Foodservice Opinions

Opinion pieces on the foodservice equipment and supplies industry from leaders and laymen from all aspects of the business, including dealers, distributors, design consultants and multi-unit operators.

Chef's Corner: Camp Howard, Director, Vanderbilt University, Campus Dining

Camp Howard, CEC, is a Culinary Institute of America graduate and chef-turned-foodservice director at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He joined the staff 18 years ago in 1997 as executive chef, earning the director role in 2008. Camp has watched the Vanderbilt college foodservice industry go through dramatic changes. Currently, Vanderbilt operates two main dining halls/serveries that seat 550 and 800 people respectively, along with several retail, convenience store/market, and coffee kiosk outlets around campus. Howard and his team have earned multiple awards for their innovative food, including a Chefs of Tomorrow Award (2012), presented by Olson Communications, and a Number 15 ranking out of 75 Best Colleges for Food (2014) by the Daily Meal.

A Food Waste Solution That’s Easy to Digest

“Fatbergs” was the term used to refer to the masses of FOG (fats, oils and grease) found in the sanitary sewer lines surrounding the second oldest residential dining facility operated by the Housing Dining Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Five years ago the University’s Facilities and Services department asked us: What are you going to do about it? The Housing Maintenance department already had a contractor jetting out the sanitary sewer ejector system with ever increasing frequency. But it wasn’t enough. We couldn’t allow the sanitary sewer system to back up into the dining and residence hall.

Why Training Still Matters

For foodservice industry veterans, it can be easy to adopt a “been there, done that” attitude when it comes to training. If you have seen one fryer you have seen them all, right? Wrong.

Innovating College Foodservice from Within

There is a lot to be said for those of you managing college and university dining programs. You are surrounded by educators and forward-thinking people who seek, in their own way, to advance the world in which we live. The students you serve and sometimes employ are typically energetic and full of ideas. Some student workers approach things without any knowledge of “how it used to be done” while others always look for better ways to approach the task at hand. Many of your staff may be comfortable with how it has always been done, but you probably have other staff who continually seek opportunities for improvement. This mix of interests and skills puts you in the best possible place for innovation: an environment of opportunity, challenge and progress.

Sysco Bows Out of Merger, Hooters and Ruth’s Chris Remodeling and More

Restaurants are performing well in the minds of most consumers according to a recent study. Sysco bows out of the US Foods merger. Buffalo Wild Wings pleases guests by adding staff. Ruth’s Chris and Hooters are both investing heavily in remodeling. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice.

Casual Restaurant Sales Rise, McDonald's Closing Stores, Tablets Take Off and More

Knapp-Track finds causal restaurant same-store sales up slightly in May. Technomic reports restaurant same-store sales were up 4 percent in the first quarter. The number of restaurants increased 9,000 last year. A coalition has been created to fight NY Governor Cuomo’s plan to increase the state’s minimum wage. Food trucks could have sales of $2.7 billion in 2 years. These stories and a whole lot more in This Week In Foodservice.

Restaurant Sales Gain, Job Market Looking Up and More

Restaurant sales had a modest gain in May. U.S. job openings hit an all-time high. The NRA says foodservice will hire over half a million workers this summer. Businesses fight proposed changes in overtime pay regulations. L.A. raises minimum wage to $15. These stories and a whole more in This Week In Foodservice.

Mounting Franchisee Problems for McD’s, NYC’s Fast Food Growth and More

McDonald’s franchisees face numerous problems. Foodservice operators kept hiring in May. New York City fast food employment grew 87 percent in the last 15 years. NPD Group says traffic was flat but menu price increases drove dollar sales. These stories and a whole lot more in This Week In Foodservice.

Show Stoppers: A Look at the 2015 National Restaurant Association Show

Amid a sea of new and innovative products, one particular development caught the eye of FE&S blogger Juan Martinez. Want to find out which emerging foodservice equipment trend stole the show? Read on.

Chef's Corner: Ryan Conklin, CEC, Executive Chef, Culinary and Nutritional Services Rex, Healthcare, Raleigh, N.C.

Ryan Conklin oversees culinary operations for Rex Healthcare's room service-style patient dining as well as two retail outlets, two extended care facilities, catering and special events, serving 4,800 meals daily. In March, Conklin won the Triangle competition.

Living in Challenging Times, A Q&A with Michael Atanasio of Overlook Hospital-Atlantic Health in Summit, N.J.

Michael Atanasio is director of Food and Nutrition Services and also manages patient transport and a metabolic program at Overlook Medical Center in Springfield, N.J., a 525-bed acute care facility ranked and recognized as one of the best regional medical centers by US News and World Report’s Best Hospitals study. His 32-year hospitality industry career includes 28 years in healthcare foodservice beginning in 1989 at a large multi-site medical center in New Jersey.

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