Member Spotlight
Chris Hylton
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Business Dining

Which hospitality and foodservice services do you oversee and how does SHFM help you balance these responsibilities?

I oversee the strategic partnerships for some of our business dining accounts. As I am a very new member in SHFM, my experience and interaction has been limited but overall I would say that SHFM has helped me by allowing networking with other members across the industry. Additionally, while interacting with the group I have been able to look at my role and the changes in the industry from different views.

What do you see as the most important trend in the industry?

Constant change, this may not be new but the pace at which we have to adapt, pivot and change has rapidly sped up. The new customers are multiethnic, younger and tech proficient. This tech skill/ability enables them to call up of information while allowing for instant gratification almost immediately. Our customers want things now and want us to be able to adjust to their ever-changing and growing needs near instantaneously. While the clients need us to be adept in addressing multicultural and “cross-generational” requests, palates and cravings.

How do you keep your customers happy?

Communication is number one. Additionally, being proactive and constantly looking towards next steps, program enhancements and innovation within their foodservice operation while being open to change. The clients want us to bring things to them as the experts (as we should).

Which SHFM event has been your favorite to attend?

The New Orleans event, which was my first, was quite the way to start in the organization. Everyone was so very friendly as well as excited and inviting. I felt immediately welcomed into SHFM and am grateful to now have such a large diverse group within the industry to call on.