Food Service Matters | Team of Food and Beverage Consultants
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With years of diverse food and beverage experience and a true passion for what they do, the consultants at FSM know what it takes to deliver results.

Mike Plutino, Founder & Principal

Mike is Food Service Matters Principal and one of the founding partners. As senior partner, Mike works with clients to bring innovation and guest driven experiences, products and service standards to market. He is equally focused on savvy brand development AND profitability. Mike is responsible for delivering relevant, solution based programming across all partners and is active in applying operational excellence with new thinking with market-leading creativity.

Mike has enjoyed a mouthwatering career in hospitality, cutting his teeth in food and beverage with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts where he spent eight years in major markets from New York to Los Angeles in addition to forging new revenue channels with corporate partnerships such as the Hyatt Lodge at McDonalds Worldwide Campus in Oakbrook. Mike continued to learn and lead in the luxury hospitality category joining Renaissance Hotels at the Grand Beach Resort in the St. Thomas, USVI. Mike eventually progressed into the restaurant industry as Managing Partner at ELROYS restaurant in San Francisco, later to Boulder Concepts Restaurant Group serving as President of ten diverse restaurant concepts located in San Francisco and Denver.

Having the perfect blend of diverse food and beverage operational expertise with restaurant sensibility Mike was later approached by Levy Restaurants where over 13 years he managed some of the company’s most marquee accounts across the NFL, NBA, NHL, Convention Centers, Speedways and nearly all major industry events. As Regional Vice President Mike oversaw annual revenues of $175 million and led teams overseeing the industry’s two most major openings — Marlins’ Park in Miami and Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Mike’s responsibilities and experience were also tapped for a consultative role by Levy Restaurant’s parent company Compass Group and their reinvention and opening of several new venues in Mexico City, Torreon, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Jim Dalton, Vice President – Operations

Jim brings a distinctive and vast array of food and beverage expertise to Food Service Matters. Jim is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, widely known as the gold standard of culinary schools.  Throughout his extensive career, he has been a hands on operator and award winning chef with a discriminating palate and offers a meticulous eye for even the smallest of details.

Most recently, Jim held the title of National Director of Concessions for industry titan and acclaimed food service company, Levy Restaurants. Jim rapidly progressed from Assistant Director of Operations to Regional Director of Operations. He opened, transitioned and oversaw two prestigious NFL accounts Ford Field and Lambeau Field, as well as PGA Golf Business and the US Tennis Association. Jim’s operational impact provided global assistance at numerous other Levy properties including Superbowl XL, the Kentucky Derby, World Series, Indianapolis 500, NBA, NFL and NASCAR.  Jim was a member of the company’s Executive Committee and was awarded Levy’s Impact Player of the Year. Jim’s exceptional ability to dissect and summarize as well as implement profit-driven programs has provided limitless benefit to his co-workers and clients.

From his beginnings as a chef with Hyatt Hotels, he evolved in the restaurant industry with a multi-faceted role overseeing multiple locations as a District Manager for Applebee’s International. He diversified his business portfolio with not only culinary expertise, but his knowledge of operations and financials. Jim was awarded several profitability awards during his tenure with Applebee’s.

Jim transitioned to the healthcare industry where he partnered with Genesys Regional Medical Center and held dual positions of Assistant Director and Executive Chef. There he provided an emphasis on nutrition and distribution systems delivering meals to multiple hospitals and nursing homes. Jim further diversified his career by exacting a unique opportunity in the airline industry with LSG Sky Chefs. In partnership with Northwest Airlines (Delta), he directed a $48 million flight kitchen overseeing up to 26,000 meals daily as the Director of Operations.

His love and appreciation for fine cuisine paired with a diverse background in business operations, financials and finishing details is a brilliant recipe for success. Jim’s talents set a winning table every time!

Joe Pulido, Director Business Development

Joe brings a unique depth of hospitality expertise that spans more than three decades.  His diverse hospitality experience provides clients with executable sales, marketing, culinary, menu, brand development and operationally excellent platforms that are achievable ultimately creating raving fans and improved profitability.

With a reputation of being a driven hospitality professional and a diverse background that includes restaurants, arenas, convention centers, 4 Star hotels, stadiums and special event venues. Joe’s unique grounding in sales and marketing combined with financial, logistical, people and operational strengths has consistently raised the expectation bar, produced financial results and delivered outstanding levels of uncompromising service and quality at many of the Country’s most iconic venues and events., including The George R. Brown Convention Center, Quest Center Arena, Omaha Convention Center, Churchill Downs, The Super Bowl and more than two hundred concerts, music festivals, NASCAR and special events to include The Ryder Cup Golf Tournament, Daytona 500 and the Kentucky Derby.

Joe’s most recent work in creating the brands, graphics, menu, recipe development, design, capital deployment, staffing, training and opening Baylor University’s McLane Stadium, State Farm Arena, consultation at the Corpus Christi Convention Center and Arena.

Prior to joining FSM, Joe held leadership positions with Levy Restaurants, Wyndham and Marriott Hotels and most recently as Regional Director of Operations for Hard Rock International.

Jim Brophy, Vice President – Creative

Jim Brophy brings two decades of award-winning design and marketing agency experience to every aspect of the brands he represents.

Prior to his partnership with FSM, Jim directed the creative vision of boutique Chicago-based integrative marketing agency and helped Fortune 1000 companies reposition and launch their brands. As Group Director of Creative Services, Jim used his acute understanding of brand identity, broadcast, print, direct marketing and interactive design to manage the creative efforts for over $6 million in annual billings. A few of the accounts he worked on include, Endo Health Solutions, the Chicago Transit Authority, Kellogg’s, Keebler, M&M Mars, FTI Consulting, GE, MillerCoors, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Jim also brings his experience in the hospitality industry. His keen attention to detail and his synthesis of skills in branding, environmental design, customer experience design, and brand consistency led him to oversee a variety of hospitality accounts, including ones for Hyatt Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels International, The Rose Bowl and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

After earning his Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on design from Illinois State University, Jim immediately jumped into entrepreneurship, owning and operating a boutique graphic design firm specializing in the restaurant and hospitality industry. He also has had ownership and operational roles in a variety of start-up businesses.

Jim’s strong design aesthetic and success with developing brands for a wide range of clients across all media is bolstered by his ability to manage the numerous logistics of each project and business he works on. His ability to integrate his unique design and marketing vision into every step of an operation’s process is a key factor to his success.

Those that have worked with Jim know that everything he touches looks and functions better almost instantly.