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

Menu Development

At University of North Dakota, National Nutrition Month in March sometimes elicits as much excitement as the NCAA basketball tournament or spring break. That’s when the school’s version of the TV show “Chopped” takes place. The competition is an event organized by UND Dining’s registered dietitian, Dustin Frize, in partnership with the college’s chefs. Students are organized into teams, given a basket of nutritious foods and tasked with creating winning dishes. “Healthfulness is a key component of the judging,” Frize says.

And this unique partnership is gaining traction nationwide...

Industry News & Opinion

The dining team at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., has updated the halal offerings at its student center after student concerns of cross-contamination and mislabeling, The Hofstra Chronicle reports.

After listening to students, the center’s halal options were moved from a self-serve line to a hot entree station. The dining team also updated its signage to better indicate which meals are halal.

In addition to halal hot dogs and hamburgers, students will now have the option of halal beef as well as new globally inspired halal meals.

Read the full story via...

Industry News & Opinion

Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., has debuted a mini food truck on campus, The Daily News reports.

Dining staff say the truck was introduced to give students more dining options as well as reaffirm the school’s commitment to sustainability.

The truck will feature healthy options with fewer than 550 calories that will be sold in plant-based to-go containers . Students will be able to choose from two to three rotating entrees as well as two signature entrees that will be available the entire week.

Read the full story via .

Sponsored Content

From Mondelez.

With consumers living increasingly busy, on-the-go lifestyles, operators who offer grab-and-go items are in the best position to benefit from the snacking public's eating habits. But since most people turn to different snacks throughout the day, operators need to provide diverse options to capture consumers' changing appetites. The ongoing popularity of grab-and-go items reveals trends that could help operators tailor their inventories to increase sales, especially in the workplace.

What do snackers want?

According to The Hartman Group's 2017 Out of Home...

FSD Resources