The Day’s Routine:
We’ll start each day’s promptly at 9 am, take a few 15-minute breaks and an hour for lunch, and end by 5:30 pm. After the day’s seminar you’re welcome to enjoy an evening wine and cheese reception at our hotel before departing for the evening’s store tour and/or dinner. Please see the Seminar Agenda for details about each evening’s plans. The seminar ends at 9 pm, after dinner on Thurs., Feb. 21.
If you’re driving, please plan to arrive by 8:45 am on Tues., Feb. 19. Parking at our seminar hotel is complimentary.
If you’re flying, San Francisco (SFO) and Oakland (OAK) airports are virtually equidistant from our seminar hotel, but easier and cheaper ground transportation from SFO makes it a far superior choice. 
From SFO, the Marin Airporter shuttle bus runs every half hour (at :00 and :30). Catch the bus outside the lower (baggage claim) level, from the green and white striped curb on the center island. Look for the sign that says "Airporters".
Tell the driver you’ll exit at “Seminary Drive,” a 5-minute walk on the pedestrian overpass above the freeway (see map).
Reservations are not required and tickets may be purchased from your driver for $22 (cash only), or online (credit card) at: Service is available from 5 am until midnight. If you’re arriving before or after service hours you’ll need to rent a car, hire an app-based ride or take a taxi to the hotel. The fare estimate for an UberX from SFO to our seminar hotel is roughly $60, plus bridge toll.
Inspired by elements of sky and water, the Acqua Hotel in scenic Mill Valley, melds stylish city sophistication with the natural beauty which surrounds it. Located on the edge of Richardson Bay with dazzling water views against the backdrop of Mt. Tamalpais. Guest rooms are smart and simple with a Zen-like tranquility, inspiring views and all the amenities you need to make your stay perfect, including:
Full American Breakfast buffet with waffle station & espresso bar
Evening wine service
Complimentary wireless Internet and newspaper
Complimentary trail bikes
42" flat-screen TV, spa robes and E&O aromatherapy bath amenities
Important: Please refer to the Participant List at left to review the details of your reservation, and have your confirmation number handy at check-in. Your prepaid lodging fee covers room and tax only, so a credit card will be required at check-in to cover any incidentals. The hotel's check-in time is 3 pm.
Food & Evening Plans:
Breakfast: The hotel provides guests a full American Breakfast buffet with waffle station & espresso bar.
Lunches: Your seminar registration includes lunches catered from Good Earth Natural Foods. You selected your lunch for the first day during the registration process, and you’ll select lunches for the other days once you get here. Please check the Participant List at left to verify your lunch preference and click here if you need to add or change your lunch preference or lodging plan. 
Evenings: Your registration includes gift cards to select your own dinner while on store tours at Whole Foods Market on the first night, and at Good Earth Natural Foods on the second night. 
On the last night we’ll dine at Avatar’s in Sausalito for ethnic Indian/Caribbean fusion cuisine that’s so yummy you’ll lick your plate. Avatar’s features organic and local ingredients, and cheerfully accommodates gluten-free and other special diets.
Snacks: Our seminar room will be well-stocked with healthy and tempting organic snacks, coffee and drinks.
Wine & Cheese Receptions: The hotel provides complimentary local wine and cheese each evening. 
Optional Materials:
You might like to bring the optional items listed on the last tab of your Participant Info Packet -- photos, menus, systems, forms and marketing materials that would be of interest to the other participating foodservice leaders. With the heft of industry talent in our seminar room, DeliOps is a huge opportunity to network, collaborate with and learn from one another. Think of what you’d be interested in seeing from other stores’ prepared foods operations and bring what you’re most proud of. You’re not required to bring any items, but previous participants have enjoyed sharing such materials during our breaks, etc. 
Weather & Attire:
Casual attire will be fashionable everywhere in our plans. It will be best if you dress in layers for optimal comfort in our seminar room. Remember to pack a jacket for cool or rainy evenings. Please check the local weather forecast before you leave so you can pack appropriately.
Thanks for investing your time to come to DeliOps 101. If you have any questions, please e-mail or call me. I’m looking forward to creating and sharing another terrific seminar with you, and I’ll see you here in:

Allen Seidner
Cell: (415) 497-7861 
  1. Codes are for your lunch on Day 1. You’ll order lunches for the other days after you arrive to the seminar. All of these first day meals are gluten-free and include quinoa, broccolini, roasted fingerling potatoes, and mixed greens salad

  2. S  --  Grilled Wild Alaskan Salmon

  3. C  --  Organic Lemon Herb Chicken

  4. V  --  Vegan Mac & Cheese with Tempeh

  5. 0  --  No lunch preference

  6. (  )  --  We have your additional food- or diet-related info

Welcome Seminar Participants

Seminar Agenda

San Francisco - Mill Valley

February 19-21, 2019

© 2019, All Rights Reserved. Allen Seidner/Thought For Food Consulting, Fairfax, California 94930  •  Phone: (415) 257-8815

The essential aspects of                                                                  in a dynamic 3-day workshop

Seminar Site

Kudos & Endorsements


A foodservice operations intensive designed specifically for

Presented by

Add Seats

Acqua Hotel, (415) 380-0400

555 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley, CA  94941

Airport Shuttle from SFO: Marin Airporter runs dependable, comfortable shuttle bus service every half hour to Seminary Drive, a 5-minute walk to Acqua Hotel.

natural foods co-op and independent retailers

foodservice operations excellence

3 Seminar Days

a packed agenda of instruction, focused conversations and small-group project work

4 Nights Lodging

with hot breakfast and espresso bar

at our stylish seminar hotel

2 Store Tours + Dinner

at best-in-class nearby natural foods stores

3 Organic Lunches & Snacks Galore

scrumptious treats for every diet and taste

Nightly Wine & Cheese Receptions

+ 1 Amazing Dinner

featuring local and organic ingredients

2 Phone Consultations

pre- and post-seminar,

to personalize your experience

250-Page Handbook

& 60 Editable Digital Documents

key systems, forms and documents with a year of access to download digital docs

Registration Includes

Hosted By

We’ll enjoy exquisite 100% organic catering and an exclusive behind-the-scenes kitchen tour hosted by

Good Earth Natural Foods


Participant or Lodging Changes

Free through 1/17/19

$95 per person per change thereafter

Seminar Cancellations

95% refund for notice by 12/22/18

50% refund for notice by 1/17/19

No refund (substitutions only) after 1/17/19

Changes & Refunds

In reality, we run the seminar +/- 15 minutes from the agenda. The agenda was last modified on 11/17/18 and we reserve the right to make further refinements to provide the best experience..

  1. 12:30  Catered Hot Lunch

  2. Dining al fresco, on the bay.

  3. 1:30  Snappy Sandwiches

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

  5. 3:30  Blazing Hot Foods 

  6. 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.

  7. 5:30  Wine & Cheese Reception / Evening Break

  8. 6:00  Dinner & Store Tour

  9. 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

  1. 9:00  Making Grab & Go, GO!

  2. 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.

  3. 12:00  Small Group Break-Out Sessions with Catered Lunch

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

  5. 1:30  Customer Service, Merchandising, &tc.

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

  7. 2:30  50 Ways to Grow Sales by $50 a Day 

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

  9. 4:00  Plans For Change

  10. 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.

  11. 5:00  Endings & Evaluations

  12. Final thoughts and evaluations.

  13. 5:30  Wine & Cheese Reception / Evening Break

  14. 6:30  Dinner At Avatar’s

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


Day 1

  1. 9:00  Your Power, Potential & Opportunity as a Prepared Foods Leader

  2. 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.

  3. 10:00  Structuring For Success: Organizing Your Kitchen Brigade

  4. 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.

  5. 12:00  Catered Hot Lunch

  6. Dining al fresco, on the bay.

  7. 1:00  Fresh Product Ideas & Trends

  8. 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!

  9. 2:00  Developing Successful New Products

  10. 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.

  11. 3:30  Essential Systems for Production Planning & Analysis

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

  13. 5:30  Wine & Cheese Reception / Evening Break

  14. 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.

  15. 6:00  Dinner & Store Tour

  16. 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

  1. 9:00  Recipe Costing & Margin Pricing 

  2. 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. 

  3. 11:00  Foodservice Financials

  4. 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.

Kudos & Endorsementsdeliops101-kudos.html

Participant List

Your name is abbreviated for your privacy. Please have your hotel confirmation number at check in. 

Need to add or change

your lunch preference or lodging plan?

Details in this listing last updated:

February 18, 2019 10:29 AM Pacific Time

Lunch Codes:

Preparing for the Seminar

Download Your Participant Info Packet (Recommended)

Download the Participant Info Packet at right. Complete the requested info, take photos of your department, and return   your materials by email.

NEW! Bring your completed Info Packet on a laptop or tablet so you can work with your own department’s data in the seminar.

Schedule a Pre-Seminar Consultation (Recommended)

Sign-up for a complimentary phone appointment to get acquainted,

review your Participant Info Packet and photos of your operation.

Consultations are only available Jan. 21-Feb. 8, 2019. Please schedule

at least 48 hours in advance via Schedulista.

Confirm Your Travel Plans

Book your flight to San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Express shuttle bus service by Marin Airporter operates

from SFO to the “Seminary Drive” stop, a 5-minute walk from our hotel (map). For more info see Seminar Details below.

Review This Welcome Website

Please verify your lunch and lodging info on the Participant List at left. Note your hotel confirmation number and have it handy at check-in. Click here if you need to make any changes or want to discuss your food or lodging needs. (Confirmation numbers will be posted and updated starting on or about 1/2/19.)

Download Participant Info Packet


  1. DeliOps16 Participant & Store Data.xlsx


Be Here!

Arrive rested and ready for three very full days (and evenings!) of highly engaging content, conversation and fun.


All The Details

Seminar Presenters

Allen Seidner, Principal,

Thought For Food Consulting

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 teams at Good Earth Natural Foods, Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Market.

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.