ATHENS, Ga. - J. Michael Floyd, department head of Food Services at the University of Georgia, has one more helping to add to an already full plate.
Recently, Floyd was named a winner of the Silver Plate Award by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. After getting the news, Floyd assembled his staff to announce the award, emphasizing that it recognizes a collective effort.
"It's the ultimate compliment to this team," Floyd said. "We keep raising the bar and I don't know how much higher we can go."
UGA Associate Vice President George Stafford also praised the team's efforts.
"The Silver Plate Award is another in a growing list of awards which recognize the quest for excellence exhibited by Mike and his staff, and the continued high level of product and service they provide," he said. "Everyone associated with the program should be very proud."
Silver Plate winners - recognized for sustained excellence and innovation - are evaluated on management, marketing, human resources, and industry and civic participation. Recipients are chosen in nine categories including colleges and universities, the division in which Floyd was named.
He will accept the award at IFMA's annual banquet in Chicago in May, where one of the nine Silver Plate winners will be announced as winner of the Gold Plate Award or "Foodservice Operator of the Year."
The Silver Plate is the latest in a long line of awards for Floyd and UGA Food Services. The team has been recognized with a number of national honors including the Ivy Award, which they received in 1995 from Restaurants & Institutions Magazine. The Ivy - presented to the most outstanding institutional food service operation in the nation - and the Silver Plate Award can be won only once.
Last fall, Floyd was one of five to receive an FM Leadership Award from Food Management Magazine. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their fields and standard-setting results in their organizations. The magazine cites Floyd as "the brains behind the department's successful and award-winning marketing programs, which have boosted seven-day meal plan enrollment 350 percent over the past 10 years."
In 1999, the UGA department was named one of the "Best Campus Foodservices" in the nation by The Princeton Review, a year after winning the Great Menu Design Award from the National Restaurant Association. Between 1981 and 2001, the National Association of College and University Food Services recognized Floyd's programs with a total of 50 Loyal E. Horton Menu Awards.
Perhaps the most compelling evidence - the proof in the pudding - of Floyd's success can be seen in the participation numbers for UGA's voluntary meal plan: last fall, there were 5,710 students living on campus and 5,763 students participating in the meal plan. Only five percent of colleges and universities offer voluntary, rather than mandatory, meal plan programs. And for Floyd, customer service is the key to keeping student participation high.
"The Silver Plate Award is a great compliment, but we still have to earn our business every day," he said.
And customer service extends beyond food. UGA Food Services has long used biometic technology - which reads a student's hand image - to allow dining hall access. The technology was so successful that in 1995 its use was expanded campus wide for access into residence halls and recreation facilities.
Floyd began his career in food services as a student cafeteria worker at Valdosta State College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in science and a master's degree in business administration. He later returned to his alma mater and served as director of food services for seven years. After graduating from the University of Kentucky's College Business Management Institute in 1986, Floyd joined UGA's Food Services as department head. Since 1989, he's also served as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition.
Floyd is a 1973 graduate of Harlem High School and the son of Jack & Betty Floyd.
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