Love is in the air at college dining operations

From Valentine’s Day dinners to speed dating events, here’s a look at how college dining operations celebrated Valentine’s Day this year.
students at the speed dating event
For the speed dating event, the team hosted 10 rounds of 3-minute speed dates within four different time slots. | Photos courtesy of Liberty University Dining.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the season of love with your diners, and there are many ways you can incorporate food into the mix. Here’s a look at how college dining operations celebrated Valentine’s Day this year.

Speed Dating and prime rib pop-up at Liberty University

Sodexo at Liberty University went all out for diners with its speed dating event. The event was held in the newly renovated dining center and had a turnout of 320 students. The dining center was decorated with hearts, sparkle symbols suspended from the ceiling and string curtain lights providing mood lighting. The team hosted 10 rounds of 3-minute speed dates within four different time slots. Liberty University’s mascot, Sparky, even made an appearance.

table toppers320 students turned up for the speed dating event. 

The festivities didn’t end there, either.  The dining team also held a prime rib dinner pop-up restaurant event on Valentine’s Day eve. The event took place in the Tilley Student Center which was decorated with a romantic ambiance with pink, red, white hearts and string lights. The event was reservation only and featured a three-course menu, including a house salad, prime rib paired with green beans, a baked potato and a dinner roll and cheesecake for dessert. There was a total of 123 reservations for the evening. Students were also given the opportunity to pay with a meal swipe plus $10 or pay $17.50 without a meal swipe, which made the dining experience more affordable for students.

"My main motivation was to give the students an opportunity to have a nice, upscale served dinner to celebrate the holiday with their friends or significant other. I hope the students loved the food, fellowship, and decor created around this event,” said Todd Reynolds, general manager of retail at the university, in a statement.


Celebrating all love at Tulsa University

Tulsa University Dining wanted to celebrate both love and friendship in honor of Valentine’s Day with two different events in an effort to emphasize inclusivity for the holiday.

The first event was geared toward the romantic crowd, with over 60 dining tables decorated with red roses and floral displays. The menu featured grilled tri-tip, garlic roasted potatoes and a pasta bar. And Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat. On offer at the event was a chocolate fondue station with strawberries and red velvet cupcakes.

And the second event was all about friendship. Diners could play oversized games, build friendship bracelets and enjoy unique menus at Sol Tex Mex and Category 5, two campus dining locations.

Practicing self love with free food

Harvard University is promoting self-love with its Cupid’s Chow initiative. The Harvard Undergraduate Association passed the proposal at its second general meeting of the term, according to The Harvard Crimson.  The initiative will allow undergraduates to receive a $15 UberEats voucher from Feb. 14 to Feb. 18, while supplies last. Up to 235 students will receive vouchers which they can use to purchase a meal of their choice.

Other ways to celebrate

We all know the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to indulge in as many sweet treats as your heart desires. Miami University held a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating event in honor of this day.  And the University of Richmond in VA., served up Valentine’s Day desserts all day on the 14th.

Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year so in order to ensure an inclusive menu, Walsh University dining team featured an additional seafood and vegetarian menu at all dining locations for the day.

And at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, students had a jam packed 9 days of celebration with 14 different activities including a Cupid’s Mixer and a Valentine’s Day dinner.



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