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

Students staffing the foodservice department at Rutgers University will soon get an hourly pay bump, as the New Brunswick, N.J., university is raising its wage for student workers to $11 an hour, philly.com reports.

The increase will go in effect Jan. 1 and will impact 13,000 students.

The fight to raise wages at the school was spearheaded by student group United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), which is continuing to push the university to increase student wages to $15.

The fight for a $15 wage for student workers has spread at schools throughout the country,...

Industry News & Opinion

After shutting down 265 schools due to ongoing wildfires, the Los Angeles Unified School District kept three schools open on Friday and Saturday to provide meals for students and their families, the Los Angeles Times reports.

At one of the schools, employees and volunteers handed out around 100 meals on Friday and 270 meals on Saturday. The meals included items such as dragonfruit punch, raisins, bananas, sunflower kernels, whole-grain cinnamon graham crackers, sunflower seed butter and fat-free chocolate milk.

Around 80% of students in the district come from low-income...

Sponsored Content
Breakfast chili

From Bush’s Best®.

While decadent plates of French toast and pancakes stacked high will always be breakfast favorites, it’s undeniable that savory breakfast items are on the rise in many foodservice operations. Menu items such as avocado toast and omelets aren’t new, of course, but consumers’ preferences for better-for-you food choices, along with their desire for global flavors, are driving this trend.

According to a recent Technomic Breakfast report, consumer demand for vegetarian ingredients has led to an increase of ingredients like soy, tofu, beans, lentils, seeds,...

Industry News & Opinion

Industry veteran Joseph Fassler, 75, passed away on Dec. 1 after fighting cancer.

Dedicating over 50 years to foodservice, Fassler was the former president and CEO of Phoenix-based Restaura Inc., as well as a former chair of the National Restaurant Association and its Educational Foundation . In addition, he served on the advisory board for Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and on the board of Oklahoma State University’s College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Fassler was given numerous awards throughout his career, including IFMA’s...

FSD Resources