Confessions of Barbara Kane

Current SFM President Barbara Kane hates traveling in the winter and wants to see the future.
Barbara Kane, vice president of industry relations for Ecolab, and new president of the Society for Foodservice Management, hates traveling in the winter, wants to see the future and swears by sugar-free Red Bull.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Meeting so many different people—it sounds corny, but there are so many different segments within foodservice so there is always something new to learn.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Traveling in the winter.

Q. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Being the first business partner elected president of a foodservice association.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Failure. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Al Schuman, Ecolab CEO emeritus. He was an amazing leader that started selling on the streets of New York.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Thin crust New York pizza.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

A deep-tissue massage.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Sugar-free Red Bull.

Q. What food fad do you wish had never started?

The radical “healthy” food trends like kale chips.

Q. What do you consider to be the most overrated foodservice trend?

Kitchen table service—I never got why you would pay a fortune to sit “in” the kitchen.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Invest the time. Write the letter. Make the apology. Take the trip. Purchase the gift. The seized opportunity renders joy. The neglected brings regret.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

FSD Resources