Ranking food

Do lists of the best food matter?

By 
Lindsey Ramsey, Contributing Editor

A list claiming to celebrate the best in college foodservice, compiled by food website "The Daily Meal," was released last week. The list included the usual suspects at the top—Virginia Tech, Bowdoin and Washington University in St. Louis were the top three—but the list got me thinking about why media outlets are obsessed with lists like this and what it takes to create one.

We at FoodService Director are no stranger to lists (see our 20 Most Influential) though we are hesitant to rank our lists like "The Daily Meal." Who are we to say whom on our list is more influential than someone else on the list? And does the ranking part really even matter? I suppose to the people on the list the ranking might be something to boast about, especially in college foodservice since rivalries are a healthy part of college life. But what is really interesting about "The Daily Meal’s" list is how it did the rankings. Here is what it looked for, according to its website:

“To rank the schools that did make the cut, we graded them on a variety of criteria. Each could earn up to five points in each of the categories below.
 

  • Healthy Food: Meals that are fresh, made from scratch and cooked in small batches
  • Events: Themed dinners, picnics, cooking classes—anything to engage undergrads
  • Local: Programs that support the community with local purchases
  • Sustainable: Incorporating eco-friendly practices into the dining program
  • Accessibility and Service: How easy it is for students to connect with dining services and how well they are taken care of
  • The X Factor: Something that made our jaws drop”

Now the 51 colleges and universities that made "The Daily Meal’s" list all met this criteria. So how did they decide No. 52 (Dartmouth) from No. 51 (the University of New Hampshire). It seems to me that the ROI of the process of ranking these great programs just isn’t there. But perhaps I’m wrong. I’ll turn it over to you.

What do you think the value of these types of lists is? And where do you stand on just presenting a list of the best versus actually going through the trouble to rank them? Let us know in the comments or send an email to lramsey@cspnet.com.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Foodservice operators and other employers in New York City are adjusting to a new law that enforces paid time off for staff who have been the victims of certain crimes.

Called paid safe leave, the benefit is believed to be among the first of its kind in the nation. A more limited version has been in effect in Minneapolis since last summer.

The New York law applies to employees who have been the victims of actual or threatened domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact, stalking or human trafficking.

Workers can also opt for safe paid leave if a member of their...

Industry News & Opinion

A Massachusetts bill to end lunch shaming has been stalled in the House, reports South Coast Today.

The House chair of the Education Committee voted on Tuesday for further study of the bill, which would prevent schools from throwing away hot lunches and/or serving an alternative meal to students behind on lunch payments. Under the bill, schools would also be unable to bar students with unpaid balances from participating in extracurricular activities.

Additionally, the bill asks schools to take action in reducing families’ meal debt by helping families apply for free or...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of California, Santa Cruz is converting its Cowell Coffee Shop into a “multi-service basic needs cafe” to aid students facing food insecurity .

The new cafe is being created through a partnership with dining services, the school’s center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC’s Cowell College. Due to open at the start of the fall semester, the lower part of the cafe will continue to be a study space for students (with free coffee and tea) and will also host nutrition and financial wellness programming.

Upstairs, the kitchen will be used as a...

Managing Your Business
quitting job

What prompts foodservice managers to clean out their offices and head out with a last paycheck? A new survey suggests the triggers may be changing with the times.

The canvass of 2,000 restaurant professionals, conducted by placement firm Gecko Hospitality, shows lifestyle issues abounding among the top 10 reasons for parting with a restaurant employer last year.

Here are the gender-specific lists:

Top 10 reasons female managers leave

1. Better opportunity

2. Unemployed

3. Relocation

4. Not satisfied

5. No growth

6. Long...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code