509 SUSAN LACZ/Ridgewells Catering: Quality and Culture in Business

 In All Network Episodes, Event Planners and Designers, The Wedding Biz

Join Andy this week as he sits down with Susan Lacz, the CEO of Ridgewells Catering. With a career spanning over three decades, Susan has been a pivotal force in the catering and events industry, steering Ridgewells Catering through significant transformations and challenges.

In this candid conversation, Susan recounts the challenges and triumphs of taking over Ridgewells Catering in 1997, a company with deep roots dating back to the 1920s. She describes her mission to restore the company’s former glory by emphasizing quality, creativity, and fresh culinary approaches. She reflects on key milestones, such as firing her former boss to initiate positive changes and hosting an innovative rebranding event at the Halcyon House.

Susan emphasizes the importance of culture in her company, highlighting the sense of ownership and appreciation that permeates the workplace. She and Andy also touch upon the broader shifts in the catering and events industry, from the increasing focus on decor and presentation to the critical role of staying ahead of trends.

Susan’s insights into navigating the saturated market, her strategic decision to divest from rental equipment, and her recent exclusive venue management agreements offer valuable lessons for industry professionals, and Andy hopes that you enjoy listening to this conversation with her! If so, then please don’t keep it to yourself! He would appreciate it if you were to share it with a few good friends and industry colleagues who might also enjoy it! Andy would also appreciate it if you were to leave a top review wherever you listen to the show because that really helps the show out! Lastly, don’t forget to follow The Wedding Biz on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss a new episode when it drops!


Have you heard about Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey on The Wedding Biz Network? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ Become a patron and Andy and the show: For as little as $6 per month, or $0.75 per episode, are you willing to support the industry insights Andy brings on his podcast? If you are so inspired: contribute.

Time Stamps

[1:01] – Today’s guest is Susan Lacz, CEO of Ridgewells Catering.

[1:57] – Susan’s grandmother, an immigrant from Poland, was her strong role model and inspiration in cooking.

[3:16] – Susan explains that she is a salesperson first and enjoyed selling food and beverages, including pastrami sandwiches and drinks.

[4:18] – Susan wanted to restore the company’s original quality and allure after multiple ownership changes.

[5:19] – Hear about some of Susan’s milestones, such as firing her boss, focusing on quality, hiring new culinary leaders, and creatively rebranding Ridgewell.

[6:54] – Susan prioritized creating a strong, appreciative culture, guided by mentors including her entrepreneurial father.

[9:34] – Hear about some of the challenges Susan faced, especially during COVID, and how she credits her team.

[11:25] – Susan noted the shift from food to decor in the industry and evolved by focusing on culinary excellence.

[13:35] – Susan is excited about managing the iconic Mellon Auditorium, now a preferred caterer there, which opens new opportunities for her team.

[14:53] – Prioritizing balance and mentorship, Susan believes in taking care of herself to be a good mother and leader.

[16:26] – How does Susan define success?

[17:15] – Andy reveals where Susan can be followed online.



Ridgewells Catering – “Erin Go Glam 2024”


Find Susan:

Susan’s LinkedIn Page

Ridgewells Catering – Website

Ridgewells Catering – Instagram Page

Ridgewells Catering – Facebook Page


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Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.

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