Strategic Consulting for the Natural and Organic Food Service Industry
Whether you are in the planning stages or you already have a prepared foods department, you will at some point come to understand how distinct the foodservice business is from the food retail business. From labor cost and cost of goods to creating and merchandising the menu, the financial goals and the means to get there are extremely different from those of a grocery store. So despite your and your staff’s expertise in the retail and foodservice sectors, you may find yourself struggling to grow your deli /prepared foods department to its full potential.
Moxie Consulting can help.
With more than 15 years of experience in foodservice and deli management, founder Michelle O’Connor will help you navigate the unique and myriad aspects of running an efficient, clean, financially viable foodservice department within your natural grocery or co-op. After an initial conversation to understand your specific concerns, she will present a work plan that will best suit your needs. She can visit your store, help you identify the issues, develop a custom operating plan, share essential tools and train managers and staff. She has a hands-on, creative approach to problem solving that will put you at ease and set you on the path to success.
Moxie provides step-by-step guidance on:
- Optimizing Workflow and Workstation Operations
- Operating Systems Development,
including manuals and training guides
- Food Safety Planning and Review
- Production Efficiency and Training
- Menu Development and Costing
- Costing Software Setup and Implementation
- Labor and Staffing Plans
- Project Management
- Staff and Management Training and Development
Michelle is a leader in the natural and organic foods industry. Most recently, she was managing a staff of 55 in a deli that grosses over $4m a year, bringing the organization national recognition for its hard-earned success. When she took over deli operations for the renowned co-op 10 years ago, the deli had been failing to meet every one of its financial goals. Michelle rolled up her sleeves and got to work overhauling the entire business structure by putting new systems into place, revising the scheduling, creating stations and changing recipes to cut costs.
Within 2 years the deli met margin goal, and within 6 years weekly sales had more than doubled. And sales have continued to grow year over year. It was her restaurant experience, her passion for clean food, her ability to hire and cultivate great talent, and her fortitude that helped her turn the deli around. Since then she has been instrumental in helping other stores achieve similar results.
For the last 15 years, Michelle has been working in the local and organic food industry with her experience spanning from purchasing, service, prep and production to management. She has extensive experience in seasonal menu writing, creating programs that meet alternative dietary requirements, training staff and leadership teams and enjoys being hands on in the kitchen.
Michelle is an organic farmer and chef, customer service expert and deli operations maven. She specializes in deli development, creating programs, systems and operations, Chef Tec training and set up, and enjoys sharing her energy, knowledge and experience with others. Michelle's keen insight, creative solutions and energetic, hands-on approach can help any food service operation reach its highest potential.
Michelle has led successful workshops on Raw Foods, Knife Skills and Deli Operations. Among her extensive accreditations, she is certified in Serv Safe and Fierce Conversations and has helped countless stores set up their Chef Tec software. She has for many years written her popular Kitchen Thyme article which is featured in the Provender Alliance Journal.
Never one to be too far from the source, Michelle lives on a certified organic farm, which she owns and operates with her husband Geoffrey and daughter Stella in the beautiful Rogue Valley of Oregon.
“I have been a close colleague of Michelle's for ten years and think very highly of her work in the food service world. Not just a talented chef who makes and presents mouthwatering delicious food, she is an expert on special diets, nutrition, ethnic cuisine, and the complex ins and outs of the food industry. I have watched her transform her kitchen and service to a high functioning top tier operation. She brings dedication, big picture thinking, a deep knowledge of systems, and a passion for the culinary arts to her work. Her experience, natural creativity, and confidence in all areas of operations gains buy-in from her co-workers and brings strong, lasting results. Whether it is simply tightening operations, building food service systems for ongoing support, or managing a large project, she has done it all.
Including vomiting blueberry pie on the good townsfolk...”
Natural Foods Market
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Michelle. She has served in many different roles for our organization, from board member to workshop presenter to emcee. The articles she writes for our quarterly publication are filled with stories that clearly exhibit the love she has for what she does. She brings tremendous passion and commitment to her work as well as a great sense of humor. She infuses her presentations with joyful enthusiasm that is contagious. She knows her audience and understands how to give the most to them and get the most out of them.”
“Michelle turned our Deli around. Our sales and profitability skyrocketed after her week-long visit to our store. Not only did she refine our processes and procedures, come up with money saving systems, and provide us with some money making recipes, she reinvigorated our Deli staff and helped them believe they could make the Deli great. She is a font of knowledge and has an unending supply of energy to get the job done. The Deli is now the centerpiece of our community.”
Formerly Store Manager, Winter Ridge Natural Foods
“My name is Gregg and I am the owner of Winter Ridge Natural Foods in Sandpoint Idaho. My wife and I were introduced to Michelle several years ago. We traveled to Ashland to see the deli she helped build at the Ashland Co-op (it is an amazing place). She was able to share with us what they did and what was working for them. Michelle is very effective. She is in the trenches, she knows what works and how to implement the systems needed to run an efficient kitchen. I highly recommend her.
Michelle has been to our store twice. Once to help us get started with our self-service hot bar and then a year later for a follow up. She has shown us the benefits of Chef Tec, a costing program that ensures we are meeting our margins, and what our labor costs should run, depending upon the size and growth of the deli. Michelle also helped us put in place job descriptions for each position, performance evaluations, recipes, and other essential groundwork for a strong infrastructure. She is a wealth of useful information and experience.
Through hard work, great employees and Michelle’s help we have grown our deli by over 300% in the last three years. Build it they will come!”
“Michelle is an outstanding resource and has helped us immensely in our recent kitchen design, deli hot-bar configuration, work-flow systems as well as recipe development. She is a pleasure to work with, takes great care to understand her client's needs and is timely and efficient. I highly recommend her services!”