Seven years ago I was hired as an editor covering the noncommercial foodservice industry. To be fair, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I naively thought, “How much is there to write about, really?”
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I quickly learned just how important the industry is. Child nutrition professionals feed millions of children who might not receive meals if it weren’t for school-supported foodservice operations. Hospitals not only serve the doctors and nurses who take care of our sick loved ones, but they also nourish and educate patients to help them better their health. B&I operations fuel workers with caffeine and grub to get us through long days of meetings and never-ending to-do lists and college operators, god bless you, feed young adults often living on their own for the first time.
Perhaps the most poignant noncommercial foodservice memory I have comes from a family dinner we had with my grandfather when he was in a long-term care facility. My family always had Sunday suppers together, and after my grandfather’s debilitating stroke left him largely without the function of the left side of his body, eating was no longer the joyous occasion it once had been. But the dining services and facility staff worked with him and us to create a special mealtime in a private room so we could continue — at least for one day — our family tradition.
That’s what the noncommercial foodservice industry is to me: Stories built around food and families, however you define what family is to you. These operations are so much more than a good meal.
As the new editor-in-chief of Food Management, it’s my goal to share the stories of noncommercial foodservice with you. FM has, and always will, provide best practices, business tips, culinary expertise and innovative ideas. But this industry is built around the people who create these meals, and it’s my goal to showcase the individuals who make this industry one that touches so many people on a personal basis.
So what can you expect from FM in 2015? More of everything. More stories showcasing the industry’s best—and the lessons that can be learned and translated to your operations. More advice and tips from your colleagues. More food coverage, because who doesn’t like food and want more trend spotting? And more stories about you and how you’re making a difference in the lives of the communities you serve.
The new year will also continue to show our commitment to FM digital products. Information is being consumed differently today. Tablets, smartphones and wifi have enabled an on-the-go society with the tools to receive and read content in a different way—you no longer have to wait for a magazine to make it to your mailbox to find out what’s going on. At FM, we’re committed to providing daily content to keep you up to date and help you do your jobs better. Our e-newsletters, which will increase in scope and frequency, will support these efforts. That doesn’t mean we’re abandoning the print product. It means we can be selective about how we do our storytelling, both online and in print, making the experience for our audience the correct one for the medium used.
Most importantly, we want to connect with you. My “door” is always open, and I sincerely encourage you to reach out to me ([email protected]), Mike Buzalka ([email protected]) or Tara Fitzpatrick ([email protected]) to share what’s going on with your operation. You can also connect with us online via Twitter (@bschilling_FM, @tara_fitzie or @foodmanagement) or on Facebook.