Fourth Annual "The Best"

Fourth Annual "The Best"

People/HR

Best employee motivation technique
Enhance the employee experience. One of the key goals at Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities is to create environments and services on campus that help support the company in its efforts to [attract and keep talent]. One example is The Commons, the town center of Microsoft, offering a variety of exceptional local retail brands, exhibition-style cooking and ethnic cuisines for customers, families and friends.
—Mark Freeman, senior manager, global dining, Microsoft Corp., Seattle

Best community outreach/benefit project we’ve done
Donating banana boxes to our Southern Tier Food Bank so they can transport backpack food to schools to help feed hungry children.
—Gail Finan, director, dining and retail services, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

I sit on the board of directors of the Nature Conservancy’s Young Professionals Group. We hosted a really amazing event to benefit the Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future. Also, for the past three years I have designed and co-produced the Alex’s Lemonade event with Jonathan Waxman. I love being part of both of these events. One is raising money to help the battle against childhood cancer, and the other is taking urban youth out into nature and training them in green jobs.
—Jason Giagrande, global director of food service operations & events, NBCUniversal, New York

Best team-building exercise we’ve done
We did a culinary competition with our chefs. We had eight teams of two competing at the Columbus Culinary Institute. We do these kinds of things to break the stigma of long-term care, but when I look at this event now I realize it truly is a team-building event. Planning the competition was a team effort. They worked with their culinary staff and even the residents got the fever for the competition by cheering on their team.
—John Andrews, corporate director, culinary and nutrition services, Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, Columbus

Taking managers and employees to visit other hospitals that are doing something we are thinking we would like to do. All of these trips involved management and the employees affected by the possible changes. We would not only plan the project together but also the trip, like how would we get there, where we would stay, meals together, what needed to be looked at by whom, etc. I found the time spent together out of the office gave people the opportunity to get to know one another better and on an equal level.
—Bill Notte, director, nutrition & dietetics, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia

We began conducting 8:15s this year. The 8:15 is a quick meeting with my administrative team so that we can share briefly what is occurring in each area within the department. I use information from this meeting to keep my boss apprised of things that may pop up on his radar.
Julia Bauscher, director, school and community nutrition services, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Ky. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
cold storage boxes

When working with a small footprint, the back of the house often gets squeezed in the interest of preserving precious seats. But as storage space contracts, these restaurant operators are getting resourceful with everything from shelves to ceiling height to inventory in ways that FSDs can apply, too.

“When we were first tasked with figuring out smaller footprints, when it came to interiors, it was like a bad riddle,” says Trinity Hall, SVP of development for Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which shrunk its prototype from 2,200 square feet to 1,800. “Let’s make it smaller and...

Managing Your Business
food symbols allergens

Bellevue School District in King County, Wash., has reduced the instances of life-threatening allergic reactions by 94% since 2013. Wendy Weyer, business manager for nutrition services, says that success stems from direct communication with the district’s 20,000 students.

Q: What was the first thing you did to start reducing allergic reactions?

A: More than five years ago, we changed our menu signage to provide information to students on what the common allergens were on all the foods that were served at every station. We use symbols such as an egg or a wheat stalk for younger...

Managing Your Business
business marketing concepts drawing

Sharp, smart marketing materials can make all the difference when it comes to drawing a big crowd for a menu launch or upcoming event. With more avenues to cover than ever and fewer resources to go around, operators offer their tips on making marketing work from start to finish.

Start with communication

Whether it’s an in-house marketing department, an outside agency or someone on staff wearing the marketing hat part-time, the right people need to be involved early and often. “Marketing doesn’t always have a seat at the table [like] it should in order to be truly effective,” says...

Menu Development
induction cooking nuts

Thanks to prolific fast casuals such as Chipotle, guests have come to expect a certain level of customization in their dining options. For almost 50% of Generation Zers, customization is a deciding factor when purchasing food, according Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report . Taking customization even further, operations are handing over even more control to customers with both build-your-own and cook-your-own stations.

Elder Hall’s My Kitchen station at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., offers a daily rotating ingredient bar with items such as stir-fry,...

FSD Resources