Who has an influence on foodservice?

By 
Dana Moran, Managing Editor

pizza toppings

When the FoodService Director editors first started tossing around the idea of an “influencers” issue, our minds immediately turned to, well, foodservice directors. After all, so much of the learning in this industry is a peer-to-peer experience, and it’s your influence that inspires the content in every single issue of this magazine.

Then we imagined the massive infighting that would occur if we tried to whittle ourselves down to a list of just 20 influential operators and thought better of it. There’s already enough arguing for us to do about which pizza toppings are best (pineapple and bacon are a personal favorite).

Instead, we’ve decided to look at the forces that affect all operators across the industry and bring you a list of some folks outside the everyday realm of noncommercial life. Some are hot names in the news right now, such as President Trump’s political picks Andy Puzder and Sonny Perdue; while others, like scientist Marc Edwards—who exposed the Flint, Mich., lead crisis—may have flown under your radar. Nonetheless, their careers, interests and ambitions are shaping the face of the industry today and beyond. Will on-campus drone delivery soon become the norm? Will all-beef burgers become a thing of the past, replaced by mushroom blends? Maybe, if our influencers have anything to say about it.

Elsewhere in this issue, we’ve examined other factors shaping FSDs’ day-to-day work, including the millennial workforce, the stalled overtime regulation changes and massive windows. That last one, a feature in the University of Colorado at Boulder’s latest dining hall, allows the front-of-house seating area to be lit only by daylight from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hey, a solution doesn’t always have to be exceptionally complicated to have an influence on the way business gets done.

As always, we’d love to hear more about who or what’s having a big influence on your operations—so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’d like to debate pizza toppings, well, we’d like to hear about that too.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
making meals

This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

Industry News & Opinion
sharing love

Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

But from that tragedy has come one of the most impressive feats of foodservice I’ve seen since coming on board at this magazine, partially spearheaded by Nutrition Officer Betti Wiggins , who only just joined the district. For the entire school year,...

FSD Resources