May 27, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 18
University Dining Services Director Wins National Award
Boston College Dining Services Director Patricia A. Bando has been named a 2004 Silver Plate Award winner by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA).
The Silver Plate Awards honor the industry's most accomplished, innovative and distinguished food service operators. Bando was this year's recipient in the Colleges and Universities category, one of nine categories.
According to the IFMA, "unparalleled growth and innovation" characterize Boston College's Dining Services operations under Bando's leadership. Since taking over as director in 1995, she has increased the department's annual revenues by more than $8 million, a 42 percent growth. Eleven thousand University community members subscribe to the dining service plan; 7,000 of them do so voluntarily, not as part of a mandatory board plan.
"The Silver Plate Award is the Academy Award or Super Bowl Trophy for the hospitality industry," said Bando. To win "is an unexpected thrill. To be [chosen] from a select pool of college and university nominees as the best university operator in the country by a jury of restaurant and foodservice trade publications and previous Silver Plate winners is an awesome feat."
As a Silver Plate Award winner, Bando was eligible for IFMA's prestigious Gold Plate Award and the title of Foodservice Operator of the Year, which was to be announced this week.
Among the innovations introduced by Bando is "Culinary Crossroads," a program that invites master chefs such as Emeril Lagasse to create their signature dishes for students. Last fall, Bando's team launched new menu concepts at all of their units, increasing variety and offering students more control over meal plan costs.
Under Bando's leadership, Dining Service created two innovative catering services: Centsible Catering, which handles casual but planned events; and Eagle Express, which responds to last minute, same-day campus catering needs including meal delivery.
In addition, Bando oversaw the redesign of the university's dining facilities. The Lyons Hall Welch Dining Room, a straight line, fast-food venue, was converted to a self-serve system and increased sales 28 percent in less than a year. The 2000 renovation of Carney Dining Room increased unit revenue 170 percent. Stuart Dining Hall, once an out-of-date 1950s facility, is now a lively 290-seat eatery that echoes the campus' historic architecture. The outstanding success of this renovated facility, which has seen a 13 percent increase in sales, earned Boston College Nation's Restaurant News' Successful Settings Award in 2003.
Last year, the National Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation selected BC Dining Services for its Employer of Choice Award. In 2000, the University won the MultiCultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance's first Strategic Example of Excellence in Diversity Award.
IFMA is a trade association comprising 550 of the world's leading food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, foodservice trade publications, distributors and brokers.