Prior to his current role, Ricardo was the Strategic Sourcing Manager for National Proteins at Avendra Group from July 2016 to October 2023. Previously, he was also the Director of Purchasing for Luby’s Fuddruckers, and managed foodservice operations at Lackmann Culinary Services for clients such as the School of Visual Arts and Morgan Stanley.
Ricardo holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor of Science in Foodservice Management, and an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University.
Ricardo is an avid sneaker collector. He is currently pursuing Jordans from the 1 – 14 series.
Where did you develop your passion for the hospitality industry?
I’m originally from Barbados where both my parents worked in hospitality at a resort on the island. My father was a chef and my mother worked in housekeeping. Several of my uncles worked there too. For me, hospitality is the family business.
When I was young, I told my father I wanted to do work on the computer, like the “food and beverage guy, ” which started me down the path to sourcing. I began in culinary school and studied food service management. Eventually, I earned an MBA and began working in food service management, where I developed a specialty strategic sourcing for the protein category.
I love this field because Avendra has made it possible for me to grow and serve my clients in creative ways. There’s a lot of spend to oversee and my background in strategic sourcing ensures my clients can take advantage of the best opportunities to help them sustain and grow their businesses as well.
What does a “best day” look like from a client management perspective?
With an organization as large and diverse as Avendra, we are feeding everyone everywhere so there’s a lot of juggling and balancing that goes on. We address every situation with Avendra’s “client first” approach to excellence in service.
I think our best days are when we think about all the needs our clients have on any given day like ships in a harbor. Those “ships” might be bed pillows, room televisions, contracts with beverage vendors, supply chain management, engineering challenges, whatever it might be for them and when we can bring all those ships safely to shore for our clients, we’ve had a great day.
Do you travel much yourself and experience hospitality from a guest’s perspective?
Yes, I enjoy traveling I have a few trips planned this year including a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Italy. I’ve been fortunate to explore the world and look forward to continuing to do so.
One great trip I had was early in my career with Avendra. I was working on a team that sourced shrimp. Vietnam is one of the leading producers of shrimp so we went there for a work trip to visit the sourcing fields and meet the producers. We were treated to very bespoke hospitality in unique settings away from the major cities. It was a nice experience in a faraway part of the world.