Successful Sustainable Meal Plans

Gone are the days of all you care to eat at Mary Baldwin College, a Chartwells account in Staunton, Va. Students now can only purchase a Sustainable Meal Plan option.

So what is a Sustainable Meal Plan? Rather than preparing and offering a variety of foods for students to choose as much as they’d like, under the Sustainable Meal Plan, students can choose only one entrée item and two sides from the main serving area in the dining hall. They then may add to their plates from a variety of self-service stations that surround the entrée area.

The new meal plan was started after an event during which food intake and waste were monitored and reported for student awareness. Reducing the number of options for students has allowed the university not only to educate students about proper portion sizes and encourage healthy choices but also to reduce food waste, cut food costs and improve food quality. “We’re trying to help with the overeating issue that you see in colleges and universities,” explains Michael Clay, executive chef at Mary Baldwin. “And what’s great about it is that it’s a complete meal and helps cut down on cost.”

The new format “allows us to use a lot better components to the dish,” Clay continues, so food quality is “a lot more like a restaurant” and fresh items are a central focus. “We try to do completely from scratch as much as possible,” he explains, and the sustainable meal plan option “allows for more fresh items.” The two main serving lines are supported by all-you-care-to-eat stations offering fresh items from a Chef’s Table, a salad bar, a vegan and vegetarian station and a seasonal soup bar. 

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