FoodService Director | February 2013

FoodService Director once again presents its annual Recipe Issue. Packed within this issue is information about foodservice trends and how operators are responding to them, a look at how chefs approach recipe development, a view of Vietnamese cuisine and

FSD of the Month

You would think simply attending Yale University would be enough of an experience to remember, but Rafi Taherian, executive director of Yale Dining in New Haven, Conn., believes creating memorable...

Research

For this year’s K-12 Census, we decided to take a broader look at what’s going on in the child nutrition industry. Instead of focusing primarily on financial data, as has been done in the past, we delved deeper into the biggest challenge facing school foodservice: the USDA’s new meal pattern.

Operations

To educate and support a team that is productive and attuned to patients' needs, foodservice directors rely on a combination of training methods—some of which are decidedly low tech.

Steal this idea

We offered a meal plan to our students who decided to stay on campus during winter break. The plan was designed to increase revenue and provide additional student services while creating more...
Kids don’t have a lot of time when they are in the lines for the cafeteria so they don’t read signs that you post. Instead, post it on Twitter so they can read it on their own...
To help me keep track of the new meal regulations, I color code my menus. So for all the vegetable sub groups that we have to meet, I track those through color on my menus. For example, an orange...
Barbecue is king, especially in the South, but we have noticed our customers cutting back on pork. So we started offering pulled turkey breast barbecue—along with pulled pork—on...
We held a top chef challenge for our FSDs. Teams were formed and they developed and created recipes utilizing the new nutritional guidelines for veggies and fruits. They also were required to...
We identified a Food Allergen Advisory Team composed of 10 managers, chefs, cooks and our dietitian. The whole team will complete the Great Gluten-Free Kitchens training program designed and offered...
To encourage wellness, staff are encouraged to divide into teams and walk for wellness. Each team gets a T-shirt and records its distance walking around an indoor track. At the end of the week the...
It is extremely important for my management team and I to familiarize ourselves with the personal goals of our staff. On a regular basis we interact one-on-one with them and ask where they see...
We have made good use of our contact with local universities to recruit dining services associates. More than half of our diet aides are currently dietetic or foodservice management students at area...
When we served grapes in the high school the kids would throw them at each other. Working with Kern Hall, area manager, we found out, however, that if we put the grapes in packaging the students...
The district’s wellness department has bought lunch coupons and given them away to staff and administrators for them to eat our school lunches. That helps promote wellness because we have...
Students were asking us about the potential for more vegan bakery-type options, from breakfast pastries to lunch desserts like cookies and brownies to more decadent desserts during the dinner hour...

Cover story

Before foodservice directors can plan menus and select recipes to fit those menus, they first need to get the lay of the land; specifically, to decide what trends will have the biggest impact on...

Menu Strategies

Mention Southeast Asian cuisine, and Thai immediately comes to mind. It historically has been the “go-to” Asian cuisine after Chinese and Japanese, most likely because of the...

Ingredients

In an age where convenience is king, many chefs prefer to “do it old school.” They understand the benefits of, and are not shy about using, commercially prepared spice blends,...

Under 30

Emily Rhum, unit manager at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., is not afraid to take on new responsibilities and is first to volunteer to pilot a new project or be a test unit for a new idea or concept, says Elizabeth Poore, assistant director of oper
Knowing the importance of complying with HACCP guidelines, Krissy Lane, R.D.,  acting food service systems management dietitian at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock, Ark., implemented a new advanced tray preparation system in

Confessions

Bill Laychur, corporate executive chef for Culinary Support Services at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., loves cheesecake and preparing meat and can’t get enough of Russian/Polish cuisine.

Recipes

Creating recipes is an artform, one that doesn't get nearly the amount of respect it should. So we wanted to celebrate the process chefs go through to arrive at a recipe worthy of their...

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We patterned our chef culinary competition after the one pioneered by the University of Massachusetts. This year, 11 teams of college chefs registered. Each team gets the same market basket and has two hours to prepare three dishes. The starting times have to be staggered and nobody wants the 6 a.m. slot, so instead of randomly assigning times, this year we took the teams bowling and used their scores to determine starting times. The two teams with the highest combined bowling score got to pick their time slot first. Going bowling built camaraderie and team spirit before the teams even got...

Managing Your Business
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For all the most obvious reasons, managers and staff don’t always agree. But both sides can get behind retiring annual performance reviews, according to a January survey from software company Adobe, which quit the practice in 2012. There, 64% of surveyed workers and 62% of supervisors consider yearly evaluations outdated.

“My philosophy is if I have to wait a year to tell you where you stand, it’s a little too late,” says Al Ferrone, senior director of dining services at the University of California at Los Angeles. Ferrone and other operators are reforming the meetings to add real...

Ideas and Innovation
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Our employees have paid time off, but if they don’t call in at least one hour before their scheduled shift, their PTO will be docked for the day. We also assign points for unapproved absences. Everyone starts with a freebie, and when they get to 4, then we start the disciplinary action process. When a staff member gets to 10 points, that is grounds for termination.

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