Food safety expert: 'When that small voice says — "You can't" — tell it to shut up'
Editor's note: In honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, FastCasual interviewed several female leaders in the restaurant industry to learn about their success and how they feel about leading in a male-dominated industry. To read the entire series, click here.
Boldness is one key to Betsy Craig's success. The CEO of MenuTrinfo, AllerTrain and Kitchens with Confidence, has never been afraid to ask for what she wants.
"Asking for meetings, lunches and connections way 'above' where I was when I started, opened doors, opportunities and paths I could only dream of," she said. "Today, 'I am an amazing CEO to about 200 people.' I prefer saying that than saying, 'I am a great female CEO.' One of my missions, today, is to #droptheadjectives."
Craig hopes more women will share her confidence.
"Find what drives you, do it, don't stop, and when that still small voice says — 'you can't' — tell it to shut up, and walk through the hard stuff with your head held high anyway."
How she got her start in the biz
Craig started as a salad bar girl when she was 16 working at Ponderosa in Syracuse, New York. She stayed in the industry and worked as a bar back, grill cook, kitchen prep bartender, bouncer and a sales exec before creating MenuTrinfo, AllerTrain and Kitchens with Confidence.
On why women make great leaders
"It amazes me that most yell about how many women are in the industry, but look at the upper management, leadership roles, the C-suite or founder, and the number dwindles at an alarming rate. Women should be in a leadership role in my option just as much as men. A variety of leaders, a beautiful American melting pot of sex, culture, and background make for a beautiful industry. "
Advice to women looking to lead
"Be and remain unstoppable. I was told many times in the beginning that my company would not be needed and was going to have a long road, and you know what? It was a long road, but I have never regretted a single step. I show up for everything, stopped at nothing, treated all clients like friends, only take happy money from folks who are happy to give it to my company and run each and every decision since day one based on three main principles: Is it honest? Does it have integrity? Am I being of service? Those are the three principles my companies are based on honesty, service and integrity.
"It has been imperative to have other amazing women leaders to walk alongside. Fellowship with gals who blazed the trail before me have been some of my most amazing teachers. On top of that, having a few 2 a.m. CEO friends who will answer my call in the middle of the night when I need to be talked off a business ledge — well there is no price for how valuable that is. These gals have become not just friends but people I would go to any length to help as well."
Topics: Food Safety
Cherryh Cansler Before joining Networld Media Group as director of Editorial, where she oversees Networld Media Group's nine B2B publications, Cherryh Cansler served as Content Specialist at Barkley ad agency in Kansas City. Throughout her 17-year career as a journalist, she's written about a variety of topics, ranging from the restaurant industry and technology to health and fitness. Her byline has appeared in a number of newspapers, magazines and websites, including Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine. She also serves as the managing editor for FastCasual.com. www