Network with the leading operators

menu directions 2017

We’ve all heard the adage about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The only remedy, as people who run any kind of successful operation know, is being voracious about seeking out new ideas and surprising solutions to everyday challenges.

That’s what we had in mind when creating the agenda for our upcoming MenuDirections conference (Feb. 26-28, 2017, in Charlotte, N.C.). The general sessions, workshops and breakouts are responding to what we’re hearing from you on our travels to conferences and visits to your facilities—a need to learn new ways of innovating menus and improving your operations so that you can do more with less.

So the agenda for this year’s MenuDirections aims even higher. We’ve made the investment to bring big-time speakers and new perspectives to the stage. There’s Sam Kass, the former White House chef and executive director of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative—who helped launch the first major vegetable garden at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden. And you’ll learn best practices for leveraging social media as a marketing and recruiting tool from Joshua Swanson, a digital marketing consultant who’s worked with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, the iconic multiconcept restaurant operation in Chicago.

The true beauty of the MenuDirections conference has always been that it brings together all segments of noncommercial to learn from one another. Yet, we know from talking to you that there are unique and specific issues facing every segment. So, for the first time, we are giving each noncommercial association its own dedicated workshop at MenuDirections. For example, the Association for Healthcare Foodservice will host a workshop for hospital operators, and the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals will discuss the latest in senior living and CDM certification. As I write this, we’re also finalizing the details on sessions by the National Association of College and University Food Services and the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management.

At the same time, MenuDirections remains focused on the menu. You’ll still find the culinary events you expect and enjoy, including our culinary competition and dine-around tour of local restaurants. And as before, through our 15 educational workshops—covering topics from catering to renovations to revamping sauces—attendees can earn between 10 and 13 continuing education units.

Overall, we’re casting a wider net, offering business-building ideas that you can take back to your operations and implement immediately. We’ve challenged ourselves to do the same thing you’re doing: come up with more ideas in order to yield greater results, with the goal of giving you an even better return on your investment.  

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
plastic cutlery

At St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., protecting the environment and supporting the health and well-being of its employees and communities go hand in hand. FoodService Director spoke to Kevin Krueger, procurement and sustainability manager for the hospital, to learn about the strategies it employs to carry out that mission.

Q: What strategies have you put in place to help meet your diners’ expectations around sustainability?

A: One of the first projects I took on when I started here was removing products made of expanded polystyrene from our retail operation, which was...

Ideas and Innovation
fresh lettuce

High school students in the School District of West Salem in West Salem, Wis., have access to fresh lettuce at their garden bars and in premade salads at lunch through the district’s aquaponics garden, which will be expanded to include herb towers this fall.

This spring, the district is also broadening its sustainable and local sourcing efforts by planting 55 apple trees as part of the district’s new “food forest.” Director of Nutrition Services Kerri Feyen says the district stayed away from a traditional school garden or farm due to the central Wisconsin climate the district is...

Industry News & Opinion

The nutrition team at Manteca Unified School District in Manteca, Calif., is offering six junior farmers markets for students over the summer, Recordnet reports.

Students who attend the markets will be able to participate in an education session that highlights the importance of eating healthy. After the session, students will be given three “nutrition education dollars,” which they can use to purchase fresh produce at the market.

The nutrition team received additional funding from a local supermarket to put on the markets.

Read the full story via recordnet.com ....

Industry News & Opinion

Arizona State University will this fall begin offering kosher options at its Tempe, Ariz., campus, ASU Now reports.

Students will be able to grab kosher meals daily at the school’s Hassayampa Academic Village Dining Hall. The kosher options, which have been almost a year in the making, will include Thai curry, fajitas, Jamaican jerk chicken and vegan macaroni and cheese.

Administrators from University Housing and Dining began meeting with Jewish students in early 2018 to talk about how they could bring the meals to campus.

Around 3,500 Jewish students attend the...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code