25 Wellness Tips

We spoke to operators to get 25 tips from their successful health and wellness programs.

Encourage produce consumption: This past year we launched the Take Action for Health campaign for our staff, which is a program from the Network for a Healthier California. I really liked it because the program was ready to go. You just need to customize it to your operation. We decided to focus on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. The program lasted 12 weeks and participants tracked their produce consumption during those times as members of teams. Each week, each team member worked toward his/her goal and if he/she met the goal four or more times during the week, then he/she was eligible for either a weekly incentive or a larger incentive at the end. The weekly incentives included things like a carrot pen, tomato seedlings, a free Naked Juice or a free lip balm. Or they could bank the weekly $3 value for the end of the incentive period where they got a grocery gift card. At the end of the campaign, we had 12 teams (85 employees) finish. The results indicated that in every case the total intake of fruits and vegetables was greater in the final six weeks than in the first six weeks. 

—Linda Adams, R.D., director of sustainability and nutrition for Sodexo, University of California, Davis 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
baked bread

Instead of sourcing value-added product to reduce labor, the food and nutrition team at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison outsources its baked goods to a local shop that hires only formerly incarcerated workers. The bakery was able to hire two new former inmates in order to keep up with the volume needs of the hospital. “We want to be really entrenched in the community, not just have a building that sits in the center of Madison,” says Amy Mihm, clinical nutrition specialist for the hospital.

Ideas and Innovation
cold storage boxes

When working with a small footprint, the back of the house often gets squeezed in the interest of preserving precious seats. But as storage space contracts, these restaurant operators are getting resourceful with everything from shelves to ceiling height to inventory in ways that FSDs can apply, too.

“When we were first tasked with figuring out smaller footprints, when it came to interiors, it was like a bad riddle,” says Trinity Hall, SVP of development for Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which shrunk its prototype from 2,200 square feet to 1,800. “Let’s make it smaller and...

Managing Your Business
food symbols allergens

Bellevue School District in King County, Wash., has reduced the instances of life-threatening allergic reactions by 94% since 2013. Wendy Weyer, business manager for nutrition services, says that success stems from direct communication with the district’s 20,000 students.

Q: What was the first thing you did to start reducing allergic reactions?

A: More than five years ago, we changed our menu signage to provide information to students on what the common allergens were on all the foods that were served at every station. We use symbols such as an egg or a wheat stalk for younger...

Managing Your Business
business marketing concepts drawing

Sharp, smart marketing materials can make all the difference when it comes to drawing a big crowd for a menu launch or upcoming event. With more avenues to cover than ever and fewer resources to go around, operators offer their tips on making marketing work from start to finish.

Start with communication

Whether it’s an in-house marketing department, an outside agency or someone on staff wearing the marketing hat part-time, the right people need to be involved early and often. “Marketing doesn’t always have a seat at the table [like] it should in order to be truly effective,” says...

FSD Resources