School lunches could take tips from high-end B&I accounts

Bon Appetit's CEO thinks with a little more money, school lunches could be as good as Google's.

April 11—Fifty years ago, a cheap lunch ladled onto a tray was a decent enough perk at premier American companies, such as Ford or Eastman Kodak. Today, that wouldn’t do in Silicon Valley, where in-house “cafés” have become a microcosm of modern cookery: a dedicated staff of bakers at Cisco, for example, or an Indian chef at eBay preparing curries spiced by decades of experience.

This shift from an industrial approach towards food, in favor of one that’s more handcrafted, illustrates how American ideals about labor have changed—and also, how institutional food went haywire in the bargain. “Food service used to be purely about workplace productivity,” says Fedele Bauccio, the founder of Bon Appétit Management, a company that quietly staffs many of Silicon Valley’s swankiest corporate cafeterias, including eBay, Oracle, and Yahoo!, and over 200 universities. “Now, it’s about creating a sense of community.”

Bauccio believes these ideals could translate to the nation's school cafeterias. Bauccio insists that this decentralized approach to food service is replicable and estimates that it would require only a 5% to 10% labor increase for most institutions, with some savings coming from smart, direct buying.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources