Mike Buzalka

Executive Features Editor,
Food Management

Mike Buzalka is executive features editor of Food Management and has served the magazine in this capacity since 1998. Before that, he was executive editor of The Foodservice Distributor magazine. Mike covers news, operations, management and supply chain issues for the magazine. 

Dining venue facilitates living and learning environment at Vanderbilt 
Over 650 upperclass students living in the school’s College Halls at Kissam community share two meals a day at the Market and Kitchen dining center.
Best Special Event: Every Menu Has a Story at Senior Living Communities

Every Menu Has a Story is a special evening meal event featuring a custom-designed menu that is based on a story from the life of a particular resident of the community where the meal is held. The program was developed by Senior Living Communities (SLC), which operates 10 luxury retirement communities in five states. Read more about the program here.

All photos courtesy of Senior Living Communities

2016 Best Concepts Best of Show Award: Minneapolis Public Schools 

The student nutrition program at Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has been undergoing a renaissance in the past four years under Nutrition Services Director Bertrand Weber. From a complete overhaul of the kitchen and servery infrastructure to a new emphasis on scratch preparation and fresh, often locally produced ingredients, the department has been demonstrating what is possible when visionary leadership and administrative commitment intersect to make a difference for students. Read more about MPS here. 

Best New Facility: Café 83 at Microsoft/Eurest 

Though the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., already bristled with dozens of innovative and attractive dining options, when the company set out plans to add a new building that would include a foodservice space, the dining team came up with Café 83, which has become a customer favorite due to its unique design, artsy and fun atmosphere, delicious food offerings and value-added services. Read more about Café 83 here. 

All photos courtesy of Microsoft.

Best Menu: Tapas at Boston College 

A station deployed during the dinner period at Stuart Dining Hall on the Boston College (BC) Newton campus, Tapas offers small-portion, shareable selections from a wide range of cuisines, providing the kind of flexibility that allows the BC dining team to experiment and innovate while satisfying students wishing to try different things. Read more about BC’s Tapas program here.


HMSHost/Grab alliance expands food preordering at airports
Partnership gives travelers at more than 80 airports the ability to order food for convenient pickup.
Survey: Animal welfare a key concern among consumers
Research by Lake Research Partners reveals significant levels of concern among American consumers over the welfare of farm animals raised for food.
Best Management Company Concept: Playbook helps any district start a school garden 
Chartwells K12's eat. learn. live. School Garden Program provides a step-by-step action plan for any district to start a campus garden.
Boston College tapas
Best Menu: A tapas menu brings excitement to college dining hall 
Boston College opens a tapas station in its dining hall and sees increased participation and student excitement.
Café 83 Microsoft/Eurest
Best New Facility: Café 83 offers variety in an artistic dining environment 
Microsoft's new Cafe 83 provides a variety of dining option in artistic marketplace theme.
 Minneapolis Public Schools
Minneapolis Public Schools wins Best of Show honor with revamp of dining program 
MPS Nutrition Services Director Bertrand Weber has a six-year plan to transform this 30,000-student district’s dining program. He’s well on the way.
Central Table
Best Renovation: Hospital renovates facility to create community hot spot 
Barnes Jewish Hospital renovates the Central Table dining facility to become a neighborhood dining hot spot.
Best Special Event: Telling stories through residents' lives with food
Senior Living Communities' special event uses food to tell the story of residents' lives.
Best Station Concept: Oatrageous action station adds value to breakfast 
TouchPoint's Oatrageous action station bring customer service and high-price point item to breakfast menu.
Best Wellness Concept: District creates performance packs for athletes 
Chandler Unified Schools creates Peak Performance Packs for student-athletes and wins Food Management Best Concept award.

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