The Big Idea 2013

Aquaponics, trayless dining, closed-loop oil system and seven more big ideas.

Stem to Root
Bon Appétit Management Co., Palo Alto, Calif.

We launched a program in our C&U and corporate accounts called Stem to Root. Stem to Root dishes make use of all the edible, healthy parts of local, seasonal produce such as stalks, peels, rinds and roots. We use everything from sage sprigs and lemon zest to watermelon rinds. Stem to Root puts a fresh, unique spin on vegetarian and vegan dishes and minimizes waste while being healthy and delicious. The waste reduction is in line with Bon Appétit’s principles and long-term goals and it reduces carbon footprint.

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Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

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