Building a better salad bar

Salad bars offer variety, excitement and healthy choices for less.

Published in FSD Update

A salad bar at Texas Tech.

There’s perhaps no easier way to incorporate a large variety of local, seasonal and healthy choices on your menu than with a salad bar. Just ask Chuck Hatfield, director of product development for Sodexo’s Corporate Services Division—his salad bar was ranked by consumers as their favorite café destination. That distinction is no surprise when you consider the plethora of ingredients found on the bar: asparagus, grilled artichokes, heirloom tomatoes, roasted corn and root vegetables, and a variety of grains like farro and quinoa are just a few of the offerings available each day.

Scott Bruhn, executive chef at Iowa State University, in Ames, can relate. He runs four salad bars, each with a standard set of dozens of ingredients. As a rule of thumb, Bruhn recommends 50% veggies and 50% protein and other items like cheese, meat and nuts. “We are committed to offering a large selection because our students need variety in their diets and the ability to be creative,” Bruhn explains. 

Other operators agree. Laurence Shiner, executive chef for Sodexo Campus Services at Western Illinois University’s Corbin-Olson Dining Center, in Macomb, offers 40-plus fresh ingredients on his salad bar, in addition to grilled proteins like Cajun shrimp and steak. Peter Testory, assistant director of support and culinary operations at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, rotates in as many local products as he can on his salad bar, while John S. Pelton, foodservice director and executive chef at River Region Medical Center, in Mississippi, serves housemade ranch dressing on his bar alongside low-fat premade options. And Drew Latham, chef at Texas Tech’s The Commons, in Lubbock, has upped the salad bar ante with a self-serve guacamole bar complete with red and green salsa, roasted corn salsa, pico de gallo, limes, cilantro and onions.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
roasted butternut tartine

In a bid to meet customers’ growing interest in plant-based dishes, foodservice vendor Aramark will soon roll out a number of new meatless dishes on the college campuses it serves.

Some of the new plant-centric items it’s taking to colleges this fall include the Greek-inspired Spanakopita Quesadilla, an open-faced sandwich topped with roasted butternut squash and the Sweet Potato Smash sandwich (sweet potato, cranberry sauce and goat cheese on ciabatta bread).

Nearly a third (30%) of the entrees Aramark serves up at colleges are either vegetarian or vegan, the...

Industry News & Opinion

$1.5 million will be used to increase farm-to-school programs in the state.

Sponsored Content
cheese and pretzels

From AFP advanced food products llc

Foodservice operators are tasked with doing more with less—and managing food inventory is no exception.

All foodservice operations want to keep inventory at minimum, and operators are reducing the ingredients needed in their kitchens through strategic and savvy menu building.

There are a few primary reasons for the reduction in ingredients: cost, quality and space. By buying larger quantities, an operator can get better per unit ingredient costs. And by functioning on a limited number of ingredients, the inventory is used faster...

Industry News & Opinion

Bakersfield City School District is expanding the number of schools participating in a program to donate leftover cafeteria food to local shelters, Bakersfield.com reports.

The program, called Waste Hunger, Not Food, began last April in partnership with the county health department. Due to its initial success, the program is expanding from one elementary school to six schools starting this school year.

Under the program, students place unopened milk cartons, whole fresh foods and unopened prepackaged food that they don’t want into three separate bins. The health department...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code