Confessions of Jason Giagrande

Jason Giagrande cherishes his staff and wants to be able to swim better.
Jason Giagrande, director of foodservice operations and events for Flik at NBC Universal in New York, is addicted to Vita Coco, hates flying and wishes he could learn to relax.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

It gives me the chance to make an impact on thousands of people by creating the perfect experience.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

The hours.

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

My staff and the relationship I have with them.

Q. What is the most unusual foodservice/catering request you have ever received?

We support the props departments for many shows, so every day there is an unusual request. Most recently we had a request to build a wall of Jell-O for an actor to go flying through.

Q. If you weren't in foodservice what would you be doing?

Some type of business development or operations work.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be able to swim better. This would be followed by a boat purchase.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to be able to relax.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Flying. I do it often, but I’m definitely not a fan.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Rick Post, CEO of Contract Services for Compass Group North America. He has thousands of people who work for him, yet he manages to make those people feel as though they are one of ten.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Anything my mother cooks.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Vita Coco coconut water. I am addicted to it.

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

“Shock value.” There are a lot establishments  that try to do something purely for shock value rather than putting out a great product.

Q. What are your words to live by?

I have to quote Bernard Arnault, "The key to success is this duality—timelessness and the utmost modernity.”

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
usa map regions

From global flavors to clean labels, it’s clear that some buzzworthy noncommercial menu trends are universal. But FoodService Director ’s 2016 surveys have revealed some noteworthy differences within segments in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions. We combed through data from our College and University Census, Hospital Census and Long-Term Care/Senior Living Census for the most surprising variations in menu trends and expectations.

1. Plant-based dishes are on the rise at Midwestern colleges and universities

Seventy-seven percent of C&U operators in this region say...

Industry News & Opinion

Ithaca College is turning to new solutions to address overcrowding at a dining hall that is already understaffed, The Ithacan reports .

The Ithaca, N.Y., school's Terrace Dining Hall has seen a large influx of students this year after being renovated, causing lines to wrap around the dining hall.

To ease congestion, Sodexo Area General Manager Jeffrey Scott told The Ithacan that the eatery has added a separate entree line, as well as signage displaying menu items at less-crowded food stations in an effort to draw students to the other side of the dining hall.

The...

Menu Development
mac cheese pizza

Anybody think the popularity of mac and cheese has played out? Anyone?

More likely, foodservice directors are trying to bake new life into the comfort staple by tweaking the presentation and components. Here’s a snapshot of how that rejuvenation effort looks in streetside restaurants.

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

FSD Resources