OSU launches new meal plan and limited-time offers

Fall semester brought changes in meal plans and meal offerings to Ohio State dining locations.

Aug. 29—There will be 250 limited-time options the dining locations’ menus this fall, including gourmet hot dog bars, quinoa pancakes, vegetarian calzones and street tacos.

“We have close to 250 limited-time offers that will go out throughout the Fall Semester and some may make it on our regular menu in the spring, and others will never make it back to our menu because students did not like it,” said OSU Dining Services Director Zia Ahmed. “Our limited time offers are a good monotony breaker, because our students are going back to the same operations, so it is always good to offer something different and new.”

In addition to the new offerings, Dining Services has also made changes to their meal plans. Last year, Dining offered 450- and 600-block plans that left many students scrambling to spend their unused blocks and ended up refunding students who had unused blocks $3 per block for Fall Semester, according to The Lantern archives.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

FSD Resources