Check out interest sessions from NACUFS 2018 National Conference, which took place in Providence, Rhode Island in July.
For information on earning CEU credit from this year's national conference, please click here.
Great food! It is what we do, but the key component to making food amazing is the staff that produces and manages it. Are you maximizing your staff’s potential? Are you giving your supervisory staff the tools necessary to complete a job well done? Attend our Supervisory Track sessions for some insightful ideas that will help you with your most valuable asset, your employees.
•Culinary and Nutrition Track
Looking to stay crisp and on the cutting edge of the culinary experience? Fresh ideas on food trends, demonstration cooking, emerging cuisines, sustainability, allergens, food safety and so much more are just around the corner at the Culinary and Nutrition Track sessions.
•Sales, Marketing, and Communication Track
Media in all forms constantly bombard students today. Learn the trends and techniques to merchandise and brand your operations to stand out from the crowd. Find new ways to capture and engage your students in your dining programs with the Sales, Marketing, and Communications Track.
•Financials and Operations Track
If strategic and master planning, forecasting, capital improvements, or pricing are in your wheelhouse of responsibilities, the Financials and Operations Track has sessions for you. See what some top operators focus on and gain insight on ways to improve your program’s bottom line.
•Creating a Student to Employee Program
At the University of Colorado Boulder, student retention is a campus-wide initiative. Apart from providing great food, what can dining do to support this university-wide initiative? Explore the ins and outs of UC Boulder’s student employment program that teaches transferable business fundamental skills to students over a three to five year period. Students enrolled in the resume-building Student to Employee program are cross-trained to learn a variety of valuable management skills including waste management, revenue generation, sustainability, and problem-solving. As a result of the program, student retention has increased and the level of enthusiasm and commitment in the individual dining units is infectious, making teams stronger.
Nick Knobbs, University of Colorado Boulder
•Utilizing Mission and Core Values to P.R.E.D.I.C.T. Success
Passion, Respect, Empowerment, Dedication, Integrity, Continuous Improvement, and Teamwork; these values are the foundation of Utah State University Dining Services' customer service program. This program has changed the environment of USU Dining Services and has been recognized by the university as a great program. This tool can transform your employee engagement, ownership, and put you at the front of your university’s best place to work list. Session attendees will walk away understanding the importance of a true value program. The presenters will walk through the process of determining the core values and how the dining services team instills it in each employee on a daily basis.
Amy Rasmussen, Utah State University Dining Services
•Student Staffing for the Next Generation
After garnering feedback from student staff two years ago, it was apparent that Penn State University Campus Dining's employment model was very out-of-date. Penn State completely revamped the student hiring and retention model for the following school year and has continued to tweak the program through adding or changing the benefits of employment. This includes items like starting pay, scheduling, pay raises, and additional incentives (e.g. fueling stations for every shift, free tickets to various events throughout the year, and events for student staff. The session will discuss the history of the program and where Penn State plans to head in the future. Attendees will walk away with ideas for reshaping a new student handbook, as well as ways to utilize students in new and innovative ways throughout their operations.
Jim Meinecke, Penn State University
Jamie Robinson, Penn State University
•Container Farming: Grow Food Anywhere
In eight short weeks, a seedling grew into a healthy organic leafy vegetable inside a shipping container that sits behind a residence hall on the East Carolina University campus. This is ECU’s container farming concept. Grown hydroponically with the right amount of light, ECU is able to produce 500 heads of lettuce, the equivalent of two acres of traditional crops, every five weeks from this one shipping container. In this session, presenters will review the concept of container farming and walk through the requirements and logistics of implementing a container farm on their campus.
Sojo Alex, Envision Strategies
Bill McCartney, East Carolina University
•Revolutionizing Recipes: For Your Health and the Environment
In this session, Rutgers University Dining Services will provide insight into the strategic process behind revolutionizing menus for health benefits and environmental sustainability. Presenters will discuss the concept of campus dining halls serving as a living laboratory and sharing best practices for adapting current culinary trends. By comparing traditional recipes to recipes that have been “revolutionized”, attendees will discover evidence-based methods to transform recipes to match the health and environmental concerns articulated by university students, staff, and faculty.
Dr. Peggy Policastro, Rutgers University
Ian Keith, Rutgers University Dining Services
•Turning Food Waste Into Hunger Relief
Even with the best controls in place, foodservice operations inevitably have food waste at the end of a meal. Learn about the best practices for food salvage and donation at Harvard University, where they donate 30,000 pounds of food and 2,500 individually plated meals annually. Presenters will examine the best practices for food donation to local hunger relief agencies, identify the regulations and resources that allow for the donation of safe and healthy food, and discuss how to launch and grow a successful donation program and community awareness campaign on your campus.
Crista Martin, Harvard University
David Davidson, Harvard University
•Food2You - Executing a Late-Night Delivery Concept
Given three weeks for planning, Oregon State University successfully created a late-night food delivery operation that has grown from 100 orders per night to over 250 nightly orders. This presentation will focus on the planning, implementation, and adjustments needed to make it a success and lessons learned along the way in a declining-balance meal plan environment. Topics covered will include the concept and the investment, the daily operations that make a late-night delivery operation different from running a micro-restaurant, what it takes from the whole department and other departments to run things successfully, including how they built a mobile-friendly online ordering process, standard operating procedures, sales, menu development, labor cost, and more. All attendees will leave with the ability to start the process of creating a late-night delivery service that will add value to their customer base. Attendees will also receive access to all of Oregon State’s Food2You paperwork and operating procedures to help build the foundation of a successful late-night operation.
Chris Anderson, Oregon State University
•Empowering a Campus Community to Reduce Food Insecurity Among Students
Inspired by RISD students, Swipe it Forward is a temporary assistance program, empowering campus partners to provide meals to students in need. Dining Services brought together the Dean of Students, Student Involvement, Residential Life, Counseling & Psychology, Health Services, Public Safety, and Student Financial Services to develop a collaborative program to combat this issue. Learn more about this community-building initiative, including the ins and outs of working with a software vendor to utilize current POS and meal plan systems to achieve this initiative.
Pierre St-Germain, Rhode Island School of Design
Isabel Ferreia, Rhode Island School of Design
•Boomers, Blackberries and Tweets; Supervision Across the Generations
Who are the generations seen on today’s campuses? What makes each of the generations unique and special? How can supervisors and leaders be more effective with all generations on campus and in work areas? See how technology, world events, and cultural norms have shaped the way each generation views the world through the lens of their perspective. This session will define Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z; and suggest ways to best supervise each generation.
Paul Rinella, Michigan State University
•The Power of Inclusion
NC State Dining will tell their story about creating a culture of inclusion and how this shift has given the dining community a platform to be seen, recognized, and heard—both on campus and nationwide. They will provide examples of how investing in their dining team and student organizations has improved morale, attracted quality industry professionals, and increased student satisfaction during their dining experience. Presenters will provide examples of simple yet impactful events held on campus that have boosted spirits and stimulated creativity. Additionally, participants will come away with multiple approaches to further engage student groups to obtain a better insight of their needs as it pertains to dining. Attendees will leave with tangible, easy ways to promote inclusion on any size campus.
Jaelyn Phelps, North Carolina State University
Manley Cosper, North Carolina State University
•Coffee and the Student Experience: Insights, Trends, Opportunities
The café experience plays an integral role in students’ overall satisfaction of dining on campus. The growing importance of the café presents new and exciting opportunities, yet the demand for the specialty coffee experience necessitates specialization and adaption beyond the scope of traditional campus dining. In this session, participants will explore strategies for using the café as a space for engaging students in critical dialogues about food systems; examine current trends in specialty coffee; review sourcing, menu planning, equipment, and layout; and discuss the implementation of comprehensive quality control and barista training programs.
Joseph Maurey, University of Washington
•On Trend with Seafood: Healthy, Sustainable, and Affordable
Sustainable Seafood has been a top culinary trend for the last few years. But how do you make it work on campus and take it from a trend to your purchasing standard? A panel discussion moderated by Seafood Watch’s Sheila Bowman will discuss how universities are successfully sourcing sustainable and affordable seafood for campus dining. University of Illinois’s Dr. Dawn Aubrey and Silverfin Group’s Chef Philippe Parola will discuss their "Eat the Problem: Invasive Asian Carp" Campaign, followed by Princeton University's Renae Hill and Sea to Table’s Founder Sean Dimin discussing wild, domestic, and traceable seafood.
Sean Dimin, Sea to Table
Sheila Bowman, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Dawn Aubrey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Philippe Parola, Silverfin Group
•Alcohol: Best Served on Your Campus
This session will explore responsibly serving beer and alcohol on campus. Topics covered will include underage drinking, overconsumption, financial factors (good and bad), campus safety, alcohol education, improved campus life, and more. The focus will be on removing the taboo nature of alcohol and acknowledging the fact that it is going to be consumed and how to try and minimize its negative impact. It is imperative that universities be forward thinking about minimizing the opportunities for alcohol-related incidents. This session will explore the positive aspects that responsible alcohol service has brought to Case Western Reserve University.
Matt Vann, The Jolly Scholar
Jason Kimball, Case Western Reserve
•Creating Customer Loyalty and Retention through Special Events
The distinct advantage a collegiate dining team has is the ability to create an oasis for students to relax, unwind in, and break away from the stress that a college course load could bring. By offering creatively themed nights and unique events, dining programs can not only help build community, but can also create raving fans across campus while attributing positively to the bottom line. In this session, participants will learn how Columbia University has elevated their program through special events and discover the gains seen by incorporating creative monotony busters within dining halls. This session will give attendees the foundation of how they can set the bar in delivering the best dining experience possible at their respective college or university.
Justine Sacks, Columbia University
Adebayo Otiti, Columbia University
•You did a Benchmarking Survey! Now what?
Attend this session to learn what Texas Tech University Hospitality Services does with the NACUFS Customer Satisfaction and Operational Performance Benchmarking Survey data to facilitate decisions and make improvements within a $38 million department. Attendees will discover new ways to disseminate survey data to operations to improve customer satisfaction, increase sales and minimize losses.
Mike Betzold, Texas Tech University Hospitality Services
Matt Ferrell, Texas Tech University Hospitality Services
•For Emerging Leaders: Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks
This session is intended for those who aspire to become leaders within the collegiate dining arena. The session will focus on navigating the critical transition from positions requiring technical skills to positions where leadership skills are more necessary. Participants in this session will consider their current leadership competencies and leave with a checklist of strategies for developing those skills and managing their career pathway to a leadership position. Note: This session is part 1 of a two-part program; part 2 is Making the Leadership Transition: Advice from Today’s Leaders. While each session can stand alone and is open to anyone, those who attend both will maximize their learning!
Pam Schreiber, University of Washington
•Develop Innovative Student Manager Training
Come learn about the innovative one credit hour Student Manager Training class that has existed at Ohio University for over 28 years and is now team-taught by three members of the Culinary Services Management Team. This formal training program includes dealing with difficult management decisions, workplace safety, Title IX law, level one food safety, customer service, diversity training, and Ohio University’s sustainability initiative. After this session, attendees will be able to design and/or improve a training program of their own and tie their university’s academic mission to their student manager training program.
Rich Neumann, Ohio University
•Food Allergy Management: It's About More than the Food
While student tastes have become more sophisticated and students are seeking healthy, nutritious, and restaurant-quality dining experiences, access to safe foods has become an important part of the college experience for tens of thousands of allergic students. Dining and foodservice professionals need to understand and implement the basics of managing food allergies, avoid pitfalls, and provide all customers with the dining experience they want. A food allergy expert will dive into the issue of food allergies as a public health concern, including prevalence, diagnosis, and management, as well as details on what research shows are effective (or ineffective) methods for managing food allergens in foodservice environments. A school law attorney will provide a primer on the legal issues to consider in addressing food allergies on campus; and will provide three case studies serving as examples of how universities can provide accommodations for students with special dietary requests.
Sherry Coleman Collins, National Peanut Board
Wesley Johnson, Escamilla & Poneck
•Millennial and iGen Trends in Collegiate Dining Programs
This panel of collegiate dining experts will share how they incorporated Millennial and upcoming iGen (Gen Z) dining trends into their operations. The topics covered will include allergen dedicated spaces, hyper-local ingredients, transformational social and study spaces, and unique services that keep students engaged and promote learning outside the classroom.
Nona Golledge, Bakergroup
Paul Houle, University of Colorado Boulder
Dawn Aubrey, University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Cam Schauf, University of Rochester
Judy Gipper, Western Michigan University
•Building Partnerships with Academic Affairs Through Themed Meals
In the Fall 2012 semester, students at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) indicated that they wanted to sponsor a science-themed meal. A team from Dining Services and the School of Science worked together in true partnership throughout the 2012-2013 academic year to plan the campus-wide event. The event provided a platform for students to share their love for their discipline with the campus community, while increasing campus engagement, especially faculty and staff participation in the dining program. Over the past six years, the successful event and correlating partnership have resulted in themed meals with each of TCNJ’s seven academic schools as well as the Library. Presenters will discuss the elements that have made the events and partnerships successful, focusing not only on outcomes, but also key lessons learned.
Karen Roth, The College of New Jersey
Dr Jeffrey Osborn, The College of New Jersey
Patrice Mendes, Sodexo
•How Technology is Transforming the Physical Retail Experience
The way we access goods and services has been transformed into a more convenient digital experience. While the internet restructured what we can do, the mobile device has reshaped how we can do it. When the mobile experience enhances operational efficiency and output, the effect on business can be revolutionary. Attend this session to learn more about the four most significant elements required for mobile ordering implementation success: the technology platform, the design and layout, the school, and its students!
Tarah Schroeder, Ricca Design Studios
Ben Anderson, Tapingo
Robert Holden, University of Georgia
The Future of NACUFS Learning
Join us to hear about and provide feedback on the exciting work underway to define the body of knowledge for collegiate foodservice professionals. The body of knowledge will help define what you need to know and know how to do to be successful on your campus. It will provide a framework for prioritizing which content is most relevant for which audience. It will also help shape the future of learning events at NACUFS.
Hosted by the Body of Knowledge Task Force and Learning Committee
•Unleashing the Potential of a Micro-Restaurant
Micro-restaurant doesn’t equate to pint-sized profits, petite-participation rates, or micro-successes! Hear the stories of how two very different renovation projects interpreted the micro-restaurant model for their schools—one a large union that underwent a complete transformation to implement new concepts and food trends, the other resourcefully re-imagined a restaurant using only readily available assets to redefine a microspace. Ultimately, both ended up creating the most profitable and popular areas of campus.
Lenny Condenzio, Ricca Design Studios
Scott Pinkham, Brigham Young University
•Using Micro-Learning To Improve Student Training
Traditional training methods alone are not enough to effectively engage Millennial and Gen-Z employees who prefer training programs that are short, focused, content-rich, and utilize technology. During this session, participants will be introduced to micro-learning theory and application, specifically how Michigan Dining has used it to enhance their student training and development program. Additionally, the presenter and attendees will explore how to use the different web and mobile-based apps to deliver micro-training. By implementing micro-learning techniques in employee training, foodservice operations can develop a more skilled workforce.
Ronnaè Smiley, University of Michigan
•Making the Leadership Transition: Advice from Today's Leaders
This session is intended for those who aspire to become leaders within the collegiate dining arena. It will feature the leadership journey of four individuals currently leading successful collegiate dining programs. The panelists will share their experience in preparing for their leadership role, what they discovered along the way, and sound advice for attendees. Note: This session is part 2 of a two-part program; part 1 is For Emerging Leaders: Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks. While each session is open to anyone, those who attend both will maximize their learning!
Pam Schreiber, University of Washington
Amy Beckstrom, University of Colorado Boulder
Patti Klos, Tufts University
Steve Mangan, University of Michigan
Jeff Yawn, Georgia Southern University
•Building a Meal Sharing Program
Food insecurity in Johnson County, Kansas has mirrored the growing numbers at the national level. Learn how Johnson County Community College Dining Services created a meal share program to provide free meals to needy students on campus while maintaining their privacy and dignity. Key departments on campus including Financial Aid, the Bursar’s Office, Information Services, Marketing, and JCCC’s Fundraising Foundation overwhelmingly endorsed the idea and lent a sense of urgency in building this program faster than any other initiative on campus. Launched in January 2018, the program loads funds daily on the student’s ID card to use at all dining services locations. After this session, attendees will understand the process used at JCCC to identify food insecure students while maintaining their dignity and privacy, as well as have an example of how a similar program can be built and implemented on their own campus.
Jason Arnett, Johnson County Community College
Claudia Martin-Ayoade, Johnson County Community College
•UMass Dining's Recipe for Creating Successful Campus Food Culture
Being at the cutting edge of healthy sustainable eating, UMass Dining has redefined the concept of student dining and spawned a new, modern meaning of what it takes to be a university food service provider. The presentation will focus on the ingredients, methods, and results of a strong campus dining program, transforming dining to a core campus function. Attendees will learn how local sourcing, authentic flavors, and global cuisines are melded into experience-laden dishes. The presenters will discuss the proven methods to engage the campus community around food and the value of a strong culinary team. Finally, the presentation will tie together the three key institutional benefits of a strong dining program.
Ken Toong, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Garett DiStefano, University of Massachusetts Amherst
•Why Food, Why Now, Why Higher Education
Higher education is at the forefront of bringing attention to climate change, social, economic, and environmental challenges. In this session, attendees will gain an understanding of food systems, the context of human health and health of the planet. Participants will be invited to brainstorm ways to design campus dining programs in a way that would address health and environmental challenges. As subject matter experts, campus dining services programs are uniquely positioned to share their knowledge of food systems with students and campus colleagues. As students are engaged and taking a greater interest in understanding factors impacting these global issues, campuses have an opportunity to educate and build synergies with their students for greater impact. This session shares Princeton University’s approach to this topic through its newly launched Food and Agriculture Initiative.
Smitha Haneef, Princeton University
Donna Pilenza, Princeton University
•Moving Forward: Creating a Sustainable Purchasing Program
Unity College, the winner of the NACUFS 2017 Grand Prize in Sustainability, brings you a look at the latest step in its sustainable dining journey: the sustainable purchasing policy. As America’s Environmental College, UC Dining Services strives to demonstrate sustainability in the food system to its internal customers and external partners. In collaboration with the Sustainability Office and with guidance from the Real Food Challenge, UC Dining Services tackled vendor education using sustainable RFPs, regional partnerships, and certification through the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Attendees will learn the steps needed to engage purveyors in collaboration for sustainability, understand the value of aligning dining with the institutional mission and be able to craft a Sustainable Dining Policy.
Lorey Duprey, Unity College
Jenny MacArthur, Unity College
Scott Lingley, PFG NorthCenter
•Sonoma Strong Firestorm 2017: What We Learned
In October 2017, Sonoma State University was at fire risk for 10 days with a fully activated Emergency Operations Center. The campus had to be closed and then evacuated, while sourcing care for students and staff. Presenters will share their disaster planning guide which helped with closing campus and still serving customers. EOC and operator insights will be shared. The campus is now working on the financial tracking for FEMA and presenters will share all of the steps needed for an outline and checklist.
Nancy Keller, Sonoma State University
Chris Romo, Sonoma State University
Neil Markley, Sonoma State University
•Writing and Using a Cost-Benefit Analysis
In today’s environment of decreasing state support for colleges and universities, it is more important than ever to prove to the upper administration that your food operation is running as efficiently as possible. Whether your operation is self-operated or contract, it is important to show that your current business model is best for your school. Prepare your operation by writing a cost-benefit analysis using industry benchmarks from the NACUFS Operating Performance Benchmarking Survey and Consumer Price Index. After this session, attendees will be able to write an effective cost-benefit analysis, tie their services to the overall educational mission of the university or college, and use key benchmarks and metrics to tell their story to upper administration.
Rich Neumann, Ohio University