The Big Idea 2013

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

Green Certification for Schools
Flik Independent School Dining, Rye Brook, N.Y.

We began exploring Green Restaurant Certification for our school accounts in 2004. It started because of a conversation with one of our clients, who said, “Besides athletics, you are the biggest user of energy on my campus. So anything you can do to cut down on energy consumption and reduce costs would be very helpful.” Well, we had just started looking into Green Restaurant Certification, so I was able to tell him that there was a program that could help. He became our pilot account. We currently have 26 locations participating. Nineteen are certified, and we are adding four more as we speak. Five of them have gotten additional stars from the Green Restaurant Association.

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More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
pureed food

As many of our residents are required to eat only modified food due to their health, we have stepped up to the challenge of creating appetizing and visually appealing meal options through our puree program. Using only fresh ingredients, proteins are pureed in a raw state and then baked in a mold. We have discovered that the taste is far more pleasing when fresh ingredients are used, and this provides the resident with a healthy, nutritious caloric valued meal.

Ideas and Innovation
fruits and veggies

I started a Nutrition Promoters program to encourage kids to eat healthy. The current lunch assistants are now titled and trained as Nutrition Promoters. As they work in the lunchroom, they hand out prizes and give motivation and encouragement to students to try new foods, especially fruits and vegetables. One of the prizes is a trading card series called the Superfood Squad for kids to collect and learn more about the amazing powers and benefits of superfoods.

Managing Your Business
hand selecting picture

According to the Wall Street Journal, new artificial intelligence technologies are designed to assist HR each step of the way, from recruitment to retention. They scour the internet for suitable job candidates; they take new employees through the onboarding process; they answer benefits questions; and they even scan employee correspondence for signs of unhappiness or counterproductivity. But do they make sense for foodservice operators?

“Anything that can help technology-wise, why not?” says David Hill, director of dining hall operations at the University of New Hampshire . “It...

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

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