San Francisco - Mill Valley

February 18-20, 2020







© 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

“DeliOps is 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.

Toby Massey, Former Cooperative Retail Officer

La Montañita Co-op Food Market, NM

DeliOps was incredible, and a game changer. 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.”

"This was the best presented, most cohesive and informative seminar I've ever attended. The information was correlated beautifully and delivered enthusiastically. Your forms are going to save me so much work. I never give all 5’s but you’ve earned it.”

Poly Collins, Deli Manager

Belfast Co-op, Belfast, ME

“All the information provided is relevant to our co-op's current operations. This was an eye-opening experience that many co-ops are working with the same challenges. It was great to work with peers from across the country.”

Jamie Young, Asst. Prepared Foods Manager

Monadnock Food Co-op, Keene, NH

Seats on sale Oct. 2019

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

“DeliOps is great for content, and for real life examples and networking. Being new to retail and delis, but not to foodservice, I'm amazed at how much there is to learn. Thanks for closing the gap.”

Peter Maccaroni, Deli Manager

Seward Co-op, Minneapolis, MN

“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.”

Deziree Ferrin, Kitchen Manager

BriarPatch Food Co-op, Grass Valley, CA

“Great! 5 stars! A good mixture of hard-core to the point and upbeat comic fun! Great content -- perfect for our store -- and lots of tools to take back to the co-op.”

Josh Musselwhite, Deli Manager

Hendersonville Co-op, Hendersonville, NC

“The content and forms are great, having tools to implement is fantastic and knowing the content is available online is assuring. I appreciated the mix of presenters, and their great dynamic.”

Prasanna Regmi, General Manager

Davis Food Co-op, Davis, CA

“DeliOps was very well done and I highly recommend it to peer professionals. The sessions kept my attention and it helped me focus and organize my goals for the next two years.”

Jim Watkins, Food Service Manager

Central Co-op, Seattle, WA

Cassie Moser, Deli Manager

Seward Co-op, Minneapolis, MN

“Super inspiring to see new ideas and ways to grow sales and revamp programs within a co-op deli. I love having the collaborative time here with my store colleague. Good Earth is top of line and so inspiring!”

Joe McGarry, Prepared Foods Director, Good Earth Natural Foods 

Joe leads a 2-store staff of more than 100, with all-organic kitchens that generate intense sales and loyalty. Joe worked with Bon Appetit for 14 years, including as Executive Chef and General Manager.

Seminar Package Fees

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

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

Foodservice & Kitchen Leaders who want to

  1. Develop new ideas for growing sales and margin

  2. Implement critical systems to plan, track and analyze your operation’s production and labor

  3. Create more effective merchandising displays

  1. Return with fresh eyes, a refreshed spirit and coherent plans for achieving your potential.

Owners & General Managers who want to

  1. Better lead, develop and support their foodservice leaders.

Who’s This Seminar For?

Co-op and Independent Natural Foods Grocers

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.

Seminar Agenda

“This seminar provided exactly what I needed -- training, perspective, peer connection, direction and resources. I now have a better grasp on our strengths and areas that need improvement. Getting coaching from experts in our field in an interactive environment surrounded by our peers is invaluable!”

Ricky Castaneda, Deli Manager

Palace Market, Pt. Reyes Station, CA

Participant Websites

After The Seminar

Download more than 60 editable documents

Before The Seminar

Visit the Participant Welcome Website to review seminar details, download your Participant Info Packet, and schedule a free pre-seminar consultation.


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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.

Your login name and password provide a year of access to download workbook documents. Expires 2/26/20

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Most stores send 2-5 participants

but singles are welcome!

We hope you’ll consider sending at least two people because colleagues benefit from their shared seminar experience.


1 Participant

2 Participants

3 Participants

4 Participants

5 Participants






Single room (1 bed) for 4 nights

Double room (2 beds) for 4 nights



Seminar Seats


Participant or Lodging Changes

Free through 1/16/20

$95 per person per change thereafter

Seminar Cancellations

95% refund for notice by 12/21/19

50% refund for notice by 1/16/20

No refund (substitutions only) after 1/16/20

Seats on sale Oct. 2019

Changes & Refunds

"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.”

Noah Argeanas, Deli Team Leader

La Montañita Co-op Food Market, NM