-based, trained foodservice professional.

Sometimes, an internet video or phone assistance is ideal. We encourage manufacturers to develop and invest in those as appropriate. But often, there’s no substitute for the real, right-now, expert support and service offered through a trained foodservice professional. In those cases, proximity wins even in the age of social distance. And that’s why best-in-class manufacturers and the supply chain partners they utilize depend on our experienced, expert, regionally-assigned and locally-based Paradigm members as the ideal solution.