2005 Menu Development Survey: Dishing it out

Many of the largest organizations in foodservice have revamped, overhauled or otherwise upgraded their menus in recent years.

On display: Lastly, the FSD Menu Development Study focuses on display cooking, added because more and more operators are bringing their chefs out of the kitchen and placing them either right on the serving line or in a dedicated station in the main dining room. It’s an effort to get the customer more involved in the meal process and engage them in their meal service so that they feel more a part of it and that it can meet their needs.

One-third of operators say they are involved with display cooking at the moment, yet 85% think it’s a necessary part of non-commercial dining today. Higher-volume operations are more likely to offer display cooking—led by colleges and universities (75%).

Those who provide display cooking set-ups usually have more than one display cooking station—an average of 2.6—available on a regular basis. More of them exist in higher-volume operations where display cooking not only gets the customer involved but also helps alleviate lines and wait times at other serving stations.

Nearly half of those doing display cooking offer it on a daily basis, while the rest offer display cooking at least once a week, or more.

Sales boost: How do you gauge the impact display cooking will have on your business? The FSD study shows that 60% of those involved with display cooking say customer volume increases on display days, to the tune of about 13% in sales.

Another consideration is cost—and while some operators say it costs an average 13% more to run a display cooking station compared to permanent serving counter, more than half of all operators see no significant extra expense when doing it.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of a smoothie chain.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

The department noted that it had traced earlier outbreaks of hepatitis A to strawberries imported from Egypt. But it warned that supplies may still be in the freezers of other foodservice operations...

Managing Your Business
business man smash computer

Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

“Stress is very difficult in our world, and work-life balance is very much a...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at an Arkansas high school may have to take creative measures to get a meal, thanks to a school policy that prevents parents from dropping off lunches left at home.

The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

While social media opinions on the school’s rule were mixed, some commenters expressed concern that...

Industry News & Opinion

Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

The vegetarian shaker is made using produce from a nearby organic garden. Sofie Garcia, an employee in...

FSD Resources