What's on operators' wish lists?

Question: 

As the holiday season approaches, what’s on your wish list for your operation?

Answers from Chefs' Council

My list is long, but here are two:

  • To have more Menus of Change principles in every food venue on campus.
  • To create a chef exchange program, where we invite other campus chefs to come and teach and learn, and we send our chefs to other universities to do the same.

—Tracey MacRae
Campus Executive Chef
University of Washington
Seattle

Something I have been trying to accomplish and would love to finalize next year is our digital catering menu. I would like to build rotating seasonal menus for our website. I think having fresh menus as well as good visuals really keeps the customer excited and engaged. There is always room for the stars of the menu and people’s favorites, but keeping the palate in line with seasonal produce, holidays and weather also engages the kitchen in a challenging way that delivers a little more satisfaction, general knowledge and growth.

—Dewey McMurrey
Executive Chef
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

The No. 1 item on my list is improving our in-house bread-baking program. It’s been a priority for the last year, but unfortunately the participation has been slow. It’s one aspect of kitchen production that still seems to intimidate cooks, but the return in guest satisfaction is always very favorable. We will continue developing and training our staff.

—Ryan McNulty
Director  of  Culinary  Development  
Metz Culinary Management 
Dallas, Pa.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

FSD Resources