Gluten-free options to increase in coming year

Schools plan to cut sodium to make menus healthier.

We asked operators what changes they plan to make to their menus in the next 12 months to make them healthier. The No. 1 answer—with 38% of operators—was offering gluten-free options, according to research by The Big Picture. The second most-cited answer was reducing sodium—at 34%—followed by offering more whole-grain options—at 33%.

While those three were the most cited tactics operators industrywide plan to use to make menus healthier, there were differences between the individual market segments when it comes to tackling menus.

Perhaps indicative of new federal regulations in the coming years, schools cited reducing sodium as its No. 1 way to make menus healthier, with 60% saying they plan to cut the salt in the next 12 months. At 60%, this was the most frequently cited healthy tactic among all market segments in the survey.  

Long-term care/senior living operators cited offering more whole-grain options as their No. 1 tactic to make menus healthier. In addition, 16% of these operators said they do not plan to make any changes to their menus options in the next year to make them healthier. 

Increasing gluten-free options was the most cited tactic to make menus healthier by colleges, B&I and hospital operators.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minn., invited students to help serve lunch in an effort to encourage their peers to try new, healthy recipes, Hutchinson Leader reports.

The students, who are part of the school’s Students in Action Club, created posters to advertise the new meal and helped serve it to students during lunch.

The school’s kitchen manager, Janet Schmidt, said that around 37 more students than normal got in line to try the meal. The school plans to have students from the club help serve lunch once every month.

Read the full story via Hutchinson...

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

FSD Resources