Foodservice Issues

Spotlights the challenges and opportunities that impact the application of foodservice equipment and supplies in the real world including green and energy efficiency concerns, foodservice equipment concerns, the impact of technology on foodservice, and the state of the foodservice economy.

Eyeing the C&U Dining Future

Asked what they see as the biggest changes ahead for the college and university dining segment, consultants and foodservice directors generally agree on two things: The pace of change will only accelerate, and technology will fuel many of the biggest changes ahead. Here’s what some see in their crystal balls:

  • “Today, we have beautiful buildings, exciting chef-driven menus and an incredible array of choices for students. In 10 years, it’s just going to be more exciting and as big a contrast to what we’re doing today as our current operations are to the steamtables and straight-line cafeterias that were the norm 10 years ago.”
    – Peter Testory, Director of Dining, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • “We are looking at opportunities for robotics to be used in our program in the future. The industry isn’t there yet, but I’m confident that technological innovation and ongoing labor challenges will make robotics a viable alternative in the future. I also anticipate the rapid growth of delivery, perhaps via drones, and more advanced development of technologies that enable us to provide information to students in ways that they want it and that guide their custom, unique choices.”
    – Eric Montell, executive director, Residential & Dining Enterprises, Stanford University
  • “In 10 to 15 years, more schools will adopt a social-architecture approach to developing their campus dining experiences. As the proliferation of electronics, virtual reality goggles and apps to connect to while you’re sitting alone in your room with the lights out continues, creating social spaces for dining and engagement will become even more important to student success.”
    – David Porter, CEO, Porter Khouw Consulting
  • “I predict that in the future we’ll see traditional serveries focused on made-to-order meals and socializing but also newer, centralized kitchen facilities designed exclusively for processing all of the online orders that are going out for delivery or being staged for pickup. I also see drone delivery, new unmanned grab-and-go venues and the growth of automatic, wireless scanning and payment of selections made by customers as they visit campus dining venues.”
    – Adam Dean, senior associate/Management Advisory Services, Cini-Little Inc.
  • “Mobility will continue to be a big future focus, both in terms of technological innovations that make it easier, faster and more convenient for students to access our offerings and information, but also in terms of platforms we’re using, such as food trucks. Everything that we do in the future will continue to be focused on driving efficiency, talent and quality around what has become a very exciting culture of food on campus.”
    – Steve Mangan, Director of Dining, University of Michigan

For more insights on college and univesrity trends, read FE&S' Feeding A Better College Experience story.

Next-Gen Leaders: Morgan Burnett

Student Employment Manager, Dining and Culinary Services
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Educational background: Associate Degree in Culinary and Hospitality Management from Waukesha County Technical College
Years in foodservice: 16, the first 5 years at a variety of high-end restaurants in Milwaukee
Age: 32

Next-Gen Leaders: Nick Cantoni

Chef de Cuisine/Production Manager
University of Montana, Missoula
Educational Background: Associate degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University
Years in foodservice: 14
Age: 29

Next-Gen Leaders: Susan Cramer

Associate Director of Retail Operations
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Educational background: Bachelor's degree in Spanish and Women's Studies from University of Michigan
Years in foodservice: 8 (7 of them with Michigan Dining)
Age: 28

Next-Gen Leaders: Dustin Cutler

Director of Dining
Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Educational background: Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Niagara University
Years in foodservice: 13
Age: 35

Next-Gen Leaders: Eric Ernest

Executive Chef, USC Hospitality
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Educational Background: Degree in culinary management; studied cuisine in Europe and North Africa; completed CEIP (Culinary Engagement and Innovation Program) at the Culinary Institute of America; preparing to pursue MBA
Years in foodservice: 23
Age: 40

Next-Gen Leaders: Selina Fournier

Dining Services Manager, Hampshire Dining Commons
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Educational background: Bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Administration (now Hospitality & Tourism Management), University of Massachusetts Amherst
Years in foodservice: 20+
Age: 40