Deli ops 101 Seminar

San Francisco

Sept. 13-15, 2022


The essential aspects of foodservice operations excellence in a dynamic 3-day seminar

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Who’s this Seminar For?

Co-op and Independent Natural Foods Grocers

Owners & General Managers

who want to

  • Better lead, develop and support their foodservice leaders

  • Develop greater clarity about operating your store’s most complicated sales department

Foodservice & Kitchen Leaders

who want to

  • Develop clear plans for recovering from the pandemic


  • Develop new ideas for growing sales and margin

  • Implement critical systems to plan, track and analyze your operation’s production, sales, margin and labor

  • Create more effective merchandising displays

  • Return with fresh eyes, renewed spirit and specific plans for achieving your operation’s potential


Organic Lunches

You'll enjoy exquisitely delicious, all-organic catering from our host store, Good Earth Natural Foods.

3 Phone

We'll use your data and a pre-seminar consultation to share personalized  feedback during the seminar, and in two calls thereafter.

2 Store Tours

You'll gain ideas and insights at best-in-class operations, with an exclusive behind-the-scenes kitchen tour at Good Earth Natural Foods.

Snacks Galore

We enjoy being event hosts! Whether you're craving something salty, sweet, or healthy -- you'll never be hungry!

Lodging at Seminar Hotel

You'll enjoy 4 nights of stylish comfort with hot breakfast and espresso bar at our waterfront hotel.

Workbook & Digital Documents

Your 240-page workbook is packed with key systems, forms and documents, and a year of access to download more than 50 digital docs.

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Wine & Cheese

Network and relax with colleagues each evening with nibbles and cheer from local  producers.

An Amazing Dinner

You'll lick your flavor-packed plate of ethnic confusions, family-made in an open kitchen with organic, local ingredients.



Day 1 – Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

9:00  Your Power, Potential & Opportunity as a Prepared Foods Leader

You’ll engage in a small-group project to assess your department’s priorities and get your mind around a fuller vision for your operation’s potential and opportunities.

9:45  Labor: Structuring For Success 

Using your own department’s data, we’ll explore a range of options for organizing responsibilities among department leaders and staff to determine your operation’s optimal, right-sized structure.

11:45  Fresh Ideas & Trends 

Is your operation ripe for some fresh product ideas? We'll explore a variety of ideas and strategies for inspiring your product development plans to help you quickly make exciting changes. You'll leave inspired and confident of being able to develop new high-margin products that add homemade flair and cross-merchandising pizazz! 

12:30  Catered Hot Lunch 

Dining al fresco, on the bay. 

1:30  Developing Successful New Products 

From that “Eureka!” idea moment to sales of that first perfected batch, recipe costing is just one of 20 steps on this checklist for guiding your new product development process -- and ensuring new items are successful.

3:00  Essential Systems for Production Planning & Analysis

Systems for optimal production planning and analysis, “Margin Master,” and many more tools and documents for improving your operation. 

5:00  Wine & Cheese Reception / Evening Break

Relax with colleagues at Acqua Hotel’s wine and cheese reception. Or, hop on a free bike for a ride along the adjacent waterfront path.

6:00  Dinner & Store Tour

At Whole Foods Market’s nearby store, one of the company’s oldest and smallest, with a tightly-merchandised and impeccably serviced deli.

Day 2 – Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020

9:00  Recipe Costing & Margin Pricing  

Costing “beginners” will explore a variety of recipe costing procedures, discuss tips and tribulations and play a super-fun costing game to ensure everyone leaves clear, confident and capable. Advanced participants will review costing system pro tips and explore variable margin pricing techniques and strategies.  

10:45  Foodservice Financials 

Working through a prepared foods case study we’ll deepen your financial skills and give you tools to better teach your team about sales, margin and labor. Plus, systems for effective margin pricing and improving labor productivity.

12:30  Catered Hot Lunch 

Dining al fresco, on the bay. 

1:30  Snappy Sandwiches 

Strategies and pro tips for developing menus and products  for renowned sandwich programs.

3:20  Happening Hot Foods  

From menu planning, plan-o-grams and merchandising, to food prep and production plans, we’ll cover the gambit of what it takes to make your hot foods program a destination for your customers. 

5:00  Wine & Cheese Reception / Evening Break

6:00  Dinner & Store Tour

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour through the bustling prepared foods operation at Good Earth Natural & Organic Foods. This best-in-class operation features a vast array of all-organic prepared foods programs

Day 3 – Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020

9:00  Making Grab & Go, GO!

Explode your sales with a full exploration of this critical and versatile program. We’ll dig deep into the nuts, bolts and nuances  -- from product category plans and product plan-o-grams to portioning, garnishing, packaging and pricing -- to help you create and keep up with an awesomely successful Grab & Go program. 

11:45  This & That, Etc.: Customer Service, Merchandising, Dept. Leadership Team Meetings, Staff Huddles 

Ideas for creating merchandising magic, upgrading your service mojo, and other juicy systems, docs and tidbits.

12:30  Small Group Break-Out Sessions with Catered Lunch

Dining al fresco, on the bay. Choose from any of several conversations, with topics nominated by participants.

1:45  50 Ways to Grow Sales by $50 a Day  

Easy ideas for incrementally growing and improving any prepared foods operation. 

3:30  Plans For Change 

Breakthrough strategies to help you identify priorities -- from which you’ll develop an agenda, timeline and plans for making the most of your seminar experience.

4:45  Endings & Evaluations 

Final thoughts and evaluations.

5:00  Wine & Cheese Reception / Evening Break

6:00  Dinner At Avatar’s

Your tastebuds will dance on flavor-packed Indian-Caribbean fusion sensations, made with organic and local ingredients.


Updated 2/14/20 

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Allen provides prepared foods design and consulting services exclusively for organic and natural foods retailers. Since 1993 he's worked for scores of co-ops and independents, and led high-performing teams at Good Earth Natural Foods, Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Market.

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Michelle O' Connor
Associate, Thought For Food Consulting

Michelle is an organic farmer and chef, customer service expert and deli operations maven. She managed the exploding growth of a fantastic co-op deli for a decade and now shares the wisdom of her experience with consulting clients.

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Joe McGarry
Prepared Foods Director, Good Earth  

Joe leads a 2-store staff of more than 100 in a pair of all-organic kitchens that generate intense loyalty and an outsized share of store sales.

Joe worked with Bon Appetit for 14 years, including as Executive Chef and General Manager.



Deziree Ferrin

Kitchen Manager,

BriarPatch Food Co-op, Grass Valley, CA

DeliOps gives you the tools you need to grow and build an effective production kitchen. This is a wonderful thing you’re teaching people and the systems are amazing. I don’t know how we ever ran our kitchen without them.

Noah Argeanas

Deli Team Leader

La Montañita Food Co-op, Albuquerque, NM

I attended DeliOps a year ago and came back with tools, plans and valuable ideas for restructuring into a positive, well-balanced and successful operation. Since then we’ve made many changes and improvements which have grown our sales 20 percent and improved margin by 10 points

Toby Massey

Former Cooperative Retail Officer

La Montañita Co-op Food Market, NM

DeliOps is incredible, and a game changer -- the Masters Class on prepared foods systems, the state of the industry and real world practices. It speaks to staff on the whole spectrum of experience, from a new supervisor to a veteran General Manager. The content was invaluable. I've run prepared foods departments in large co-ops as well as Fortune 50 companies for 22 years. The ROI on this training will be paid back in months, not years.


Thanks for submitting!


Allen Seidner

(415) 497-7861

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