The Big Idea 2013: To The Max

Program offers customer choice, while delivering only 550 calories.

Published in FSD Update

Robert Maluso
Director of Culinary Wellness and Sustainability Solutions
Sodexo Corporate Services
Philadelphia

Christine H. Wellington
General Manager (Sodexo)
Campbell Soup Co.
Camden, N.J.

Robert Maluso: We’re trying to come up with some great healthy concepts that educate with food and also draw customers to naturally make better, healthier choices. In the past everything was so focused on the number of calories and fat that you ended up compromising the quality of your meal. So we came up with our To The Max program, which allows the customer to walk up to the station and be confident that no matter the food choices they make, their meal will be 550 calories or less. We developed several different concepts to offer as much variety as possible. We have Greenlight (composed salads), Oodles (noodle bowls), Mexican Bowls, Seasons To The Max (salad bar with make-your-own instructions), Fusion Steamers and Summer Rolls. We’re working on an Italian concept.

We’re mirroring on-trend, authentic ethnic stations in the retail world. For example, if a customer walks up to Oodles, he can choose his broth, noodle, protein and vegetables and it will never be more than 550 calories.

Behind the scenes the station is split into zones for prep. For example, at the salad station the greens are one zone, then you have the protein, vegetables and dressing that each have their own zone. Each one of those zones has a measuring device. So once that container is full, that is it for the item in that zone. Even if the customer chooses the highest calorie items from each of these zones, the meal will still only be 550 calories.

Christine H. Wellington: We had close to 40% of our customers asking for healthy food. We have a made-to-order station where we run the concept for two days at a time. One of the biggest challenges is making sure the staff is properly trained on measuring things out. We had to get the staff to realize that we are telling the customers this is going to 550 calories so we have to measure these things out properly. It’s a fair amount of prep because of all the different concepts. That’s why we run it for two days so we are careful with what we are producing. The program always scores highly. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...
Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

FSD Resources