When the pandemic hit, so many foodservice teams hit the ground running with barely any time to think. Now that the virus has been with us for a few months, Eurest Regional Chef David Peterson found the time is right for taking a step back and thanking those front-line employees.
At FedEx Global Headquarters in Memphis, “the team here has been running wide open since we opened three to four months ago,” says Peterson, who, as a support chef, stayed at this new account longer than usual, given the circumstances. “Our management and hourly team here have been working nonstop, going above and beyond by creating new service platforms that you would not typically see in a traditional setting.”
Peterson worked alongside VPO Brookes Konig and Campus Chef Michael Prine to address the challenges, of which safe distancing looms large, between staff and guests, but also between staff members themselves. “It’s hard being in a culinary world right now when you are used to sharing and standing right next to your brothers and sisters while cooking for and serving our amazing guests,” Peterson says.
Photo: A traditional turkey dinner symbolizes gratitude for hard work with a great attitude in difficult times.
Lunch speed lines and more grab-and-go items have been added, along with a food truck “to support the social distancing, which has made it a little better to serve our guests in a more open-air environment.”
After getting the account settled in, Peterson returned home to Houston, “but I was just called back out to support again,” he says, “and when I got back, I was happy to see the team still smiling and working hard.”
That’s what made Peterson think of a Thanksgiving dinner.
“It was kind of a last-minute thing,” he says. “I decided to give the team (along with the regular guests) a very traditional Thanksgiving meal. The leadership/management team got together and thanked the entire team for all their hard work through these trying times.”
Future plans for FedEx’s café include re-customizing the micro market that will showcase the campus chefs’ talents with a focus on micro-regional flavors from across the world and local, sustainable foods.
Contact Tara at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie.