My Recipe for Success

ANFP's latest My Recipe for Success!

Tom Thaman, CDM, CFPP!
Indianapolis, IN
ANFP Member since: 1998


Tom Thaman is currently in his 44th year of foodservice management beginning in Hospitality Management for 15 years and Healthcare for the last 29 years. Through his long career, Tom has had to navigate through many challenging situations. At times it was not easy, but was always manageable. Below are just a few of Tom’s core philosophies on achieving success. 

Tom's Recipe for Success

  • Surround yourself with top talent. The key to being successful is not how much you know, but how much your team knows. Look for those individuals who bring a varied skillset to your team and “bring something to the table”.

  • Not everything will go as you would like so always think in terms of an alternate plan or a plan B.  Always have an alternate plan or a plan. This will allow you the ability to be flexible and still be able to accomplish what you originally intended.

  • Stay focused on what you can control. Too often, leaders make the mistake of getting involved in situations either outside their department or beyond their scope of responsibility. This can sometimes have negative consequences viewed from a higher level.

  • Whether you volunteer yourself or promote volunteerism to your team, don’t underestimate the value of volunteerism.  Volunteering provides an opportunity to give back to your profession or community while giving you a greater understanding and insight of the world around you

  • In decision making, your initial instinct on a situation may be the correct one. Don’t ignore it, even if you ultimately go into a different direction, it may make you may want to approach a situation more cautiously. Trust your instincts.

  • Raise the bar every year. Whether it is with yourself or with your team, avoid complacency by setting higher standards each year. Those incremental positive steps will surprise you.

  • Not everything goes as planned and when it does not, review how you approached a problem.  Learn from your mistakes. Where did you go wrong?  What decisions would you make differently in the future? 

  • Embrace Feedback. Avoid trying to “go it alone” even if you have what you think is a “brilliant idea”, a different opinion or view may sway you and provide a different lens to look at a project or situation.

  • How many times have you faced a problem or decision that must be made but not immediately? Sleep on it. In your mind, you might debate the pros and cons and tomorrow, once you have had time to think about it, you may not feel the same and the emotion of the moment will have subsided. 

  • The key to success is an engaged staff. Invest in your team. Make sure the workplace you provide your team is a satisfying and a rewarding experience.  That happens through focused employee engagement. Whether that is through staff recognition, advocating for wage equity, personalized one-on-one discussions, or providing your team a forum to share ideas, success is measured by the culturof caring you create. 

Nominate Yourself or a Fellow ANFP Member

Have you spent a career in foodservice? Share your wisdom and advice in a new feature from ANFP. My Recipe for Success is aimed at retired members or those who have spent a long career in foodservice. Share the biggest lessons you’ve learned to a lengthy, fruitful, and successful career in the non-commercial foodservice industry. 

Nomination Form

My Recipe for Success Archive

January 2021 - Dorothy Radermacher, CDM, CFPP
March 2021 - Wanda Dickson, CDM, CFPP