Patricia Cobe

Patricia Cobe

Unique local specialties, fresh ethnic mashups and a lesser-known ancient grain are making their way onto restaurant menus—and could be the next frontier for noncommercial outlets, too. Here are five...
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament begins in mid-March, but it’s not too early to think about feeding the hordes of fans who will be watching the action on TV.
This trio of foods and beverages is just beginning to have an impact on restaurant menus. Here’s your chance to jump on these consumer-approved trends early.
The Academy Awards are as big a deal as the Super Bowl in many circles, including senior living, college dining and other noncommercial facilities.
veggie balsamic pizza
School gardens, cooking classes and themed lunches are tools used to get kids to buy into bolder flavors, healthier foods and unusual ingredients.
Nashville hot chicken, a regional favorite, also has been on the bucket lists of food lovers visiting the Music City. Now it has flocked to other locales.
egg waffle
Omelet stations are a popular breakfast option among Texas Tech University’s 37,000 students, says Dewey McMurrey, executive chef of operations at the school.
What’s happening in the streetside channel of the business could cross over to noncommercial facilities.
samosa stuffed potato
To create a healthier but gratifying version of a normally calorie-ridden stuffed baked potato, Chuck Hatfield took a few cues from Indian cuisine.
pho bowl
Stations focusing on salads, sandwiches and omelets—last decade’s customization models—have evolved into a much wider variety of DIY consumer options.


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Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo aims to reduce carbon emissions by 34% at its foodservice and facilities management sites by 2025, a goal it says it will reach through such changes as converting cooking oil into biodiesel fuel and using energy-efficient HVAC systems.

In announcing this endeavor toward sustainability, Sodexo—which manages more than 32,000 sites globally—noted that over 7,200 of its sites in North America recycle aluminum and paper, and 8,640 recycle cardboard.

Managing Your Business
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Recruiting talent is only half the battle for Mike Folino, associate director of nutrition services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Once he’s attracted good employees, providing clear opportunities for advancement can help retain them—but knowing when to bring up the topic in conversation can be tricky.

Prior to hiring

Folino likes to touch on advancement during the initial interview process, but the extent to which he does so changes case by case. “I have had interviews where we knew right away that we needed to discuss our structure and...

Ideas and Innovation
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When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Managing Your Business
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In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

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