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PES Design Group Named 2024 Top Foodservice Consulting Firm!

Food Business Review Magazine, a leading foodservice business industry publication, has named PES Design Group the “2024 Top Foodservice Design and Consulting Services Provider”.

To view the online magazine article please visit: https://www.foodbusinessreview.com/pes-design-group


Read full interview below:

PES Design Group: Crafting Culinary Dreams.

Jim Richards, Jr – President, Jim Richards, Sr – Director of C-store Design & Michael Mills, Director of Foodservice Design


Nestled in the heart of sunny Sarasota, Florida, PES Design Group is not just a foodservice design and consulting firm—it’s a culinary dream factory. Led by the charismatic and visionary President, Jim Richards, Jr., PES is making waves in the industry with its innovative approach to creating spaces that are not just kitchens, but vibrant hubs of gastronomic creativity.


I had the pleasure of sitting down with the team to uncover the secrets behind PES’s success and learn more about what makes this firm stand out in a sea of competitors. Jim Richards, Sr., Jim, Jr., and Michael Mills, a heartfelt thank you for graciously sharing your insights with me during this conversation.


FBRMag: Jim, Sr., could you share with us the journey that led you to establish PES Design Group?


Jim, Sr.: Well, it all began with a dream of being an architect. I always had this passion for design, which led me to pursue a degree in architecture. However, life took a different turn after I got married in 1968. I found myself working as a foodservice equipment designer with Leitner Equipment Company.


In 1989, a remarkable opportunity presented itself—I had the chance to acquire a company called PE Systems, a company with a primary focus on convenient store designs. It was an exciting venture that allowed me to combine my love for design with my newfound expertise in the foodservice industry.


Fast forward to 2013, and my son, Jim Jr., took the helm as the president of the company. He brought a fresh perspective and a bold vision. Jim Jr. not only renamed the company PES Design Group but also initiated a rebranding effort. The goal was to expand our horizons, moving beyond our traditional focus and venturing into the realms of Hospitality and K-12 foodservice consulting.


PES Logo (Main)


Jim, Jr.: This rebranding was more than just a change in name; it was a philosophical shift. We believe that a kitchen is not merely a functional space; it’s the beating heart of any culinary endeavor. This guiding principle has shaped our approach, making PES Design Group a dynamic force in the world of foodservice design and consulting.


FBRMag:  Jim, Jr., how does PES distinguish itself from other foodservice design firms?


Jim, Jr.: What truly sets PES apart is our unwavering commitment to listening. We don’t just hear our clients; we genuinely listen to understand their goals and aspirations. It’s more than the balance of functionality and flair—though that’s crucial. We pride ourselves on curating experiences rather than merely designing kitchens. Our team, comprised of industry experts, possesses an acute understanding of the nuanced culinary world. Importantly, we carry this understanding into every project. Whether it’s crafting the ambiance of a high-end restaurant, optimizing the workflow of a bustling cafeteria, or creating the cozy atmosphere of a coffee shop, we infuse each space with a unique blend of personality and efficiency.


Michael: Our emphasis goes beyond making a kitchen work; it’s about making it sing, and that starts with truly hearing our clients and bringing their visions to life.

How We Do It



Our team, comprised of industry experts, possesses an acute understanding of the nuanced culinary world. Importantly, we carry this understanding into every project.



FBRMag: Michael, how does PES stay ahead of industry trends?


Michael: Innovation is in our DNA. We stay plugged into the latest trends, not just in design and technology but also in the culinary world. By understanding what’s happening on the cutting edge, we can bring that knowledge to our clients, ensuring their spaces are not just current but ahead of the curve.


FBRMag: Tell us about the culture at PES Design Group.


Jim, Jr.: We’re a family here at PES…a literal family. Jim, Sr, my father, is our founder, mentor and, even at the age of 76, remains deeply involved in managing c-store projects from our Chicago office.


Jim, Sr.: My son, Jim Jr., brings the visionary spark. His innovative ideas and forward-thinking approach have been instrumental in shaping the direction of our company.


Jim, Jr.: Then there’s Michael, my brother-in-law. He is the reliable steam engine, stationed in our Sarasota office. He’s the one who ensures the smooth operation of our foodservice projects. His dedication, steadfast reliability, and a touch of creativity, stands as a cornerstone of our success. His innovative problem-solving ability adds a unique dimension to our team’s capabilities, ensuring that every project not only runs smoothly but also surpasses expectations.


Our team comprises passionate individuals who harbor a genuine love for what they do. Despite the geographical distance between our offices, we’ve fostered a collaborative environment where ideas flow freely. It’s the amalgamation of our unique qualities that makes PES a tightly-knit family, working together to create outstanding outcomes.


FBRMag: Any exciting plans or projects on the horizon for PES?


Michael.: We’re always cooking up something exciting! We have a few high-profile projects in the pipeline.


Jim, Sr.: True. The future of PES Design Group is bright, and it revolves around our unwavering commitment to excellence and serving our clients with the expertise and skill that defines us.


Jim, Jr.: While Michael briefly touched on our upcoming high-profile projects, it’s essential to emphasize that these endeavors are part of our broader vision. We’re dedicated to continuously pushing the boundaries of innovation and delivering exceptional results. Our focus remains on cultivating relationships with our current clients and extending our commitment to future partnerships. The upcoming projects are not just about the physical spaces we design but are a testament to our ongoing dedication to providing top-notch service. Our team is geared up to bring our unique blend of creativity and efficiency to each venture, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed the expectations of our clients. The future holds exciting possibilities for PES Design Group, grounded in a foundation of excellence and a passion for what we do.


With their unique blend of expertise, creativity, and a dash of Florida sunshine, PES is set to continue making waves in the foodservice design world, one kitchen at a time.


FBRMag: As my conversation with the team unfolded, it became clear that PES Design Group is not just a firm; it’s a passionate group of individuals dedicated to turning culinary dreams into reality. With their unique blend of expertise, creativity, and a dash of Florida sunshine, PES is set to continue making waves in the foodservice design world, one kitchen at a time. Cheers to PES, where innovation meets inspiration!


PES Design Group are Award-Winning Foodservice Consultants and C-Store Design Firm with over 30 years of business planning attractive, innovative, functional and profitable facilities. They have offices in Sarasota Florida, Chicago Illinois, Atlanta Georgia and Houston Texas and serve clients worldwide. 


If you need the foodservice design and consulting services, please contact us at: (800) 850-6638 or email us at info@pesdesigngroup.com


  • Jim Richards (Jr) is the Managing Member of Cademan Enterprises, LLC and Principal Food Service Consultant with the PES Design Group's Southeast Office.

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