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
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

FSD Resources