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

Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in West Bloomfield Township, Mich., will host a three-part global cooking series in its demonstration kitchen next month, C&G News reports.

Named Cooking Around the World at Henry Ford, the series will be open to the community, with each part of the event featuring a different type of global cuisine: Indian, Tuscan and Mediterranean.

Officials in charge of the series said that they looked at dietary restrictions and food trends to select the themes for each class. Brad Roberts, a hospital sous chef who is teaching the series, says...

Sponsored Content
Mrs. T’s pierogies

From Mrs. T’s Foodservice.

Today’s college and university students demand customization, but they also seek out creative riffs on familiar dishes, making comfort food an area of opportunity for college & university operators.

This is especially true as more restaurants across all sectors add comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf, potato tots and loaded fries to menus.

Operators are already starting to see how a comforting, customizable ingredient such as pierogies meets those needs: Menu mentions of pierogies as an entree are up 9.3% over the last two years,...

Sponsored Content
local produce

From WinCup.

Today’s students care deeply about sustainability—much more so than the general population. For them, sustainable practices are visit drivers. What’s more, some 57% of students are willing to pay more for sustainable foods, according to Technomic’s recent College & University Consumer Trend Report . Sustainable claims drive visits, especially for young consumers: Some 31% of Gen Zers say they’re more likely to visit restaurants that try to be sustainable.

Students are looking for foodservice operations with comprehensive sustainability programs, and...

Industry News & Opinion

Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Ohio, has opened a coffee cart in its cafeteria, The News-Herald reports .

Open throughout the day, the cart sells 12-ounce cups of coffee for $2 each. Students were able to taste-test some of the offerings and were also involved in choosing the cart’s name.

The drinks are made with low-fat milk and unsweetened flavor syrups, and soy milk is on hand for those with allergies. To encourage more breakfast participation, the school gives students 50 percent off coffee when they also buy a breakfast item. Additionally, the cart is stationed next...

FSD Resources