2020 Excellence in Management Award Winner: KaTom Restaurant Supply – Restaurant Equipment Reports, Articles & News

DEALERSHIP (over $40 million in sales)

  • Headquarter: Kodak, Tennessee.
  • Based: 1987
  • Number of employees: 182 employees
  • Company motto: “Destination Excellence”

Nineteen years ago, Patricia Bible made a choice. When her husband Tim died suddenly, she could have sold KaTom Restaurant Supply, the business the couple started out of their garage in 1987. With two young children to raise, the thought of running the growing business was daunting. . But Bible knew the right thing to do was to keep going. “At the time, even in our small business, I had 18 female heads of households working for me,” says Bible, president and CEO. “I knew that if I shut things down, the loss of a job would be devastating for them and their families.”

This dedication to people has remained strong over the next two decades and is just one reason for the company’s exceptional growth. In 2019, KaTom ranked #11 in Foodservice Equipment Reports’ Top Dealers report with $152 million in revenue.

Excellence is a fundamental principle at KaTom. Each receives 40 hours of training per year. It includes in-house sessions by manufacturers’ representatives, professional development courses and Certified Restoration Professional training. “We have 25 CFSPs in our workforce and plan to add 20 more in 2020,” says Bible.

KaTom’s high standards are evident to customers and suppliers. “Not only are they friendly when closing a deal, but they also know how to communicate throughout the process and nurture relationships,” said Penny Hutner, president of Advance Tabco. “It comes from the top, with Bible, which is always very accessible.”

“Communication isn’t just about the words you say…How you look, how you respond or don’t respond, it all communicates.” —Patricia Bible

Bible isn’t afraid to expand into new arenas either. “She has an incredible ability to step into a situation and immediately assess things,” says Hutner. “She can see what’s missing in the market and find a way to fill the gaps, inspiring her people and giving them what they need to succeed.”

An example: in the 90s, Tim saw the opportunities with the Internet and started a simple website. Bible continued to invest in it; today, his daughter Paula is VP of e-commerce and the website has over 11,000 unique SKUs.

In 2020, it will add 40,000 square feet of warehouse space to make room for more product and reduce shipping times. Changes include the creation of a commercial kitchen and training rooms for employee and public education.

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