3 reasons to consider upgrading ID technology

hand chip card

Between menu planning, budgets and the other myriad concerns FSDs face, it’s easy to overlook the simple ID and/or cash cards issued to diners. But making the choice to upgrade technology can unlock the potential of these once-humble cards: They can be room keys, event tickets and, perhaps most importantly, a needed additional layer of security.

That’s the future of student IDs at the University of Notre Dame, which will switch from magnetic strip cards to chip-based ones in August 2017. “Traditionally, the ID cards have been used as point-of-entry access for dining operations,” says Notre Dame Director of Campus Dining Chris Abayasinghe. “But they’re about to be a lot more.”

Security for customers and the organization

With high-profile hackings dominating the news cycle, it’s no coincidence credit card issuers are also switching to chip cards—they’re more difficult, though not impossible, to copy compared to the magnetic strip.

“As an operator, you want to make that investment to keep both your organization and your customers secure,” Abayasinghe says. “You hear about the Target breach, and you realize there are a lot of potential bad actors. At any organization it’s a best business practice to get ahead of the curve.”

Cards as replacements for tickets, keys and more

Noncommercial operations—whether schools, B&I or others—can replace several utilities with cards. At Notre Dame, chip cards will not only serve as students’ ID and dining cash, but they’ll also replace tickets to campus events and even dorm room keys. “It’s going to streamline several processes for us,” Abayasinghe says.

Several new options exist—but consider the needs of today and tomorrow

To decide what Notre Dame needed in a new card system, members of several campus staff groups assembled: dining, residence life, security and safety, IT and more. Abayasinghe recommends other operators avail themselves of colleagues’ expertise when considering the existing options. “This is definitely a decision you don’t want to make in isolation,” he says. “You need to think about a system that will give you several benefits today, but also scale up for your future.” 

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Mrs. T’s pierogies

From Mrs. T’s Foodservice.

Today’s college and university students demand customization, but they also seek out creative riffs on familiar dishes, making comfort food an area of opportunity for college & university operators.

This is especially true as more restaurants across all sectors add comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf, potato tots and loaded fries to menus.

Operators are already starting to see how a comforting, customizable ingredient such as pierogies meets those needs: Menu mentions of pierogies as an entree are up 9.3% over the last two years,...

Sponsored Content
local produce

From WinCup.

Today’s students care deeply about sustainability—much more so than the general population. For them, sustainable practices are visit drivers. What’s more, some 57% of students are willing to pay more for sustainable foods, according to Technomic’s recent College & University Consumer Trend Report . Sustainable claims drive visits, especially for young consumers: Some 31% of Gen Zers say they’re more likely to visit restaurants that try to be sustainable.

Students are looking for foodservice operations with comprehensive sustainability programs, and...

Industry News & Opinion

Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Ohio, has opened a coffee cart in its cafeteria, The News-Herald reports .

Open throughout the day, the cart sells 12-ounce cups of coffee for $2 each. Students were able to taste-test some of the offerings and were also involved in choosing the cart’s name.

The drinks are made with low-fat milk and unsweetened flavor syrups, and soy milk is on hand for those with allergies. To encourage more breakfast participation, the school gives students 50 percent off coffee when they also buy a breakfast item. Additionally, the cart is stationed next...

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...

FSD Resources