Managing Your Business: November 2013

This month, Grand River Hospital, in Kitchener, Ontario, shuts down its cafeteria, which will be replaced by a Subway and a larger Tim Hortons and celeb chefs highlight USC culinary training.

This month, Grand River Hospital, in Kitchener, Ontario, shuts down its cafeteria, which will be replaced by a Subway and a larger Tim Hortons and celeb chefs highlight USC culinary training.

> Hospital shutters retail program

Grand River Hospital, in Kitchener, Ontario, is shutting down its cafeteria, which will be replaced by a Subway and a larger Tim Hortons run by the hospital’s volunteer association. The move was made following the results of a survey, which found that hospital employees wanted foodservice locations that offered longer hours and multiple payment options. The café, run by Aramark, was open only until 6 p.m. and accepted only cash, according to CTV News. The Subway and Tim Hortons accept cash and will be open past 6 p.m.

> Celeb chefs highlight USC culinary training

Chefs and cooks working for Hospitality Services at the University of Southern California went through a new training program this past summer, and Eric Ernest, executive chef for Hospitality Services, believes the pre-academic year training has re-energized his kitchen staff.

“Chefs always enjoy training, and one of the big compliments we got this year was that everything we gave them had value,” Ernest says of the experience.

The training, dubbed The Culinary Forum, was held at the Davidson Conference Center during several days and involved staff from all 38 foodservice venues across two USC campuses. The goal was threefold, according to Ernest: “Reinforce what they already know, provide new information and, the most important part, make sure everyone is on the same page.

“The training program was something I inherited and I wanted to update it,” he explains. “With all the new technology and multimedia out there, I wanted to introduce a new style of training.”

Ernest’s approach was to take the traditional—lecture followed by practical application—and set it on its ear. Lecturers were given much more freedom to augment their PowerPoint presentations with other media, to do more demos and even to involve volunteers from the class. The practical applications were more of a group effort and allowed for much commingling among staff from all the units.

Even something as simple as knife skills was given a new approach, Ernest notes: “Defining the knife cuts but, more important, the importance of the cuts. At the same time we stressed time management; the basics are there, but it’s more about the time and the structure to get things done, about having the time to get the job done without rushing. It’s not about teaching A, then B then C but about knowing the best way to get from A to Z.”

The guest chefs, he adds, were another new wrinkle to the training. Jesse Moreno, executive chef at the Mansion in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas; Rahm Fama, chef and author from La Mirada, Calif.; Bryce Benes, chef at Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, Calif.; and Anthony Cecala, corporate chef for US Foods, in Reno, Nev., were brought in as motivational speakers. They were given 45 minutes to share their stories in an attempt “to see what different positions there are in the world. I wanted to give our staff something to aspire to, to be motivated and want to do more with their jobs.”

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Industry News & Opinion

Just over 100 foodservice workers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have voted to join a branch of the Service Employees International Union, KIMT reports.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said that 89% of the ballots cast during last week’s election were in favor of unionizing.

The workers are employed by Sodexo, Mayo Clinic’s current foodservice vendor. The clinic recently announced plans to switch vendors to Morrison Healthcare Food Services, a move that has sparked backlash from workers and led to a lawsuit from the SEIU .

Read the full story via .

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The Los Angeles Unified School District has lifted its ban on flavored milk in an effort to reduce food waste, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After implementing the ban in 2011, the district noticed that many students would simply throw away their unused milk containers, causing them to end up in landfills. In order to combat the problem, the district’s board is launching a four-part study in 21 schools that will examine different ways to encourage kids to drink more plain milk.

One of the theories proposed is that students will be more likely to drink plain milk if they...

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As Harvard University’s dining staff strike continues , the school has added an extra $25 to student accounts, providing more flexibility for students to eat outside of the dining halls, The Harvard Crimson reports.

The extra funds were added to Crimson Cash and BoardPlus accounts, which students can use to pay for food both on and off campus.

Aside from some technical issues with payment processing, students are grateful for the extra money, according to The Harvard Crimson.

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