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 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...
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...

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

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