LeaseQ is thrilled to announce the launch of a new brand ambassador program that recognizes dealer sales reps (DSR’s) that are both great partners and genuinely embody the community over competition attitude we admire most about the foodservice industry.
We are proud to name Geoff Gus of Trimark as the first brand ambassador in this exciting new program!
After one conversation with Geoff, it was clear that he is an excellent choice. His extensive industry experience, paired with his genuine desire to provide solutions for his customers, make him a standout in his field. More than that, his friendly disposition and zest for life make him someone you can’t help but enjoy talking to.
Geoff started in the industry 25 years ago, getting his feet wet (figuratively and likely literally) as a dishwasher.
After getting his start at a fast-paced deli, Geoff worked at a local Houlihan’s. He quickly learned how chain restaurants operate and discovered the importance of quality and consistency. Before he knew it, he was working at multiple locations, helping open and train staff in preparation, sanitation, and execution at all of the northeast Ohio locations.
During that time, Geoff was looking to learn how to cook more dishes and put a signature touch on them. He needed a new challenge. Geoff secured a position at an upscale bistro with one of Cleveland’s best chefs. This chef became a mentor to Geoff and taught him an incredible amount and helped him understand the love of cooking.
That position led to working in private clubs which opened doors to collaborating with some of wonderful teammates. The constant standard that was practiced and preached was to go above and beyond to exceed expectations every single day.
As he advanced in the foodservice industry, he fell in love with the energy and sense of teamwork the restaurant business embodied. Eventually, he landed at Lakewood Country Club, where he worked as the Executive Chef for nine years.
While he loved the art of cooking and plating delicious dishes, the hours were grueling, and he was missing out on family time. Geoff decided to join Trimark to enjoy more regular hours while keeping a hand in the kitchen.
This choice proved to be a good one because it has allowed him to spend more time at home with his 15-month-old son, George. “Seeing him grow has been such a blessing,” beams Guss. “George is a smile machine! Because of COVID, I was not traveling, so I was able to spend those first months at home with my family.”
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While you can take the chef out of the kitchen, you can’t take the love of cooking out of the chef. While Geoff couldn’t pinpoint just one dish as his favorite, he quickly cited his wife’s favorite meal he makes: smoked chicken pesto pasta with goat cheese. He also whips up some mean mashed fruits and vegetables for baby George.
Geoff is back on the road visiting customers, using his industry knowledge and problem-skills more than usual given the COVID-19 and supply-chain challenges the industry is dealing with.
“Making adjustments and having backup plans is important. A 2-3 week lead time can quickly turn into 2-3 months, and explaining those issues and finding solutions can be difficult.” Despite the challenges, Geoff puts himself in his customer’s shoes and make suggestions to ensure they have the best possible outcome.
LeaseQ: What career advice would you give someone starting in the industry?
Geoff Gus: Adapt to each situation. Every day there will be a new challenge that requires immediate response while finding the best solution in a timely matter. Staying organized, open-minded, and positive are essential to help you go above and beyond every day.
LQ: How does offering LeaseQ as an equipment lease financing option benefit your customers?
GG: LeaseQ gives the customer more flexibility. Anyone with a startup business can be more fluid with their investment, as budgets are often exceeded before there is any incoming revenue. LeaseQ also gives the established customers the option to upgrade anything from their tabletop look to expanding their equipment line without a lump sum payment due at once.
KL: What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
GG: Being able to connect with the customer, giving them the best advice to help them accomplish their goals. When they succeed, we succeed. There are so many great personalities I get to interact with on a daily basis-the culinary scene in northeast Ohio couldn’t be brighter.
KL: What is one fun fact most people likely don’t know about you?
GG: I have a strong connection to music. I enjoy learning the history of bands, the meaning behind their songs, and the evolution of rock and roll. Having the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is an extraordinary place to visit and experience the history behind the music.
Geoff is happy to have found a home at TriMark, where he can manage his workdays, enjoying the fact that no two days are ever the same.
When asked what he’d be doing if he wasn’t in the industry, Geoff fell silent, contemplating the answer to a question he’s never considered before. We happily agreed that his silence meant one thing- he is exactly where he is meant to be.
We were delighted to present Geoff with a gift card to the restaurant of his choosing, and he excitedly named Alexander Pierce. Featuring a fresh menu with modern flare, it is a casually sophisticated restaurant that prides itself on great food and excellent service. Geoff is truly looking forward to having what’s sure to be a memorable dining experience there!