Tyler Dubbs started his foodservice career right after high school, when he served as a culinary specialist in the Navy. “Half the time I served on submarines and the other half on a surface ship,” he says.
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. He then moved back to Nebraska and earned an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. “I worked in many different kitchens and had the whole culinary experience for about 10 years,” he says. “I decided to get out of culinary to have a better lifestyle and hours with my wife and daughter, who’s now three and a half.”Upon completing his time in the service, Dubbs earned a degree from
He’s been with Buller Fixture for four years, and Dubbs’ clients mainly lie in the noncommercial segment, including healthcare, assisted living, schools, etc., as well as restaurants. Although Dubbs started in sales, he’s now working in the drafting side of the business, too.
Q: How does your experience as a chef help you?
A: It lets me relate to customers better. I know what their expectations, needs and wants are. Every customer is different, whether a restaurant or institution, but food is all the same. I experienced everything from fine dining to catering, which helps me figure out what clients are wanting and what works best.
Q: Describe one principle you learned as a chef that still influences your approach to design and/or equipment specification.
A: As a chef, the work ethic I had has carried over to this job. I put in the time and effort to do everything right the first time. As a chef, you don’t want to mess up a dish and redo it; the same applies to my job now. I learn from my mistakes and apply this knowledge the next time. With both jobs, there is always something to learn and people to learn from.
Q: How does your experience in the military influence your approach to projects and working with customers?
A: In the military, as long as you follow orders and listen to your superiors, life is easy. I kept the same work ethic in my professional life. I have the same determination, listening to others’ opinions and advice who work in this office and field to tackle new situations.
Q: How do you handle the unexpected with a project team?
A: Things happen. It’s about taking charge and working with them, whether it’s calling reps who are involved or manufacturers to get the problem addressed and set a timeline when the issue will be fixed. Then I can give the client a timeline to fix the issue. You plan for every job and inspect every piece of equipment, but some things can be missed. It all comes down to strong relationships with customers and taking the time and extra steps when issues arise to get them fixed as quickly as possible. It also helps to maintain relationships with them.
Q: You’ve developed a reputation as someone who continues to further their foodservice-related education. Why is that important to you?
A: In this industry, there’s always something new. I had the opportunity to learn CAD with my company backing and supporting me. I’m also CFSP, HACCP and ServSafe certified. I’m always a sponge for new information. It helps me understand the industry better and my customers’ wants and needs.