Dining flexibility increases meal plan sales

Published in FSD Update

Students at Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Fla., are reaping the benefits of their new 24-hour dining access. And because of the new dining hours, they’re enjoying new class schedules, too.

Under the previous foodservice provider, the standard 19 weekly meals were only available during specific breakfast, lunch and dinner hours and within a separate late-night facility. The format forced the university to develop schedules around the dining hours to ensure students had enough time to eat. This, however, left the university with few options for mid-day and evening classes. That all changed when Sodexo came on board during the summer of 2013.

Sodexo also opened up dining hours to allow for 24-hour access—causing a shift not just for the dining program but also for the university. As students can now satisfy food needs at any time of the day, the university is no longer limited when developing class schedules and has begun to offer classes at times previously blocked for eating. Students wishing to eat on the meal plan can now build schedules to their liking, choosing classes during the standard mid-day lunchtime or later in the evening if they prefer.

Before the university tried “not to schedule things during the lunch hour,” explains Brian Bowser, general manager of dining services for Sodexo at Lynn. But with 24-hour access, “students are given the opportunity to eat when they want, they don’t have to have that block of time, and the university is finding that students are inclined to have class later in the day,” a time when commuter students typically attend classes.

The change has been “phenomenal,” Bowser says. “Customer feedback and response has been great and [there’s been an] increase in student satisfaction, meal plans being utilized and meal plan sales.”

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Just over 100 foodservice workers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have voted to join a branch of the Service Employees International Union, KIMT reports.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said that 89% of the ballots cast during last week’s election were in favor of unionizing.

The workers are employed by Sodexo, Mayo Clinic’s current foodservice vendor. The clinic recently announced plans to switch vendors to Morrison Healthcare Food Services, a move that has sparked backlash from workers and led to a lawsuit from the SEIU .

Read the full story via kimt.com .

Sponsored Content
pasta dish from NC State

From Barilla.

Good-for-you food doesn’t do much good if it’s a hard sell to get diners to eat it. Luckily, pasta is nearly always a crowd-pleaser, especially with student athletes who benefit from its nutritional boost.

“One thing about pasta is that students like it,” says Lisa Eberhart, a registered dietician and director of nutrition and wellness for North Carolina State University, where they serve Barilla pasta. “It’s also a great source of slow-burning carbohydrates.”

In fact, 57% of Gen Z consumers and 58% of millennials call pasta a “preferred food,”...

Industry News & Opinion

The Los Angeles Unified School District has lifted its ban on flavored milk in an effort to reduce food waste, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After implementing the ban in 2011, the district noticed that many students would simply throw away their unused milk containers, causing them to end up in landfills. In order to combat the problem, the district’s board is launching a four-part study in 21 schools that will examine different ways to encourage kids to drink more plain milk.

One of the theories proposed is that students will be more likely to drink plain milk if they...

Industry News & Opinion

As Harvard University’s dining staff strike continues , the school has added an extra $25 to student accounts, providing more flexibility for students to eat outside of the dining halls, The Harvard Crimson reports.

The extra funds were added to Crimson Cash and BoardPlus accounts, which students can use to pay for food both on and off campus.

Aside from some technical issues with payment processing, students are grateful for the extra money, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Since the strike began two weeks ago, students have complained about food quality in the...

FSD Resources