St. John Fisher College offers variety of items to cater to multiple audiences

The Ward-Haffey dining hall offers food options such as paninis, pierogies, pasta, veggie burgers, a gluten-free station and more.

Jan. 2—If a food has been invented, chances are good it has been served at the Ward-Haffey dining hall on the St. John Fisher College campus, in Rochester, N.Y.

There are pitas, paninis and pierogies. Soups, sandwiches and salads. And burgers, beef fajitas and black bean salsa.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg lettuce.

"We try to have something for everyone," food service director Andrea Maccarone says.

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We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

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Some of our employees can work four 10-hour days. It’s really helped with balance. We’ve also created a lot of hybrid positions, such as a personal services assistant and foodservice worker role. It allows workers to pick up more shifts and cover both positions.

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We set up an interactive collaboration with our dietetics department where students worked with our culinary team to test how recipes are imagined and produced. One of the recipes they came up with was a barbecue tempeh sandwich, which they believed was a great option for vegan students across campus. We added the sandwich to our On the Go program and then expanded it to our vegan station on campus due to its success.

Ideas and Innovation
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We have reorganized our salad bars to not only include the traditional DIY salad ingredients, but also several daily entree salads. Our students requested 32-ounce heavy glass salad bowls that have been wildly popular. The big bowls allow students to load up on their favorite salads and customize with additional ingredients from around the servery. We have seen a significant surge in usage that cuts across all groups, including athletes.

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