FoodService Director | February 2011

The Best...Instead of trying to come up with a definitive "Best Of" list, where we tell what we think is best, we turned to non-commercial operators to share their personal bests in several categories.

FSD of the Month

Gary Coyle is a man with time on his hands, courtesy of a 70-minute commute to his job as director of dining services at 17,700-student Washington State University. During that daily drive to Pullman...

Research

Among our 276 respondents, 82% offer catering. Virtually everyone in B&I and colleges provides this service, while 94% of hospitals, 74% of schools and 68% of long-term care facilities do.
Respondents reported nearly a 20-cent increase in food costs for lunch, and more schools report serving breakfast in the classroom than last year.

Steal this idea

We were trying to reduce the salt and sugar without sacrificing taste. In reducing the salt aspect I wanted to create an all-purpose seasoning that was salt free and close to Mrs. Dash, so I came up...
For Halloween we did a theme meal centered on “The Flintstones.” The associates dressed up and we made a replica of the Flintstones. The menu included Brontosaurus Burgers,...
We do a dinner theater, which is a collaboration between the high school drama department, the food class and myself. They pick a theme and perform short plays that they wrote. The food class helps...
With all the vampire shows and movies around, we decided to make our Halloween event a Welcome to the Coven event. Everyone was dressed as vampires. We had True Blood in labeled bottles. For the food...
We do a lunch for dinner. We invite parents and families to school and serve them an actual school meal that is on our menu that month. It is a great way for working parents to experience what their...
This fall, we decided not to serve canned soda or bottled water at our grab-and-go locations. Instead of offering cans and bottles, we now encourage students to make use of stainless steel water...
If you know your employees well enough you can give them meaningful rewards, which don’t cost a lot of money. For example, if you have someone who really likes professional baseball, you...
We held a Night at the Movies event where we had the students guess the movie by the food we served. For example, we served Greek lamb and potato kabobs with pita, lemon wedges and tzatziki sauce,...
At Thanksgiving we held a turkey cooking class. Parents signed up for the class, which featured free-range, organic and vegetarian-fed turkeys. It was a one-hour class that taught everyone about...
All year long we have a farmers’ market every month outside our cafeteria. We buy as much produce from local farmers as possible, and even have had farmers sell their products at our market...
We ran a contest to get “going green” ideas from students. They gave us more than 100 ideas for what we could do to make not only our operation but also the campus greener. We...
Each year one school invites parents to lunch. The first year I noticed that our meals dropped significantly on these days as parents brought in outside food. I asked the principal if we could turn...

Ingredients

Even as more Americans look to eat healthier, the popularity of cheese seems to be surging. Pizza, mac and cheese and cheeseburgers remain ubiquitous, but chefs also are experimenting with more...

Confessions

Tony Almeida, director of food and nutrition at 608-bed Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., hasn’t joined the organic and sustainable bandwagon but loves chocolate-covered raspberries.

Five Questions

Nancy Rice, Director of School Nutrition Division for the Georgia Department of Education and School Nutrition Association president, talked to FSD about the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in store...

Retail Experience

Tucked away inside a bustling campus building at 11,300-student Washington University in St. Louis is an intimate 50-seat restaurant called Ibby’s, the newest addition to Bon App&eacute...

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

An agreement between Northwestern University’s new foodservice vendor and the union that represents many of the school’s service workers has put to rest some staff concerns over its upcoming vendor switch, reports The Daily Northwestern .

Unite Here Local 1 said that it met with representatives of Compass Group North America, which assumes control of the Evanston, Ill., school’s foodservice this fall, and reached a deal to ensure that staff who previously worked under Sodexo and Aramark would have job security with Compass. In addition, the agreement continues many benefits that...

Ideas and Innovation
scratch card

Two days a week, we do scratch card purchases of $6 or more to get a free item on the next visit. Patients and staff look forward to the Monday and Friday scratch card days. It increases sales on slow days as well as guest satisfaction.

Ideas and Innovation
ramen noodles

The Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock has unveiled a new, full-time food truck called Food from the Heart. It’s the first hospital-owned and operated food truck in the nation, according to KATV .

The truck, which will offer a limited menu that includes Chef Coby Smith ’s popular ramen, served its first meal on May 2 and will roll out service throughout the area beginning next month, the report said.

In addition, it will have pop-up locations, allowing the hospital to extend its reach to communities outside metro Little Rock. The truck can also be used in emergency...

Industry News & Opinion

In a bid to boost sustainability, Dartmouth Dining Services recently replaced its paper straws with red-and-white paper versions that are biodegradable, The Dartmouth reports .

The move is “a small step but a very important one,” Associate Director of Dining Services Don Reed told The Dartmouth.

While paper straws are slightly more expensive for the department than plastic ones, the difference is slight enough to justify, Reed says.

Not all students at the Hanover, N.H., school are on board with the change, however, and some are reportedly hoarding straws from...

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