Pick the Hill you want to die on or choose your battles wisely is this the one your willing to go all in on.
Chef Jeffrey Mora started his career at the world famous Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angles Apprenticing under Certified Master Chef Raimund Hofmeister. Since then he has worked in more than 22 countries around the world working for some the world’s finest chefs from Cas Spijkers 2 Michelin star Restaurant De Swann Hotel in Oisterwijk to Paul Prudhommes K-Pauls Louisiana kitchen. Jeffrey has been involved in all aspects of the foodservice industry. His main focus is on healthy sustainable foods. Working in every aspect of the business from fine dining to airport food service and food manufacturing. Chef Jeffrey personally took care of the Los Angeles Lakers Foodservice providing all meal periods for the team in the season for 8 years including the 3-year title run with two world titles receiving two championship rings for his efforts. Jeffrey Passion is volunteering for Environmental and other health-related causes. He helped coordinate one of the first sustainable dinners in 1998 with the earth pledge foundation in NY, he served on the boards of American Ocean Campaign, Oceana, NRDC E2, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and currently serves on the Boards of Jean Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society ,The Green Sports Alliance Food advisory board and the Pioneers of Sustainability.
Jeffrey and his partner Started Food Fleet in 2012 to help mom and pop mobile food vendors work within a corporate environment. Since then Food Fleet has Secured a National Contract with Sodexo, has multiple contracts with Levy Restaurants providing services for Convention Centers, NASCAR, PGA, Concerts. MLB All Star Week ,They also provide Design and build services as well as food Manufacturing and consulting for a number of large scale companies.
Where did the idea for Food Fleet come from?
I started the food truck Business in 2012. We kept finding it very difficult to find locations to operate. We had a booker that we used to find our locations but fell short and we let her go. I took over our booking and found that most people did not want to book just one truck, not only that they were upset that most time the trucks didn’t show up or were late. After a few calls, I started saying I was with the Food Truck Alliance and had as many trucks as they wanted. I did this to ensure we would be part of the mix, as well as make a little extra money booking the other trucks. What I learned is most truck owners while passionate at what they did, most had little to no experience working in a structured corporate environment. I put my 30 years of Food Service experience to work helping them with everything from food safety to insurance. We learned the real need was to not only helping the trucks but providing a turnkey service for the corporations.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am West Coast-based so start my Day at 5 am with a solid to-do list working from east to west. This allows me to deal with issues that may come up on the east coast, as well as schedule calls with clients early enough in their day so there not having to wait till mid-morning to get answers.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I use my 35 years of Experience of problem-solving and thinking outside the box to try and come up with solutions for clients. I am lucky enough to have a large network of people to run ideas by and flush them out.
Once we decide its a go, we come up with an action plan to execute it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Mobile food service in all forms that are beginning to more fully form and evolve from Street Food, Pop-Ups, grab and go.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Tolerance for ambiguity is one. Always feeling like I haven’t accomplished enough in a day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It seems for me as well as others the younger you are the more stubborn you are. I was lucky but didn’t always understand or listen to my father when he said “Pick the Hill you want to die on or choose your battles wisely is this the one your willing to go all in on.”
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
My Standards seem to be too high. What I consider to be great or good perceived value when it comes to food. You find most people are willing to settle and when you do you get what you pay for. You here that was ok, or good, and that seems to be fine with them. I am not happy with that.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Look at every opportunity that comes along.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Be willing to underpromise and overdeliver every day. People appreciate you not promising something you can’t deliver on.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I am not sure I honestly see anything as a failure, some things didn’t work. A lot of time to things are beyond your control. I look back at things that didn’t work well or took too much time and effort. The only real failure was not managing my time properly. All you have is time this is the most valuable asset you have. Wasting it is a failure. Everything is a learning lesson of what to do and what not to do. You can make more money you can by more time in this world
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Setting up coffee vendors with tanks on there back to sell during rush hour at tunnels and bridges.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A spent it on a food dehydrator. A professional Dehydrator adds a lot of options in a kitchen
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I have to confess, I am not great at all when it comes to tech and how to use it to its full advantage. I am building my own technology and my one overall arching strategy is to make sure its something I can even use.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Leon Panetta Worthy Fights
I have known Leon for more than 25 years and he is a brilliant, honest and honorable man. I don’t think I could ever say that about any politician. He is the exception to the rule and the book is worth the read to learn how he thinks
What is your favorite quote?
My Father always said.
Be nice to everyone, give them the shirt off your back, but if they fuck you hang them by the balls.
- If you are going to be an entrepreneur you need to have a tolerance for ambiguity.
- You can always make more money but you can not by more time in this world.
- Be willing to do more than the next guy.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.