FoodService Director | March 2013

Outside Inspiration: You never know when or from where inspiration will come. Non-commercial operators have an easily accessible resource in their commercial counterparts. Whether in fine dining or fast casual, restaurants can offer a plethora of ideas wo

FSD of the Month

Great leaders aren’t afraid of change. They understand that complacency is the first step to mediocrity. John Miller, systems director of culinary wellness for the Henry Ford Health System...

Operations

The Food and Nutrition Services department at UCSF Medical Center is turning to a couple of high-tech gadgets to help customers live a healthier lifestyle.

Steal this idea

We provide Get Well Meals for students who are feeling under the weather. The meals feature our soup of the day, crackers, fruit, ginger ale, water, juice and Jell-O. Students just contact their...
Now that students must take a fruit or vegetable to make a reimbursable meal, we started a Don’t Forget campaign. We have signs and stickers and we created a logo. It’s all about...
Imagine the smell of fresh-baked cookies. We offer them on our pediatric floor every afternoon between 2:30 and 3:30. Happiness is a cookie with milk. 
We raffle edible bouquets/arrangements to promote fruit and vegetable intake. The bouquets are similar to what you see in an Edible Arrangements’ basket, with fresh fruits and vegetables...
We’re piloting a new online ordering system for our main café. You’ll be able to order food from any web-enabled device and pick your order up at a later point. We hope...
Our staff has more interaction with students than most departments on campus. So we work with the university counseling center to train front-line staff on how to recognize students who may be in...
When there’s a graphic on our menu, it’s something we serve. It’s not clip art. When patients look at the menu and they say, “I want that,” we say,...
We had a game show-inspired dinner called “Let’s Make a Meal.” We divided the menu into Announcers (Appetizers), Game Show Hosts (Entrées), Co-Hosts (Sides),...
We have recently joined the area property management association to meet the off-campus housing property managers. This helps with commuter meal plan sales and is an easy way for us to get our...
We have several new technology pilots. We are shortly rolling out Net Nutrition so residents have the ability to access nutritional information regarding the menu items we serve. We also have an...

Cover story

We at FoodService Director have long been committed to providing operators with ideas to do their jobs better, often by sharing ideas from within the industry. But we decided it was time to expand...

Menu Strategies

Deli salads are getting a makeover in non-commercial foodservice operations. The deli staples—chicken, tuna and potato—are being given new flavor profiles, and operators are...

Ingredients

Dan Skay, executive chef at Parker Adventist Hospital, in Parker, Colo., loves avocados. “We’re in the Southwest,” Skay explains. “We use avocados in...

Confessions

Bill McNeace, executive director of dining services at the University of North Texas in Denton, believes in real butter, can’t resist “True Blood” and thinks garlic mashed potatoes are a cop-out. 

Recipes

Five Questions

Last November, Timothy Cipriano, director of food services for Guilford (Conn.) Public Schools, was a contestant on the Food Network cooking competition show “Chopped.” Cipriano...

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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...

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