For onsite foodservice—then still mostly known as institutional or non-commercial foodservice—the 1980s was a period of transition from its traditional role as a support service or amenity where the bottom line wasn’t the bottom line. Previously, hospitals fed the staff and in-patients, nursing homes fed residents, schools and colleges fed students, prisons fed inmates and company lunchrooms fed employees, and organizations mostly swallowed the cost overruns.
In the emerging cost-conscious world of the 1980s, however, justifying those expenses and finding new revenue streams took on more emphasis with the result that onsite dining started to think more commercially, something that also fueled market penetration by contractors.
Meanwhile, issues like wellness, food safety and sustainability (though not yet broadly called that) elbowed their way into prominence, along with rapidly advancing technologies that held the promise of greater operational efficiency and enhanced service.
Here are 10 prominent FM cover stories from the 1980s…