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News > Halvorsen Hall top notch in food service
Halvorsen Hall top notch in food service

Posted 2/17/2012   Updated 2/17/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Ryan Throneberry
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

2/17/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The Halvorsen Hall dining facility staff maintain an exceptional reputation of customer service while upholding the highest standards of food preparation.

The award-winning facility houses a dedicated staff of civilians and service members who serve approximately $88,000 worth of food on a monthly basis to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

Halvorsen Hall won the John L. Hennessey Award for excellence in food service on the Air Mobility Command level the past two years. The Hennessey evaluation team is coming next week to inspect the facility to see if it is worthy of an Air Force level win.

"I'm proud of the fact that we as a team have been repeatedly recognized on the AMC level," said Staff Sgt. Bradley Evans, 87th Force Support Squadron food service accountant from Waterbury, Vt. "Regardless of the awards, we always try to do the best we can."

The facility, which is open seven days a week, serves a total of 20,000 guests per month from all around the joint base. The personnel not only provide meals, but a pleasant experience to the multitude of patrons.

"Customer service is a gigantic part of what we do here on a day-to-day basis," said Senior Airman Ashleen Cacciatore, 87th FSS dining facility shift leader from Bethlehem, Pa. "We deal with people all day long."

The food service industry doesn't have typical hours of operation. For the team of service members and civilians, their days start at 5 a.m. with preparations for breakfast. The last shift workers do not leave until 8 p.m. after final clean-up. The length of each shift is made easier by team work and camaraderie.

"Being a part of the Halvorsen team really makes you want to come to work every day," said Cacciatore. "We work extremely well together which attributes to our success as whole."

The staff also tries to go above and beyond the mundane choice of food often associated with a chow-line.

"People eat with their eyes," said Cacciatore. "It's important to provide our customers with a variety of colors and textures so that eating a meal is more of an experience."

More than just providing a good eating experience, the personnel take care in maintaining the numerous health codes required to properly run a dining facility.

"Our staff performs temperature checks on the food four times throughout each meal period to ensure everything is 140 degress or above," said Evans. "We take every precaution necessary to protect against food-bourne illnesses."

The success of Halvorsen Hall is more than the just food preparation, it is their drive to be the best.

"We are providing a critical service for the service members on this base," said Evans. "There is a big difference between putting out a great product and just meeting the minimal requirements."

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