FoodService Director | August 2012

The Wellness Challenge: Wellness is a concept with a lot of moving parts and definitions. However you define it, to dietitians the mission is clear: identify the problem, develop a program to address it and find the best ways to communicate the message. T

FSD of the Month

Having the right person in a leadership position makes all the difference, according to Gloria Tursi, assistant dining director for 500-resident Riddle Village. “With the wrong person here...

Operations

At the recent conference of the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals, FoodService Director gathered together five dietary directors of long-term care facilities to talk about how...
Similar culinary programs at two Pennsylvania CCRCs where the foodservice is managed by Cura Hospitality are giving some residents an education, or re-education, in cooking skills. At the same time,...
Being in a hospital is difficult, especially for children, so Luby’s Culinary Services has created a new program to allow kids to have fun during their hospital stay. The program, the Chef...
Patient meal service at the GV Montgomery VA Medical Center was changed last spring to increase patient satisfaction. Instead of a traditional trayline delivery system, a new veteran-centered care...

Steal this idea

Every year we partner with the Special Olympics to do a gourmet extravaganza featuring our chefs. This year they raised more than $27,000. The chefs also win a trip to a food festival. This event is...
We offer a forum for our cafeteria patrons so that they can provide input regarding menu options, services, etc. It helps improve satisfaction and opens up communication, both positive and negative...
We do our own patient satisfaction surveys by including a survey on every tray. With Press Ganey, the sample size is normally pretty small and patients take the survey several days after they return...
To promote the idea that we have a diverse team but we are all on the same team we created T-shirts for all staff. The T-shirt features our mascot (a Terrapin) made up of the flags of several...
We create an entire food culture in our school, and we want that to extend to our parents as well. When parents come to pick up their kids after school, we take samples of food to the parking lot so...
We’re starting a Wellness Wednesday in our elementary schools where we will feature Chef Basil, a child chef we developed to get students to try new foods like a sweet potato casserole. If...
In one of our late-night eateries, one that is known typically for its fried fare, the retail culinary team has worked to lift the menu to one that is comforting, yet different. They’ve...
We established a set of key performance indicators for our operations. We developed new financial statements for each unit that clearly indicate the target goal and actual performance, such as plate...
We have a local food show during a meal in the dining hall. We bring in local vendors and farmers that we purchase from and let our customers interact with them and taste their products. Guests get...
We do a rat experiment in one of our middle school health classes. One rat is fed a diet of junk food, and another is fed school lunch. The kids measure the rats’ growth and watch their...
To increase awareness around healthy choices we place demo plates at the entrance of the dining hall that have scoops of Crisco on them to show how much fat there is in each item. The plates show how...
We believe employees should be recognized for good behavior, so we started Caught in the Act of Being Good. Supervisors “catch” employees doing something that demonstrates...

Cover story

There once was a time when, for foodservice operators, managing a “wellness” program consisted of providing a few healthy dining choices for those customers who were doing more...

Menu Strategies

Fruit salads have a new look these days. Chefs are grilling, pan-frying and even smoking fruit. Sometimes they’re tossing in out-of-the-ordinary ingredients to create a fun salad rendition...

Ingredients

Garlic is one of the most commonly used items by chefs. According to the Ag Marketing Resource Center, in 2010 the average person consumed 2.3 pounds of garlic. This month, FSD talked with...

Under 30

Emeline Garcia, cafeteria assistant at Salida (Calif.) Union School District, was hired as a two-hour cafeteria helper. Billy Reid, child nutrition services director, says she quickly showed she wanted to work more than two hours a day. Garcia quickl
Jen Takara, café manager for Bon Appétit at Yahoo!, is our safety “Navy Seal,” says Robert Hart, general manager. Takara created, and continues to build on, a safety program. She has been an integral part of opening several

Confessions

Byron Sackett, child nutrition director at Lincoln County Schools in Lincolnton, N.C., wishes flavored, upscale coffees had never been created and would be a tomato farmer if he weren’t feeding children.

Recipes

This simple salad tastes like summer in a bowl with fresh watermelon, beets and basil, olive oil and vinegar.
This dish makes a great side to traditional entrées. Green beans and yellow wax beans are tossed with garlic and red onion for a healthy and savory side dish.

Retail Experience

Starbucks doesn’t just want to wake up the world with caffeine. The company also has made a commitment to promote its socially responsible practices, a commitment that Bon Appé...

Health & Wellness

With the nationwide effort to make school lunches healthier, milk has become a focal point in many school districts. Flavored milk and high fructose corn syrup have come under fire, especially from...

Going Green

Nutrition education is becoming an increasingly important aspect for child nutrition directors. With the new meal regulations in effect as of July 1, school meals must now include a wider variety of...

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

Ideas and Innovation
business card

We get the new folks abridged business cards saying, “Hi, my name is so-and-so and I work in nutrition department.” We thought it would give them more ownership of the program and elevate their status and position in the organization. It also gives our team more self-confidence and self-worth as an employee, which can be a challenge with foodservice workers.

Ideas and Innovation
tug hospital robot

Automation has opened up in recent years as foodservice operators across the country grapple with labor shortages. Robots deliver food trays to patients in hospitals, and they make sushi on college campuses. For some operators, they’re worthwhile to reduce strain on human employees and increase productivity.

Robots roamed the hallways when the University of California San Francisco Medical Center’s new Mission Bay campus opened last year. Though these robots have nicknames like Wall-E and Tuggie McFresh, they’re not a novelty. They’re a solution to a problem that administrators...

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