Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUN 2019

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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80 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES JUNE 2019 MARKET SPOTLIGHT the 4,300 students enrolled. "We converted both our east and west foodservice areas into food courts," says Hadibib Osman, general manager of foodservice and nutrition services, Sodexo at Stevenson High. "Now, each has three stand-alone concepts — including healthy and comfort meals, a soup/panini station, and an international line, as well as two coffee barista bars." Concepts rotate weekly on the international line with items such as Mediterranean plates, burrito bowls, a pasta bar and chicken wings tossed to order. The school also has a made-to- order salad bar, where a staff member tosses the ingredients that the student selects. The station becomes vegan on Mondays — a la meatless Mondays — with selections like quinoa and meatless burgers and plant-based meatballs over rice. On Fridays, the area converts to a sushi bar, complete with a chef. Overcoming Challenges Committing to a made-to-order pro- gram at the school level comes with a number of challenges. Hiring and retain- ing high-caliber employees emerges as a general concern among most districts, says Urban, who notes Greenville County Schools District currently has 750 foodservice employees. Investing in culinary talent at the school level can bridge the gap in labor. For example, Quest now staffs its client locations with certiŽed culinarians, a very different scenario compared with 7 to 10 years ago, says Saccaro. "This is because we need it to deliver the programs students are expecting as well as to work with the equipment we have on hand." Along with more skilled labor, Saccaro also believes school districts continue to engage more with food- service design consultants when build- ing new spaces. "It's an opportunity to have someone who has independent expertise help guide architects and kitchen equipment folks in school districts to get the outcome that allows for fresh, healthy eating," he says. "It's hard to come back from a heat-and-serve design, so having the knowledge and expertise on the front end is an absolute game changer." Program logistics are often an issue, says Osman, who tapped Reitano Design's services for the Stevenson High School project. "Fresh lines go slower, so we needed an innovative way to serve 4,000-plus students in a timely manner," he says. "In some cases, students only get 25 minutes to eat." Reformatting and expanding the food court was the solution. Stevenson High's foodservice trans- formation lead to the addition of several pieces of equipment. "We needed to incorporate hot boxes, more refrigera- tion, hot and cold wells, soup wells and prep tables for making paninis," says Osman. "Combi ovens, a ˜attop and steamers were brought in for made-to- order items, which has allowed us to work at a modiŽed and faster pace than we did with heat-and-serve." Even better, the larger food court enhances efŽciency and enables more efŽcient prep, which in turn speeds up production. "Refrigerators and hot boxes can feed from both the kitchen and front of the serving line [with access on both sides]," says Osman. "We don't have much space, but we have utilized it to maximize efŽciency and adapted to what we could Žt." The Equipment Equation A change in production frequently brings about an equipment change in the back of the house, often to accom- modate more prep work and to add the necessary refrigeration for fresh, Above: Cold wells pro- vide Greenville schools with added flexibility to oer fresh foods. Right: Greenville County Schools' foodservice program focuses on whole muscle meats.

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