FoodService Director | June 2011

Cool Tools: From combi ovens and Energy Star equipment to wireless pagers, operators are embracing technology in the back of the house.

Research

Midsize and regional contract management companies see growth while national companies saw slight decline in revenue.

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We are kicking off a Wellness Week with six new entrées. The goal is to jump-start the transition to entrées with tasty, low-fat ingredients, legumes, vegetables and non-...
We made a build-your-own concept that encourages guests to use more vegetables. The guest chooses a sandwich wrap and then has the option of filling it with made-to-order salad selections such as...
We keep a daily laminated inventory paper to match with an online order guide. We group categories of items together. This reduces inventory time to an hour. The laminated sheets let you waste less...
Our high school team created a Veggies Against Cancer week, which highlighted veggies that fight cancer. They served cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Our elementary team created a Heart-Healthy...
Every year I give out awards for years of service, units without accidents and a year of superior attendance. I give out raffle tickets to those who attend the event, who followed our rules or who...
We did a ‘50s promotion where we served things like a James Dean bacon burger, Dick Clark’s chili dog, Elvis’ cheese fries and housemade apple cobbler. We also reduced...
We started a Dine With a Chef program to reinforce the wellness programs we are doing during the school day. The principal picks 25 fourth-grade students to attend the event. Each student can bring...
We partnered with the city to send our food pulp to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The city recently installed a food grinder, so all other food scraps except bones can go to the...
I started a secret shoppers program. I select people from different areas of the hospital. I give them vouchers for food and forms to fill out. I ask the secret shoppers to take specific notes if...
We planted a rooftop garden, complete with irrigation, and the results were staggering. We were able to plant 220 square feet and got three full harvests out of it. The science department was so...
We developed a game based on the TV show “Fear Factor.” We painted boxes with the “Fear Factor” logo and filled each box with an “unusual”...
As part of our sustainability efforts we have replaced all bottled water for catering with countertop water dispensers. We serve it in compostable corn cups. We can also float lemons or other fruit...

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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

From Dannon Foodservice.

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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