Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our Fourth Week at Purdue

Phew.. this week made me realize how little time we actually have left! Looking ahead at our schedule, I hope we can accomplish everything we've planned on doing here!

Week four was spent going into more details for our project and finishing up our training at Earhart. At the beginning of the week, we planned the script for our video that we will begin shooting this coming week and took some practice footage to test our the video-editing software that we will be using. I'm really excited to make this video and it seems like we have tons of support from the students in Earhart - several have asked to act out some demonstrations for us, which is awesome! We were also able to sit in on an interview for the new Executive Chef position here at Purdue. This was great because we got to see what responsibilities the executive chef would have and we were able to get some insight into the type of person they were looking to hire. Hopefully they'll find someone they like soon to fill this position!

The second half of our week was spent back in Earhart meeting with the administrative team. We spent a day with the dining court's chef, Cara, and she walked us through all of her responsibilities and how she spends most of her time. We showed us the requirements that must be met during each meal and it made me realize how difficult menu planning on this scale can be! They have to offer so many steamed vegetable options, a variety of different entrees that must change between meals, and fresh fruit must be available. All of these things must be met, and yet they are rarely allowed to serve the same items at different meals. Looking over these requirements reminded me of an equation that needed to be solved, and I could understand why this planning would take so long. Also, Cara mentioned that they must introduce a new menu item every four weeks. I thought this was a great idea because it forces the dining courts to come up with fresh ideas and be creative. 

The last two days were spent with Dining Court Supervisors who make sure everything runs smoothly during meals and help to solve problems, should any arise. They also will open or close the court, update information about forecasting in CBORD, and order the food that the dining court uses. Because it is freshman orientation here, the numbers for lunch have been much higher than expected, so I was able to see how they keep their lines full when items run out. I liked this portion of the job because, although it was stressful at points, the supervisors were able to be creative and think about what they had available to serve that would satisfy the customers as a replacement. Also, I found working more with CBORD to be very helpful. While working with the supervisors we were also able to go to another food testing! This one was run by a company that sells Mediterranean food items, such as pita bread, Greek yogurt, baba ghannouj, and lavash. The University already buys its pita bread from this company, and they were hoping to sell more products to them. I tried a Greek yogurt chicken salad that was to die for - I hope I can get the recipe from them! 

I'm really enjoying this internship so far because every week we do something different and get to experience small aspects of this huge operation. I'm looking forward to seeing what's to come!

Only four weeks left! I hope everyone enjoys their Fourth of July! More updates to come next week. :)


Halfway There

Well, week four is finished.  Time flies!  I had some fun over the weekend. I went out to the races on Friday.   Grand Forks has a speedway on the outskirts of town and it as sprint car races every Friday night there.  Here is a link if you want to check it out: It was surprisingly exciting and alot of fun! Here is an example of the kind of races they do: Both Friday and Saturday night, I spent some time with other students whom I have met last week.  They were very welcoming and fun to be around!

Over Sunday night, I had worked at the UND bakery.  The bakery manager works from 10 PM to 6:30 AM, so I worked at that time too!  It was tiring work, but a good time.  I was able to help him bake some cookies, cupcakes, and breads.  It was really interesting to see the ins and outs of a bakery operation.  I had fun getting dirty too!

I took a half day on Monday since I had worked over night.  On Monday, I drove downtown to meet with some employees of the local health department.  We discussed keeping food safe in restaurants and safe in foodservice operations.  I also spoke with the director of dining and spoke to him about the department as a whole.  I finally sat in on an interview for a lead cook position and extended my feedback to the interviewers.

For the rest of the week, I mostly updated the menu for fall semester, updated nutrition facts on recipes, and met with some other administration staff.  We spoke about their role with dining and how they are all linked to each other.  It was really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes in an operation like this.

Well that's about it for now.  I have an exciting weekend lined up.  Your'e going to have to read next week about it!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Week 4 @ OU!

We started off our Monday with James who is a Concessions manager of the warehouse. He began with showing us all of the grand athletic facilities they have here at OU. Grace was in awe because as you all know she is from Canada and does not have facilities quit like the ones here. The first stop was at the football stadium. It seats 82 thousand fans and is 5 stories tall. We walked out on the fifth story and couldn’t believe our eyes you could see for miles. As we toured the facility we saw all the concessions stands that they operate which was about 30. We also saw the suites that are owned by many. There are about 70 of those in the stadium. I did a little research on the stadium and found that the OU stadium is the 16th largest collegiate stadium in the US. Next we went to the track and indoor facility for track and football. The indoor facility was phenomenal. There is a rumor that the indoor are for football can experience different weather conditions such as rain and snow. Next we went to the wrestling, volleyball, and gymnastics facility. This to me looked like a small basketball gym you would find at a high school. They only have two concessions stands at this one. There is one on the first floor and one on the second floor. Next stop was the softball stadium. We are pretty sure we got to see one of the national teams practice on the field that day. There is only one concessions stand at this facility. The next place was the baseball field. This location has two concessions stand one on the left field base line and one on the right field base line. Baseball is my favorite sport so I sat down to soak in the sun and take in the wondrous view of the baseball field. Next we passed by the soccer field, tennis courts, and rugby. These were very nice faculties but just not as large. It was a great experience to go around and see all the places that they serve food to the people that are watching the games. We saw how they kept inventory, as well as how they bag their own ice. Now how crazy does that sound bagging your own ice. They do about a 1000 bags for each game and they are cleared out after.
After lunch that day we met with Keith the director of concessions. He went over numbers with us. There is a lot that goes into a game that we did not know. They look back at each year to determine what the weather was so that they can determine how much they are going to sell. We found out that the best games to sell food at are the morning games at 11 am or the afternoon games at 2pm. The not so good games are the night games 6pm and 7pm. He said that their nights are never ending when it comes to football and basketball games. Sometimes they start their day at 9am and then don’t leave until 4am the next day. Thank goodness there are only 6 football games at home : ). He also explained to us that to determine the prices of their food they compare it to the OKC Thunder and the Triple A baseball team in Oklahoma.

On Tuesday we went back to concessions and met with Dani. She is the paper lady is what I called her. She is in charge of hiring, training and anything that has to do with money. She counts the money when it leaves the vault and when it comes back in. that sounds like a fun job to me handling all that money. She was a really fun lady to talk with she knew a lot about what she did and likes to try new  things she is coming up with a new item for this football season. It is called the walking taco. It is Fritos, chili, cheese, sour cream and then a fork on top. What a money saver you don’t have to purchase bowels for the items to go into. Plus this sounds delicious not to healthy though. As we sat down with her we were trying to determine if there was any way there could be a healthy choice for concessions. Grace and I looked at each other pondered and said I don’t think so. I said when you go to a game it’s your cheat day : ) She is though changing out either skittles or starburst and putting in Welch’s fruit snacks (by the way eating them as I write this lol). We also witnessed her trying to figure out a way to put in new coke machines. There sure is a lot that goes into doing that my goodness. Lots of measurements and drains needed.

On Wednesday we started at a new location. We were going around with Bobby who is customer relations for catering but in our opinion he does a lot more than that. He takes orders for catering the more complicating ones I would say. Most of these people want a lower price but want a fancy meal so he has to make it work for them. He also works on the catering menu. This takes some time putting it in a easy way to read for the clients. There has been all sorts of different ones surprisingly enough the oldest one looks the best. We also had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with Frank the assistant director of food service and housing. They were taking about the boomer bash menu. Boomer bash is a catered event done for the alumni and their families on the home football games. These people are certainly spoiled in my eyes. They always get the choice of hot dogs and hamburgers but then they get and actual entrĂ©e. There were usually one or two entrees and then a starch and then a vegetable. Then there were the desserts. They would get a choice of two deserts such as cheese cake and cobble with ice cream. These took as a long while to go through because they needed to determine what worked last year and what didn’t and how they could change it to keep them happy but also make it easier to keep up with the flow of people coming in.

After lunch we got the pleasure of judging the Just desserts competition. OU food service and housing likes to put on fun things for the staff to do. They have had a kickball game, volleyball game and now the just desserts. At the competition all the staff was welcomed and then we had four groups of staff put together with their decorated aprons ready to compete. In each group there were about 4 people. They had to make a WOW dessert and then a dessert that could be massed produced for their sweet shop they have in their cafeteria. They had thirty minutes to make the dessert for us to judge. Cake was already made for them to use. They could bring items with them in order to help them out. Grace and I plus two other judges went to another room to taste these fantastic looking desserts. It was a tough decision they all were very tasty.

On Thursday was another fun day with many things to learn. We got to hang out with Dana all day well that’s what we thought we also go the opportunity to go to lunch with the Director of housing and food service.

We started off with Dana who is the manager of catering. One of his jobs is to look over the catering events going on for the day. We started off by going to the Fred Jones Museum were they were hosting an event for under privileged children. It was set up so nicely and ready to go for when the children got there. I was super impressed that they were not scrambling around for anything they were actually done early waiting to begin (not often do you see that happening). We also go the opportunity to walk around the museum and see the presentation that was set up for century of magic. It was all Disney pictures. It was the most amazing thing to look at. Grace and I really love Disney so it was a cool experience to be able to see that. Next we went to the union where there was another event getting started. We met with a supervisor that helped gather everything that is supposed to go out that day for each event. They have check list after check list so that nothing is forgotten. After we were done with that we took a ride to the surplus store where OU takes all their old and none used furniture. This place was huge. It was like a big warehouse full of supplies/ furniture.

Next was our lunch date with the Dave the director. He took us to a place called Fuzzy tacos. I am from AZ as some would know so Mexican food is second nature to me. On the east coast of Canada it is not frequently seen. This place was so colorful and had a large menu to choose from. We sat down and had a good conversation with the director he told us how he actually got into the field which was mighty interesting because he never went to school to be in the position he is now. He actually has a degree in teaching which he did do at some point in his life. He never planned on living here for as long as he has but when they came here they fell in love. This is not the only person we have heard this form but many people who come to Norman all seem to never want to leave. It wasn’t all about him he wanted to know more about us more than anything. He asked us what we like so far if we were enjoying our stay and what our plans where for the future. He was a great guy and I can see why everyone gets a long with him so well. I hope to have a boss just like him some day.

After we had our lunch we went back with Dana because there were more events that we needed to look over. We went back to the
Union because there was a catering event being set up for a lady that was retiring after 30 years. They place was set up so nicely for her friends and family. The catering and decorating staff did a marvelous job with making it look earthy and southern. The cake that was made for her was delicious looking. There was two tables of food one had bits of meats and cheese on them and then other was fruits and vegetables. They looked fantastic. We watched them set up as well as saw how they were all working together to make it the best retirement party ever. After we were done over seeing this event we went over to OKC (Oklahoma City) to oversee and event that was not Dana’s really but he did lend them some of his workers so wanted to make sure that they were all set to go. We helped there a little with filling the salt and pepper shakers as well as make sure the sugars were all ready to go. This event was a little behind as we walked in but with three extra hands I think they got right back on track. This day was one of the longest days but extremely fun.

Today is Friday! It has been a fun week and lot of information was given to us. Today though we work on our project as well as take a breather from all the excitement. We also prepare for another fun filled week next week. Next week contains us going to an operation called Flying cow which is located in the national weather center. This should be fun and not to forget Fourth of July is next week so we will be enjoying those fireworks. Grace though won’t forget to celebrate Canada day on July first. She has her t-shirt and everything.

The Football Field from the Fifth Floor!

One End of the Club Suites

Where Wrestling, Men's Gymnastics, and Volleyball Perform

Most Amazing Field of them All - the baseball field!

Basketball Court - Grace is still in shock at how large it is

The lady who made the Basketball Arena possible!

Team Name: We Take the Cake

Team Name: Red Hot Chili Cakers

Team Awesome

Team Name: Sweet Temptation

The Bone Yard :)

This was made after the first president for planting the seeds. Grace and I thought it was neat. 

One of the Animated Pictures at the Museum

Grace and I next to one of our favorite water features. (Kelsey on the left and Grace on the right) 

Grace posing in one of the most comfortable chairs in the lounge where we were setting up for the catering event

It was Picture Day for us!

The cake for the lady who was retiring

I followed along with the idea.

All the food at the catered event

The other catered event that we went to at the Healthy Hearth 

Where we went to eat with the Director of housing and food service!

Week 3 @ OU!

We're already into our third week here at OU! We got to spend time with front office, purchasing, the Biological Station, room and board, participating in an assessment, administration, payroll, Reslife, and exploring some faculty in res housing.

So on Monday we got to visit with Jenn. She's in charge of the front office on the first floor where she deals mostly with student meal plans. So she explained how most parents don't really understand the system that they have here and I have to say it is a bit on the confusing side. They have Sooner Sense, Meal Points, and block plans. Sooner sense is basically like a debit card that you put money on and can pretty much purchase anything on campus. So if you wanted to buy a meal, clothes, etc. you can use the money on this and it carries on from year to year and won't expire which is great. Meal Points are essentially 'points' that are given to students and each point is equivalent to one dollar. This can be used at any location on campus (Couch restaurants, union food court, Cate's Centre, etc.), and the block plans or weekly meals are either x-amounts of meals for the total semester (not year) or x-amount of meals you can use per week (like 10, 12, etc.). She's also planning on giving us a really good campus tour later on so you'll have to stay tuned for that! We also had our first meeting with marketing later that afternoon but still haven't received some info about menu items from the Flying Cow yet. We basically just discussed everything that they would need from us and how they would be handling recreating the menu. We also decided on a roll out date in July for promoting fitter foods. Just a quick meeting and we'll be spending more time with them once we get the full menu completed.

Day 11 on Tuesday was probably my second favorite so far! We got to travel to OU's Biological Station right (literally) on the border of Texas! It's about an hour away from Dallas on the outskirts of Ardmore. So we drove up with Frank who has been with the university for almost 30 years and is the newly appointed director of housing and food service. So from the Norman campus it was about a two hour drive but we got to chat about Oklahoma and the Bio station on our way up. Once we got to the station we got to take a look around. The area is directly on Lake Texoma which has buoys across that middle that divide Texas and Oklahoma. The land for this campus was actually donated from alumni and is probably around 100 acres or so I'd say, maybe a little bit more. It is stunning. It reminds me so much of a military style camp in the building styles and interior design. Very homey and secluded. So the Bio station basically serves as a location for summer sessions of Zoology/Biology students to gain field work and hands on stuff. They go into the woods and fishing on the lake to collect specimens of any and everything you can think of. Apparently they have a two headed rattle snake some where on the campus but we didn't get to check it out. They have bunk bed style accommodations for those staying there and the caf is only open during the times the summer sessions are ongoing.

Wednesday, Day 12, we got to spend some time in room and board, got to assist on an assessment of one of their food locations, visited administration, and met with Flying Cow. Room and Board was with Danna, and she works with students and their parents as well to set them up with the work study program I mentioned before. They recently just added a meal plan option specifically for these students which has allowed them to open 80 new spots for more students. Since they typically eat prior to or during their shifts, they can decrease the amount of meals they supply the students creating more funds to increase work study students. It's amazing how much they really get to help out the students that go to their university that require financial aid. Our assessment was actually really great and very eye opening. We got to work with Shawn who is the manager of Couch Express and Xcetera. She typically does these with Kevin who is the director over at the union food court where we did the assessment. So we were at Wendy's and basically got to look through the cleanliness of the dining area, soda fountains, dry/cold storage, evacuation sheets, and a bunch of other things. The assessments they do are something the university does to help ensure that food locations across the campus are up to standards in addition to having health inspector visits. After lunch we headed down to administration and spoke with Nancy. She takes care of setting meal plans up as well as making travel arrangements for both departments, a lot of financial work with numbers and spread sheets to make sure labor, payments to the bursar, and changes made to meal plans are good. She also does counts for employee meals where she figures out how many meals are purchased in one location compared to another. Once we were done there, we met briefly with Curtis and Rhonda (manager's at the Flying Cow Cafe) to discuss how our fitter foods menu was going. They're going to come up with a few options they think might work on the fitter foods menu as well as how they won't the roll out to go. That brought us to the end of our day!

So on Thursday we were with payroll in the morning. Brandie (in payroll) got to explain to us how they manage that area of housing and food service. She gets to deal with all the new hires which includes doing background checks, lots of paper work, and managing the direct deposit stuff. So every two weeks, they go through all the logged hours that employees have work from clocking in (those who aren't on salary base) and make sure that nothing is a miss, then they input these in the computer and that is how they make sure everyone is payed correctly. If there is a problem when an employee gets paid, they will typically get a phone call and review everything. At the start of every month, they also get time sheets from those staff who are on salary and input the days that were taken as sick leave, vacation etc. which automatically adjusts their pay for the month. She is also in charge of posting any new jobs which are available through the university.

Next we were off to Reslife with Erin who is in charge of the Walker Centre residence hall. So essentially she is in charge of about 1200 students! Crazy I know. There are 4 of them to cover all 4000 frosh since it is mandatory for them to live in res for the first year. In total, there are about 70 RA's (one per hallway) and 2 RD's per building to help her. They essentially hold floor meetings, do room checks, and help out for program events put on by the faculty-in-res professors. So Erin gets to deal with a whole variety of things herself. So say if someone was caught with alcohol in their room (which is not aloud since they are a dry campus), the RA will send down the individual to talk with Erin and she has to go over rules on this basis as well as give them their first or however many strike. She is also like the 'house mom' so if any freshman, or RA for that matter, needs to come and cry on someones should then they'll go to down her office on the first floor of the building.

In the afternoon we sat in on a manager's meeting with everyone from housing & food service. They were going over things like switching suppliers for non-slip shoes (H&FS will give $30 towards a new pair of non-slip shoes for their employees, per year, from a company which makes them - this goes out for bid and the best offer wins), crimson corner (frosh week event), using C-bord, and a few other small things.

We then got to go and check out one of the faculty-in-res rooms that are currently being renovated for the summer for a new prof and their family. This is hands down one of the coolest things I've ever heard of a university doing! So essentially what it is is there are 6 of these apartments available on campus (one in each residence building) which are used for professors only and their families. There is a waiting list for profs who are interested, however the president of the university will typically choose those who he feels would be good for the position. So if chosen, then the prof and their family gets to stay for up to 3 years in the apartment free of rent and utilities, given free meal plans, fully furnished living room, as well as a budget to run programs which is the main part of the deal. As a FIR, then the professor must hold 'programs' for the students within the building, at least 3 per semester with a mixture of academic and for fun type events. The apartments consist of a living room open to the dining area and kitchen and this section is where the programs are typically held. It can be closed off from the rest of the apartment (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, several storage spots) where their personal belongings are during when the program is run. This main area is what is furnished by the apartment and it is beauuutiful! We actually got an opportunity to go and visit with a french professor who is currently living as a FIR. He explained how he runs some of the programs for the students in the Adam Centre where his apartment is at (all apartments are on the first floor). The most successful program that he's held with his wife for the students was a 'massage night', which he's done both years he's been there, where they rented students from the massage school in OKC and allowed students to sign up for 10 minute sessions.. for free!! How amazing is that?? He's also held during finals week midnight breakfasts where they make pancakes for the studying students, as well as a Harry Potter week where right before the last movie came out in theaters he played through all of the movies. It is the coolest thing.

Our last day of the week Friday started out with Matt in purchasing. Matt gets to contact the vendors and suppliers for near everything that the university orders from. He sends out bids for certain things that housing or food service would need. This is mandatory for the university. So, for example, if the university wants a vendor for locally brewed coffee (which they are currently in the process of sending out a bid for), then they make a proposal and post it so that all places within Oklahoma have an opportunity to make an offer. They don't necessarily take the best price offer and have to take into consideration who in the long run may be able to provide more that the university may be interested in besides just the one main product. So if anyone from any of the various locations on campus (concessions, couch, crossroads, etc.) need to bring in a new product, piece of equipment, fabric, etc., then they have to contact Matt and he'll prepare something to be sent out to potential vendors. He also explained that the university can bring in more then just one vendor and be able to have a prime vendor, but also a secondary vendor to supply other product.

Afterwards, we got to sit in on a meeting with Matt and Shawn with Coca-Cola reps who were giving them information on the "Coke Freestyle" machine. This isn't yet available in Canada (I asked!), but it's been available in certain states only within the US but they're planning on expanding. It is THE coolest thing I have ever heard of, and it took 7 years for them to develop. This machine is purely touch screen and has over 100 different flavors in it! So you just pick and choose what you want and then you put your cup underneath and it'll pour. They also said that eventually you'll be able to create your own drinks via a mobile device and scan it onto the machine and it will make your drink for you like that! After that we got to go on a run with Sean Bacon and Matt to pick up some scanners for the university, went to lunch, then we were essentially done for the day! We got to go home early :) We can't believe we're almost half way through!

Lake Texoma Coast Line!

Fish Skull just chillin'

Tiny Kitchen @ Bio Station

Faculty in Res - under construction

Week 3 at UGA

The past few days Mattie and I have been able to work on our banquet project.  I suppose it is time to reveil the theme... The London Games, featuring a lovely British cuisine.  We were able to complete all the recipes and input the inventory numbers for each recipe.  Next week we will be able to test some of our recipes in the kitchen.  We know what we want for our decorations too, so now its just time to find them or find the supplies and get creative with hand making them.  Janet, the manager working with us on the project, has already been a busy bee.   She put together this olympic torch as a prototype for the centerpieces. 
Mattie and I flip flopped stations today; I worked at the Red Clay Cafe and played barista with the lovely Andrew while Mattie worked in eateries.  Summer time is slow, so it made it easy to handle the flow of customers at Sweet Java.  We went around with Jordan and dropped the cashiers off at their designated eateries and helped set up the mobile site at the library.  The library is under construction which leaves them without a physical building for their Tween the Pages concept. 
Jordan explained that you still must carry on and make do with what you have in certain situations so that you continue to generate revenue.  Many of their suppliers have given them the racks (such as the Power Bar rack shown in the picture).  He noted that you should take them up on freebies because you never know when you may need to utilize them!

Week 2 @ OU!

So for our second week here at OU, Kelsey and I got to spend some time at Couch Restaurants (the main meal hall), plus a tour at US Foods and some exploring at the Health Science center in OKC!

On Monday, we met up with Claire who gave us the run down of how scheduling works for the summer months here, and a few details on some other things. There are three sections in total with the other two being called 'sizzle' and 'home'. However, during the summer months when they're only running camps they have a rotating menu with limited options so none of the regular places are open for us to eat at. So in the view (which essentially holds a bunch of TVs and one giant screen), there are about 3-4 different places you can choose to eat at during the academic year. Freshens, La Roma, and Athens are three of the main ones located in this section. In 'home' they have a sweet shoppe section which normally holds all the deserts and treats, there is 'vegetation station' where they cook vegetarian and vegan meals, chef's choice with entrees and side dishes, plus there are also long bars with any and all imaginable ingredients for salads as well as some fruit. Lastly in the sizzle section they have a smokehouse where you can get hamburgers and steak, shanghai stir-fry which you can make your own creation or they have entrees out like fried rice, and there is Casa del Sol which is a Mexican spot that makes burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and a bunch of other stuff with tons of toppings as well. And the food is delicious!

Claire also showed us the system they use during summer which essentially allows for employees to go in themselves and locate shifts that are available. There are typically two 4 hour shifts (breakfast and lunch) then a 3.5 hour shift in the evenings (supper) and there is a max of 40 hrs a week. Through this program employees can see their schedule which is updated daily, swap/drop shifts, take vacation time, etc. Claire also explained how they operate the lines during the summer time. So they have 7 in total, and they start with opening the 3 lines in the 'home' section then open them outwards as it becomes more and more busy. When it starts to slow they close from the outside in which allows them to clean up more quickly. After talking with Claire, we met up with Frannie who works with food costing and labor. She explained to us (as did Claire a little bit) how they determine staffing certain sections depending on the flow of people at certain times during the day. During the lunch rush we got to observe the supervisors out on the floor and how they place their employees. After that, we headed back to the intern office and just worked on our project and that was it for our first day at Couch!

Onto Tuesday, and this time we were with Sam Ford, the manager/director of that location. He gave us a project to work on with Frannie in order to manually input total sales against labor costs and determine what the labor percentage was. So we got to observe how they utilize the numbers and come up with this data which can be used to determine the amount of revenue that is going towards paying their employees. We also got to meet a bunch of the front of house supervisors during the lunch rush again, who we also observed staff the lines for that day and keep everything in check. Later in the afternoon we sat in on two meetings. The first was to work through issues they were having through catering services for RA's during the academic year, and the second was informing Claire (she's in charge of scheduling during the summer who we met Monday) on the spread sheet and numbers we had come up with in the morning. That got us through our second day at Couch.

Wednesday was our day to tour the Health Science center and US Foods! To start we were at the campus first and met Dave. He's in charge of the three locations at this site. We got to look at Beaker's Cafe first which is located in their union building. There isn't a lot of on campus housing here, especially since it's mostly an older group of students so that's why there are limited locations to eat at. Beaker's does just as much as some locations here at the Norman campus though while also competing with hospital cafeteria locations. It consists of a small Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, as well as casa del sol and couch express items. They try to make it as familiar as possible so students recognize the name when they come from Norman to OKC. hey also get to come up with new recipes every summer when it slows down to try and bring something new to the table. We then got to look at Dave's Place which is an even smaller cafe located in the physicians building, then we went to the cancer center where the Healthy Hearth is located. There is so much decor including art pieces specifically designed for the building, a baby grand piano that plays itself (!!!!), statues everywhere, and so much more. It is drop dead gorgeous and the care in the design is so apparent and they have done absolutely everything to make the patients feel as comfortable as possible.

So onto US Foods, our final stop! This is the main supplier for OU. They actually have to go through a bidding process for contracts of 5 years with other companies. we first sat down with the president of the Oklahoma location as well as Amanda, the director of sales. They spoke to us giving us some general information. They are 26th for sales across the nation for all businesses, and second in the food services department (Sysco is the only one ahead). The Oklahoma location is also the 6th largest producer of sales for US Foods even though they are competing with locations in LA, Miami, Chicago, and others. So they do quite well for themselves and mostly supply over 4000 customers in the state alone. They said they go through about 55,000 cases a day (sometimes more) and 240,000 flats a week, so they are constantly moving products and there is so much that goes into it I don't even know where to begin! We then toured the actual inside of the storage part with Mike, our tour guide. We got to see the room which stores all the machinery, dry storage, where they keep their trucks, as well as the inside of the cold storage which is kept at 36 degrees F at all times (so when they're loading/unloading produce it stays at the same temp no matter where it is). So that was our tour and they gave us a little treat basket and everything! It was super interesting to see the process behind how the food operations here at OU actually order and receive their products. It allows for you to understand why delays and mistakes occur and why certain processes have to maintained (which most customers will just complain over rather then attempt to understand why). By far my favorite part of the internship to date.

 So Thursday was our final day at Couch! We started off at the front of the house with Luann who is the sweetest woman I have ever met in my life! Her job allows her to interact with most of the students and she is so friendly, kind, and sweet to everyone who goes in and out of the building. She takes either student or camp cards to swipe people in or cash, so me and Kelsey get to see her pretty much every day. Afterwards we got to chat with Jamie who is the supervisor in the actual kitchen area. She went over the "Chef's Choice" menu which is section in the home area of Couch. During the school year they have a ton more options then the two cycles they go through for the camps, as well as a much higher quality of food options. It's also served buffet style where students serve themselves, however for camps they have people working the lines to serve the kids. The quality and effort put in by all of the staff here is phenomenal. Everyone is so dedicated and genuinely loves their job. Plus the quality of the food is the best I've seen anywhere. She explained that most days during the summer there are usually about 4 staff working the kitchen depending on how busy they're expecting it to be. They also used this time to revamp the menus and creating some new options. Next we moved onto the bakery section where we met the second cutest woman named Laysie. She's this little asian woman who is in charge of this area. If orders come in from catering she deals with them, as well as preparing biscuits, rolls, cookies, cake, and more for the sweet shop. Today she was working on cutting some pie slices for a conference that the university is holding of UAW (United Auto Workers), and preparing some samples for a wedding couple looking for sweets.

Our last stop of the day was at the storage area where we met Mike. He went over the process for placing an order (which they do all online through US Foods) and told us mainly the chef and one other woman during the school year determine what needs to be ordered. They do inventory every Monday, Thursday, and Friday and receive shipments around 6am from US Foods every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It's the same during the year and typically they have students deal with the storing of the product. We got to check out some of the receiving slips that come with the flats that are delivered, and again all these processes take place through the C-bord program that we learned about during our third day here. That covered pretty much everything we needed to look at at Couch! That day we got to check out the big union clothing store sale and stocked up on OU year to sport around campus! Boomer Sooner's already! Friday was just our day to work on our project  in the office so we pretty much finished up most of it for the Flying Cow Cafe. That about sums up or second week here!
Seating in Couch!

Breakfast Section @ Couch

The View

Sweet Shoppe

Smokehouse @ Couch

Vegetation Station + Chef's Choice

Menu during the Academic Year

College of Allied Health - OKC Campus

Health Hearth @ the cancer center

Outside Patio @ the Healthy Hearth

Waterfall on Patio!

Treats from US Foods

Evan's Hall @ Norman Campus

Pretty spot on campus

Squirrels are everywhere! How many can you spot?

"The Gossips"