Finalists for NRA Operator Innovation Awards announced

Six non-commercial operators make the grade, in four categories.

Six non-commercial operators are among the 15 finalists for the 2014 Operator Innovation Awards, sponsored by National Restaurant Association (NRA). Winners will be announced May 17, during the 2014 NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.

At least one of the six is guaranteed an award, as all three finalists in the Health & Nutrition category are from non-commercial categories. UCSF Medical Center, in San Francisco, was chosen for Smart Choice Smart U, a wellness program that uses technology such as online platforms, mobile apps and digital signage to provide real-time nutritional information for food served at the medical center’s food outlets.

The other finalists in this category are Kennesaw State University, in Georgia, for its “Farm-to-Fit” Program, which features, among other aspects, breakthroughs in enhancing the nutritional value of produce grown on campus farms; and the Healthy For Life program managed by Philadelphia-based contractor Aramark. Healthy For Life provides healthy menus, digital wellness centers, nutrition education and other wellness programs for students on college campuses where foodservice is managed by Aramark.

In the Marketing category, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), in Florida, was chosen for its Truck of the Month. Under the program, OCPS partners with a new vendor every month to develop food truck-inspired items that meet nutritional requirements. The items are then served out of OCPS’s own food truck.

UNC Healthcare, in North Carolina, made the list in the Menu Development category for Restaurant Delivery. The unique program allows patients to choose their meals from a 20-page menu of items that are part of the hospital’s retail foodservice program.

Finally, in Technology, Indiana University Health was chosen for its Hand Hygiene-Vision Safety Solutions program. This program uses technology to measure the frequency, duration and quality of individual hand washing against back-of-the-house entries and exits to ensure compliant hygiene. The results are also posted publicly, in real time, for employees to see.

In the Sustainability category, the finalists are Delaware North, for its GreenPath program; HMSHost for its startsomewhere sustainability program; and Chumash Casino Resort for its Whole Systems Approach to Waste Management.

In Marketing, the other nominees are Boston Pizza for its BP All Stars Kids & Family Engagement Program and Subway for Project Subway.

UNC’s competition in Menu Development are Potawatomi Bingo Casino for its Menu Development Initiative and Captain D’s for It’s A Brand New D’s: Menu Revamp.

In technology, IU Health is joined by Dickie Brennan Restaurants for its RAIL Payment Platform and Fig & Olive for its Guest Management System.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association has made public the 2018 recipients of its annual Silver Plate awards.

The nine winners—each of whom was given the top prize in their respective foodservice segment—include four well-known names in noncommercial:

Healthcare: Jim McGrody , director of culinary and nutrition services at UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C. C&U: Dennis Pierce , executive director of dining services at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. B&I: Michiel Bakker , director of global food services for Google K-12: Ken Yant,...
Industry News & Opinion

Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary in Brunswick, Maine, is hosting a mentorship program that brings in local community members to have lunch with second-graders twice a week, The Forecaster reports.

The program is aimed to foster conversation between the students and area adults, and staff say they are happy to have the extra adult supervision during lunch and recess.

Officials would like to find more volunteers to expand the program to the third, fourth and fifth grades in the future.

Read the full story via .

Ideas and Innovation
buying small

Here’s a stunner for noncommercial operators who work with one big supplier: Smith College buys food from more than 50 different suppliers. And only three of those suppliers sell Smith more than 3% of its food. “We know boutique,” says Andy Cox, director of Dining Services at the Northampton, Mass., school. “There are ways to make it work.”

Adding to Smith’s challenges: Dining Services has 12 kitchens and no central receiving, and works to ensure that 20% of its food is fair, local, humane and/or ecologically sound.

Teamwork between a food buyer and financial systems...

Industry News & Opinion

Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., is celebrating National Nutrition Month by offering free weekly samples of plant-based items , as well as hosting produce-centric events around campus, the Indiana Daily Student reports.

Every Wednesday this month, students will be able to sample such dishes as vegetable vindaloo, lemon-herb quinoa salad, and pistachio and apricot couscous. Some of the items featured have been offered previously on campus, while others are new recipes.

The university has also partnered with a culinary training organization to launch two plant-based...

FSD Resources