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

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...
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...

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

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
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

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
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources