Shannon Donahue

As marketing manager/café supervisor for Bon Appétit at Stanford Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, Calif., Shannon Donahue has the unique ability to support and innovate in multiple arenas.

Why Selected?

Maisie Greenawalt, vice president of marketing, says: Shannon has the unique ability to support and innovate in multiple arenas. In addition to being an excellent marketing professional, she is also an extremely talented writer, a chef and a passionate food advocate.

Shannon used her culinary skills and passion for healthy food to help develop a vegan training program that is helping all of our chefs prepare healthy, vegan meals. She created a Bon Appétit Management Co. style guide for the field to help with all of our menu-writing guidelines. Shannon also started and maintained the vegetable garden at Bon Appétit’s corporate headquarters.

Details

Marketing Manager/Café Supervisor, Bon Appétit, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palo Alto, CA
Age: 26
Education: B.A. in anthropological sciences from Stanford University, Palo Alto
Years at organization: 1

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Helping to implement the initiatives that attracted me to Bon Appétit in the first place, such as our Low Carbon Diet program. For me that meant working with our accounts to make sure our messaging was getting across as meaningful

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

A lot of the food trends like food trucks and DIY pickling and canning have become really popular among my friends, so I’m good at being able to bring those to our guests on a much larger scale.

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

I’d say going from a corporate role to an operations one. It’s a completely different environment. It’s been a totally new way of thinking and approaching problems.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

In my previous role I was able to work on a culinary training for our chefs. I was able to work with the team on a vegan chef training that was rolled out across the country. Not only did I help develop the training, but I also got to help out at the training in California, which was an incredible experience.

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

I think there are still a lot of opportunities to make foodservice more responsive to trends. I also really want to make the connection between what we’re doing at corporate and what we’re doing in the field.

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

We serve beer and wine and there was only a waiter’s corkscrew. I had never used one before, so I had everyone looking at me like, ‘how do you not know how to use that?’ I also didn’t know that the pilot light on the stove was supposed to stay on all the time.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

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.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

Ideas and Innovation
kale quinoa salad

With all the hype around probiotics, we decided to create a daily dish that incorporates probiotics in addition to prebiotics. You rarely hear about prebiotics, and this was a great way to highlight how the two work synergistically to maintain a healthy gut. Our chefs have developed menu items such as roasted salmon with yogurt and mint vinaigrette; kale and quinoa salad with warm maple dressing; and leek soup with pickled cucumbers, to name a few.

FSD Resources