2005 Menu Development Survey: Dishing it out

Many of the largest organizations in foodservice have revamped, overhauled or otherwise upgraded their menus in recent years.

Non-commercial menus today exceed their forebears with regard to health and nutritional benefit, not to mention taste and convenience. But a host of business issues make menu development more challenging than ever.

Many of the largest organizations in foodservice have revamped, overhauled or otherwise upgraded their menus in recent years—no small task since competition is at a fever pitch, food costs are daunting and labor continues to pose its own set of woes.

For example, Sodexo’s Your Health Your Way recipe program for corporate dining “was designed by dietitians and executive chefs who have combined the most updated nutritional guidelines with a collection of meals that can be customized to fit any dietary lifestyle,” says Dick Macedonia, president and ceo of Sodexo.

The contractor is not alone in such endeavors. Aramark’s Just4U Branded Menu Platform and other efforts have come about in much the same way. Its goal? “To deliver an effective solution to address health, wellness, quality, variety and convenience that results in better retention, satisfaction and productivity,” says Doug Martinides, vice president of innovative dining solutions for Aramark.

FSD’s third annual Menu Develop­ment Study, conducted as the basis for the annual MenuDirections Conference (see page 8), confirms that menu development in non-commercial is a complex and involved process. It explores several areas of menu planning activity:

  • Is the cycle menu still the norm?
  • How prevalent are ethnic foods—and what are the top challenges to serving them?
  • Where do operators get new ideas?
  • What’s their approach to culinary training for staff members?
  • What meal production methods do they employ?
  • How can operators improve worker productivity?

Pages

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
American Egg Board

Breakfast is self-service at Harvard University’s 12 undergrad residences, and the menu used to be limited to baked goods, fruit, hard-cooked eggs and other grab-and-go staples. But students started asking for enhanced breakfast offerings, says Crista Martin, director for strategic initiatives and communications for Harvard University Dining Services. After seeing a DIY scrambled egg station in action at Dartmouth College, Martin figured Harvard could do the same.

So last summer, she and her team piloted a similar hot breakfast station in one of the residences, or houses, as they...

Managing Your Business
staffing

In October, the unemployment rate hit its lowest point since the Vietnam War, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And it’s a number that is significantly affecting foodservice hiring.

Not only are directors and chefs having a tough time filling job s but they also can’t find enough skilled workers to execute the menu and provide good customer service. As operators continue to grapple with this problem, some are finding the solution lies in extensive cross-training.

Multitasking to stretch staff

“Every staff member is trained to multitask,” says Kory Samuels,...

Industry News & Opinion
voting

Residents of Missouri and Arkansas voted on Tuesday to increase their state’s minimum wage to $12 and $11, respectively.

The wage hikes approved for the two states will be phased into place over a period of years.

In Missouri, where the minimum is currently $7.85 an hour, foodservice operators and other employers will be required to pay a minimum of $8.60 as of Jan. 1, $9.45 in 2020, $10.30 in 2021, $11.15 in 2022 and $12 in 2023.

Arkansas’ pay floor will rise to $11 by 2021. The legal minimum wage will rise to $9.25 an hour on Jan. 1, $10 a year later and $11 the...

Menu Development
fresh fruit

More than a third of college students (39%) say they have a few snacks between meals, according to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite. While fresh fruit is the snack of choice for college kids, operators can also satisfy cravings with more standard snacking fare such as chips. Here are the most preferred snacks for college students.

!function(e,t,n,s){var i="InfogramEmbeds",o=e...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code