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November 17, 2019

Bob Daly Reflects on First Year Owning Fishman & Associates

Bob Daly
Bob Daly, Owner of Fishman and Associates

Editor’s Note: We spoke with Bob Daly, the owner of Fishman & Associates located in Venice, Florida. Bob purchased the kitchen design consulting company from the prior owner and company founder C.J. Fishman about a year ago.

Bob, how would you describe the business culture of Fishman & Associates?
Our business culture is mostly about being dedicated to excellent customer service. We go to great lengths to ensure that our customers are completely satisfied. We believe our focus on exceptional service support differentiates our company in the market. It also fosters attention to detail and professionalism by all of our team members.

You have a background managing engineering, operations and product development. Why did you decide to purchase a kitchen design consulting company?
I was attracted to Fishman & Associates because designing a commercial kitchen is a lot like designing a factory. In both scenarios there’s a need to build a wide variety of products quickly and efficiently while maintaining high standards of safety, quality and consistency. Both scenarios require very specific equipment, highly trained people and efficient processes.

What are a few of your major business goals for your company?
We are focused on growing our market share within the senior living niche. Baby boomers are retiring in large numbers and will continue to do so for a couple more decades. Our senior living clients tell us that the dining experience is an extremely important amenity for their residents second only to medical care. We are also expanding our reach to a national level by increasing our marketing efforts. For example, we have been invited to speak at DISHED 2020, an event that focuses on dining trends within senior living.

What are some of the strengths of your company in a competitive marketplace?
Our greatest strength is our employees. Together, we have more than 100 years of experience designing a wide variety of commercial kitchens. We have the mindset and resources to handle multiple projects including very large scale operations. Most of our smaller competitors are more limited in their ability to handle multiple or large projects. Our edge compared to larger companies is they tend to be more focused on selling equipment. We are singularly focused on kitchen design consulting, and that includes helping our clients make smart choices about new equipment for their specific needs. We offer a genuine turnkey solution and that appeals to many clients around the U.S.

The founder C.J. Fishman has remained a member of your team. How does C.J. enhance your company?
Initially, keeping C.J. on the team provided continuity and that helped with client and employee retention. C.J. continues to do what he does best and that’s building positive relationships through business development and sales. C.J. also provides me with a reliable sounding board to help with key decisions and planning.

Bob Daly and C.J. Fishman
Bob Daly and C.J. Fishman at the Cafe’ Venice opening

What do you enjoy most about owning a local business supporting clients nationwide, and what are a few of the challenges?
I enjoy improving business processes to get better outcomes with less effort. I’m an advocate for continuous self-improvement and that impacts on our business culture and results. I also enjoy celebrating our individual and shared accomplishments. An ongoing challenge is applying my prior experiences working in all sizes of companies to help our team grow and achieve our collective potential.

What’s the proverbial elevator pitch about why a company should choose to work with Fishman & Associates?
Fishman & Associates, with 33 years of experience, has the expertise to make your food service project a total success. Our commitment to exceptional customer service will ensure your total satisfaction. We do those extra things that prevent issues from happening. We pride ourselves in delivering a superior design on time and on budget. Our clients are our best salespeople.

What are some of the ways you stay informed about industry news and trends?
I read trade magazines, newsletters, newspapers and various whitepapers on relevant topics. That includes information about restaurant equipment, senior living, architects, retail, as well as local and national business trends. I also do research on our competitors. Our company belongs to several local business organizations. We attend their events for networking and enhanced visibility with people and community leaders that we respect.

Bob, who have been a few of your mentors during your career? How have these individuals influence your approach to managing people and other resources?
My parents taught me my value system and the importance of leading by example. My Dad was an engineer and he helped inspire me to become an engineer as well. My wife June taught me how to be a better person. She has always encouraged me to focus on positive relationships with other people, and she has also taught me the value of patience. Jeff Prokop was my first boss and he taught me how to think for myself and solve problems. Ed Smith was another boss who believed in my potential and helped me transition into engineering management.

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