Healthy Fare that's In Demand

C&U operators dish about nutritious food that faculty and students crave.

Sizzling Station
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Penn.

Situated next to the salad bar at Erdman Dining Hall at this college of 1,300 students is the Sizzling Station. Students select from an assortment of snap peas, baby corn, carrots, edamame and bean sprouts, choose from a rotation of brown, white or jasmine rice in the nearby rice cooker, and then prepare their own stir-fried meals over two burners. They can use sesame oil or vegetable oil, soy sauce, teriyaki, Old Bay seasoning, sesame seeds and Sriracha hot sauce. “Students at Bryn Mawr are independent and like doing things on their own,” says Joseph Ludwig, unit manager. “They decide how much or how little seasoning, how much oil. It gives them a feeling that they’re eating well—and they are.”

With 15% to 20% of the students from Asian countries, says Ludwig, the Sizzling Station helps them feel, food-wise, a little closer to home. “Gluten-free students also like the option when they can’t eat what’s on the line that night,” he adds. While he doesn’t have quantitative data, Ludwig says there is always a large group at the station with four or five people regularly waiting during lunch and dinner.

The idea was born four years ago when students were looking for more vegetarian options. Students were already making their own omelets in the morning, so the same station was converted into the stir-fry option for lunch and dinner. A student worker is assigned to the area to keep the utensils and pans clean and refresh items when necessary. The station is “front and center” in the serving area of the dining room. Initially, the station was marketed with signs and featured on Facebook and Twitter, but that’s no longer necessary—all the students know about it, says Ludwig “I’ve heard tour guides specifically mention it on their open house tours,” he says. The school’s small size makes such an option manageable, says Ludwig, and he hopes to add two more burners soon. 

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

FSD Resources