Betty Hanlon-Deever: Serving hospitality

Betty has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover.

At a Glance

  • 940 employeesat Pfizer
  • $850,000 annual sales volume
  • 260 meals served per day (excluding catering)
  • 9 foodservice employees

Accomplishments

Betty Hanlon-Deever has enhanced the foodservice department at Pfizer La Jolla by:

  • Maintaining a high standard of customer service that has defined the program and keeps guests on campus
  • Implementing client-requested health initiatives, including locally sourced produce, farmers’ markets and a juicing station
  • Supporting and recognizing her employee team, resulting in low turnover

Employee relations

With virtually zero employee turnover of her nine-person staff during her tenure, Hanlon-Deever is a proven successful manager. “I believe that the reason I don’t have turnover is because I treat my crew as family. I know all about them. I’m tough on them but fair. I listen to them as much as I communicate,” she says.

In addition to supporting her employees, Hanlon-Deever has implemented reward, promotion, team-building and employee recognition programs. For example, for one week in April, the staff will play the Egg Game, where a plastic golden egg containing at least a $50 prize is hidden among a basket of plastic eggs containing T-shirts, candy or movie tickets. Each day before service, the employee who correctly answers a work-related question selects an egg. “They look forward to this week of answering questions and winning prizes,” Hanlon-Deever explains.

“She’s really kind of more of a mother figure to these folks,” Hasham says. “She’s really protective of her staff. She takes care of them, of course, [but] she demands the best out of them. The staff is very happy as well. They will go above and beyond. She puts them on a growth development plan and provides them with opportunities, whether it’s here or at another account. She looks out for her people. That’s not easy to do as a manager. It really comes from within.”

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
food allergy

When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

FSD Resources