People first

Published in FSD Update

Staff changes underway at FoodService Director.

Well, one of my favorite Lindsey work stories could be considered a minor on-the-job disaster. Lindsey was leaving a voicemail for a source, asking her to return her call. I had heard Lindsey leave a voicemail similar to this one thousands of times before. But for some reason she went blank in the middle of the message. It went something like this:

“Hi Patricia, my name is Lindsey Ramsey and I’m an editor with FoodService Director magazine. I’m working on a story about c-stores and I’d love to talk with you about your operation. Please call me back at…”

And that’s where the trouble came in. I could hear the hesitation in Lindsey’s voice. After a few seconds she turned to me (our desks faced back to back) and said, “What’s my number again?” and we both lost it in a fit of laughter.

Although it’s not a true disaster, it was pretty funny. So I’d like to thank Lindsey for all the years of laughs and I look forward to the many more we’ll share.

Speaking of on-the-job disasters and our Under 30 recognition, it’s time for you to send in your nominations. Tell us why your employee is a rising star in the industry and maybe we’ll be able to share his/her funniest on-the-job disaster. You can send in your nominations forms to

Here’s one of our best stories from a past Under 30 recipient, to whet your appetite. This one comes from Matthew Vasquez, general manager with Eurest Dining Services at Lowe’s.

“When we have a bad ice storm in the mountains our team sets up service tents for a client, which usually feeds up to 1,500 workers. We had this ice storm where we only served 300 of our 1,500 expected guests. We found a shelter to donate the extra food, so I hauled it down there. The food shifted and we spilled about 30 gallons of beef stew all over the cargo area of the truck. With temperature at 20°F, the soup turned into a slippery mess. We had to clean out the truck with mops and hoses and with our lack of sleep and the slickness of the floor, we could not stand up in the truck. As we tried to clean we fell over and couldn’t stop laughing at the situation.”  

new concepts

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

Ideas and Innovation
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Ideas and Innovation
elderly old hands

A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

His discovery helped more rigorously identify malnutrition, but it also strengthened Lee Memorial’s community connection. The hospital launched a delivery...

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

FSD Resources