Towson Univ. Dining Hall Soars in Popularity

Dinner volume more than doubled at Towson (MD) University's Newell Dining Hall as a result of a $2.2-million renovation completed this past fall.

Improved lighting, the implementation of display cooking and the addition of menu items such as grilled cheese and panini sandwiches were among the modifications made to the 370-seat dining facility. Newell Hall is now equipped with several stations serving a wide range of offerings including kosher foods, upscale deli items, a Mongolian grill, a carving station, vegetarian and vegan options, and more.

Much-needed transformation: "[The dining hall] was in dire need of some renovation, and we expected it would become much more popular once it was renovated," says Dick White, Chartwells' resident district manager at Towson Univ. "But we are somewhat surprised by how much more popular it is."

Before the renovation, the facility was fragmented into small areas, food was prepared solely in the back of the house, and the deli was allocated only a 3-ft. front, White adds.

Increased hours also seem to have had a positive impact on the hall's volume. Newell Dining Hall previously only served lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Thursday. It now opens from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and offers brunch on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other features of the renovated hall include a daily selection of two soups, an assortment of fresh baked breads, an extensive salad bar, self-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt, and the Fresh Grill, which serves up cheese steak and chicken breast sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries.

Attracting new diners: "We see a lot of additional faculty and staff going into the dining hall now, which didn't happen much in the past," adds White.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...

FSD Resources