New VT dining center to open this fall

New facility located on the academic side of VT's campus.

March 16—The wait for the new dining hall—which will be located on the academic side of Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus—is expected to end next semester.

Turner Place, the newest 35,000-square-foot dining area, is slated to open this fall, with multiple restaurants and services.

In 2005, Dining Services collaborated with Virginia Tech officials to determine a location for Turner Place. Initially, Johnston Student Center was considered. “The infrastructure just wasn’t large enough for the scope of the student population and the availability of the use of meal plans,” said Ted Faulkner, director of Dining Services.

Porter Khouw Consulting, Inc.—a national foodservice management consulting and design firm — was hired in 2007 to interview students and solicit information from them so Dining Services could gather ideas regarding the building for Turner Place. “Out of that survey, students said they would love something on the academic side, which confirmed our thoughts,” Faulkner said.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most...

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

FSD Resources