Nicole Lovely

Georgia's Nicole Lovely sees what needs to be done and makes it happen.

Why Selected?

J. Michael Floyd, associate vice president for auxiliary services, says: In a very short time Nicole established herself as the Oglethore Dining Commons manager’s right-hand person. She is self-directed and has quickly became proficient in all areas of the operation, including understanding the financials well enough to make positive contributions. Nicole has the eye of a seasoned foodservice professional. She sees what needs to be done and makes it happen. She does so with poise, professionalism and confidence.

Details

Assistant Cafeteria Manager II, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Age: 27
Education: B.A. in English from the University of New Hampshire
Years at organization: 5

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Working as a member of our Food Services’ Orientation Host Team, which promotes our voluntary meal plan program to incoming freshman and their families. As part of this team we set a record for sales with 8,500 meal plans. Our team also received a Governor’s Customer Service Commendation.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

Seeing the big picture. A lot of times it’s not about just noticing what is happening in the moment but knowing what is about to come. This is true not just during service but also with scheduling and payroll. Because we work in a seven-day operation, knowing how to juggle everyone’s schedules can be a challenge, but we always succeed in creating solutions and helping to achieve high sanitation scores.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

To be patient with the employees I am developing.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Working with such a diverse group of people. I often find myself working with full timers, part timers, students and other managers. I had never been in management before so it was tough for me to remember who I was talking to. You can’t ask students and full-time employees to do the same tasks because you won’t get the same results.

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I would like to continue to move forward with my foodservice management career.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

One Saturday morning we couldn’t get the turbo sink drain to close properly. It wouldn’t hold any water so we decided we needed to remove the rubber gasket and replace it altogether. Neither an employee nor I could reach it, so I decided that in order to get the job done I was going to have to get in the sink. I did and we fixed the problem, avoiding a potential disaster.

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

When I first got to UGA, I was fresh out of college, had never lived this far away from home and was shy and quiet. Now that I’ve been here for five years, it is funny to see how I’ve developed and made myself a better manager.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

In a bid to beef up its presence in sports arenas and a variety of other large venues, Sodexo will acquire foodservice vendor Centerplate for $675 million.

Sodexo says the deal, which is expected to be finalized by the end of this year, will more than double its global footprint.

Centerplate, which serves as the foodservice operator for a number for stadiums, convention halls and other event spaces, brought in revenues of $998 million for the year ending June 2017, according to Sodexo. Centerplate was purchased five years ago by Olympus Partners, a private-equity company...

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

FSD Resources