Managing Your Business: July 2013

Published in FSD Update

> Workers’ Hours Cut to Meet Obamacare Rules

Two school districts announced changes last month to their employee benefits as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Lexington Public Schools, in Nebraska, is increasing foodservice workers’ pay, while at the same time reducing hours. The moves will be budget neutral, according to an article in the Kearney Hub, but because workers will now work fewer than 30 hours per week, the district will not have to offer them health insurance benefits. The district’s six lead cooks will continue to receive health benefits and work the same number of hours they currently do.

Southern Lehigh School District, in Center Valley, Pa., is also taking the hour-reduction tactic with its foodservice employees. However, unlike staff in Lexington, these workers will not receive a bump in pay to cover the lost hours. 

> $19.7 billion

The amount of food, beverage and related purchases that foodservice operations (non-commercial and commercial) made in 2012 through group purchasing organizations (GPOs), according to a new study by Technomic. Expect that number to increase, Technomic says, because the scope of GPOs is growing. Between 2009 and 2012, foodservice purchases made through GPOs significantly outpaced those made through non-GPOs.

> Schools Feeling Heat from New Regs

Two school districts are making program changes after seeing their participation—and revenue—drop after making changes to meet the new school regs.

The Catlin Community School District, in Illinois, has dropped out of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), saying the new rules were too restrictive, increased the amount of waste and left students hungry. The district is instead asking parents, staff and the community to complete a survey to help the foodservice department create a new lunch menu for next school year. The department also is increasing the price of meals to help cover the lost reimbursement that comes from being on the NSLP.

A $30,000 cafeteria renovation at Bellingham High School, in Massachusetts, was put on hold after the district lost around $20,000 in revenue this year as a result of the new school meal regulations. “My incentive for doing [this renovation] was to provide a more expedient service for students,” Jeanne Sheriden, director of foodservice for the Bellingham Public Schools, said in The Milford Daily News. “We had no guarantee if we spent this money that it would increase revenue.”

> Adding Revenue Streams

When the foodservice department at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, in Lewiston, Maine, was looking for an additional revenue stream, it turned to take-home meals. Unlike other hospitals that offer this service, which is often used by hospital employees, St. Mary’s take-home program has a much greater reach. Across the street from St. Mary’s are 128 apartments for the elderly. Dennis Bouyea, general manager with Metz Culinary Management at the hospital, says many of the apartment’s dwellers take advantage of the take-home program, which hospital staff also appreciate.

The department serves between 3,000 and 3,500 take-home meals and between 4,000 and 4,500 to-go sandwiches each year in the home meal replacement program. The program, which started in 2009, has grown so much in popularity that Bouyea needed to expand the options to keep up with demand. This year, he added some new choices, including entrée salads. Customers can either pick up ready-to-eat meals like sandwiches or they can grab a frozen option, which consists of an entrée, vegetable and starch in a three-compartment microwavable container. Bulk items of entrées like lasagna are also available. Most items are priced between $2.75 and $4.50.  

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Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has appointed Cathy Desquesses as its chief people officer, the company announced on Friday.

Before joining Sodexo, Desquesses held multiple leadership roles in the human resources department at General Electric, where she worked for 20 years. Most recently, she was the global HR leader for GE Power Gas.

Desquesses will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel. She will replace Juan Pablo Urruticoechea, who is moving into a new position at Sodexo.

Photo courtesy of Sodexo

Managing Your Business
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The #MeToo movement has turned sexual harassment into the top labor-related regulatory issue for all employers, triggering action from three out of four companies, according to a new survey on workforce concerns.

About two-thirds (66%) of employers rank the issue among their top two employment-related legal worries, even without a change in the pertinent laws and regulations, the canvass found.

What has changed, concluded surveyor Littler Mendelson, one of the nation’s largest labor-focused legal firms, are employee expectations and the social climate.

“No company...

Managing Your Business
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Noncommercial dining centers are often filled with their own Starbucks, Burger Kings, Panera Breads and dozens of other nationally recognized brands. Branded concepts, whether corporate brands or self-operated, offer diners familiar names, menu items, and a sense of place. This translates into more money spent and more diner loyalty for foodservice operators.

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Menu Development
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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

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