More than a job

A peak at challenges and opportunities that operators face.

In the December issue of FoodService Director, our cover story will take a look at 2010. We polled operators to see what challenges and opportunities await them in the coming year, along with the trends that figure to have the most impact on their operations. You will find a representative sampling of their responses in the feature.

One of the respondents was John Strickland, the director of corporate administrative services for the BOSE Corp., Framingham, Mass. Typical of what we’ve been hearing from corporate foodservice directors and liaisons, Strickland’s comments were of the doom and gloom variety. He spoke of “lagging sales on the cash side and dramatically reduced sale in catering.”

“We have seen an increase in brown bag lunches and people are generally just spending less on food,” he added. “Any talk of growth is wishful thinking.”

But then he went on to paint a silver lining around his black cloud. I wanted to share that with you now, rather than wait for the December issue to hit your desks, because it speaks to the collective heart of this industry. Most of the people I have met in this business have a spirit that is not easily suppressed, and that rang clear in John’s closing comment to me.

“Times like these give you an opportunity to strengthen your team’s camaraderie and commitment to excellence as we continue to try to meet or exceed the need of our customers,” he said. “Times are difficult, but we have a job and a mission. There are many among us who don’t have either. Take the time to thank your crew for a job well done. Get the executives in your company to stick their heads in the kitchen after a company even to let people know that their efforts are appreciated. Non-monetary recognition can be a big plus in tough times. In fact, it might be the only reward tool you have.”

I think that’s sound advice.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The USDA analyzed the efficacy of using Medicaid data to certify students for free or reduced-price lunch, a provision included in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Participating states and districts reported conflicting data on changes in the percentage of students certified, number of meals served, federal reimbursements and certification costs.

The method is used as an alternative to household applications and data matching with other public benefit programs to streamline the certification of more low-income students. The program was first piloted statewide in Kentucky...

Ideas and Innovation
kids students cafeteria line

While summer feeding programs are commonplace in school districts across the country, foodservice operators still struggle to get the word out and kids in.

Many districts are scaling back or discontinuing their summer feeding programs due to low participation, citing staffing costs and other issues that make it difficult to break even and provide a profitable program.

“We need to find a way to encourage that participation,” Tom Freitas—foodservice director for Traverse City Area Public Schools in Traverse City, Mich.—told Record Eagle News . “We are open to ideas as long as...

Industry News & Opinion

Students and union representatives are petitioning Eastern Michigan University’s plan to outsource its foodservice operations, calling for the school to delay such a move to allow for further discussion with stakeholders, MLive reports .

EMU last week announced a tentative agreement to hand over its residential, catering and retail foodservices to Chartwells, a deal the university’s interim president avered would enable the school to expand and upgrade its eateries while maintaining high food quality, MLive says.

Opponents of the plan say they are concerned about what they...

Sponsored Content
whole grain pasta foodservice menu

From Barilla.

With younger consumers eager to explore new flavors and better-for-you options, whole-grain pasta is winning greater acceptance in American diets.

As more and more college and university students seek out whole grains in their meals, dishes featuring whole grains are on-deck to become menu mainstays.

At the University of Iowa, whole-grain foods have won general acceptance, says Barry Greenberg, executive chef for university dining. Two marketplace dining facilities on campus offer whole-grain pasta as a regular option and incorporate it into baked...

FSD Resources