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.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
coffee shop trailor graphic

A familiar face is coming to the roads of Rutgers University this fall: the Starbucks mermaid. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based school is testing a Starbucks truck throughout the upcoming semester, NJ.com reports . The company began testing trucks on college campuses in 2014, and now has mobile locations at Arizona State University, James Madison University in Virginia, East Carolina University in North Carolina and Sacramento State in California.

The trucks will serve the full lineup of Starbucks beverages that’s available at the outlet’s brick-and-mortar location at Rutgers,...

Industry News & Opinion

A study from Virginia Tech has found a connection between school meal participation and obesity in students. From data that predates the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act , the findings raise questions over whether nutrition standards go far enough.

The research evaluated data from 1998 to 2007, comparing first through eighth grade students who partook in free and reduced-price lunch and those who qualified but opted out. Wen You, associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, says she expected to validate theories that increased breakfast...

Industry News & Opinion

Buffalo Public Schools is turning to local chefs and a little competition to help create new menu items, the Buffalo News reports .

In October, local chefs will compete against each other and a team of seven to 10 students led by chef Bobby Anderson, a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen,” to create lunch recipes that comply with USDA nutritional requirements and use seasonal produce sourced locally.

“This Chef Challenge is another way to engage our youth in a fun, friendly competition with local area chefs who can help create appealing recipes that will be incorporated...

Industry News & Opinion

After being sued by the Services Employees International Union over its decision to change vendors from Sodexo to Morrison, the foodservice arm at Mayo Clinic continues to face backlash from staff.

Foodservice employees at the Rochester, Minn., hospital last week handed over a petition 1,200 signatures deep asking that they remain with their current employer, Fox 9 reports .

While a Mayo Clinic spokesperson said that staff will be given similar positions and pay rates under Morrison, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota—the union representing much of the hospital’s foodservice staff—...

FSD Resources