2014 Silver Plate: Kevin D’Onofrio

Dedication to service, quality and the West Point cadets has kept D’Onofrio at the helm for a quarter of a century.

Published in FSD Update

Like the honor of receiving the IFMA Silver Plate Award, not many can say that they have worked for the same organization since high school. But Kevin D’Onofrio, director of food service at the United States Military Academy, in West Point, N.Y., can.

“My career started when I was in high school. I started working here on weekends, cleaning tables, doing dishwashing and things,” he explains.

While attempting to establish a carpentry business after high school graduation, D’Onofrio increased his hours at his West Point job to help make ends meet. “And then it just went from running the sports bar to being the catering manager to going to the West Point Officers Club to be the assistant manager,” he says. Then in 1987, D’Onofrio set his carpentry business aside and stepped into the position of director of food service for the entire West Point facility.

Steps to success

During his 26-year tenure as director, D’Onofrio has taken the dining services arm of West Point from “$1 million in sales and losing money in 1987, to $9 million in 2013 and making a profit,” he says.

To achieve such figures, virtually every inch of the organization has been modified under his command, including renovations, changing service hours, updating menus to align with current trends and  branding the department. “When I first took over in 1987, there were six different food establishments at West Point. When you were eating at any of the Culinary Group locations [Culinary Group is the name of West Point’s foodservice department] you really didn’t know you were eating there, so the first thing I did was [give it] its own identity by creating a logo. I wanted that recognition of what we did versus the other five or six [dining options] on campus,” he says. For example, a Burger King and Subway at West Point are run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The USDA has awarded the Indiana State Department of Health a 2018 grant to help support farm-to-school programs in the state, WBIW reports.

The department will receive $98,468 over two years to support the Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Indiana Grown program, which is responsible for promoting local ingredients in school meals and other farm-to-school events.

The grant money will go toward creating resources and a promotional campaign to help districts incorporate fresh ingredients in meals. It will also be used to support and grow the state’s 11 farm-to-school...

Industry News & Opinion

Dining services at Boston College will this fall introduce a new layer in its sustainability efforts: reusable takeout containers.

The containers will make their debut at the school’s Stuart Dining Hall, The Heights reports .

To combat theft of the to-go boxes, the school will use a token system by which students who pay $8 to join the Green 2 Go program will receive tokens that they can them redeem for containers. Once used, they will return a container to a particular register and receive another token. If a student loses a box or token, they can buy their way back into...

Menu Development
spicy bibimbop

Bowls continue to trend as meal carriers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both operators and the guests they feed appreciate bowls for their convenience, customizability and creative combinations. Build-your-own stations are increasingly popular ways to offer bowls in college dining, corporate venues and school and hospital cafeterias. But building a satisfying bowl takes more planning than randomly tossing ingredients together in one vessel.

Playing with layering

“Texture is the secret ingredient for a successful bowl,” says Kevin Cecilio, senior director of culinary innovations...

Industry News & Opinion

Austin Independent School District in Texas is introducing new globally influenced menu items this school year, Spectrum News reports.

The offerings are meant to reflect the district’s diverse student body and will include yuca fries, Jamaican meat pies and plantains.

Read the full story via spectrumlocalnews.com .

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code