Food Services of America Puts on Annual Thrive Food Show at Fargodome

More than 120 vendors were at the expo

FARGO, N.D. — Food service experts say the first three years are the most difficult for a new restaurant for a variety of reasons.

“You’re trying to get your management staff up to what your goal is if you’re the owner, operator. What’s the culture? What are you trying to accomplish over the next five years,” said Richard Byers, with Food Services of America (FSA).

At the 2018 FSA Food Show, restaurants are learning the key ingredients for a successful business.

“Front of the house training, back of the house training. We also have a graphic designer to do menus as well as do your product mix,” Byers said.

All of these factors can determine whether a restaurant is profitable, which is why FSA offered training to more than 120 different national and local vendors who came to the food show such as Mandan’s Cloverdale and Dickinson’s Baker Boy.

Baker Boy mostly utilizes the food shows to expand their network.

“We’ve had a lot of people that come through here that we would never see otherwise. They know of Baker Boy, they may have heard about us through a friend or another business that they work with but they’ve never quite taken that leap to try our product,” said Dustin Monke, with Baker Boy.

People who work in the food-service industry say one of the best parts about these shows is being able to touch, smell and taste the product.

“There’s always new products coming out but instead of just reading it, it’s fun to see actually what they look like and make a decision on that,” said Diane Batsch, who’s a manager at Kulm Grocery in Kulm, N.D.

Spreading these products or food trends around more quickly is what some say even adds more value to North Dakota’s hospitality market.

“Trends from the east and west coast take a long time to get to North Dakota, right? It would enhance the offerings of the restaurants,” Byers said.

FSA also does the food expo to help with retention rates in North Dakota’s hospitality industry.

Officials say when a restaurant’s staff receives more training, their tips tend to be higher and so does the retention rate.

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