Fourth Annual "The Best"

Fourth Annual "The Best"

Misc.

Best kitchen disaster that I can laugh at now
We were in the midst of a pretty extreme blizzard a number of years ago. The hospital was full of patients, but a large percentage of hospital staff were simply unable to get to work and those that were here worked long shifts and could not leave for days. We had one grill cook and one cafeteria service worker to keep the employee cafeteria operational. Finding a cashier for that area was out of the question because the patient feeding function would have been greatly compromised. With no cashier, the decision was made to make the food in the cafeteria free to those employees that were at work. We soon found out that you should NEVER, NEVER do that. We were emptied of inventory in a few short hours and had no way to get additional product into the hospital until the roads were cleared the following day. It is funny now, but we learned a very important lesson: No good deed goes unpunished!
—Margaret Kipe, R.D., director, nutrition services, Reading Health System, West Reading, Pa.

Best funny complaint from a customer
When I was working in South Beach, a customer ordered chicken penne with vodka sauce and asked for the vodka on the side. He complained when we couldn’t fulfill his request of serving him a shot of vodka with his pasta.
—Pierre Sierralta, corporate supply chain manager, Baptist Heath South Florida, Miami

Best childhood food memory
My birthday is in the spring during morel season in Indiana. I always looked forward to many batches of fried mushrooms for my birthday.
—Kathryn Grover, director of nutrition services, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chicken dinner

For the last three years, we’ve hosted an event called Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner. We sponsor the local chapter of Future Farmers of America to raise the chickens, and we have to arrange all the transporting from farms to the distributor, which keeps the birds in a freezer until we’re ready. We build hype by having students vote on the proprietary spice blend they would like on the chicken. It helps the nutrition team get involved in the educational process and showcase local food purchasing.

Ideas and Innovation
employees generation multicultural

We are no longer short staffed, ever. On a given day, missing two team members from a team of 50 would leave us 96% staffed. The actual choice of wording places a positive emphasis on those that did come to serve our guests and patients. We no longer use the phrase “short staffed”; this is a game-changer when we are challenging ourselves as culture facilitators or leaders.

Ideas and Innovation
food symbols allergens

To make safe food as accessible as possible for our guests with allergies, we are creating an allergen-friendly kitchen this summer. Students and community members will be able to use our mobile app to place orders for allergen-friendly food and pick them up at the central kitchen. The kitchen will also produce grab-and-go options that will be distributed across campus.

Ideas and Innovation
construction plans drawing tools calculator

When revamping an old cafeteria or building a new retail spot, the design process can feel like fitting together the pieces of a puzzle: What needs to fit in the space, and what’s the most efficient flow for staffers, cooks, diners and more?

Cathy Estes, administrative director of nutrition services at four northern Indiana hospitals that are part of the Franciscan Health network, faced the creation of a new in-house dining program at Franciscan’s Munster hospital. Amid all the big plans, design was one of the largest undertakings.

“I was looking at 5,000 square feet on a...

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