'Our Members have always been
our top priority'

A letter from Chris Kyriakopoulos

June 2, 2020 - I was taught years ago that in order to get one’s message across, they must be able to convey a convincing and interesting story. Reflecting on what the foodservice industry has experienced over the past couple months, one would have thought I was writing fiction, if it were not for the fact that we are all living this unbelievable tale.
My experience in foodservice began when I was a child. I washed dishes for my Father at the Town Gate Inn (Tillsonburg), worked at the Bradgate Arms (Toronto), Chimo Hotel (Markham), Odyssey on the Danforth (Toronto) and at many other establishments. I studied Hospitality and Tourism at Ryerson PI and opened my first establishment in 1991. After my father’s passing in 1996, R.I.B.A. was one of my next ventures.
Throughout my tenure within the industry, I always remembered what my father taught me regarding an ethical workday (usually 12-14 hours) and how not to wait for business, but to chase it. He would always say “use common sense, stay sharp, redevelop your business every 5 years and appreciate people because without customers, you may have the best concept, but have no business.”
Like many of my friends in the industry, it takes a special sort of person to open or work in the foodservice industry and stay in business for years, if not decades. The industry is one we love. It is an industry which does not shut down. It’s vibrant, sophisticated, evolutional and most of the time exhausting.
Fast forward to our current situation. Who would have thought the industry that never sleeps would pause globally? There is no template for closure, no existing solution for such an unprecedented and catastrophic disruption, just utter disbelief. Notwithstanding, it happened and we are all experiencing and adjusting together.
The Canadian foodservice industry was estimated to grow to $100 billion in revenues for 2020. Internally, our channel has experienced high double-digit growth year after year and this year should have proved to be no different. Our focus has always been to develop and maintain relationships and our proven record of delivering results has solidified our program since inception.
R.I.B.A. does not want to be an average Group Purchasing Organization. Our Members have always been our top priority. We have either reached out or attempted to contact each Member of ours since the shutdown was introduced. We understand what our Members are going through and our primary objective was not to find out how our Members’ businesses were doing, but rather how you the owner, the chef, the manager etc., are coping. I am happy to report that out of the thousands of calls and emails, none of our Members or their staff have contracted the virus. The majority of Members remained optimistic for the future, with a small percentage indicating they did not see a way out of the economic harm caused by this event. Our thoughts go out to all.

In our effort to offer support to our Members, R.I.B.A. is offering:
1. Updated web pages with a COVID resource section including government links and program details.
2. Menu services We understood there was a need for Members to restructure their menus in order to comply with opening necessities, as well as change pricing due to menu inflation and any strains with regard to the supply chain. Feel free to reach out to susan.batsford@foodbuy.ca for further details.
3. Operating trends Up to date trends on what is working and what isn’t during partial closure.
4. Ordering efficiencies Registering direct Pepsi accounts to an online platform, ensuring they would not be limited due to high volumes tying up the regular ordering process.
5. Opening procedures Pepsi, ensuring your lines and equipment is ready and health code compliant. This resource is available as a link or we are encouraging our customers to contact Pepsi sudden service in order to schedule an appointment.
Pepsi Sudden Service 1-800-387-6683
Feel free to contact peter.kalantzis@foodbuy.ca for link and opening documentation.
6. Ecolab resources Opening recommendations and COVID-19 factsheet
7. Canadian Linen update Masks for staff now available to all of our Members. Please reach out to your Canadian Linen representative for more information or contact nancy.rasic@foodbuy.ca for her to schedule your request.
8. Ignite Day One Opening your business; Go to our Ignite Day One Page for additional important resources.
9. Optimization We are currently offering an optimization service in order for our Members to receive an in-depth report on their current purchasing trends and alignment to our rebate program. Foodbuy uses their internal NOMA software to match like items to provide a maximum return for our Members.
10. Support Talk with us. We are here for you!!!

V.P. of Eastern Canada Independent Channel Foodbuy/R.I.B.A. –
Chris Kyriakopoulos

email chris.kyriakopoulos@foodbuy.ca ph. 519.476.2331

Senior Director of Sales R.I.B.A. – Peter Kalantzis
email peter.kalantzis@foodbuy.ca ph. 519.476.6522

Bi-lingual Support – R.I.B.A. Eastern Ontario/Quebec – Wayne Mackie
email wayne.mackie@foodbuy.ca ph. 226.973.9329

Project Development Manager – Specializing in optimization – George Kapogianis
email george.kapogianis@foodbuy.ca ph. 519.476.7966

Menu design and marketing specialist – Susan Batsford
email susan.batsford@foodbuy.ca

R.I.B.A./Foodbuy continues to implement strategies in order to support our Members. We are investing in our commitment to better serve the industry. With more than 97,000 food service establishments in Canada, we are all looking forward to some sort of normalcy for most of the sectors within our industry. Let’s encourage each other and try and remain supportive of one another. The industry is close knit and the fibers which bond one another have been stretched, but not ripped. Let our resilience bring us back even stronger and impermeable to future devastation. I have yet to cancel the upcoming golf event for this year. I want to promote an event which will bring us once again together and look forward to a bright future. My optimism should prevail, as we have missed the face to face we’ve encouraged for years with our friends and feel for each and every Member who is suffering.

I would also like to take this time to thank the food service distributors who continue to maintain the supply chain for the industry. They have risked everything on behalf of the industry and must be congratulated for their efforts. They are true heroes!

Stay safe my friends. I look forward to chatting with as many of you as possible, especially when the course of our future, changes for the better. Look after your families and your emotional health. Economics plays an essential role in our sustainment. Many of us harbor the impact internally and that is not healthy. As I struggle with trying to provide answers for the unprecedented times we are in, I’m not sure even the person who I look up to most – my late father - would be able to provide any, but I know he would spend 12-14 hours per day trying to figure one out. And I will also!

Warm Regards, Chris Kyriakopoulos,
VP Eastern Canada Independent Channel Foodbuy/R.I.B.A.

Dear Foodbuy Member

April 3, 2020 - First and foremost, I hope this email finds you, your families and teams well and safe! I also want to give a sincere shout-out to all of our family, friends and colleagues who are on the front lines . . . these folks are truly expanding the definition of "hero" as they're fighting in a completely new way for our safety in the years to come! As COVID-19 continues to spread, it poses unique challenges to all Canadians. While Foodbuy Canada is committed to maintaining the highest level of procurement services, we are also working hard to keep pace with your needs as they are developing during this pandemic. To help ensure timely and coordinated responses, the Member Accounts team has also moved to a channel structure. With this new approach, each channel and sub-channel will be managed by a single person to ensure that all related insights, solutions and news are being captured and leveraged in one place. Like many companies around the world, due to the massive effects of COVID 19, Compass Group and Foodbuy have had to make extremely difficult decisions in order to navigate the next few months. As a result of these measures, you might notice a temporary change in who your Member Development contact is.

Please find a list of the people you can contact in each channel below:

• Health Care - Jatinder.Singh@foodbuy.ca

• Hotels and Golf - Ashley.Mabee@foodbuy.ca

• Education, Casinos, Vending, Truck Stops, Travel - Rita.Andersson@foodbuy.ca

• Food Service (Restaurants and Catering) - Michael.Mahon@foodbuy.ca

• RIBA and Camps - Chris.Kyriakopoulos@foodbuy.ca

• All other inquiries and escalation - Matt.Robertson@foodbuy.ca (VP Member Development)

The Member Development team will be focused on the following priorities for the next 90 days:

Member Engagement:

• Outreach

• Connect and learn

90 Day Accounts Plans:

• Establish short-term account plans, based on Member needs and value creation

• Track, support and evolve as required

"Day 1" Account Plans:

• Establish account plans and priorities to pursue as soon as we receive the all clear after COVID 19. The next couple of months are going to be challenging and Member Development is here to help . . . in traditional and non-traditional ways. We're also keeping a close eye on your business, the various channels and our business to identify new opportunities that will surely come out of this for all of us.

Take care and please be in touch

Matt Robertson | VP Member Development
Matt.Robertson@foodbuy.ca | 647-620-9107

Dear Foodbuy Member

March 17, 2020 - The past few months since I joined the Member Development team have flown by as we've been sorting out the future of Member Development and how we can generate the maximum value for you and your business. Lots more to follow in the coming months regarding our strategy and what you can anticipate.

For now, I'm writing this note from my kitchen table as the Foodbuy team started teleworking yesterday, to do our part in social separation. These are certainly extraordinary times as businesses and families process and plan accordingly for the rapidly evolving state of COVID 19.

From a Foodbuy and Member Development perspective, we're focused on the safety of our teams and business critical operations. We're monitoring the situation closely and our teams are mobilized to respond to the changing situation as quickly as possible. While our next steps may vary depending on channel and region, here are some of the key things that we’re working on:

• Monitoring supply levels and distribution continuity

• Establishing strategies to help Members bolster profit, where possible and practical

• Meeting daily as a team via Webex to share information as its reported by channel and region

• Drafting "Day 1" action plans and outreach that will be deployed once the COVID risk is under control

• Supporting other core Foodbuy functions

Please watch for further communication from your Account Manager; in our best effort to support your business, we will be coming to you with potential incremental profit opportunities, based on historical spend (reconciliation) and potential optimizations (future focus). Any opportunities that don't make sense at this time can be added to our "Day 1" plans.

We sincerely appreciate your partnership and business. Please take care of yourselves and your families.

Best regards,

Matt Robertson | VP Member Development


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