After spending the week at Rich’s Renaissance Center in Buffalo, New York for the Food Service Management Institute, I was inspired to make myself more accountable as a manager on all levels including an improved customer service program. Founded on facets of integrity and customer service,the Rich Promise: “We will treat our customers, our associates and our communities the same way. Like family” will inspire you to be a better person and manager. One of the Rich managers, “director of motivation and celebration” offered his pearls of wisdom on taking care of the customer and marketing a product. I plan to institute many of his “pearls of wisdom” in my unit this fall.
The week began with intense training on all the things that make our operations thrive—cost control, budgeting and financial reports, building a menu, HACCP and quality assurance. Julaine was our facilitator and teacher, and the lady is a wealth of information. She did a phenomenal job of sharing her knowledge with the group of FSMI participants. After we absorbed all this information, we had the amazing opportunity to put it into action. We were tasked with two projects: creating a restaurant and serving the Rich’s community lunch, and presenting a formal bid to open a food service operation. The challenges of these projects were not in the defined parameters of the project but rather the group dynamics of working with individuals you just met. After we rode the waves of “forming, storming, norming and performing” our group meshed and the project was an epic
success. We developed and created an entire business plan around a college food truck.
At the conclusion of the program we were given the opportunity to tour the Niagara Community College Culinary Arts Center and have our farewell dinner at their restaurant. Needless to say, it was amazing—every course!! Each group presented their respective presentations at the Community College. After the final presentation we were critiqued on our presentation skills. That is always a humbling experience, but absolutely necessary for improving your public speaking skills.
I returned to Pennsylvania reflecting on everything I had learned over the past week. The institute has so much to offer to the food service manager. Without hesitation, I would recommend this institute to any operations manager. Working alongside a
diverse mix of talented professionals from other universities was the true learning experience, one I will never forget!
Thank you NACUFS!
Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Regional Conference
Connect to Success
Rutgers, New Brunswick, New Jersey
March 19 -22, 2014
Congratulations to Rutgers for hosting an amazing conference!
Ten Chefs from the Mid-Atlantic Region participated in the Culinary Challenge: Chef Phil Charles, Millersville University; Chef Theodore Foster, Bryn Mawr College; Chef Andy Kerscher, University of Richmond; Chef Zach Lorber; Penn State University; Chef Chris Mushall, Lynchburg College; Chef Brian Petersen, Rutgers University; Chef Thomas Schraa, University of Maryland; Chef Jonas Scott Spiker, Marshall University; Chef Matthew Starry, Dickinson College; and Chef Erik Weatherspool, New Jersey Institute of Technology. Congratulations to Chef Thomas Schraa who won the competition with his creation of “Lobster Stew” and will represent the Mid-Atlantic Region during the National Culinary Challenge in Baltimore, MD in July.
Michelle Moss of Villanova University has been elected President Elect. Due to the restructuring of the Mid-Atlantic Council Officers, Michelle will assume the position of President of the Mid-Atlantic Region after the National Conference in July. Deb Hydock, Gettysburg College, was re-elected as the region’s Information Officer.
Danielle Niro-Sams and Nick Emanuel, Conference Co-Chairs were the recipients of the Vice-President’s award for their outstanding work on the conference.
Lori Pierce, Agilysys, was the recipient of the Industry Appreciation Award.
Please visit the following link for a photo gallery from the conference.
And finally, a huge THANK YOU to our sponsors!
Diamond: Schwan; The Mushroom Council; J. Vrola; Performance Food Group; Ozzi Enterprises; Nestle; US Foods; Sun Coffee Roasters; Sysco.
Gold: Pepsi Co; Signature Solutions; Hormel Foods; Agilysys; Mercer.
Silver: Sea to table; Bake’n Joy; Hobart Corp; Peet’s Coffee & Tea; John Morrell Food Group; Tyson Foods; Premier Reach.
Bronze: Bush Brothers; BrakeBush Brothers; Ferrero Food Service; Campus Dining; Barilla; RC Fine Foods; General Mills; Guayaki Yerba Mate, Hubert.
Gifts In-Kind: Snikiddy; Millers Rental.
Gettysburg College Dining Services held a "Top Your Own Noodles" bar on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Students were provided with a cup of Yakisoba noodles and served their choice of chicken or shrimp. From there, the rest was up to them! Toppings available included green onions, shredded carrots, mung sprouts, red peppers, snow peas, Asian spiced endamame, green peas, asparagus, shredded Napa cabbage, sweet chili sauce, Szechauan sauce, and fried wanton noodles, and of course, a ladle of vegetable noodle broth. Students enjoyed the menu with approximately 50% returning for a second portion and about 30% returning three or more times!
Customer Service Institute
Submitted by: Dan Esposito
Business Manager II
West Virginia University Dining Services
I attended the Customer Service Institute at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis, Missouri from December 7-11, 2013. The purpose of this institute was to help participants explore various service philosophies and principles of customer service for use in their operations.
The featured speaker was T.J. Schier - speaker and author, and owner of “Incentivize Solutions.” T.J. presented practical, easy-to-implement ideas on popular topics like guest service and motivation/training of today’s generation. T.J. is very knowledgeable and did a fantastic job presenting his concepts and ideas.
True Foodservice Equipment and the Sysco Corporation were the sponsors of this Institute. Both companies had excellent presentations for us regarding their customer service philosophies. True also provided us with a tour of their manufacturing facilities. We were able to see how a lot of the refrigeration equipment we use on a daily basis is made.
Juliaine Kiehn, Donna Boss, and Cam Shauf were the facilitators of this institute. They made this institute very interesting and shared with us their vast knowledge gained from distinguished careers in the foodservice industry. Also in attendance was Katie Kiter, the NACUFS Education Assistant. I would like to thank all of these folks for their input and assistance with the institute. I would also like to thank the Dining Services Staff at Washington University for providing us with a tour of their facilities and an outstanding dinner. They did a fantastic job!
I would like to thank the Mid-Atlantic Region for selecting me to attend this institute. This was the seventh institute that I have attended. I have one more to go to complete all of the institutes offered. I hope to attend the last one this year.
Photos of the Fall Sub-regional meeting at Villanova University on Thursday, October 17 are available here.