Food services employees participate in a contest


Vladyslav Alforov

Food services employees at the University of Oklahoma participated in the Housing and Food Services contest, an ongoing campus dining staff competition that ends in May.

Increasing the employees’ knowledge about food hazards, health and sanitation improves the services to the clientele, said Fran Olsen Sharp, OU dietitian who took initiative to launch the contest.

Maalwin Singh, Couch Restaurants student employee, said that the competition “helps to develop leadership skills and learn individual dietary habits.”

The food contest consists of a series of questionnaires that the employees are encouraged to answer and submit to Sharp, who later determines the highest scores.

The contest sheet includes questions on individual health and wellness, sanitation, food safety, food production and preparation. The prizes include T-shirts and gift certificates.

Every respondent is included in the draw for a monthly award. There is also an overall prize winner that will be determined in May.

Sharp sends out questionnaires to all on-campus dining facility managers every month. The managers are then responsible for distributing the question sheet around their employees.

“I encourage the teams to be one full-time employee with a student,” said Sharp. “This creates a relationship, more team work and a mentoring-type situation.”

Laughing Tomato and Couch Express have more people participating in the contest than other on-campus dining facilities, said Sharp.

Next year she plans to put up banners and posters announcing the contest winners. This, Sharp said, will help to increase the participation and public appreciation of the staff on campus.