Who are your culinary grads of the future?

That answer and more at MenuDirections 2014 Kickoff Day: Sunday, February 23.

Published in FSD Update

Marketing and Merchandising: Action Stations
Bridget McManus-McCall, corporate executive chef and business development manager, Nestle Professional
Christopher Donato, corporate executive chef, Nestle Professional
Michael Taney, channel sales manager, Nestle Professional

Chef-inspired action stations are a proven way to keep customers excited about your foodservice program…and they can be very cost-effective. Setting up an interactive flatbread station, a soup/noodle station, or a mac and cheese station can maximize cross-utilization of ingredients; you can use the same mis en place for each, such as leftover cooked meats, roasted vegetables and dips.

Action stations are also a way to showcase global flavors; a soup station can change from Latin to Asian to Moroccan with a simple switching out of ingredients and a change in the flavor of the base broth. The presenters gave an overview of what customers are seeking today and how action stations can meet their needs:

  • Few guests are satisfied with healthy fare availability; even though healthy options are provided; they want more options and customization opportunities
  • Customers are more adventurous today and are demanding authenticity
  • Offer fresh ingredients in a customizable way, without added labor or waste
  • Customize stations as farm to table, gluten free and other hot trends
  • Easily offer ethnic dishes through the use of toppings and herbs
  • Easily change offerings to keep guests coming back
  • Offer a base ingredient, such as a soup broth, risotto or pasta, or flatbread—can be hot or cold offering
  • Offer toppings and proteins separately for customers to add to the base ingredient and customize the dish to their liking
  • Call out local produce/ingredients on station menus
  • Alternate between self-serve and manned stations. Either way, they don’t require much in the way of skilled labor
  • Challenge the manufacturers you work with to offer solutions

Attendees then had the opportunity to sample from two customized action stations: a flatbread station offering hummus, grilled vegetables and other toppings and a tortilla soup station offering two base broths (vegetarian and chipotle-black bean) with an array of condiments, such as pico de gallo, chopped scallions, cilantro, tortilla strips and other ingredients.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

In a conversation with The Daily, Seth Leibson, senior organizer for SEIU...

Industry News & Opinion

The School Nutrition Foundation has named its five School Nutrition Heroes for 2018.

The honorees were nominated by their peers and then selected by the SNF for helping end hunger for homeless and low-income students and their families.

Those chosen are:

Paula Angelucci, child nutrition director, Colonial School District; New Castle, Del. Anthony Terrell, culinary specialist, Shelby County Schools; Memphis, Tenn. April Laskey, director of school nutrition, Billerica Public Schools; Billerica, Mass. Lynne Shore, food service director, Willamina School District;...
Sponsored Content
spring desserts

From Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts.

Consumers and operators alike often associate seasonal desserts with pumpkin pie, gingerbread and candy canes—after all, winter is a season closely associated with indulgence.

But after the winter holidays, when people are hitting the gym and holding themselves to New Year’s Resolution diets, desserts don’t get as much attention. For operators, this can mean a lag in sales of sweets—but it’s not a lost cause. Updating springtime dessert menus to reflect the change in what diners are looking for can generate excitement and boost...

Industry News & Opinion

Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

The funding is part of a $12 million award spread among 12 districts throughout the state by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Read the full story via...

FSD Resources