Travis Summers

USC's Travis Summers is currently the youngest of five senior managers who oversee all 41 USC Hospitality locations.

Why Selected?

Kris Klinger, director of dining services for USC Hospitality, says: Travis is currently the youngest of five senior managers who oversee all 41 USC Hospitality locations. Travis is responsible for more than 175 employees daily and is in charge of the remodel at the health sciences campus, which includes overseeing the construction of a full-service Starbucks, Panda Express and Poquito Mas. Travis also is in charge of The Lab Gastropub. Travis is an amazing person to work with, and I appreciate his mix of passion, intelligence and humility that makes him one in a million.

Details

Senior Manager of Operations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Age: 20
Education: C.A. in management in hospitality from The French Culinary Institute, New York
Years at organization: 2

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Watching my staff grow into different roles and becoming great chefs and managers. For example, I had a guy who was an assistant manager at a single unit. I was able to get him to one of my venues that has five locations. My team actually groomed him, and he took over being a multi-unit manager about a month ago. We taught him how to work with different personalities.

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

Being young in this position and having managers older than me thinking that we can’t achieve the goals I had set for the team. I almost leave it up to them. I say, “This is what I’m thinking. Why don’t you come up with a game plan and tell me how you want to do it.” I’ve gotten a lot more respect.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Opening four venues in three months. I had three months to hire, train and open the concepts. The thing was, these concepts required seven weeks of training. Plus, hiring at a university is not easy. You have to do background checks, HR has to interview them and all the different managers have to interview them. I would never want to do it again, but I had a great team and we did it.

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

We were trying to set up a coffee kiosk during a remodel and we took the coffee cart apart and thought we could make it through the venue. We measured all the doors but one and it got stuck, so after all that hard work we realized the door we needed to use was right in front of us the whole time. We took it back out after 30 minutes of the cart being stuck and rebuilt the cart and got it through the door after two hours of sweating.

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

When I was in a different position at USC, I sent an email to the director asking for more responsibility, and I sure got it. I bit off a little more than I could chew. I still have the email I sent and I look at it sometimes and laugh asking, “what was I thinking?”

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...
Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo is partnering with celebrity chef Robert Irvine in an attempt to provide military communities with healthier meals.

The 10-year partnership will allow Sodexo to access chef Irvine’s knowledge of nutrition and fitness in its aim to benefit the quality of life for military members, the vendor said in a news release.

Sodexo hopes that Irvine’s popularity as the host of Food Network’s "Restaurant: Impossible" will draw attention to its commitment to nutrition, health and well being. Irvine also has a military history himself—before embarking on his culinary career, he...

Industry News & Opinion

The cafeteria at the Smithsonian's new National Museum for African American History and Culture is intended to be an extension of the museum, showcasing stations that offer cuisines from different geographic locations such as the Creole coast and agricultural South, Time reports .

The eatery, Sweet Home Cafe, was set up to highlight the wide range of African-American cuisine, Executive Chef Jerome Grant told Time. When it officially opens later this month, it will serve dishes such as shrimp and grits, pan-roasted oysters and a fried catfish po’boy.

Celebrity chef Carla...

FSD Resources