Foodservice Issues

Spotlights the challenges and opportunities that impact the application of foodservice equipment and supplies in the real world including green and energy efficiency concerns, foodservice equipment concerns, the impact of technology on foodservice, and the state of the foodservice economy.

From-Scratch Cooking Boosts Customer Satisfaction and Lowers Costs at Legacy Retirement Communities

Keeping customer satisfaction high while keeping costs down challenges all health care dining professionals. At 652-resident Legacy Retirement Communities in Lincoln, Neb., Robert J. Darrah, CDM, CFP, CHC, director of Dining Services, tackled the seemingly contradictory expectations by transitioning his department to a scratch-preparation kitchen.

Food Truck Focuses on Satellite Buildings Without On-Site Meal Options at Centra Health

Many employees at outlying buildings at Centra Health in Virginia don't have access to on-site food venues. The nutrition services department sends a food truck to their locations. The mobile cafe resides at Virginia Baptist Hospital, two miles away from the "mother ship" hospital Lynchburg General. Virginia Baptist's campus provides a designated place to park, clean and stock the truck.

Fresh For You Market Adds Grocery to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital

Taking a wellness and lifestyle approach to healthcare, 315-bed Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, part of Eskenazi Health, entered the grocery business in June 2017. The Fresh For You Market at Eskenazi Health, a 450-square-foot space, attaches to the Ingram Micro Mobility Marketplace, the main casual-dining operation on the Eskenazi Health campus. Customers enter through the Ingram Micro Mobility Marketplace or an outside entrance. Both operations open at 6 a.m. and close at 2 a.m. daily.

Healthy Selections+ at Geisinger Health System

Danville, Penn.-based Geisinger Health System's foodservice department's introduction of Healthy Selections+ (HS+) not only encourages customers to eat healthfully but introduces them to options many have never experienced.

A Focus on Nutrition as Medicine Despite Staff Reductions at Hendricks Regional Health

Cost containment initiatives at 160-bed Hendricks Regional Health in Danville, Ind., forced Martha Rardin, MSM, RD, CD, FAND, director, Nutrition and Dietetics, to make a tough decision. "We had to make staff reductions so I voluntarily reduced the cook-to-order station's operation from daily to about once a week so we wouldn't have to cut back on patient services," she says.

A 2.2-Acre Garden Serves as A Teaching Tool and Supports Culinary Operations at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Sitting on the western edge of campus, a 2.2-acre garden at the 55-year-old St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., serves as a teaching tool for patients and their families. The garden also provides food for the hospital's culinary operations and serves as a venue for fundraising events such as the St. Jude Garden Harvest.

Exceptional Food Offerings in Retail and Patient Services at JPS Health Network

Display cooking brings lively interaction to the JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, Texas. The JPS Cafeteria brims with activity as staff prepare stir fry and lo mein on the Mongolian grill, made-to-order pasta dishes on an induction cooktop, and bake pizza in a brick oven. "We want to move away from all stereotypes of hospital food being just ordinary and make it exceptional," says Neal Lavender, executive director of Food and Nutrition Services.

Eyeing the C&U Dining Future

Asked what they see as the biggest changes ahead for the college and university dining segment, consultants and foodservice directors generally agree on two things: The pace of change will only accelerate, and technology will fuel many of the biggest changes ahead. Here’s what some see in their crystal balls:

  • “Today, we have beautiful buildings, exciting chef-driven menus and an incredible array of choices for students. In 10 years, it’s just going to be more exciting and as big a contrast to what we’re doing today as our current operations are to the steamtables and straight-line cafeterias that were the norm 10 years ago.”
    – Peter Testory, Director of Dining, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • “We are looking at opportunities for robotics to be used in our program in the future. The industry isn’t there yet, but I’m confident that technological innovation and ongoing labor challenges will make robotics a viable alternative in the future. I also anticipate the rapid growth of delivery, perhaps via drones, and more advanced development of technologies that enable us to provide information to students in ways that they want it and that guide their custom, unique choices.”
    – Eric Montell, executive director, Residential & Dining Enterprises, Stanford University
  • “In 10 to 15 years, more schools will adopt a social-architecture approach to developing their campus dining experiences. As the proliferation of electronics, virtual reality goggles and apps to connect to while you’re sitting alone in your room with the lights out continues, creating social spaces for dining and engagement will become even more important to student success.”
    – David Porter, CEO, Porter Khouw Consulting
  • “I predict that in the future we’ll see traditional serveries focused on made-to-order meals and socializing but also newer, centralized kitchen facilities designed exclusively for processing all of the online orders that are going out for delivery or being staged for pickup. I also see drone delivery, new unmanned grab-and-go venues and the growth of automatic, wireless scanning and payment of selections made by customers as they visit campus dining venues.”
    – Adam Dean, senior associate/Management Advisory Services, Cini-Little Inc.
  • “Mobility will continue to be a big future focus, both in terms of technological innovations that make it easier, faster and more convenient for students to access our offerings and information, but also in terms of platforms we’re using, such as food trucks. Everything that we do in the future will continue to be focused on driving efficiency, talent and quality around what has become a very exciting culture of food on campus.”
    – Steve Mangan, Director of Dining, University of Michigan

For more insights on college and univesrity trends, read FE&S' Feeding A Better College Experience story.