Café Services Makeover Transforms Corporate Dining At Global Manufacturer Categories: Corporate Cafeteria (9), Corporate Catering (4), Food Service Case Studies (25), Food Service Management (11), Health & Wellness (13), Self-Checkout Micro Markets (2) Share this story, Choose your platform! Contents Fresh New Look And Appeal Attracts DinersGood Food Is Good BusinessFresh Choices Encourage Healthy EatingGreat Taste Plus Great Service—Great Combination The café at Axcelis is a popular place since Café Services, a corporate dining company serving Massachusetts and the greater northeast, gave the technology firm’s dining program a fresh new look and appeal. Long-time employees say they’ve never seen the café busier. Mike Plummer, Café Services Chef/Manager, isn’t surprised. “When you’re offering great food and great service, people will come—especially when it’s delivered with a smile,” he says. Axcelis selected Café Service in December 2013 to enliven and modernize corporate dining for its 600 employees in Beverly, Mass. In addition to the variety and quality of the food, the company wanted to enhance the overall dining experience, starting with the attractiveness of the café. Fresh New Look And Appeal Attracts Diners The transformation took place the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when many employees were out for vacation. Café Services gave the dated dining room a complete makeover—upgrading everything from the décor and room arrangements to the signage and kitchen equipment. “People were amazed at the change when they walked into the dining room at the grand opening on January 2nd,” says Rich Kvetkosky, Café Services District Manager. “The place has been bustling ever since.” Good Food Is Good Business The décor isn’t the only change drawing diners to the café. The food is also a big attraction. With so many delicious new menu choices, it’s no wonder. To keep diners interested, Mike varies the menu internationally, alternating cuisines like Mexican, Indian and Asian. He also gives new twists to traditional standards like pasta—presenting diners with a choice of pasta and assorted vegetables, meats and sauces sautéed to order. All of this is great for business. And Mike plans carefully to satisfy the healthy appetites of Axcelis diners who have a preference for comfort foods including muffins, hearty soups and juicy, hand-made burgers cooked to order. Diners rarely want for more and little goes to waste. “When we do have a few entrées left-over, I give them a new life as small, microwavable meals for the second-shift employees that come in around 4:30 in the afternoon,” says Mike. Fresh Choices Encourage Healthy Eating One of the most popular places in the cafe to converge is the salad bar. Mike’s staff keeps it stocked it with a full smorgasbord of fresh produce, grains and prepared salads to encourage diners to make healthy eating choices, a priority Axcelis and Café Services share. The Café Services FitPicks™ program takes healthy eating a step further, ensuring that every week, diners have a choice of at least two soups and two entrees that meet set nutrition standards. Great Taste Plus Great Service—Great Combination So far, the emphasis on choice is making a big difference for Axcelis diners. Participation in the café has jumped dramatically. Reviews from Axcelis diners and management are overwhelmingly positive. “I’m told Mike has already risen to the ranks of ‘Most Popular Chef,’”says Rich. “It just goes to show, when you combine great food with a great service attitude, everything else falls into place.” Share this story, Choose your platform! I’ve been born and bred corporate dining and corporate catering from the very beginning of my career in the Silicon Valley and now, since 2001 in the Boston Metro Area. While working my way up through the ranks, all the experience has led up to my current position as the Corporate Executive Chef for Café Services, based out of Manchester, NH. I have the privilege to be able to utilize creativity, research and technology to dream up our company’s new culinary programs and custom menus for corporate cafeteria clients and bring them to life. Café Services supplies the resources to ensure success of our ever-evolving companywide culinary initiatives and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Seeing the success of new programs in the field is my motivation. It’s a win win.