Decor that takes guests around the globe

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 ago to upgrade its dining facilities, students were vocal about one particular demand: a station covering a variety of Asian cuisines. But the university decided to go even further.

On the second floor of the South Dining Hall, Kutztown transformed a grill that had been used for omelets and grilled cheese into a Mongolian flat-top. Inspired by Japanese-style teppanyaki, cooks behind the grill sizzle up meals to order. On the other side of the station, a sushi area is surrounded by low stools.

The changes have already been well-received. “There are always crazy lines at both sides of the station,” Dahlquist says.  But as renovations continue, he plans to create a seating area blocked off by Asian-style accordion dividers to carry on the theme.

Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., recently renovated its historic Emerson Dining Hall with a concept that Director of Dining Services Scott O’Rourke describes as “a cafe with a bakery concept.” To fit the impressive architecture of the building, Wheaton’s design firm partner drew inspiration from French influences, with “touches of copper, blue ceramic tile, porcelain tile ‘travertine,’ and French blue and warm yellow accents to create the feel of a Parisian bakery,” he says. ­

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Industry News & Opinion

Howard County Public School System in Ellicott City, Md., will be offering free lunch to students for two days during winter break, The Baltimore Sun reports.

This is the first time the district will be providing meals over winter break. The lunch will be served on Dec. 27 and 28 at two sites in the community.

About 22.2% of the district’s students are enrolled for free or reduced-price meals. The district served 66,276 meals last summer during its summer meal program .

Read the full story via baltimoresun.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Cranston School District in Cranston, R.I., has hired a collection agency to help reduce its lunch debt , NBC 10 reports.

The district’s chief operating officer sent a letter to parents saying that the district would be using a collection agency next year to collect outstanding lunch balances after other collection methods have failed. Parents who owe $20 or more and haven’t paid in the last 60 days will receive a letter from the agency starting Jan. 2, 2019.

Cranston accumulated $95,508 in unpaid lunch balances between Sept. 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. The district’s meal...

Ideas and Innovation
hot school lunch

As lunch shaming remains in the national spotlight, many school districts have turned away from providing alternate meals, such as a cheese sandwich, to students who can’t pay for lunch. While this ensures that students are provided a full meal and aren’t stigmatized, it has caused some districts to quickly accumulate lunch debt . In order to keep funds under control, school districts throughout the country are now relying on assistance from their communities to defray the cost of some meals.

1. School lunch fairies

Students at Apollo-Ridge School District in Spring Church, Pa.,...

Industry News & Opinion

When looking for a way to get more use out of its Canyon Cafe, open during the weekends only, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., tried something new: free cooking classes.

Classes are open to students, as well as faculty and staff, and are taught by Campus Dining Executive Chef Michael Albright, according to Mustang News .

The weekday classes, which are capped at 14 participants, have taught attendees how to make items such as probiotic overnight oats and “the perfect turkey.” Interested parties can sign up online via the school’s dining...

FSD Resources