The dining program at the University of Colorado-Boulder (profiled extensively in FM's June issue), achieves excellence on multiple levels, from the physical design of its new C4C dining hall to its well executed menus, from its financial and operational controls to its customer and human resource management. No operation is perfect, but excellent execution across many disciplines is very evident there and is the reason CU-Boulder was chosen for our Best of Show recognition in this year's competition.
Today's dining operations at CU-Boulder are the product of many years of team efforts. As foodservice director Amy Beckstrom will tell you, the spectacular new Center for Community dining venue that won its own Best Concept Award in the Best New Facility category attracts all the attention, but in reality is just a platform for a vision, skill sets and staff commitment that have been in development for a long time.
It's a vision that has emphasized a strong commitment to culinary training and developing a chef culture under executive chef Kerry Paterson; to improving operational efficiencies across the campus, from warehousing and logistics to its procurement; and to operating excellence in many other forms.
Among these initiatives, Beckstrom has worked to adapt a Six Sigma “lean manufacturing” analysis tool to benchmark and improve the department's performance against NACUFS' Professional Practice standards. While maintaining financial performance remains critical, this initiative will give staff throughout the entire dining organization a meaningful way to evaluate their continuous improvement in many other areas, ensuring that CU-Boulder's operations will keep moving to the next level.
College dining, like other onsite dining segments, must meet the needs of increasingly demanding customers while maintaining solid financials in the face ever tightening budget constraints. CU-Boulder has demonstrated a model of how such goals can be met with sound management strategy and dedication to the task.
PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:
Director of Dining Services
Assistant Director of Dining Services
Manager, Marketing & Customer Experience
Dining Facilities Coordinator
Coordinator for Sustainability
Coordinator for Technology
Coordinator for Procurement