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 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...
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...

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We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

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