FoodService Director | December 2013

How do you stack up? Check out 35 pages of research.

Emmy Durand, child nutrition education coordinator at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Houston, displays her passion for getting things done right and always looking for ways to do things better for the students.  

FSD of the Month

Terry Baker has transformed dining services at Oklahoma State University by developing Choose Orange, an award-winning healthy dining program.  


From ordering and inventory to information access and storage, technology is helping foodservice departments run more efficiently, but not without some growing pains and a commitment to learning.
Though a large number of operators (45%) reported that their catering revenue stayed the same in the past year, there are some promising signs of growth in certain segments, according to The Big Picture.
Lunch makes up the bulk of business at non-commercial locations, according to The Big Picture.
Three out of 10 operators say they will increase their use of from-scratch cooking in the next two years, according to The Big Picture. Schools are the most likely to expect an increase, at 43%.
See what's happening with budgets and how operators are cutting costs. ...
In a period of rising costs, it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that, according to The Big Picture, foodservice budgets have also been increasing during the last couple of years. Overall, 73% of operators say their food budgets have increased in the last two years, 55% say their labor budgets have increased and 43% say their equipment/technology budgets have risen.
Half of the respondents to our survey indicated that they are more concerned about food safety now than they were five years ago, and 46% say they are just as concerned now.
We surveyed nearly 600 foodservice management professionals to find out about their salaries and demographic profiles. It's good news on the salary front if you're a director at a college or hospital, but bad news if you're a woman or working in a long-term care facility. ...
Fruit, by far, is the dessert category that operators expect to grow the most in the next two years (42%).
We surveyed those individuals who are in charge of college foodservice operations and asked them to tell us about themselves. Colleges were the least likely segment to have a management role occupied by someone 60 years or older.
B&I (42%) and colleges (37%) were the most likely segments to report an increase in costs due to sustainability initiatives like compostable disposables and local purchasing.
Seventy percent of operators offer grab and go as part of their programs, and of those, 79% said they have created their own brands for these items.
See what operators are serving on their lunch, dinner and dessert menus and what categories they expect to grow in the next two years.
Six out of 10 operators who serve dinner report that their dinner daypart has remained static in the past two years. Sixty-four percent of operators expect their dinner daypart to remain the same in the next two years.
We surveyed those individuals who are in charge of school foodservice operations and asked them to tell us about themselves.
Schools say their costs for fresh fruits and vegetables have increased the most in the past two years (76% and 79%, respectively). Only 22% of schools indicated that their beef costs have increased, while the remainder of the non-commercial market chose beef (70%) as the product registering their highest cost increase.
Our research shows few operators expect their catering revenue to decrease in the next two years. That data and more is covered in this survey.
Most operators believe their job responsibilities have expanded outside of their traditional roles—even though the great majority of them do not manage multiple departments.
We surveyed those individuals who are in charge of hospital foodservice operations and asked them to tell us about themselves. Hospital management operators were significantly more likely than other segments to hold the title of director of food and nutrition services, at 18%.
Cooking, hot/cold holding and cold storage are the three equipment categories operators plan to upgrade or replace the most in the next two years.
Salary info, director's profile, increasing responsibilities and the impact of technology are covered in this year's workforce survey...

Steal this idea

We created an “On The Spot” recognition program to help us promote our goal of showing employees how valued and important they are to our mission of delivering restaurant-inspired...
For a special event we did, we had a student draw our University Dining Staff and we put the drawing on the back of T-shirts for the T-shirt giveaway, along with our University Dining slogan, &...
Last spring we planted a small garden with tomatoes, squash, green and red peppers and herbs. As the vegetables were harvested, we placed them on the menu, like “Kirkwood-grown Squash...
In an effort to promote farm-to-school in our fruit and vegetable program, we partnered with a local farmers’ market. The manager of the market coordinates with us to purchase the seasonal...
Train your staff in the art of suggestive selling. All staff should know how to suggest menu add-ons with a smile. 
We sponsor outside recreational sports teams for employees, like softball and kickball, that include T-shirts for the teams. 
We have developed an app for smartphones that allows customers and staff to call up the daily café menus. 
Contact your primary food vendor(s) and ask them to show and tell their brokers’ entire line of no-salt spices and seasonings.
Use the talents of your student population to properly market your dining program. We advertised on our Facebook page for student marketers and selected five.

Menu Strategies

Looking to expand your beverage portfolio? Consider specialty teas—a “no-brainer, as it’s an easy and inexpensive way to provide something local,” says Justin...
“Pacific Northwest cuisine is not as easily defined as other regions in the country,” says Scott Clagett, executive chef at Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, Ore. Gitta...


“Tea is probably the most labor-intensive crop on the planet,” says Angela Macke, the founding director of Light of Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop, in Traverse City, Mich. 
It’s no secret that red meat’s reputation isn’t exactly stellar, healthwise. In large part, that’s because many cuts of beef contain high levels of fat;...
Operators get creative to make tomato sauces their own.

Under 30

Kelly Ornberg, R.D., nutrition services manager at St. Charles Health System, Redmond, Ore., communicates well with her on-site managers and supports their authority to manage in her absence.  


Terry Baker, director of University Dining Services at Oklahoma State University, loves rack of lamb, always has butter in her fridge and wishes she were a better golfer.


Combining smoked salmon, Lemon Scented Mascarpone and Apple Fennel Salad, gives this pizza a Pacific Northwest twist.
Featuring fresh scallops and asparagus, this recipe is great for a featured menu item. Plus, the Butternut Squash Mashers perfectly complement the dish.
The combination of Puttanesca Sauce and swordfish make a perfect healthy menu option.
Prepare for soup season with this simple Tomato Basil Soup.
Three Takes On offers several different versions of the same classic dish. This month: Chili.
Click through a Snapshots of all the recipes for the December 2013 issue. This month features Pacific Northwest specialties and tomato-based menu items.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
line kings girl goat open kitchen

Open kitchen concepts satisfy guests’ curiosity and desire for transparency. But there are some caveats. Here’s how to create a positive experience for both staff and customers when the walls are down.

Train to serve

With the back-of-house up front, everybody gets hospitality training. “Our cooks understand the food and what they’re doing incredibly, but translating that to guests requires [soft] skills that need to be honed,” says Marie Petulla, co-owner of two restaurants in Southern California.

Dress for a mess

At Girl & The Goat in Chicago, chef-owner Stephanie...

Ideas and Innovation
bus advertising jagermeister

Because many locals use the bus system, we paid for some full bus wraps to advertise [job openings within] our dining services program. The buses go all over campus where students can see them, and to apartments where the public can see them. To top it off, the cost wasn’t much more than newspaper rates.

Ideas and Innovation
herb garden wall

In high-volume operations, few look at herb gardens as the end-all-be-all budgeting solution. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a return on the investment. The value, operators say, is in the message herb gardens and herb walls send—that an operation uses ingredients that are fresh, sustainable and healthy. Here’s how the growing areas have paid off at three operations.

A cafeteria wall at Miles River Middle School in South Hamilton, Mass., houses three rows of hydroponic lettuce spearheaded by an interdisciplinary group of health, science, math, technology and foodservice employees...
Ideas and Innovation
regions hospital exterior

One of our new concepts, YumMarket, is a play off our YumPower brand that we have out in the community. We use YumPower in K-12 schools, and there’s a kiosk in a nearby minor league ballpark. We feature only better-for-you choices, such as fresh-made pizzas, sandwiches and healthy grain salads. We want people to know we are taking care of people here the same way we are in the overall community.

FSD Resources