Born and raised in Alsace, an area of France on the border with Germany, world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has been a lifelong admirer of Mercedes-Benz quality, style, and engineering. "My whole family are all big fans of Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes makes fantastic vehicles," says Vongerichten, who drives a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG SUV as his personal vehicle. Not surprisingly, when he needed a van for his expanding network of restaurants in New York City, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was the only choice he considered.
While Vongerichten is one of the world's most famous chefs, he is also an able businessman. In addition to operating a successful constellation of three- and four-star restaurants, he has published several award-winning cookbooks and collaborates on joint projects around the world. His nine New York restaurants include Jean-Georges, Perry St., JoJo, and Spice Market, and a hallmark of all his dining establishments is pervasive use of fresh, locally grown ingredients. That means lots of trips to farmers markets for his company's 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Model 2500 High Roof Cargo Van with 144-inch wheel base.
“The Sprinter van is a great tool that lets us bring fresh, locally grown ingredients to our restaurants throughout the city.”
Reliable and maneuverable through city streets
From April through November, Vongerichten gets about ninety percent of his vegetables and produce from local growers, and he continues to source locally as much as possible throughout the year. Doing so requires trips at least four days a week to the Union Square Greenmarket and other area farmers markets and constant deliveries to his restaurants throughout Manhattan. The Jean-Georges Sprinter, which is equipped with a custom refrigeration system, also supplies his network of restaurants with the pastries, ice creams, and other deserts for which he is renowned.
"Really, we couldn't live without our Sprinter van. It is an amazing and effective tool that plays a critical role in our business," Vongerichten says. The graphic-wrapped Sprinter features the Jean-Georges logo along with the company's website address, Twitter handle, and Facebook page. "It is running up and down the streets of Manhattan from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., providing great advertising for us," he says.
The Sprinter's BlueTEC diesel engine provides the right combination of power and fuel-efficiency, and its smooth ride is important for the sometimes delicate cargo it has to haul, Vongerichten adds. "It is a very reliable vehicle, which is so important in our operation. The Sprinter's cargo capacity and the fact that you can stand up inside it are big pluses. Its design makes it easy to navigate crowded city streets, and our drivers love it," he says.