Weave in more work-life balance

work life balance coffee pen

One day, Dawn Aubrey, associate director of housing for dining services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, overheard members of her core team bragging about the hours they had logged that weekend. They were clearly mimicking her behavior—hardly a weekend went by that Aubrey wasn’t tethered to her phone or volunteering.

“I need to make sure I’m a better example,” she recalls thinking. While she enjoys that hectic life, Aubrey didn’t want her team under the same pressure. So she sought balance through a few key strategies.

Learn to say ‘no’

no cards

Though it made her sad to turn down a position on the board for homelessness advocacy group Courage Connection, Aubrey told the organization that she wouldn’t be able to devote adequate time.

Being involved doesn’t always mean giving time

clock time warp

Instead of running a fundraiser, Aubrey realized she could donate a basket to the silent auction or furnish the funds for her church youth group’s pilgrimage. 

Combine personal time with community activities

community hands

Aubrey invites her spouse and friends to join her at activities like bagging cereal at the food pantry. It’s the best of both worlds, she says. 

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We’re currently piloting a Salad Bar Happy Hour 
in Cafe 16. Due to Health Department regulations, any self-serve salad bar items must be disposed of after service. The salad bar goes “on sale” for 25 cents an ounce post-lunchtime to help reduce waste as well as offer value to customers.

Menu Development
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Adding an entirely new cuisine to the menu can feel daunting. But what if you could dabble in international flavors simply by introducing a few new condiments? For inspiration, FSD talked to operators who are offering a range of condiments plucked from global regional cuisines.

“Most ethnic cuisines have some sort of sauce or condiment relishes that go with their dishes,” says Roy Sullivan, executive chef with Nutrition & Food Services at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Condiments offered to diners at UCSF Medical include chimichurri (Argentina), curry (India), tzatziki (...

Ideas and Innovation
turnip juice brine

Give leftover brine new life by adding it to vegetables. In an interview with Food52, Stuart Brioza, chef and owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, says that he adds a splash of leftover brine while sauteeing mushrooms to increase their flavor profile. “We like to ferment turnips at the restaurant, and it’s a great way to use that brine—though dill pickle brine would work just as well,” he says.

Menu Development
side dishes

Operators looking to increase sales of side dishes may want to focus on freshness and value. Here’s what attributes consumers say are important when picking sides.

Fresh - 73% Offered at a fair price - 72% Satisfies a craving - 64% Premium ingredients - 56% Natural ingredients - 49% Signature side - 47% Something familiar - 46% Housemade/made from scratch - 44% Something new/unique - 42% Large portion size - 42% Healthfulness - 40% Family-size - 40%

Source: Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates and Sides Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

FSD Resources