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.  

Research

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...
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.

Steal this idea

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.
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. 

Menu Strategies

“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...
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...

Ingredients

“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.  

Confessions

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.

Recipes

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.
Incorporate salmon into your menu with these Smoked Salmon Cakes. The Lemon Caper Sauce gives the dish great flavor and presentation.
Click through a Snapshots of all the recipes for the December 2013 issue. This month features Pacific Northwest specialties and tomato-based menu items.
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.

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While catering a wedding for a previous employer years ago, Rahul Shrivastav—now director of catering at University of Michigan—found himself in a panic when an elevator malfunction put salad service on hold. “The wedding was in a very old building and the elevator had issues,” he says. “We had 200 plated salads in the freight elevator when it got stuck. The dinner needed to start—they were doing their toasts.” In a panic, Shrivastav hustled up a plan B: His team would station a chef outside the ballroom, and he’d plate new salads right there.

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We’re knocking down a wall in our bar area, which will create a more inviting atmosphere and allow us to host a coffee and dessert bar in the space on off nights when the bar is closed.

Ideas and Innovation
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Aside from Black Friday shoppers, there may be no crowd of people more eager to get to their bounty than wedding guests headed for the passed appetizers. While they’re surely thrilled for the bride and groom, that feeling comes second to the thrill of landing that first shrimp skewer—especially after a long ceremony. Same goes for work-related cocktail parties. Caught up in an awkward conversation? Oh look, it’s the mini-grilled cheese guy!

This month, FoodService Director takes a deep dive into catering, from the latest and greatest in menus to starting a new program at your...

Ideas and Innovation
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In an interview with Bon Appetit magazine, Victor Clay, a line cook at Nobu Dallas in Texas, reveals his two simple tricks to prep an average of 15 to 20 shrimp per minute.

First, use kitchen shears to split the back of the shrimp. Then, before removing the vein, run the shrimp under cold water, which will loosen the vein. This cuts down on cleaning time, and prevents cooks from having to soak and rinse the shrimp afterward.

FSD Resources