My Recipe for Success

ANFP's latest My Recipe for Success!

Karen Swift, CDM, CFPP
Lexington, SC
ANFP Member since: 1999

Karen Swift

Karen Swift, Serv Safe Certified, CDM, CFPP, is a Menu Specialist with Carolina Nutrition Consultants LLC; in Lexington, South Carolina. She is an active member of the Association of Nutrition & Food Professionals (ANFP) and the South Carolina ANFP chapter. She currently serves on the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM), ANFP Leadership Committee, and Educational Chairperson for South Carolina ANFP. In 2017, Swift was awarded Certified Dietary Manager of the Year by the South Carolina ANFP. Throughout her career, she has trained new CDM, CFPPs entering the field and has mentored many others. Karen feels you are never too old to learn new things. 

Karen's Recipe for Success

  • Be a Leader and lead by example. When you show pride in what you are doing, your staff will too.   Hold meetings with your Cooks/Chefs to discuss the menu before cooking and make sure to taste the food before it leaves the kitchen.

  • A Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional often wears many hats, so you must have good time management skills

  • Work as a team within your department. Discuss ideas with your employees and you will soon discover that many of them have really good thoughts. Not only should you work as a team within your department, but you need to work well with the other disciplines outside of your department. One person can accomplish a lot, but together WE can accomplish more.

  • If you want respect, you need to show respect. Respect others.

  • Do not be the Food Service Director that stays in the office all day. Be visible. Be involved with your staff. Be out in the kitchen and in the dining room. When you make yourself visible, you have fewer complaints from residents and their families.

  • Not only should you have good written and verbal communication, but you also need to be able to be a good listener. Having good communication skills leads to a positive work experience.

  • Stay organized. Organization leads to increased productivity, which results in less stress and increased job satisfaction. 

  • Be flexible with your time and be able to adapt to change. Do not plan you day in advance because most of the time, in this field, your day will not go as planned which leads to frustration. You need to be able to adapt to change.

  • Cross train your staff. When you rotate job responsibilities it will help keep employees driven, which will also increase productivity. If you need someone to fill in for a position, they will be ready.

  • Be Kind. It goes a long way! 


Nominate Yourself or a Fellow ANFP Member

Have you spent a career in foodservice? Share your wisdom and advice in a new feature from ANFP. My Recipe for Success is aimed at retired members or those who have spent a long career in foodservice. Share the biggest lessons you’ve learned to a lengthy, fruitful, and successful career in the non-commercial foodservice industry. 

Nomination Form


My Recipe for Success Archive

January 2021 - Dorothy Radermacher, CDM, CFPP
March 2021 - Wanda Dickson, CDM, CFPP
May 2021 - Tom Thaman, CDM, CFPP
July 2021 - Chef Richard "Nick" Nickless, CEC, CCA, AAC, CDM, CFPP