Do dish rooms make sense in modern operations?

disposables

Though dishwashing is just one of a kitchen’s priorities, the rise of disposables has affected dish rooms in all foodservice sectors.

Disposables have completely replaced dish rooms in Orange County Public School cafeterias in California. Fifteen years ago, while facing a water shortage, the Florida school district decided to combat rising costs by switching to disposable plates.

“We did quite a bit of research and documentation in terms of that it would be better for our state [water usage-wise] if we could use the disposables,” says Lora Gilbert, director of food and nutrition Services, adding that there was “a substantial difference” between the cost of buying disposables and continuing to wash dishes. Orange County completely phased out its dish rooms—even renovating old dish rooms into cafeterias—and plans to shift to compostables.

Meanwhile, other operators are seeing a swing back to dishwashing. The University of Vermont’s dining services has shifted away from disposables at its all-you-can-eat operations. Dishwashing didn’t factor into the decision, says Sustainability Manager Caylin McKee—it was about the environmental cost of disposables. But the move has increased dishwasher use.

So far, the shift away from disposables hasn’t resulted in any need for more machines or human labor in the University of Vermont’s cafeterias. But McKee notes that her operation’s most efficient dishwasher hasn’t been the very reliable, so she recommends that other operators check to be sure the high-efficiency model they’re eying has been tested on the market. The best dishwashers, she says, are “not necessarily the latest and greatest.” 

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code