BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA, UNITED STATES
Story by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell
The Red River Dining Facility released new menu options throughout this month, designed around Airmen’s health concerns and wants.
“We are trying to keep everything fresh and exciting for our Airmen,” said Greg Marciw, Sedexo executive chef at the Red River Dining Facility. “Our most popular station so far is N’Rich, and I think it’s because we just have more options. Before, we had simple options and we only offered one type of burger now we have specialties like our Greek turkey burger.”
The initiative comes from Barksdale Airmen’s need to have healthy, enjoyable options since dorm Airmen primarily use their meal card to get their meals.
“We have to keep things new, for a lot of Airmen, this is where they have to eat,” Marciw said. “We want them to like eating here, not dread it.”
The new changes are also opening up opportunities for 2nd FSS Airmen to broaden their horizons while also getting them excited to serve.
“Our team has started volunteering for new stations, they want to see what’s new,” Marciw said. “They want to know the options and they want to further their cooking skills, it’s really awesome to see them get excited over their job.”
In a world of diets and calorie counting, it’s important for Airmen to now know what’s in their food.
“The new options have nutrition facts available, which they didn’t have before,” said Airman 1st Class Mia Luciano, 2nd FSS food service apprentice. “It gives people a sense of security that not only is our food good, but that they know how many calories are in a serving and other nutritional values.”
The changes have had positive reviews according to the DFAC staff and they’ve noticed an increase of reoccurring Airmen visiting.
“A couple months ago it seemed like very few people were eating here,” Luciano said. “Our customers didn’t have options before, and now they’re coming back to try new things or order new favorites, and they’re making sure to spread the news.”
New station themes include:
• N’Rich – this station features both classic and healthy options and offers burgers, sandwiches, bowls, and other entrees and sides
• Subconnection – this station includes fresh bread and prepared meats and cheeses for a variety of subs
• Pizza – this station has pasta bowls and personal pizzas fresh out of the oven
• The grill now has a rotation of themes to include Wholly Habaneros, Noodle House, Spice Market and Sizzle.