Sunday, September 25, 2022 Sep 25, 2022
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Business

Fast Food Would Slow Down Without PrimeSource

A South Dallas restaurant-equipment company is poised for growth.
By Wendy Lyons Sunshine |
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photography by Jeremy Sharp

If you’re looking to buy 500 “spoodles,” Fritzi Woods can help. Or, if spatula-ladle combos used to spread pizza sauce aren’t your thing, she can hook you up with deep fryers, blenders, booth seating, overhead lights, and anything else your fast-food joint needs. Woods, the chairwoman and CEO of PrimeSource Food Service Equipment, helps household names like KFC, Taco Bell, Hooters, Church’s, and Pizza Hut set up restaurants and keep their kitchens humming.
 
The North Texas Opportunity Fund acquired PrimeSource at a bankruptcy sale in 2000, moved the company headquarters to South Dallas, and retained its 90,000-square-foot Indianapolis distribution center. Three years later, Woods bought a 51 percent ownership share from NTOF and became PrimeSource’s CEO.

“I love turnaround work,” says Woods, whose résumé includes executive stints at The Dallas Morning News and Motorola. At PrimeSource, she has engineered a restructuring, recruited top talent like COO Wes Blair—she calls him a “strategy czar”—and prodded everyone toward new efficiencies. She credits Dallas’ Stagen Leadership Institute with helping pinpoint and focus the company’s mission. “I cannot tell you what a difference that has made in our company,” Woods says.

To benefit corporate customers with diversity-purchasing programs, she also got PrimeSource certified as a minority-owned business. “At $100 million, we’re a pretty large company,” Woods says. “When they do business with us for a chain, it becomes a significant buy. It’s a plus for them and a plus for us.”

It can be a challenge to operate in a fragmented, low-margin industry, Woods admits. But with an increasingly robust cash flow and two years of profit margin significantly higher than the industry’s average, Woods says PrimeSource is “positioned for the next stage of evolution.”

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