“I am a knowledgeable source of information.”
“I can make suggestions. I can teach.”
“I am the source my customers need to succeed.”
Those statements were made by participants in an interactive learning experience at the Certified Angus Beef ® brand’s Education & Culinary Center in Wooster, Ohio. Food service professionals are participating in the Master of Brand Advantages class — a program designed to showcase the USDA beef grading system, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand’s additional 10 specifications, and the most popular cuts of beef.
Knowledge is power. And the knowledge gained in a four-day period by these MBA students will have major effects on their careers and future sales. Not only do they understand how high-quality beef goes from farm to table, they have learned to identify the most popular cuts. It’s a skill that will assist them as they meet with customers, allowing them to help chefs and restaurateurs choose steaks and other Certified Angus Beef ® brand items best suited to each particular restaurant and each individual chef.
Ron Phillips is a district sales representative for Palmer Food Services of Rochester, N.Y. He shared photos, videos and commentary on his facebook page throughout his MBA participation.
“I’m still getting responses about my experiences,” Ron said. “Three of my chefs want to try new cuts I was previously unaware of. My friends that aren’t in the food service industry also contacted me to discuss beef grading and marbling. I didn’t realize that much of the general public also has limited beef knowledge. This week I have engaged in chats that lasted hours with people I haven’t seen in 20 years. The only thing we discussed was beef.”
One of Ron’s facebook posts said:
We covered all the specifications for all grades of beef available in the US and Canada. Sounds a little boring except our instructor, meat scientist Dr. Phil Bass, was flying around the room like a squirrel on roller skates. High energy, funny and exciting. I felt like I was on a game show and couldn’t wait to see what was behind door No. 3.
Ron’s favorite part of the educational sessions was taking grading information learned on day one and using it to grade beef on day two. “To actually pin the 10 Certified Angus Beef ® brand specifications on the carcass, then cut and trim the primal into familiar steaks, I can’t wait to get back to work and use this knowledge to help chefs create new specials and menu items.”
“The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is a higher quality grade of beef,” Ron says. “My colleague, Mary Jo Steratow, calls it ‘meat insurance’. Think of the extra money you spend on such a high-quality steak as insurance that guarantees the finest eating experience possible.”
Ron Phillips has been in the food service industry for 30 years, and a sales representative for three. “All my success to date can be traced to one thing: teamwork. Our company, Palmer Food Services, has some of the best people in the industry and we all work together and help each other. The people that put together this program showed impressive teamwork. The amount of information relayed is immeasurable.”
The Masters of Brand Advantages program included dinner at local restaurants, a ground beef analysis and burger competition and grill-off, and more. Click on the thumbnails below to see various events.