Fourth Annual "The Best"

Fourth Annual "The Best"

Retail

Best retail addition we made this year
We added grab-and-go lunch outdoor kiosks at several high schools to capture the students who would stay out in the courtyard instead of coming to the lunchroom. Sales have been great!
—Jessica Shelly, food services director, Cincinnati Public Schools

Best commercial restaurant concept I’ve seen
Eataly in New York City.
—Robert Coffey, director of dining, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

A Friday’s restaurant really took an aggressive approach to wellness by shutting down its fountain drink soda machine.
—Alan Marcum, executive vice president of administration (Guckenheimer), Devon Energy, Oklahoma City

Best LTO promotion we’ve ever done
In an effort to promote wellness we allowed customers to replace protein or starch with a piece of fresh fruit.
—Pierre Sierralta, corporate supply chain manager, Baptist Heath South Florida, Miami

Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
—Robert Coffey, director of dining, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

Best new revenue source we’ve discovered this year
We offer “school lunch” pizza parties to capture meals we would otherwise miss. We let students go through the lunch line for pizza with fruits, vegetables and milk choices. They can eat in their classroom or at a separate decorated table that has fun plates and napkins.
—Nancy Coughenour, manager of food service, Shawnee Mission School District, Overland Park, Kan.

Gift certificates for teachers’ lunches, especially around the holidays. This is a great source of revenue and is a convenient way for parents and faculty to give a practical present to a teacher. It also is excellent for attracting new customers, for those who have never come to the cafeteria.
—Ruth Arnold, operations manager, Nutri-Serve Food Management, New Jersey

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
storm

When preparing for inclement weather, we make agreements with all the foodservice providers in the area—not just our prime vendor—since you never know if one will cut off from resupply. For example, when Hurricane Harvey hit, we were ready to purchase from San Antonio and Dallas rather than Houston due to the high water.

Ideas and Innovation
tray

We decided to get rid of plastic trays 
and now offer cardboard trays in 
our cafeteria to support our district’s efforts to expand and improve our recycling efforts. The trays look great, and already schools are requesting more recycling pickups and fewer waste pickups. Recycling pickups cost less than waste pickups, so it’s a win for us.

Ideas and Innovation
nuts

We decided through focus group feedback that our freshmen struggled with the allergy-friendly options or options for students with diabetes on campus. In response, we decided to have a dinner the first few weeks of classes to let some of these students know what was available and let them network with their peers and others with allergies or diabetes. NC State Dining chefs prepared menu items based on foods from cultures around the world. ... From delicious sliced sweet potatoes to savory Ikarian-style roasted chicken, students were able to sample global dishes free of allergens.

Ideas and Innovation
coffee cups

We started a monthly Coffee Hour with just the department director. The goal is to gather 
staff feedback about their jobs and answer individual questions. After the first event, 
several staff members emailed stating they just wanted to meet with the director without 
their supervisors. Now, the meetings offer an opportunity for more of a one-on-one conversation without the presence of the supervisor they 
deal with day in and day out.

FSD Resources