In anticipation of our September feature story on foodservice bundling and cross-merchandising — both of which require amiable staff cooperation between departments — we asked Phil Lempert, food industry analyst and editor of, what he thinks are the best ways to encourage staff harmony and subsequent productivity:


  1. Hire smart. Interview people using the Myers & Briggs Temperament Sorter (or similar behavioral tools) to identify people who work well in teams.
  2. Rotate jobs throughout the store, and foster an environment for learning new skills that makes your employees more valuable and feel better about their career prospects, versus ‘just having a job.’
  3. Play together. People work best together when they get to know each other and have fun. A good example of this is the supermarket flash mob videos you can find on YouTube.
  4. Expand the role of your retail dietitians to work with the stores’ employees as well. Nothing is more powerful than changing a person’s life by helping them lose weight or reduce their risk of diabetes and heart disease. Create group programs throughout the store that are health competitive — weekly weigh-ins, daily stretches, etc.
  5. Endorse the $15 hour minimum wage and offer training and continuing education programs.


For more on foodservice bundling and cross-merchandising between departments, look for the digital edition of instore magazine the first week of September, or subscribe and receive your own copy the second week of every month.

For more on Phil Lempert and his industry blog, visit