U. of Michigan to consolidate dining halls after renovation

The $60 million renovation will increase seating capacity to 950, up from 650.

Feb. 25—University of Michigan is planning to consolidate much of its central campus dining into a refurbished South Quadrangle dining hall.

After a $60 million renovation, South Quad's dining hall will have the capacity to seat 950 students at a time, a significant uptick from the current limit of 650 students. That increase is necessary given the school plans to eventually close dining halls in the West Quadrangle and Betsy Barbour dormitories, which have a capacity of 375 diners and 120 diners, respectively.

The university has consolidated dining halls before. When renovating its hill neighborhood heritage halls, near the health campus, U-M consolidated dining services to one location, the Hill Dining center, which received a $21 million renovation.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources