Networking pays off

Discussions between members of two related organizations have led to a first-of-its-kind seminar.

On Sept. 15, members of two healthcare foodservice groups will get together for a one-day seminar that at least one person hopes will be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Jim McGrody, foodservice director at Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., and a member of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF), was the catalyst for the First Annual Carolina Healthcare Food Service Summit. The event, which is open to members of AHF and the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP), will be held at a U.S. Foods location in suburban Charlotte. The event will include presentations and cooking demos on topics that are of interest to both groups, such as ways to reduce costs.

“I’ve been asked by ANFP to speak several times at local events and the national conference,” McGrody explained, “and I’ve gotten to know some of the members.”

One of those members is Carolyn Cooper, the foodservice director at Twin Lakes, a retirement community in Burlington, N.C. As McGrody related, the two directors sat down at a conference and talked about the differences and similarities between the two organizations.

“I thought that there is a lot of knowledge on both sides that we could share. For instance, I have two nursing homes I’m responsible for and I could probably learn a lot from [long-term care] members of ANFP.”

So McGrody went to U.S. Foods with the idea of staging a networking event. What came out of that meeting was a one-day meeting that would be free of charge to members of either group. The event is not being sponsored by either AHF or ANFP.

Because of space, the seminar will be limited to about 50 people—a number McGrody said has already been reached.

“I am amazed at how much interest there is in this,” he noted. He’s promised to share with us photos and a recap from the event.

More From FoodService Director

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.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

FSD Resources