FoodService Director | January 2011

30 Under 30: Every operation has its own young talent, but who are the employees who have already made a big impact in a short period of time. We present the first eight of our 30 Under 30.

FSD of the Month

Tim Prosinski, foodservice director/chef at 3,200-student Berlin Public Schools in Connecticut, doesn’t know how to sit back and accept the status quo. In his five years at the district, he...

Research

Dining services at the 11,700-student University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., has had two major issues to deal with in recent months: a failing economy and a struggling football team. Unfortunately, both events have hit catering sales equally hard.
Average salaries grew in 2009, but women had a higher percentage of salary change during the past year, according to FSD's 2010 Compensation Study...

Steal this idea

As part of our Eat Smart campaign, which showcases the healthy options we offer, we included events this semester such as Balanced Plate Week, where we focused on teaching guests how to create a...
We are hosting a Fall Festival Farmers’ Market where we feature two recipes in a bag: apple crisp and butternut squash soup. Each bag includes the recipe, dry ingredients and all non-...
For Earth Day, meals in elementary schools were served without the use of ovens, warmers, steamers and heated serving lines. Students were served deli sandwiches, salads, trail mix and fresh kiwi. I...
We added merchandisers at both of our residential dining halls because we were concerned that students were waiting too long. Students suggested offering a prepackaged line of sandwiches to offset...
I have always felt that the little things we do to show our team members that we care make all the difference in the world. I send a personal birthday note to each of my team members and I regularly...
We have a cart in our retail café year-round. We started it in response to some student inquiries. We started in the summer when fresh produce was plentiful. Whatever we could find that...
We've created a fun resident activity called "Cooking with Keven." Each month a dish is made during activity time. The dish is made from start to finish with a history and...
To show our appreciation to our employees we offer free tutoring sessions every Wednesday night for the children of our employees. Bama Dining retail managers and supervisors volunteer two hours to...
We started a Cooperative Cart Program where school organizations can check out a mobile food cart to sell healthy foods during meals. The carts have either hot or cold storage, and the organizations...
When demand at our Crossroads dining began lagging behind other locations we decided to revamp the menu with campus celebrity items. Examples include a classic cheeseburger, renamed each year for the...
We started a brunch for lunch day this year to change things up a little for our students. At least once a month we serve breakfast foods for lunch. We’ve done omelets; sausage, egg and...

Ingredients

With more focus on healthy foods, beans are finding wider acceptance on non-commercial menus. Beans, high in protein and with more fiber than many whole-grain foods, are enjoying a resurgence in...

Confessions

Jason Giagrande, director of foodservice operations and events for Flik at NBC Universal in New York, is addicted to Vita Coco, hates flying and wishes he could learn to relax.

Five Questions

Retail Experience

Going to The Dairy at the University of Maryland is like going back in time—in more ways than one. Not only is this retail shop contained in a space that, according to head baker and pastry...

Health & Wellness

A community partnership has helped 8,500-student Peninsula School District redevelop menus to be healthier.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
kale quinoa salad

With all the hype around probiotics, we decided to create a daily dish that incorporates probiotics in addition to prebiotics. You rarely hear about prebiotics, and this was a great way to highlight how the two work synergistically to maintain a healthy gut. Our chefs have developed menu items such as roasted salmon with yogurt and mint vinaigrette; kale and quinoa salad with warm maple dressing; and leek soup with pickled cucumbers, to name a few.

Ideas and Innovation
packaged meals

While the multiple-choice questions on FoodService Director’s annual census surveys are a great way of gathering data on trends, I’ve always been rather partial to the open-ended queries. We can’t possibly think up every answer operators might have to a particular question, and it gives respondents a chance to show some personality as well. (A special nod to one cheeky operator’s not-quite-safe-for-work response to how they’re tackling shortened lunch periods—you made my day.)

So this year, for the first time since I’ve been at FoodService Director, I chose to include a very open-...

Menu Development
ramen bowl spoon chopsticks

Asian noodle soups are a popular lunch option at YouTube’s San Bruno, Calif., campus, says Trent Page, the GM at Bon Appetit Management who runs the company’s three corporate dining venues. But Page noticed an increasing preference for customizable dishes and vegan preparations among the 1,000 customers he feeds daily. Inspired by a recent visit to Japan, he introduced tsukemen to the menu—a dish that features most of the traditional ramen ingredients (noodles, eggs and vegetable garnishes) served separately so diners can mix and match. “Separating the components makes it more customizable...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken dinner

For the last three years, we’ve hosted an event called Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner. We sponsor the local chapter of Future Farmers of America to raise the chickens, and we have to arrange all the transporting from farms to the distributor, which keeps the birds in a freezer until we’re ready. We build hype by having students vote on the proprietary spice blend they would like on the chicken. It helps the nutrition team get involved in the educational process and showcase local food purchasing.

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