MenuDirections 2013 Day 3: World Cuisines and Menu Trends

The final day of the conference featured tastes from around the globe and a look at upcoming menu trends.

Fernando Acuna, director of food and nutrition, volunteer services and valet services at Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City, won the sixth annual Steal This Idea contest, sponsored by Simplot. Acuna won an iPad mini. See Acuna’s idea below.

The most difficult time for any family in a hospital is waiting for a loved one to inevitably pass. Keeping this in mind, we provide comfort carts. We deliver breakfast, lunch and dinner to the patient’s room. The family can focus on being with their loved one without worrying about leaving for meals. Caring for the patient’s family at this time is an important expression and a huge success for our organization. We extend compassion and caring beyond the typical hospital setting, and the families are deeply appreciative.

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Today’s students care deeply about sustainability—much more so than the general population. For them, sustainable practices are visit drivers. What’s more, some 57% of students are willing to pay more for sustainable foods, according to Technomic’s recent College & University Consumer Trend Report . Sustainable claims drive visits, especially for young consumers: Some 31% of Gen Zers say they’re more likely to visit restaurants that try to be sustainable.

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Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Ohio, has opened a coffee cart in its cafeteria, The News-Herald reports .

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Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

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What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

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