Building a Better Salad Bar

Directors share tips for success and offer insight into how new meal regs are forcing changes.

Greenville County Schools in South Carolina found simplicity was best when it came to its salad bars. Eileen Staples, director of food and nutrition services, says she tried adding more variety to her bars but it wasn’t successful. “We have found that it needs to be simple,” she says. “We combined all the vegetables into the serving bowl and allow students to choose their protein items. Too many items slows service, giving students less time to eat or making them return late to the classroom.”

Greenville’s salad bars, called vegetation stations, are offered as a reimbursable meal when the salad is paired with a whole-grain bread stick and one of the rotating housemade soups.

The district also uses the Go, Slow, Whoa spotlight identifiers on its salad bars to help students make healthier decisions.  

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
beau rivage resort blended burger

Stealth health is so 1998. When author Evelyn Tribole’s original book on sneaking healthy add-ons into meals was published nearly 20 years ago, there may have been a genuine nutrition need to fill. But as today’s diners are increasingly requesting more produce at the center of the plate, another need has taken the lead: a desire for creativity. Here’s how operators are openly blending meat with other ingredients—or eliminating animal products entirely—to take protein to another level.

In April, dining halls at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., began offering the Beyond Burger, a...

Ideas and Innovation
desserts plate

We’re knocking down a wall in our bar area, which will create a more inviting atmosphere and allow us to host a coffee and dessert bar in the space on off nights when the bar is closed.

Ideas and Innovation
soup sandwich

Aside from Black Friday shoppers, there may be no crowd of people more eager to get to their bounty than wedding guests headed for the passed appetizers. While they’re surely thrilled for the bride and groom, that feeling comes second to the thrill of landing that first shrimp skewer—especially after a long ceremony. Same goes for work-related cocktail parties. Caught up in an awkward conversation? Oh look, it’s the mini-grilled cheese guy!

This month, FoodService Director takes a deep dive into catering, from the latest and greatest in menus to starting a new program at your...

Ideas and Innovation
shrimp lemon

In an interview with Bon Appetit magazine, Victor Clay, a line cook at Nobu Dallas in Texas, reveals his two simple tricks to prep an average of 15 to 20 shrimp per minute.

First, use kitchen shears to split the back of the shrimp. Then, before removing the vein, run the shrimp under cold water, which will loosen the vein. This cuts down on cleaning time, and prevents cooks from having to soak and rinse the shrimp afterward.

FSD Resources