FoodService Director | January 2013

This month we present The Best, a list of "bests" operators have seen in a variety of categories, from health and wellness to retail and the bottom line. This year readers shared their personal bests on topics like on-site gardens, new revenue sources and

FSD of the Month

In the mid-2000s, the foodservice program for the Clark County School District in Nevada was losing millions of dollars annually. By 2007, CCSD’s CFO, Jeff Weiler, had had enough. To try to...

Operations

In 1998, Jackson County Memorial Hospital in Altus, Okla., received an overall meal service score of just 38% in its Press Ganey survey. By 2003, that number had soared to 93%. Key to the positive...

Steal this idea

We do a presentation with the staff, including the chef and dietitian. We offer a three-course meal centered around all the aspects of whole life wellness. We offer a balanced meal, diet tips,...
We had a pumpkin carving contest in our cafeteria. We supplied the pumpkins, and staff members were able to take their pumpkins home and then submit their entries. Customers voted on the submissions...
We developed an innovative alternative to a printed monthly menu. Using a QR code, we now offer families a convenient magnet that can be scanned with any smartphone to display the next day’...
We utilized our patio to host a friendly competition between the dining halls. Each of the four dining halls participated with each team consisting of two cooks creating their own recipes for chili...
In a dessert special this fall, our bakeshop made an assortment of whoopie pies filled with different flavors. We created a choose-your-own combo, or the students could create their own combo of...
We have something in the dining halls that we call Table Talk, where students can come and talk to dining staff about questions or comments. We give students $25 in dining dollars for participating...
We partnered with a local mobile farmers’ market that comes on site once a week and brings fresh produce, meats, dairy items, prepared goods and baked goods from local farms and businesses...
After meeting with a vegetarian focus group we marked our standard menu items to make it easier to recognize the menu items that are vegetarian. Things like salad dressings, grilled sandwiches and...
Our healthy eating program, Choose Wisely, was developed to give customers an opportunity to make healthy choices. Each month, we identify one healthy item as a wise choice. If an employee chooses...
This fall the weather in Michigan was fantastic. We saw a slight decline in customers at our retail operations. We soon found out that they were enjoying the weather as well. We decided to send out...
During the cold winter months we offer a “Soup for the Soul” station, which consists of six different hand-crafted soups accompanied by artisan breads and housemade cheese...
It’s an important step to filter your water in all food-related areas of your operation. Every kitchen should have filtered water for soups, stock, coffee, fountain systems, ice water, fine...

Cover story

For the third consecutive year, the editors of FoodService Director have asked readers to share their thoughts, opinions and experiences on a variety of topics. Below we share some of their answers...

Menu Strategies

With the farm-to-table trend sweeping the nation, people care more about where their food comes from today. This includes the bread category; selling only frozen from a vendor is no longer sufficient...

Ingredients

Pork has long been like the ugly stepchild of the protein family, in part because of bans on the use of pig by some religious groups, and in part because of the vestiges of the old fears about...

Under 30

The district had very low participation before Jennifer McFarland, director of food and nutrition services, arrived at Center Grove Community School Corp. in Greenwood, Ind., according to Rose Smith, assistant director of food and nutrition services.
Stacy Haney, general manager cafés/Bobcat Essentials, at Ohio University in Athens, managed a major renovation in the Front Room Coffeehouse. In addition, Haney has overseen the opening of a third campus café while continuing to improve the

Confessions

Brendan Ryan, director of food service for Framingham (Mass.) School District, loves Champagne, wants to visit the dinosaur age and wishes he weren’t “too fat to fly.”

Recipes

The word carnitas, literally means "little meats," and this version features cumin, dark chili powder, garlic, onion and chipotle in adobo pepper...

Five Questions

At Tufts University, in Medford, Mass., dining services is currently working to create a kosher deli concept as part of a c-store, which is set to open next fall. Patti Klos, director of dining,...

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Mrs. T’s pierogies

From Mrs. T’s Foodservice.

Today’s college and university students demand customization, but they also seek out creative riffs on familiar dishes, making comfort food an area of opportunity for college & university operators.

This is especially true as more restaurants across all sectors add comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf, potato tots and loaded fries to menus.

Operators are already starting to see how a comforting, customizable ingredient such as pierogies meets those needs: Menu mentions of pierogies as an entree are up 9.3% over the last two years,...

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local produce

From WinCup.

Today’s students care deeply about sustainability—much more so than the general population. For them, sustainable practices are visit drivers. What’s more, some 57% of students are willing to pay more for sustainable foods, according to Technomic’s recent College & University Consumer Trend Report . Sustainable claims drive visits, especially for young consumers: Some 31% of Gen Zers say they’re more likely to visit restaurants that try to be sustainable.

Students are looking for foodservice operations with comprehensive sustainability programs, and...

Industry News & Opinion

Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Ohio, has opened a coffee cart in its cafeteria, The News-Herald reports .

Open throughout the day, the cart sells 12-ounce cups of coffee for $2 each. Students were able to taste-test some of the offerings and were also involved in choosing the cart’s name.

The drinks are made with low-fat milk and unsweetened flavor syrups, and soy milk is on hand for those with allergies. To encourage more breakfast participation, the school gives students 50 percent off coffee when they also buy a breakfast item. Additionally, the cart is stationed next...

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boston college acai bowl

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Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

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