Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUL 2018

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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46 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JULY 2018 MOBILE | MODULAR | CONTAINERIZED For renovation, expansion, or disaster recovery, KTG's innovative solutions mirror existing production facilities with state-of-the-art equipment, functionality and design. Interim kitchen and dining facilities that Keep You Cooking! See us in action at KitchensToGo.com/video, or contact us at (888) 212-8011. www.KitchensToGo .com within the Yale community to sponsor it. "They like to have the Yale experi- ence," Fischer says. "We have the ability to create all kinds of events for them across the campus." The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst also has a conference sales department that brings in business from the outside. Van Sullivan, who serves as the director of retail services and over- sees conference services and catering, ex- plains that his team has to overcome some misconceptions on the part of conference planners, who usually don't consider col- lege campuses for meeting sites. "It can be a little tough to knock on those doors and say, 'You should really have this event at the university,'" Sullivan explains. However, the fact that UMass has a very highly ranked foodservice department helps. Given the need for organizations to watch their budgets, Sullivan notes his department can help customers sharpen their pencils in ways that more traditional catering venues can't. "We've been getting more budget-conscious, traditional con- ferences on campus," he says. "They may have 2,000 to 3,000 people. We've been hosting them at a good clip." In the summer, when the residential halls are empty and the recreation cen- ters are not in use by UMass students, the catering department can accommo- date summer camps as well as tradition- al and academic conference groups. UMass has also just renovated its chapel. "We've started doing weddings," Sullivan says. "We can have a wedding of up to 100 people in a really beautiful building. Or, there is a stunning outdoor setting on a pond. We also have a renais- sance house on campus, as well as our hotel. We cover the gamut." COMMERCIAL TRENDS HIT CATERING, TOO Jason Kroboth, the executive chef who heads up campus catering at Penn State University, sees a change in the way people eat at events. "They are going from full service to reception casual," he says. This change mirrors the trend toward more casual commercial foodser- vices as well, he explains. "It used to be fine dining. Now, it's almost all casual." Sullivan at UMass agrees. "We understand when folks want a real fine- dining experience, but in the general day to day, family style is becoming a lot more popular," he says. Catering clients also want more options on the plate. "It's not just an old center-of-the-plate piece of chicken with some au gratin potatoes and car- rots," Sullivan says. "You're going to want to have chicken with three or four items on the plate. Or, even better, the meal served family style." Indeed, new developments in the world of campus catering fit two categories: trends and challenges. On the trends side, in addition to a move toward more relaxed, customizable events, caterers and their customers now pay greater attention to health, wellness, ingredient transparency and special dietary needs. "Guests understand health and wellness and generally have a better understanding of nutrition," Sullivan says. "They know what they are eating and are not afraid to let you know." Sullivan also sees a "far more digni- fied accommodation of special food requests" than five years ago. In the past, caterers might have treated these requests somewhat disdainfully. "Catering is one of the last areas to get on board with this," he says. "We're seeing much Chef Jason Kroboth of Penn State Campus Catering with one of the catering team's delivery vehicles. The small fleet of vans, trucks and utility vehicles delivers food and supplies across the campus. Photo courtesy of PSU Marketing COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CATERING SPOTLIGHT

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