As a 29-year industry veteran, Jim Webb has long enjoyed the opportunity to share his unique take on the commercial foodservice market as a frequent featured speaker at industry events. He is founder and principal of Webb Design, a foodservice design and consulting firm based in Tustin, Calif. For more than 20 years, his firm has provided front and back of the house design to the foodservice industry while winning multiple design industry awards.
FE&S: What keeps you working in the foodservice industry?
Jim Webb: The foodservice industry is exciting and constantly changing. It fosters creative thought processes involving client partnerships, energy conservation, generation of new trends and the formation of great projects. Being on the cutting edge is exciting. I love carving new paths for the betterment of myself, my company and the industry at large. I love meeting and working with great innovative people in our industry. It’s FUN.
FE&S: Would you encourage your children to work in this business?
Jim Webb: Absolutely. It’s a business with many layers of creativity, ingenuity, growth paths and complexities. It’s an exciting place to be.
FE&S: Who was the person that influenced your career most?
Jim Webb: I don’t think there is any one person. My father always wanted me to be the best, which has compelled me to shoot for the top. I have been influenced by chefs, industry executives, national speakers, clients, leadership and community groups. The list goes on and on. Importantly, my father always instilled values in me, and I have tried to live up to his standards of excellence.
FE&S: Who in the foodservice industry do you admire most?
Jim Webb: I admire many, many people in all facets of our industry. I would say from a technical and consistent stand point – Ted Kolstad. I have known him for more than 30 years and am always blown away by his broad industry knowledge and ability to present and sell. He was the first person to come to mind because I have always admired his ethical posture. Rest assured there are many people I look up to.
FE&S: What type of charitable activities are you involved in?
Jim Webb: I work in the community (Orange County, Calif.) as a personal coach, helping people get back on their feet from tough times.