What is the biggest RISK in your business?
I was once asked this question by the CFO of a very large corporation during a quarterly business review. Based on the fact that it was budget season, I am pretty certain this executive was expecting me to respond with some financial “low light” such as the rising cost of food or the resistance to the last price increase.
I suppose I could have gotten away with an answer around one of those issues, but I decided no, no, let me take this opportunity to educate my senior management. After all our business is so wonderfully unique.
My response to the question was as follows. “The biggest risk to my business (Mr. CFO) is the risk of a food-borne illness” . “You see”, I went on to explain, “the SINGLE most important thing our operators do is ensure the food they buy, store, prepare, and serve to our employees is safe and wholesome. Since our services are all about keeping employees productive, and on-site, the last thing anyone wants is for someone to become ill because of the food they consume in our cafes, restaurants, or retail shops. For this reason, it is my responsibility to ensure that our operator has the equipment and tools they need to ensure Food Safety is Number 1″.
Within about 30 seconds, I knew my response was a good one because the CFO did not follow up with a question about ways to reduce the budget next year. Instead, and to his credit he calmly asked, ” Is there anything you are going to need next year to make sure all the food served continues to be safe?” (BINGO!)
In my next BLOG entry, I will briefly tell you how I answered that question and what our team did to help drive measured results in food safety. In other words, what we did to mitigate the risk and achieve excellence in this area.
Thanks for watching and…stayed tuned. 🙂
Food Industry Solutions, LLC