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

Respondents reported nearly a 20-cent increase in food costs for lunch, and more schools report serving breakfast in the classroom than last year.
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.

Steal this idea

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...
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...

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...

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As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most of us in the Bay Area are, if not...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

FSD Resources