going green food

Going Green for Earth Day

From the beginning, Van Eerden emphasized fresh food, launching as a fresh produce market. As time passed, we’ve widened our scope and gained customers along the way. Now, almost 100 years later, we offer thousands of food products, different kitchen cleaning supplies and various tableware products. Although our range of products has vastly expanded, we still offer a fresh approach. Earth Day is Saturday, April 22nd, to celebrate; we are sharing how we are going green.

Going Green with PROACT

Our vendor partner, PROACT, offers our customers superior and sustainable produce. Founded in 1991, PROACT, or “Product Regional Operators Advancing Cooperative Trade”, has spread throughout the nation servicing coast-to-coast distribution. With measured and monitored success, PROACT commits themselves to the success of over 50 customers, Van Eerden included.

PROACT’s ethics align with the Van Eerden fresh approach, especially the Greener Fields Together division. Greener Fields Together, a program created and operated by PROACT, focuses on two goals. They strive to implement sustainability practices to improve environmental impact as well as ensure the availability and safety of produce. Sound like something Van Eerden would capitalize on? Absolutely. Greener Fields Together has developed many initiatives to ensure that they meet their goals as an organization. They continuously improve impact areas whenever and wherever possible, including the growing, handling and distribution of produce. In addition, their strive for sustainability pushes local produce production which in return creates fresher products, benefiting Van Eerden and our customers alike.

Going Green with the Greener Business Bureau

For over a year now, we have been members of the Greener Business Bureau. The Greener Business Bureau, is a national organization aimed to empower businesses to contribute to a greener world. To become certified, we had to adhere to many qualifications. These qualifications include purchasing paper products from recycled materials and using lighting with occupancy sensors. In addition, our transportation department has many sustainable logistical practices. We love our planet and want to see it flourish. Becoming a member for the Greener Business Bureau has helped us reach this goal.

Almost a century later, Grand Rapids is still the home of Van Eerden Foodservice, and while both the city and the company have expanded, we have stayed true to the fresh approach concept. With the help of Greener Fields Together and the Greener Business Bureau, we commit to improving sustainability and the wellness of our planet. We stand behind our fresh approach and gladly provide you with the most sustainable produce, as well as office environment, in food service.


motivating staff

Motivating and Retaining Employees in the Foodservice Industry

The restaurant industry is full of high demand and high turnover. According to the National Restaurant Association the turnover rate in the foodservice industry increased from 66.7% in 2014 to 72.1% in 2015. This rate soars almost 30% higher than the national average for all private sectors.   A variety of different factors impact the turnover rate. These include age and frequent seasonal staffing as restaurant owners continuously struggle to keep employees engaged. Motivating employees may be the biggest struggle for employee retention in restaurants.

Tips to Motivating Employees

Surprisingly, engaging the entire department may be just as easy as engaging just one employee. According to a University of Michigan study, co-workers have the most impact on an employee’s work ethic and enthusiasm. Essentially, the positive energy from one employee will feed the rest of their co-workers with energy as well. This finding would then turn the attention from motivating each person individually to motivating the entire shift. An article written by QSR online’ s Ashish Gambhir  discusses the further details of the U of M study, and gives examples of how to increase employee motivation. This may take practice and time to implement but will be worth the effort in the long run.