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

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...
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...

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,...

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

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