FoodService Director | July 2011

Solving Employee Issues: From incentives and partnerships with local culinary schools, find out how operators are solving employee issues.

FSD of the Month

Helen Wechsler wants her staff to be engaged on every level. As director of BC Dining at 14,700-student Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., Wechsler knows that a happy staff makes for happy...

Research

Eighty-six percent of college operators said they purchase products locally, with produce being the most commonly purchased local item.

Operations

Luby’s Culinary Services has partnered with the marketing staff at the new 48-bed West Campus-Texas Children’s Hospital to create a kid-friendly foodservice program. According to...

Steal this idea

Lower school students grow and maintain a garden. They bring us beautiful greens, such as spinach, lettuce, mustard greens and carrots, radishes and turnips. I used the beets to make a beet and...
We launched a program called DJ Sammie. Customers work with me to create their own sandwich (or Sammie). Each Sammie gets its own customer-created playlist, which plays for lunch guests in the caf...
We did a recipe contest at one of our high schools to encourage students to share their favorite healthy family recipe. The recipes had to include whole grains, dark greens, orange vegetables, dry...
Over the course of the fall semester, we hosted a “Steam Off” barista competition for our 16 coffee shops. A panel of judges rated baristas on customer service, speed and accuracy...
We started The Road to Healthy Eating to provide simple, easy-to-follow information on healthy eating. We know that offering healthy menu items doesn’t mean people will choose to eat them...
We have a frequency card with our Livin’smart wellness program. After someone purchases 10 Smart Meals they get to schedule a 30-minute consultation with our senior dietitian.
As part of our effort to enhance our revenue we implemented a delivery service for students who live in our southwest residential area. Traditionally our students order late-night snacks from...
We offer a mac and cheese station weekly for dinner in all three of our main dining locations. This station features more than a dozen mix-in options to enhance our housemade mac and cheese entr&...
At the end of each day we donate our leftover commissary sandwiches, salads and our in-house bakery items. Volunteers come six days a week to pick up the food items and they are taken to a local soup...
We do monthly theme dinners and cap the reservations at 50. One meal was the Titanic. We served the seven-course meal that was served the night before she sank. We gave each diner a boarding pass...
We held a local foods vendor fair for our students. The goal of the event was to introduce students to our local vendors and show our customers that we purchase local products. All the vendors...

Cover story

The foodservice industry is a people business, and people are both an operation’s biggest asset and its largest headache. Keeping employees motivated and engaged and providing them with the...

Menu Strategies

With its rich flavors and general health factor—foods rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants—the Mediterranean diet continues to satisfy customers’ demand for authentic...

Ingredients

Operators find new ways to menu the other white meat. What’s not to love about pig?” Nancy Maslonka, executive chef at the Medical Center of Lewisville, Texas, says. “It...

Under 30

Danielle Fanter was hired as a server, which I believe sparked her interest for the love of food, says Robert Darrah, food service director at Legacy Retirement Communities in Lincoln, Neb. Recognizing her raw talent and desire to succeed, she was promote
Autumn Ryder began with us as a student employee who was quickly promoted because she is organized, shows initiative and is enthusiastic, says Rich Neumann, director of dining services at Ohio University. Autumn manages our largest dining hall and is resp

Confessions

Joe Stanislaw, director of food and nutrition services at 265-bed Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., wishes he had better knees and says no thanks to frying every food you can think of.
Janet Paul Rice, associate director of dining services at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and current NACUFS president, wants to stop worrying, doesn’t understand the big deal about cupcakes and admits indecisive customers can be annoying.

Five Questions

In April Seaholm High School, part of Birmingham Public Schools in Michigan, started a gluten-free menu pilot. FSD talked with Samantha Mozdzierz,...

Retail Experience

A renovation and an addition to the campus’ student center greatly increased the retail offerings at the 32,400-student University of Missouri, according to Alan Petersen, manager of...

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

FSD Resources