A bounty of problems—and solutions

By 
Dana Moran, Managing Editor

packaged meals

While the multiple-choice questions on FoodService Director’s annual census surveys are a great way of gathering data on trends, I’ve always been rather partial to the open-ended queries. We can’t possibly think up every answer operators might have to a particular question, and it gives respondents a chance to show some personality as well. (A special nod to one cheeky operator’s not-quite-safe-for-work response to how they’re tackling shortened lunch periods—you made my day.)

So this year, for the first time since I’ve been at FoodService Director, I chose to include a very open-ended question in our annual K-12 Census: What’s the biggest problem you need help with at your operation right now? The responses were completely candid, and provided more insight than I could possibly gather in a year of interviews. I had no idea K-12 operators were so interested in expanding their grab-and-go options—though I definitely had guessed how frustrated FSDs still are by nutrition regulations.

But most of all, my fellow FoodService Director editors and I were inspired to take these struggles and turn them into timely, relevant stories for the magazine and website. Thank you to those who participated, and keep an eye out over the coming months—you never know when you might see the exact solution to your problems within our pages.

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