FoodService Director | September 2011

The Big Idea: It's often not just small ideas that are worth stealing. FSD brings you a "supersized" Steal This Idea section for those ideas are too big to ignore.

Exotic grains are undergoing a kind of renaissance due to their healthy qualities and versatility. Also called heirlooms, these nutrition-packed grains—amaranth, teff, quinoa, spelt, millet...

FSD of the Month

Like a lot of teenagers, Brad Lange took a job working in a restaurant as a dishwasher. After a stint in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, Lange found himself without a paycheck. “I...

Research

B&I revenue decreased by 7% and 60% expect their sales to remain flat or decrease in the coming year, according to respondents to the 2011 B&I Census Report.

Operations

Faced with constant requests for more vegetarian fare, the dining department at 36,000-student University of North Texas opened an all-vegan dining hall this fall. Ken Botts, special projects manager...

Steal this idea

We launched a program called Frugal Fridays, where each Friday during the semester a coupon is posted on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Students are able to stop by the designated dining...
During our weeklong student supervisor training we hold a trivia game based on what the students have learned during the week. We use PowerPoint to display the questions and answers, and the students...
We have leadership book clubs for our food service managers. We have selected books such as “Raving Fans” about customer service and “Eat that Frog!” about...
We created a team of student brand ambassadors who will be solely in charge of increasing brand awareness of eating at State. They will be responsible for setting up tables to talk about dining plans...
I use Glo Germ, a product that glows under a black light. I have one person put on lotion and another put on the powder. They shake hands and touch things and it gives a visual of how germs spread...
I just hired a new staff member who will concentrate on interpersonal skills. Employee relation problems are starting to take a large amount of our supervisor’s time, and we hope that this...
We changed our dining halls’ weekend dinners to a rotation of themed dinners. We now offer themes such as a Chipotle and Olive Garden-style meals. It gives our students the option of &...
I do a Trayline from Hell training scenario. During the training the staff are now students and they go through the trayline with a trainer and a couple of other directors operating the line. The...
We offer a Sweet concept, which is located inside our sub concept, that offers our sweet items direct from our Bake Shop at discounted prices. Customers can order cakes, pies, cupcakes, petit fours...
I have used rallies to motivate employees. I read a motivational quote and give out rally cards with that quote. I also read Caught You Caring cards that employees have written about other employees...
We held a competition called “Battle Royale,” where we divided our staff into two competing teams who then had to create two “pop-up” restaurants at either end...
We have a Wellness Entrée every day. It includes a smaller portion of a lean protein, a whole-grain starch and steamed vegetables with a bottle of water. This is available to our employees...

Cover story

Steal This Idea has consistently been the most popular feature in FoodService Director. But not every idea we receive is small enough to be contained in a box. On the following pages we offer 10...

Menu Strategies

Hot soup, with its low food cost and high profit margin, is a liquid asset for many non-commercial operations, according to directors. Soup attracts consumer attention and creates considerable sales...

Under 30

Jenna Kaczmarski, R.D, has chaired the local wellness policy committee and served on the Florida School Nutrition Association’s nutrition committee, says Marcia Smith, food service director of Polk County (Fla.) Schools. Kaczmarski is also responsib
For the past three years, Eric Haney has been working for Cal Dining, where he started as a sous chef and quickly worked his way up to become the executive chef at the Foothill Dining Commons, says Mike Laux, assistant director of administration services.

Confessions

Cavin Sullivan, general manager for Metz Culinary Management at The J.M. Smucker Co., in Orrville, Ohio, wishes he were taller, loves a good steak with fresh-cut fries and swears by Great Lakes beer.

Recipes

Five Questions

In May, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) launched the Healthy Food Hospitals campaign as a voluntary commitment made by hospitals to improve the healthfulness of the foods...

Retail Experience

Coffee shops on college campuses are now a well-known entity. The aesthetics are usually of the Starbucks-inspired variety—warm colors, comfy seating and dim lighting. Not the case with 12,...

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
hand selecting picture

According to the Wall Street Journal, new artificial intelligence technologies are designed to assist HR each step of the way, from recruitment to retention. They scour the internet for suitable job candidates; they take new employees through the onboarding process; they answer benefits questions; and they even scan employee correspondence for signs of unhappiness or counterproductivity. But do they make sense for foodservice operators?

“Anything that can help technology-wise, why not?” says David Hill, director of dining hall operations at the University of New Hampshire . “It...

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

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