Pasadena City College receives ready-to-eat, customized food options

I-8 Food Services' staff at The Piazza is currently focusing on providing students with a variety of menu choices, such as Asian and Italian items.

PASADENA, Calif.—Seeking to overcome the stigma of being known as a just a cafeteria with an essentially captive audience, I-8 Food Services’ collective team of chefs, servers, and management staff strives to bring popular hot dishes and ready-to-eat foods on demand and customized to the particular tastes of both local and international students and school staff.

Catering Manager Pai Pispratuang oversees the preparation of the massive volume of food necessary to feed nearly 27,000 students and teaching and administrative staff annually. Using the previous semesters overall consumption as a guide, she has noticed patterns in the way people on campus eat.

“People are eating healthier,” she said. “About two or three years ago, they started eating more sandwiches, salads and juice, such as Naked Juice. And more vegetarian and vegan. The Asian line is very popular.”

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
pizza toppings

When the FoodService Director editors first started tossing around the idea of an “influencers” issue, our minds immediately turned to, well, foodservice directors. After all, so much of the learning in this industry is a peer-to-peer experience, and it’s your influence that inspires the content in every single issue of this magazine.

Then we imagined the massive infighting that would occur if we tried to whittle ourselves down to a list of just 20 influential operators and thought better of it. There’s already enough arguing for us to do about which pizza toppings are best (...

Ideas and Innovation
granola bars

Where possible, we make grab-and-go items reimbursable. For example, if we’re serving a fruit and milk smoothie, we let students take a granola bar or other grain component to make it count as a meal.

Ideas and Innovation
unsung heroes graphic

Febin Bellamy, a senior at Georgetown University, is the founder of Unsung Heroes, a nonprofit that features service workers on college campuses in man-on-the-street-style Facebook interviews. This year, Bellamy is working with a dozen schools to launch their own chapters of the storytelling platform. Here’s what he’s learned about staff shoutouts.

Q: Why did you decide to start Unsung Heroes?

A: One day I started a conversation with a custodial worker in the business school that I would see all the time. I learned that we had a lot of similarities; for instance, we both wanted to...

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

FSD Resources