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The Value of Turkey During Lean Times

Friday, 01 October 2010 21:42

Courtesy of the National Turkey Federation

food2_oct10Online resources from the turkey industry will help students better understand how to deliver customer satisfaction while contributing to a healthy bottom line amid a “perfect storm” of challenges for operators.

The lean economic times the foodservice industry is currently facing requires a careful evaluation of daily operational practices. Restaurateurs need to look for ways to trim costs, reduce waste and maintain a steady customer base in this environment of sharply higher commodity costs, soaring fuel prices and continued food price inflation. Meanwhile, restaurant guests are squeezing their own food budgets, and when they do dine out, they look for value on menus.

Introducing Cost Control in Culinary Education

Friday, 01 October 2010 21:38

By Birch DeVault

food1_oct10More easily applied in the culinary lab than the classroom, keep the learning active, engaging and authentic.

In my culinary classes, I attempt to direct my students’ learning activities from the basic to the complex. I’ve had success with this kind of cognitive scaffolding when it comes to the food itself, the method of preparation, the care in the process of cooking, and in the construction of the final plate presentation. Many of my students consider themselves artists in the making or formative craftsmen, so the idea of building them as business people is a little difficult for some to approach. I find that containing the idea of cost within the pursuit of art or craft is not only challenging, but adds authenticity to tasks committed within an applied learning environment.

Missing: Whole Grains on Breakfast Menus

Monday, 06 September 2010 21:03

By Jen Wulf

food3a_sept10They’re easy to include, but hard to find.

Annually, more than 12 billion morning meals are served by commercial restaurants (NPD CREST, YE May 2010). Curiously missing on most breakfast menus are whole-grain items. A mere one in three breakfast menus offer any item made with whole grains, and those tend to be either hot or cold breakfast cereals (Datassential MTD, July 2010).

With heart disease and diabetes constant concerns across our country, many consumers are looking for healthier options at breakfast. According to Mintel, 77% of restaurant users “would like to see more healthy items on the menu” (Mintel Healthy Dining Trends, May 2009).

Retaining Foodservice Employees

Monday, 06 September 2010 20:50

by Bradley J. Ware, Ph.D., and C. Lévesque Ware, Ph.D.

In any business, reducing employee turnover can result in greater productivity and increased profitability.

Foodservice operations are different in size, structure and sophistication, yet there are basic guidelines that can be applied in varying degrees to any operation to encourage employee retention. Employees who feel respected, appreciated and fairly treated and who are comfortable in their work environment do not usually leave. Opportunities for personal growth and possible career advancement are also important enticements for employees.

The Power of a Good Hot Sandwich

Monday, 06 September 2010 20:45

By Brian Campbell, CEC, CCE

food2_sept10Because everyone grew up eating sandwiches, students will inevitably view sandwich-making as a life skill they have already mastered. This is where the teaching challenge lies.

When teaching one of the major objectives (the technique of roasting) in a recent class, I had an opportunity to show how to utilize a leftover roast from the previous day, in this case pork loin, to produce a profitable menu item.

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