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

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
making meals

This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

Industry News & Opinion
sharing love

Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

But from that tragedy has come one of the most impressive feats of foodservice I’ve seen since coming on board at this magazine, partially spearheaded by Nutrition Officer Betti Wiggins , who only just joined the district. For the entire school year,...

FSD Resources