The Big Idea 2014: Creating a community destination

alan-marcum

Alan Marcum
Executive Vice President, Administration
Devon Energy, Oklahoma City

We moved into a new 50-floor building in 2012. Devon wanted to be more than just a company located downtown; we wanted to be a community member, and this new building helped us accomplish that.

Foodservice became integral to this goal. We wanted the city to have something they had never seen before and to be a destination. That’s why our foodservice program has taken such a main stage in the new building. We built this new beautifully designed building and we wanted to have an awesome foodservice program to complement that.

Nebu, our restaurant, is in a prime location on the first floor. The dining space is right out front, making it a gathering place for employees and community members.

Nebu is open to the community; we didn’t want to suck the life out of downtown but invite people in. About 35% of our customers are non-Devon employees. All great cities have a great public space downtown, but Oklahoma City didn’t have that before we opened Nebu.

Nebu has seven stations: Deli (paninis, wraps and subs); Broiler and Bistro (burgers and casseroles to hand-carved meats); Salad Bar; Sushi; Exhibition (Asian made-to-order dishes); Taqueria (Latin American favorites); and Pizza and Pasta.

We also wanted to create more of a sense of community with our Devon employees. Before the new building, employees were spread out over five buildings downtown. We wanted a foodservice program that would attract the best employees and would be an on-site amenity that would help improve productivity.

Oklahoma is 48th for the amount of people who are obese or overweight. Devon wanted to create a holistic atmosphere that would help employees be more healthful. That’s one of the main reasons we partnered with Guckenheimer to manage the program. They provided a comprehensive wellness program. While we offer customers choice, we make it easy to pick better-for-you options.

The oil and energy industry is booming and there aren’t as many qualified job candidates coming out of college right now. We wanted to create an advantage over our competitors with this building, and foodservice was designed to be a huge component of that.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
sam kass peter romeo

We’ve heard it time and again—millennials are extremely conscious about what they eat. They want to know what is in their food, where it is from, how it was made and more. And, as we’re learning, Gen Zers are even more aware and information-demanding about the food they eat than their older counterparts.

Hitting those higher-quality food standards is no easy feat. But it’s becoming a must, said chef Sam Kass—known for being the White House chef for the Obamas, a senior White House policy advisor on nutrition policy while he cooked, and currently the senior food analyst for NBC News...

Sponsored Content
chicken veggies recipes

From Tyson Food Service.

With operators becoming increasingly strapped for time and labor, it’s a strain to prepare every aspect of a menu item back-of-house or keep the menu populated with a variety of options. While it doesn’t mean they have to cut corners when developing new items, operators can use more versatile items that are simple enough to apply across the menu to save on labor and cost as well as be more efficient.

With versatile proteins, operators can increase menu opportunities without kitchen complexity, and drive new customer traffic or increase the number...

Industry News & Opinion

An audit into Kennesaw State University’s dining services revealed the university accrued roughly $2 million from off-campus students paying for meal plans as part of their semester fees, according to a report by Fox 5 Atlanta .

Meal plans at the Kennesaw, Ga., university are automatically assessed to students whether they live on campus or not. The university does not refund unused meals, draining the pockets of commuter students each semester.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we pay all this tuition and then we’re here paying another big fee,” commuter student Emmanuel...

Industry News & Opinion

As part of a 10-year contract to run Eastern Michigan University’s foodservice, Chartwells will invest $5 million in the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, as well as provide it with $18 million in capital improvements, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press .

The university’s board of regents approved the contract on Tuesday, citing the new revenue as an opportunity to expand and improve campus foodservice. EMU’s website indicates the partnership will allow for more student input as well as the introduction of food trucks and improved technology.

“The primary reason...

FSD Resources