Cyndi Gloodt: Client’s Champion

Sodexo at Northern Trust Bank has benefited from Cyndi Gloodt's passion and enthusiasm.

Accomplishments

CYNDI GLOODT has transformed the foodservice at NORTHERN TRUST BANK by;

  • ELIMINATING paper receipts and implementing recycling programs, compostable takeout containers and trayless dining in catering as part of a comprehensive sustainability program
  • MERGING Sodexo's wellness program with the client's nGood Health program, which included creating a wellness-branded takeout station
  • MANAGING a face-lift of a dated café, which included a fresh coat of paint, new signage, seating areas and new stations
  • REDUCING overall costs to her client organization two years in a row, which in 2010 translated into a savings of more than $125,000

Cyndi Gloodt’s enthusiasm infects everyone around her. As general manager for Sodexo at Northern Trust Bank in Chicago, Gloodt’s ability to work with her clients and her drive and passion for what she does has revolutionized the foodservice at Northern Trust Bank, according to Julius Horace, vice president/property manager and café services liaison.

“Cyndi has literally taken a foodservice operation, which was not using current industry best practices, and brought the operation into modern times,” Horace says. “Cyndi consistently shows increased overall sales revenue and a noticeable improvement in offerings and service. Due to her input and ideas, our seating areas have now become the place for informal meetings with staff, clients and guests. Our shop is no longer a cafeteria but truly a café.”

Gloodt says her success with clients is what has made the difference in her career.

“I go to my clients with ideas,” Gloodt says. “I do the research ahead of time and I engage them. I know there are a lot of clients out there who don’t want to be involved. I figure out how to reach them better and figure out what is important to them. For example, I had a client who was really a numbers guy, so anytime I wanted to make a change, I would make sure I had facts and figures to present to him. I think it’s all about knowing your clients and knowing what’s important to them.”

Gloodt learned how to deal with clients during her more than 20 years in foodservice.

“I was going to school for business at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, and really felt like it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” Gloodt says. “I really liked to cook so my aunt suggested I go to culinary school. After graduating from Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago, I mostly worked in off-premise catering. Another friend of mine was working with Marriott and said I should come work with them as a manager. So I got a job with them and I worked with Marriott, which became Sodexo, for 10 years. After a 10-year stint in other things, I came back to work for Sodexo at Northern Trust. I have a great client. I’m lucky that I am able to have a client that is very focused on sustainability, so I’m able to really help them with all of their efforts.”

Sustainability: It’s these sustainability efforts that Gloodt says she is most proud of.

“We got rid of all foam from all three locations,” Gloodt says. “We replaced all takeout containers with compostable disposables. We started a recycling program in the front and back of the house. We have recycled about 70,000 pounds of material from our three locations. I installed single-pull napkin dispensers. I got rid of all the plastic trays from catering. We installed water filters. We do single-serve cutlery dispensers. One of the biggest things we did was stop printing paper receipts. We only print them on request and that saved us about 23,000 pounds of paper per year.”

Gloodt says next on her list is to eliminate paper cups. She says she sees people take more than 200 paper cups a day.

“That’s ridiculous,” Gloodt says. “Plus, all of those are being thrown out. I want to replace them with reusable items. I’m constantly going through the kitchen and saying, ‘you’ve got garbage in the recycling, you need to reeducate your staff.’ Education is always a challenge.”

Health & wellness: Education is also a factor with Gloodt’s efforts to sustain a healthy eating program. One challenge Gloodt tackled early on was merging Sodexo’s wellness program, Your Health Your Way, with Northern Trust’s wellness program, which is called nGood Health. Gloodt says they decided to partner up with the client’s wellness program because it created consistency with the other aspects of nGood Health.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
walk-in cooler

The walk-in cooler can serve as a gathering place for more than just produce. When temperatures rise, staff at Empire State South restaurant in Atlanta host meetings in the walk-in and make occasional trips to hang out throughout the day to beat the back-of-house heat.

Menu Development
college students eating

Taste may reign supreme when college students choose their next snack, but operators should also pay attention to factors such as price and portion size. Here are the most important attributes students consider when choosing snacks, according to Technomic’s 2017 College and University Consumer Trend Report .

Taste: 78%

Ability to satisfy my appetite between meals: 67%

Price: 64%

Portion size: 54%

Familiarity: 46%

Overall nutrition value: 40%

Protein content: 36%

All-natural ingredients: 29%

Fiber content: 27%

...

Managing Your Business
student shame
“We allow students to charge meals at all levels; even in high school, they can charge a certain number of meals. [After that is met,] they are given an alternate meal,” Sharon Glosson, executive director of school nutrition services for North East Independent School District, says. Elementary students can charge up to $15 of meals; middle schoolers can charge $10; and high schoolers can charge $5. “Ultimately, [food services is] carrying out the policy but we’re not necessarily the creators of the policy, or have the final say on the policy, because that budget decision has to be made by the...
Ideas and Innovation
retro diner

“Child Nutrition was able to purchase a separate facility for summer feeding, so I decided to come up with some way to feed kiddos and keep them cool while doing so. I believe the colors, the music and just the entire atmosphere of the ’50s are fun, so I came up with a design for a diner-style space. The diner is also an area for catering, meetings, birthday parties and a break room throughout the year.”

FSD Resources