2017 trend: 24/7 dining

time food

Foodservice 24/7 is becoming an expectation in more and more noncommercial operations. To meet the demand of students, healthcare workers, tech employees and other clockless diners, chefs are expanding snack offerings, all-day breakfast is on the rise and grab-and-go is taking off in new directions.

Expanded dining hours

falling sandwich ingredients

“For K-12, we are expanding the made-to-order deli sandwich bar after lunch and before student athletes go to practice, from 1:45-3:45 p.m. We also set up a remote kiosk to reach students who are crossing campus for after-school activities and may need an additional sandwich to keep them satisfied until dinner.”

—Eli Huff
Salt Food Group

Gelato bar

gelato flavors bar

“We recently launched a gelato bar with 12 flavors. Gelato now is one of our top snacks.”

—Shawn Dolan
UNC Health Care

Grab-and-go items

juices bottles

“We introduced a new line of grab-and-go items for snacking, which includes small portions of popular sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, nosh boxes, fresh juices and bakery items.”

—Tracey MacRae
University of Washington

Clean snacks

spiced cashews

“Clean label, vegan and vegetarian are what we hear most about as snack requests, but chips and candy still outsell everything else.”

—Bill Claypool
Vanderbilt University

Delivery options

food delivery man

“We’re exploring delivery options for grab-and-go snacks and meals.”

—Kerry Paterson
Oregon State University

Hummus

pistachio hummus

“Roasted poblano hummus, bruschetta and fresh-fried potato chips with homemade French onion dip.”

—Darla Mehrkens
Carilion Clinic

Popcorn bar

popcorn chips

“Create-your-own flavored popcorn bar, homemade granola bars and fruit kebabs.”

—Jennifer Leamons
Sodexo at Carolina Health Care

Trail mix

trail mix bag

“Build-your-own trail mix station with dispensers.”

—Eric Eisenberg
Swedish Health Services

Bento boxes

bento box

“Grab-and-go bento boxes.”

—Ryan Conklin
UNC Rex Healthcare

'Cappi hour'

coffee hands sweater

“We’re looking at adding a Cappi-hour to increase barista and dessert sales in midafternoon.”

—Daniel Skay
Castle Rock Adventist Hospital

Breakfast cycles

bob evans farms breakfast bowl

“We offer breakfast during traditional breakfast hours, breakfast bowls twice a cycle during lunch and have a breakfast-for-dinner concept every Tuesday night.”

—Carrie Anderson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hand-held breakfast

breakfast tacos

“Our most successful launches this year were a whole-grain blueberry banana muffin and a chorizo and egg breakfast taco.”

—Brent Trudeau
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD 

All day breakfast

omelette hashbrowns

“Breakfast is always a huge moneymaker, so we run our breakfast menu all day long. Omelets are top sellers.”

—Pierre Genereux
Interlude Restorative Suites

Steak and egg sandwich

steak egg sandwich

“Our chimichurri steak sandwich with fried egg will continue on the menu. It works for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

—Tracey MacRae
University of Washington

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
aquaponics produce

We partnered with a student group interested in aquaponics to build a recirculating fish tank and lettuce growing operation in our Oval Dining Center. The large tanks are stocked with tilapia that live in the water and fertilize lettuce growing in the recirculating water under grow lights. We then harvest the lettuce and use it in our operations. The unit is set up in the dining room where customers can see the science in action, learn about the process and enjoy the fresh lettuce that was just picked.

Ideas and Innovation
fridge system

We installed a remote refrigeration system as part of our cafeteria renovation. The main part of the system is located on the roof and controls all our refrigerated equipment, including the walk-in freezer and coolers, beverage refrigerator, etc. The system allows us to identify problems faster, and the elimination of individual condenser units cuts down on A/C bills as well as noise.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

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