Garden Fresh has a rich and diverse work force in its Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation restaurants, and its Central Kitchens and Distributor Centers. The following features one of those team members.
Tesfazghi Solomon, known as Tes, worked his way up from a 14-year old dishwasher to Executive Chef of a $7 million a year dining establishment in Atlanta before joining Garden Fresh as the General Manager of Atlanta Central Kitchen (CK). Tes is most proud of its food safety.
On his second day at the CK, he had an inspection at his facility and received a score of 88 and felt that was not good enough. That experience challenged him and furthered his passion for safety. When asked about the importance of food safety, he says, “The most important thing is keeping your guests safe from food borne illness and educating staff.”
The way he trains and monitors food safety is the “Big 5.” Tes says, “Each station at our CK has five categories for staff to memorize and adhere.” The “Big Five” is the understanding of the dangers of food borne illness and policies and procedures created to prevent such events. “Being aware of the product you serve and what temperature it needs to be maintained, and if there are allergens, such as peanuts, to keep from others” are also important information Tes shares.
To ensure food safety standards are being met, internal audit and county inspectors come in once a quarter. “We have educated the staff and in our last six inspections have not had a single violation that was due to an act of a crew member,” says Tes. His team is in the top average of his region with a score of 97, and consistently leads his team protecting guests.
About Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.
Each day begins fresh at 124 company-owned Garden Fresh restaurants in 15 states. More than 300 million guests since 1978 have helped us to be number one in fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, desserts, and more. Guests have the freedom to create their own wholesome meal in a one-of-a-kind dining experience in a friendly atmosphere and all at an everyday value. The company is headquartered in San Diego, CA, and has two brand names: Souplantation in Southern California, and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.