Friday nights rock at UNK

Published in FSD Update

Students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) have a new reason to hang out on campus on Friday nights—and dining services has a new revenue source. At the start of the fall semester, dining services teamed with the university to launch Loper Live Music Nights, named after the university’s mascot. Held in the student union food court, the university partners with a local company to book talent, including UNK students, for the Friday night shows. “We were pretty slow starting out,” shares Mardi Engels, director of marketing for UNK Dining Services. “But we’ve really gained a lot of traction and promoted a lot of awareness about it and we’ve been getting a good crowd. The best nights have been when our own UNK students have performed.”

With the goal of keeping more students on campus on weekend nights, the university funds the program and dining services keeps one location open later to accommodate the event; instead of closing at 8 p.m. the location stays open until 10:30 p.m. on music nights. Food options include snacks, sandwiches, wraps and Starbucks coffee. Like dining services, students also benefit from the additional hours, as well as the music. “When they know Loper Live Music Night is going on, whether they’re there for music or for coffee, people just come in and study during that time, too,” Engels explains.

Loper Live Music Nights are generally held every other Friday, though there isn’t a fixed schedule this year. “There’s no real schedule. We pretty much [meet with the university programming committee] once a month and before each semester we see where the other university events fall and we fill in the gaps with Loper Live Music Nights,” Engels says.

Engels has had success promoting the event through social media, banners and signage placed throughout the student union and other campus locations and on the university calendar.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
amazon prime delivery

About 90% of our students receive financial assistance and participate in our free and reduced-price meal program. But a number of students in our district study remotely due to circumstances such as chronic illness. In January, we hired a driver to deliver meals to students who aren’t able to step into our cafeteria each day.

Ideas and Innovation
wheaton emerson int salad bar

Restaurant design is all about catching a customer’s eye —and it’s sometimes particularly beneficial to be far-sighted. As Airbnb has proven with its San Francisco headquarters, where cafe spaces are inspired by cities like Cairo and Mumbai, elaborate design schemes that evoke far-flung geographic regions can be done to great effect. But operators are finding simpler ways to achieve that feel.

That’s been the experience of Kutztown University Dining Services in Pennsylvania. Kent Dahlquist, director of housing and dining services, says that when the university decided several years...

Managing Your Business
overtime payroll timesheet

Just eight days before Dec. 1, when operators would have to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, a federal judge in Texas slapped an injunction on the regulation. The move indefinitely halted the rules that would have doubled the overtime threshold to $47,476, affecting nearly 4.2 million workers, according to the DOL. For some operators, the move was too little, too late. Now, they have to answer to employees who had been briefed on promised wage increases.

Kansas Memorial Union at the University of Kansas in Lawrence made changes ahead of the deadline...

Ideas and Innovation
ucmc model

With a budget and timeline in place, and the support of the university behind them, the foodservice team at the University of Chicago Medical Center was ready to get rolling with the renovation of one of its patient services kitchens. The facility, which services the hospital’s Center for Care and Discovery and Comer Children’s Hospital, was tripling in size to serve two additional patient floors, to the tune of $9 million. But that didn’t mean immediately jumping in with steel and screws.

“First, we cut out scaled pieces of paper and moved things around,” says Elizabeth Lockwood,...

FSD Resources