UCLA sees success with destination dining

ucla dining

Originally hitting 2,000 meal swipes per day when it first opened at the start of 2017, The Study at Hedrick, located within the University of California at Los Angeles campus, is now achieving around 4,500 to 5,000 swipes—even though it’s located at the very edge of the campus.

“It’s an effort to come to this location, and what we’re seeing is that [students] are making the effort,” says Al Ferrone, senior director of dining. “This particular unit has really taken off.”

Students’ affinity for The Study could be due to the fact that it touches on a number of trends in college and university dining. A mixed-use space, The Study at Hedrick features a variety of private study and lounging areas, accompanied by dining options centered on customizable dishes as well as a variety of premade to-go meals. Here’s an inside look.


1. Suited for studying

ucla seating

At 4,200 square feet, The Study has plenty of room for students to spread out and take advantage of amenities such as lounge seating around a fireplace, private rooms and communal tables, as well as a blue-light room to encourage quiet, focused studying. Along with plenty of outlets, most areas include a dedicated space to place a meal while working. “It’s all different features designed to make people feel comfortable while they study,” Ferrone says.


2. Functional food

ucla food line

Ferrone says The Study’s meals are also designed for a work-focused environment. The dining team turned to a Northern European theme centered on customizable offerings that are easy to transport and eat. In the morning, students can create their own bagel breakfast sandwich or skillet, while afternoon and evening offerings include DIY pizza, salads and sandwiches. Made-to-order Belgian waffles, crepes, soups and tartines are also available, along with a selection of premade salads and sandwiches. The space also includes a cafe with kombucha on tap, nitro coffee and fresh pastries.

3. A model for the future

ucla dining room

With the high number of orders coming through, as well as the variety of customized dishes, service isn’t quite as speedy as Ferrone would like at this point. His team is currently looking into kiosk ordering to help alleviate any backlog. Due to the success of The Study at Hedrick, the UCLA team plans to use it as a model for similar mixed-use environments around campus. “I think that the students really enjoy the fact that they have a variety of food all throughout our nine outlets,” Ferrone says. “This is another choice they have that I think they really appreciate, and the numbers are showing it.”

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of California, Santa Cruz is converting its Cowell Coffee Shop into a “multi-service basic needs cafe” to aid students facing food insecurity .

The new cafe is being created through a partnership with dining services, the school’s center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC’s Cowell College. Due to open at the start of the fall semester, the lower part of the cafe will continue to be a study space for students (with free coffee and tea) and will also host nutrition and financial wellness programming.

Upstairs, the kitchen will be used as a...

Managing Your Business
quitting job

What prompts foodservice managers to clean out their offices and head out with a last paycheck? A new survey suggests the triggers may be changing with the times.

The canvass of 2,000 restaurant professionals, conducted by placement firm Gecko Hospitality, shows lifestyle issues abounding among the top 10 reasons for parting with a restaurant employer last year.

Here are the gender-specific lists:

Top 10 reasons female managers leave

1. Better opportunity

2. Unemployed

3. Relocation

4. Not satisfied

5. No growth

6. Long...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at Kalamazoo College last week participated in a vegan desserts class put on by the school’s dining services.

During the class, students learned how to make a vegan banana cake and vegan black bean brownies, according to the Kalamazoo, Mich., college’s website . They took tips from Sarah Ross, a baker who works in the dining services department.

Until now, not many dining services events have involved teaching skills, Tabitha Skornia, dining services marketing coordinator, told the site. However, the department is changing that to keep up with students’ evolving...

Industry News & Opinion

The Louisiana Senate is asking the state’s Education Department to create a task force to ensure every student gets a meal at school, KLFY reports.

The task force resolution was OKed after a bill that sought to end lunch shaming failed to pass the Senate Education Committee last month. State lawmakers say the bill, which was backed by the Louisiana House, failed to pass due to worries about districts losing money.

Members of the community, however, are upset that the resolution does not fully ban lunch shaming. A reporter at KLFY created a Facebook poll asking local...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code