Ever since the school year began in late August, SAGE Dining Services has been making breakfast and lunch every day for Jesuit students and faculty. I was able to sit down and talk to the Executive Chef, Ryan Messina, and the SAGE Food Service Director, Vinny Tellini.
Financial TransparencyTrust is Essential
Our financial transparency is built into our business model. We work on a
management fee basis, which means that SAGE earns a fixed amount of money per
year for administering the food service agreement. This is our salary. The
amount does not change, whether we're under- or over-budget.
We have amazing, transparent financial systems. Each week our managers update wages, purchases, inventory and receivables. Then they generate a statement and deliver it to our clients.
When everyone works from the same set of numbers, the results make total sense. If a question arises, you can rely on our managers, district manager and Accounting department to have the answer.
We share all of the financial information with you because this is a partnership.
- Paco RodriguezPresident & Co-Founder
- Tina RodriguezChief Financial Officer, General Counsel, and Co‑Founder
- Marcel GalloChief Operating Officer
- Maurice ShortVice President and Director of Sales
- Lyle KanVice President of Marketing and Sales
- Scott MoweryVice President of Finance and Accounting
- Todd EvansVice President of Procurement
- John PosenauVice President of Technology
- Mark BenfieldVice President
- Jon HessVice President
- Jennifer QuickRegional Manager
- Gary FugmanRegional Manager
- Tom AnknerRegional Manager
- Steve KittredgeArea Manager
- John BriteArea Manager
- Maurene BurnsArea Manager
- Fred HeavisideArea Manager
Our leaders are experts with years of hands-on and management experience in the food and dining industry
SAGE In the News
The Shipley School announced the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national nonprofit organization helping restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable, has awarded the 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant recognition to its Avery Silverman Dining Room.
Is sesame on the menu in your school’s cafeteria or dining hall? If so, it might be a good time to consider also indicating the presence of this popular ingredient. In the 2018-2019 food allergy survey by SAGE Dining Services, 4.6 percent of the total food-allergic population reported having an allergy to sesame seed and oil.
So far, the wide range of healthy options and daily vegetarian entrees provided by Sage Dining has been a big hit across the school community. “I eat healthier everyday,” said MFS English Teacher Debra Galler.
If you were in the Engel Dining Room for lunch recently, you might have noticed a lengthy queue of hungry students, winding out of the servery and far into the scrum of tables and chairs. The newly launched Korean rice bowl was worth their wait. Indeed, Mike Ciampa—Pingry's new SAGE Food Service Director—tallied that he blew through 25 pounds of edamame that day. Quantities of steamed shrimp and poached broccoli were close behind.
In 2018 we completely renovated our kitchen and dining hall. In addition to new equipment, we have also changed the dining experience for our 750 middle and upper school students. Lunch is now inclusive of tuition, and modeled after the finest dining offered in independent schools. The focus of our dining program is on nutrition education, a wellness-oriented approach to eating, and environmental sustainability.
As the bell rings for lunch, all the Jesuit students rush toward the small gym, forming a messy line. However, unlike last year, this line does not take twenty minutes to go through; it takes a mere ten to fifteen minutes thanks to Jesuit’s new cafeteria system.
Health is all about balance, but our society glorifies extreme thinness through restriction, exercise and any other means necessary. By equating thinness with health, attractiveness, self-control, moral goodness and happiness, we create a false equation that leads many vulnerable children and young adults to turn to food as a means of control over their lives. Is it any wonder that eating disorders are on the rise?
Educational Seasonings events at Hebron Academy, a private day and boarding school for grades 6-12 in Hebron, Mass., bring new and exciting flavors to students. This month, the SAGE Dining Services team is focusing on Hawaiian food...
A crowd of students, faculty and staff swarmed to watch the first edition of Chopped at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison. Organized by junior Laura Prishtina of Roselle Park and SAGE Dining Services Chef Anibal Rodriguez, the reality show competition attracted attention and left the community looking forward to the next episode in February.
I applaud Meredith for having the courage and conviction to put the time into such a request (in addition to her schoolwork). I also applaud SAGE Dining Services for listening to the idea of one student, and I think we deserve a pat on the back, too. Student Council and the St. Francis School Mission in action – priceless!
All Saints’ Episcopal School’s three segments - the lower, middle and upper schools - have shared the same campus since 2006, but the students are about to have a new gathering place to break bread, study and congregate together.
It’s not every school dining program that can secure a deal to get high-quality, locally raised, grass-fed beef for its kitchen, but that’s what the Louisville Collegiate School (LCS) has been able to effect. And better yet, the meat isn’t just a special occasion item but a menu regular.
Since 2003, Louisville Collegiate School executive chef and food service director Rachel Reigelman — who is stationed at the school via her employer, Lutherville, Maryland-based SAGE Dining Services — has made sure the students she feeds at the K through 12 school receive only the best on their plates, including Foxhollow Farm’s famed 100% Grassfed Beef.
Since 1906, food has been a critical component of the Marksman experience. The Food Services staff has included numerous legends, some who dedicated more than 40 years to St. Mark’s, including Maxine Cantley, Lucy Sheppard, Thelma Levells, Steve “Hollywood” Walker, and Howard Stewart. Every school day, these tireless workers, together with dedicated parent volunteers, shepherd hundreds of boys and teachers through the lunch line, providing both nutrition and examples of leadership, service, and responsibility.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE to feed Mercersburg. More specifically, it takes Director of Dining Services Jim Butler, his three managers—Amy Weber (assistant director), Jeff Gray (assistant director), and Chris Yuninger (executive chef)—and a total of 35 SAGE team members to make between 800 and 1,400 meals each day for 700 students, faculty, and staff.
SAGE Dining Services sets a standard when it comes to student dining services, Chief Operating Officer Marcel Gallo says. “We serve restaurant-quality food in a school environment,” he declares. Lutherville, Md.-based SAGE Dining provides its services to independent schools and colleges. President Paco Rodriguez co-founded the company with his wife, Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel Tina Rodriguez, and partner Ken Pensolfini in 1990. “[Ken] was the food geek, and Paco and Tina were the financial wizards,” Gallo says.
Third grade students at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison combined their Spanish conversation skills and study of counting money by turning the classroom of Lower School Spanish teacher Maria Hinestroza into a Taqueria.
Since 2015, Hinton, 34, said her outlook on life brightened once she became executive sous chef at Ursuline Academy. “When I came to Ursuline, I was dealing with a separation. Being in the kitchen helped me get away from life. My best self is in the kitchen, being able to create.”
SAGE Dining Services in early March rolled out a mobile application called Touch of SAGE to its 250 locations that allows students and parents to check menus, provide feedback and, perhaps mostly significantly, sort out dishes by the food allergens they contain.
Students with food allergies or other dietary issues traditionally have some difficulty navigating lunch lines, especially at K-12 sites. But for youngsters enrolled in schools where the cafeteria operation is managed by Sage Dining Services, the process is as simple as a touch on a mobile device.
I wasn’t always a food adventurer. I grew up on a steady diet of meat, two frozen vegetables and starch for dinner. But when I met my husband (born in Wales), who was used to eating black pudding with baked beans on toast for breakfast, food became our pastime. In fact, we would often sit down for a meal and ask, “Has anyone else in the world ever had this combination of food?”
Grilled gaucho steak. Adobo pork loin. Pumpkin bisque. Lemon dill zucchini pasta. Mojo squash. No, that’s not the menu from your favorite local restaurant. Those are some of the findings for school lunches these days. Hot dogs, pizza, and mac n’ cheese still make the lists, but schools take great efforts to provide healthy and even unique meals while also serving students and faculty with special dietary needs. From those who have allergies to others who require gluten-free dishes, the school smorgasbords can satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Tina Rodriguez of SAGE Dining asserts that students themselves should be involved in managing their allergies, especially older students who will soon be making their own choices: " It’s a school’s job and SAGE's job on behalf of the schools to help teach kids how to eat."
Three students in the Entrepreneurial Studies class have officially launched Raider Rewards, an incentive and rewards program for the PA Café in the Wilf Family Global Commons at The Hun School of Princeton.
A SAGE registered dietitian recently came to Ursuline and gave a presentation on healthy eating to the 4th grade class. They learned about SAGE’s Spotlight program and how to eat healthy and make good choices.
Chef Brand Fibkins and his culinary team at Vail Mountain School cook fresh food from scratch every day. The entire community, including members with food allergies, can appreciate the sustainable local sourcing, impressive variety, and and high quality.
Students at Palmer Trinity School recently presented officers with the Village of Palmetto Bay Policing Unit with "Thank You” letters and a batch of SAGE Dining’s famous chocolate chip cookies as part of their Random Acts of Kindness activities.