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VALUE ALSO INSIDE: Creating the Student Experience Visual Communications Engaging Strategies

Stop wondering about salaries. NACUFS 2017 Salary Benchmarking Survey Compensation is one of the top indicators of job satisfaction. Knowing how competitive the wages are at your foodservice department can be critical for employee recruitment and retention. Conducted every other year, the NACUFS Foodservice Salary Survey provides you with the average salary and wage rates for more than 30 key management and staff positions at collegiate foodservice departments, allowing you to benchmark your department’s compensation data against similar institutions. Available exclusively to NACUFS members, the survey is offered at no cost as a benefit of membership. Only those that participate will receive the results.

How does it work? Simply fill out and return the survey questionnaire with the salary and wage information from your Institution. Data from the responses of participating institutions will be collected and analyzed by Industry Insights, Inc., a professional research firm that specializes in business studies for associations. After the completion of the survey, you will receive a comprehensive report that details the aggregated average compensation from all participating institutions, grouped by: all institutions, region, community size, annual foodservice revenue, institutional affiliation, intitutional structure, self-op or contract, and number of full-time employees. Data submitted is completely confidential—only the association’s research firm will see the submissions and only aggregated data will be reported.

The deadline to participate is May 31, 2017 To register or learn more, visit: When we receive the benchmarking data, we share it with our operations teams so they make real-time, fact-based decisions.

Smitha Haneef Executive Director, Campus Dining Princeton University

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CONNECTIONS the SOURCE For more information on how benchmarking surveys and other member benefits can help you elevate dining on your campus, please call the NACUFS office at 517.332.2494 or email

The magazine of the National Association of College & University Food Services

Advertising Information and Article Submission Advertising of a product or service in this publication does not imply endorsement. Advertisers assume responsibility and liability for the content of any advertising. The National Association of College & University Food Services is exempt from any liability resulting from publication of articles. Editorial mention of commercial interests is intended entirely as an information service to readers and should not be construed as an endorsement, actual or implied, by NACUFS. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of NACUFS. ©2017 The National Association of College & University Food Services. All rights reserved. No part of this publication shall be reproduced, stored in a retrievable system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, which includes but is not limited to, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written consent of NACUFS.


Rochelle Rizzi, Director of Marketing & Communications

Associate Editor

Kortney Pitts, Marketing Coordinator


Amy Beckstrom, University of Colorado


Patti Klos, Tufts University

Immediate Past President

Dawn Aubrey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Rich Neumann, Ohio University

At-large Trustees

Ken Toong, University of Massachusetts – Amherst Sam Samaan, Azusa Pacific University Smitha Haneef, Princeton University Tim Backes, University of New Mexico Kristina Patridge, University of Alabama Alecia Stultz, University of Kansas

Southern Region President

Susan Van Gigch, University of Georgia

Pacific Region Director

Kris Klinger, University of Southern California

Industry Trustee

Greg Hetfield, Hormel

Chief Executive Officer

Gretchen Couraud, NACUFS

For advertising information, email or call (517) 827-1111.

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CORRECTIONS: “Campus Dining Today” strives to provide accurate journalism and fair reporting. It is our policy to correct substantive errors of fact. If you think we may have published incorrect information, please call (517) 827-1111 or email



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NACUFS Mission: To support and promote excellence in collegiate dining.



So, what is excellence? Now, more than ever, we are being asked by our campuses such questions as, “How are you contributing to our strategic goals?” And, “How do you support our student success?” For the past three years, AMY BECKSTROM Campus Dining Services NACUFS president at CU Boulder has been aligning their mission and goals in support of the chancellor’s three strategic goals: Retention, Revenue, and Reputation. (Affectionately known as the 3 R’s.) Through our strategic planning process, we identified Critical Performance Measures (metrics) in support of each goal. Identifying metrics for revenue and reputation was easy. But let’s talk about our role in retention (student success), as this is where we may struggle to find the right metrics to show how we provide support. This is our opportunity to market and celebrate the significant opportunity we have! Student Employment: Research shows that students who are employed on campus are retained at a substantially higher rate and are more likely to graduate in four years, as compared to students who are not employed on campus. Since we are often one of the largest employers of students, this presents a tremendous opportunity for campus dining services to show our value proposition to the campus through the retention of our student employees. Welcoming environment/Having a Sense of Belonging: At CU Boulder, according to EBI Survey Data, (paired with student records), we found that students returning for their second year had a higher sense of belonging than students who did not return, which indicates that having this sense of belonging is important for retention. This survey also revealed that social opportunities and student involvement are two significant factors that contribute to their sense of belonging. Social opportunities and student involvement?! Who better to provide these opportunities than us?!

Another survey we recently conducted that illustrates our value proposition to the campus was a “move-in” survey conducted this past fall. This survey indicated that over 94 percent of first-year students felt a “welcoming environment/sense of belonging” during move-in. We all know that campus dining programs play a very big part of this! The meals or catering we provide to welcome family and friends during the move-in (often free!), in support of academic open houses, or to launch a new school or program play a significant role in welcoming our students and giving them a sense of belonging. In yet another campus-wide survey conducted in 2015, we asked our students, “What is the place on campus where you feel most welcome?” 47 percent named a place within housing & dining services. Seventeen students actually mentioned a dining/food operation! Here at CU Boulder, we have developed a great sense of purpose as we have identified, promoted, and celebrated how we support the “3 R’s” on our campus. But, now we have the opportunity to continue to communicate our value proposition with the chancellor’s recent announcement of his new strategic imperatives, which have moved away from the “3 R’s” to three new goals: 1) Shape Tomorrow’s Leaders; 2) Be the Top University for Innovation; and 3) Positively Impact Humanity. We are currently deep into our new strategic planning process with renewed enthusiasm about how we, in Campus Dining Services, can support these three new strategic imperatives. Imagine the possibilities!!!



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The Voice – Communicating the Value of Dining Services on Campus



What is unique about NACUFS? NACUFS is the only organization that is solely focused on collegiate dining. There are many other trade and professional associations, trade publications, and conferences focused GRETCHEN COURAUD on different aspects chief executive officer of food or higher education. NACUFS is the organization with the mission, the passion, and the ability to unite as one community. Together, we celebrate dining services; elevate members’ brand on campus; and tell the story of how dining services is essential to higher education, learning, and student success.

Why does this matter? Recent media stories in other national publications and renowned speakers regarding the cost of food prove to be unbalanced telling a one-sided story, without an understanding of the total business model of higher education and our members’ contribution to student success. We are beginning to see legislation that calls for reducing the cost of dining services without a clear understanding of how campus dining contributes to the value of campus.

So, what’s next? First, we must be committed to our mission. As we move forward, the NACUFS board of trustees is developing a case for excellence to articulate and defend dining services and to communicate your value on campus. With a strategic laser-like focus on this matter, the board will revisit our programs to best demonstrate your excellence. NACUFS will build a presence and be the voice for the college and university segment, telling member stories of culinary and nutritional excellence; student health; and positive contributions to nutrition, academic, and student success.

We will need more data. Under all this, as dining services professionals, campus dining facilities make a financial contribution back to the bottom line to support academics, student affairs, and other departments. NACUFS members continue to innovate, contribute to the bottom line, and redefine business models on most campuses. What’s exciting? NACUFS is enhancing this year’s customer satisfaction survey in order to begin measuring our members’ contributions to student recruitment, retention, and graduation. Not only will this help us to better understand our membership, this will be a tool for you to communicate your value on campus. Stay tuned! The NACUFS community is raising the bar on excellence. And with membership growth? Together, we are raising our voices, building a very strong case for the campus dining industry.

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A Few of My Favorite Things




While I do in fact like “bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens” (as the song goes), as a marketer, I am very excited about the theme of this issue: Communicating Value. Some of my favorite things are communication, culture, and creativity. It’s even the subtitle of my LinkedIn profile!

I continue to be absolutely wow’d with the passion that bubbles up and exudes from the members of NACUFS. Having been in a creative field for as long as I have, I can appreciate the process, the roles, and responsibilities of all aspects of problem-solving. Believe it or not, I once owned an event venue. On a much smaller scale from yours, I understand the level of hospitality and customer service needed in order to reach that level of excellence for which we all strive. It feels so good to get those 5-star ratings, to retain a team of quality employees, high-five a team member, and see that revenue line grow! As I sit here and finalize this issue, it’s the last day for dining award entries to arrive at the association office. I am so intrigued! The events, menus, artwork, and stories told from these entries tells me one thing—our members strive for excellence! Every. Darn. Day. You are an amazing group of very talented dining professionals. And, as the director of marketing and communications, I am thrilled to be a part of sharing your stories with the world. With every

NACUFS publication, video, social media post, article, or press release, the community of members is elevating the voice of this very niche profession. Like all businesses, our members are focused not only on creative problem solving and student satisfaction, but also on how to communicate the value of dining services to administration and to the public. It’s not enough to show the financials, “likes” on Facebook, or mobile app ratings. It’s everything in between. It is the culture. It starts from within, doesn’t it? A strong team is the backbone of any outward communication. It’s the 360-degree buy-in. It’s being a part of something. That energy that radiates out from leadership, management, marketers, servers, chefs, nutritionists—all working together to create a positive experience. Does your team stop to think about how important they are to the brand of the campus, the bigger picture beyond dining services? Their creative ideas, exceed-expectations mentality, and customer service are all packaged together to create excellence on campus. This is so important to overall student satisfaction; and I’m sure, to achieving mission on campus. A lesser-known line of “My Favorite Things” says, “Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings”. NACUFS members personify this. Can’t you just picture it? A flock of geese gathered nearly 60 years ago, and took a running start to take flight in the night, with a dream to bring the campus dining industry to the next level. And look at you now! Still soaring, creating new flight patterns for all food industry professionals to follow your lead!


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Communicating Value in Dining Halls and Retail Operations A Guide for Campus Dining Professionals By Reni Gertner, MPH; LAZ PR; Boston, Mass.


ne afternoon in February, the associate director of dining services and a chef sat down with a group of graduate students at the Fletcher School at Tufts University to get their opinion about new sandwiches and salads they were launching. The campus dining professionals described everything, from the types of oil to the sourcing of the greens and chicken, and asked students for feedback. “We’re trying to bring the culinary team out from behind the walls to show students that we value their opinion and want to meet their needs,” said Patti Klos, director of dining and business services at Tufts University, with four campuses in Massachusetts. Like Tufts, many institutions are trying interactive ways to get students’ buy-in on everything from menu changes to sustainability efforts. Obtaining buy-in is important in a world where students, staff, and others—with a wide array of specific dietary needs and preferences—are looking for healthy, fresh food options. Meanwhile, campus dining professionals are seeking to meet—and better yet exceed—these expectations in their

dining halls and retail operations. And then, they are left with the challenge of finding effective ways to communicate the value of their offerings back to the students, faculty, staff, administration, and even the public. “Everything we do involves a multi-pronged approach,” said Maureen L. Timmons, director of dining services at Northeastern University in Boston. Crista Martin, director for strategic initiatives & communications at Harvard University Dining Services, agreed. “We try to talk to students in countless ways and through countless forums about the quality, the community and the experience,” Martin said, noting that Harvard students are required to be on a meal plan, so the university has the unique challenge of demonstrating the value of a forced decision.

Define a set of values and select products that match them To start, the key is developing a set of principles you will use to select your offerings. For many schools, including Harvard, Northeastern, Phillips Exeter Academy, Tufts, and




others, the standards they follow are contained in Menus of Change®: The Business of Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Food Choices; an initiative from The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that created 24 principles of healthy, sustainable menus. The program involves more than 30 college and university food service and academic programs across the nation.


“Menus of Change is a lens we look at everything through,” said Timmons. “And everything has to taste amazing.” The principles include being transparent about sourcing and preparing, buying fresh, seasonal, local, and global products; reducing added sugar; and focusing on messaging around flavor. According to Sarah Sturtevant, CEO and founder of yusó, a new fresh, Japanese-inspired rice ball snack, in order to provide value, you have to begin with quality. “Each aspect of the snack we built was a conscious decision,” she said. “We were thinking through the taste, the nutrition, and the sustainability all at the same time.”



Sturtevant also noted that many dietary concerns that once applied to small segments of the population—including vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and many food allergies and sensitivities—are now mainstream. So, it’s important for schools to keep them at the top of their radar. Phillips Exeter devised its own set of standards to guide the health and quality of its dining offerings four years ago and then was invited to participate in Menus of Change. Among the offerings they’ve added to be in line with their values are macro-vegan salads, baskets of oranges for pressing your own juice, and yusó. “What sold me on yusó was the cool factor, the nutritional factor, and the global element,” said Melinda J. Leonard, associate director of dining services at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Review your operation to ensure openness to value-driven offerings Incorporating these values into menus is something you have to think about every day. “You can’t rest on your laurels,” said Leonard. “We are always looking at improving efficiencies of what we buy and how we cook.” But you don’t have to change everything at once. “Start with breakfast or lunch or a particular ingredient,” recommended Timmons. Ask yourself, “What can we afford that’s local?” For example, she said, Northeastern used to offer frozen French fries, but now they purchase potatoes from a local farmer and cut them on-site. “Finding a farmer and managing the process isn’t usually the easiest way, but it’s the right way,” she said. One key to success is partnering with your vendors to get what you need, according to David Davidson, managing director of dining services at Harvard. At Harvard, they serve eight varieties of squash, for a total of 30-40,000 pounds of squash annually. To make that possible, their local vendor processes the squash, peeling and cutting it to their specifications before delivery. Sturtevant said partnership has to work in the other direction, too. “The most successful organizations we have worked with are willing to take a delivery in the afternoon and support more than one delivery a week to get fresh products,” said Sturtevant, whose refrigerated snack has a five-day shelf life. “And we have constant communication on how the product is selling.”

It can also be a real challenge for a start-up vendor to get into campus food services in the first place, especially when they aren’t working through a distributor. “Campuses need to revisit their contracts,” said Rafael Preuss, a sales representative for WayFare, which sells plant-based replacement products for dairy, including butter, cheese, and pudding. “If they use a third-party company to outsource their kitchen, they need to build in provisions” to allow direct distribution for certain new products.

Explore a variety of ways to communicate value Communicating the value of your offerings requires a creative, multi-channel approach, including: • Train staff to communicate value Educating staff about your strategy for providing value and, in turn, about how to effectively communicate that value, is essential. That might include regular meetings with dining staff before shifts, talking about new menu items and the principles of your operation. Or it might rise to the level of a job requirement. At Tufts, “It’s an expectation in the performance plan for retail managers that they have to innovate,” said Klos. “We want staff to bring forward ideas, and we are looking for failures because that tells us we are trying new things.” Recently, Leonard hosted a three-day training on Asian food and cooking techniques for staff at Exeter, “driven by trying to offer more globally inspired and plant driven menu options.” • Engage students for feedback Communicating value depends on making sure students feel that they—and their opinions—are important to you.

Tasting demonstrations and presentations about the values of products are a great way to educate and engage your customers. “People love hearing the back story to any ingredient,” said Timmons. “Any time we can get a chef, fisherman, farmer, or nutritionist to engage with them,” we do it. Leonard said the more interactive the founder or chef can be with students and staff, the better. “When I do a demo, I’m doing it as much to tell the staff the story of the product as the students,” said Sturtevant. This past year, as a broader tool to educate the community, Exeter hosted a successful local and sustainable food vendor showcase and they are planning to do it again next year. Theme-based dining events are another effective way to excite students about new menu items while reinforcing values.

“For campuses that are smaller or just starting out, I would suggest engaging the students by setting up a monthly meeting,” said Timmons. “Once you have opportunities to engage regularly, you build a relationship, with advocacy on both sides. Students have buy-in and help drive the process.” Timmons meets with a group of students once a month to share what’s going on in dining services, including events, new local vendors and menu items, and to listen to their feedback. “It’s also critical that you value each individual student,” said Davidson. He recalled times when a student had voiced a concern and the director of residential dining, the executive chef, and a manager sat down to discuss the issue with him or her. Davidson noted that at Harvard, they provide a mechanism for feedback through their website with a response time of 48 hours or less, as well as paper comment cards and annual surveys, he said. They also make sure their management team is visible in the dining halls. “Their job is to know students’ names and be available when they have a question or concern,” Davidson said. • Employ the full-range of digital and print tools It’s helpful to use a variety of digital and print tools to communicate value. “You never know what will stick so you have to be persistent,” said Leonard. At Phillips Exeter, they installed digital menu boards in the dining hall four years ago and they just added them to their retail operation. “We use them to communicate the value of new products or specials throughout campus,” said Leonard.

At Tufts, Klos said they recently had a vegan and vegetarian recipe contest. They engaged the school’s culinary society—which is made up of students—as part of the effort, and the school’s culinary team prepared the recipes. “Involving students in helping to create things, tasting new items, giving feedback, and encouraging them to be creative is really successful,” she said. • Bring dining services into the academic realm Communicating value means finding ways that dining can add value in the educational arena. “Dining has to come out of the dining hall,” said Timmons. That means engaging faculty, speaking in classes about relevant topics, and suggesting new ways to add to the educational environment. One way this technique has taken shape at Harvard is through the Food Literacy Project, which hosts a fellowship program for students and offers campus-wide initiatives for exploring the food system. “This project allows students to explore their relationship with food; and helps create a culture of inquiry, innovation, and engagement,” said Martin. • Educate the administration Be proactive in explaining your dining decisions to the administration to ensure buy-in and approval. “It’s about how well you tell your story and market it,” said Leonard. To keep her school’s administration aware of their success, she shared a recent magazine article that highlighted Phillips Exeter’s program with the administration. “When we were invited to the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative,” said Timmons, “I sent a note to the university president and senior leadership team, explaining what it meant and seeking support. And they all responded enthusiastically.” She also presents to other administrative groups about what’s going on in dining services. “It’s all-around 360-degree communication.”


• Host interactive demos and dining events

15 C A M P U S D I N I N G T O DAY

They also have point-of-sale collateral for particular vendors. One example is the fish program through Red’s Best in Boston, which provides locally caught fish from underutilized species to Exeter and others. “We have point-of-sale collateral and messaging highlighting where the fish came from,” Leonard said. Across the board, schools’ use of social media runs the gamut from Twitter to Snapchat. “No matter which tools you use, the key is to respond quickly and transparently and create an ongoing dialogue,” said Timmons.

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It’s never just the health of your student body that’s on the line. It’s not just about lunch or dinner, or “linner,” or the other seven mealtimes your doors are open to serve students, faculty, parents and alums. Today it’s about the range of options and outlets you need to keep students on campus. It’s your reputation and your calling to serve your community that’s on the line. Our Tyson College & University Team was crafted with the same passion for excellence you put into your work. From staff plans to meal plans. From dining halls to residence halls. From early birds to night owls. Talk to us. We know the difference between just making the grade and helping you excel in your chosen field. We’re listening. And we want to know, What’s on the line?™

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imple Servings station at Southside, the campus’ main all-you-care-to-eat resident dining facility with eight scatter-style stations, dedicates an area to foods safe for customers with the most common food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances. “This renovation project has added value to our program for countless students with food allergies and their families for whom allergen-safe dining is a deciding factor when choosing a four-year institution,” says Daphne Miles, Sodexo’s general manager for resident dining. The station receives approximately 200 customers per day. The allergen-friendly station provides an accessible space for these students while also diversifying menu options for other Southside customers seeking a balanced meal with “clean” ingredients. This renovation did not require removing any other menu offerings customers like.

HIGHLIGHTS & UNIQUE FEATURES • The project required a slight adjustment to Southwide’s servery without reducing the 520-seat dining room. One of the stations, formerly a sandwich deli (Wrapped Up) occupying a 1,600-square-foot space, was remodeled and transformed into “Simple Servings” allergen-friendly area. Wrapped Up was relocated to pair with the create-your-own salad bar, which was ingeniously remodeled to expand service options including paninis, allowing for the same custom-built sandwich offerings without cutting into seating space or salad bar offerings. • The Simple Servings station features a fresh and flavorful daily hot entrée, soup, and side dishes prepared without ingredients containing the food allergens of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and gluten. • A side pantry area at the station called “My Zone” serves all nut-free and gluten-free foods such as waffles, bread, pastries, and an assortment of foods, such as salad dressings, which students can add to their meals.

Simple Servings is located far enough from other stations to avoid cross-contamination of ingredients, utensils and cooking equipment.


George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

19 C A M P U S D I N I N G T O DAY




Jose Montanez, executive chef at Southside, serves students a selection of noodles and Kansas City barbecue beef, jasmine rice, baked beans and Carolina slaw. Equipment is self-contained so there is no cross-contact with other stations’ ingredients.


PROJECT SIZE Simple Servings Total: 1,600 sq. ft. Southside Total: 25,000 sq. ft.

A sign reminds customers: “Simple Servings Plates Only! Please do not bring plates from other stations to the Simple Servings area.”

• Southside’s management team works to prevent cross-contact from foods brought to the station from other areas of the dining hall. Managers also encourage staff members to become certified in safe handling practices for serving diners with special dietary needs.

Hours of Operation (Simple Servings Station): Monday – Friday, 11 a.m – 10 p.m.: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Daily Traffic: 3,800 (total in Southside) Seats: 520 (Southside overall) Payment Accepted: Meal plans, Mason Money, Cash, credit (all) Average Check: AYCTE; for walk-in customers, $9 breakfast, $10 lunch, $11 dinner Annual Sales Volume (Southside overall): $9.8 million Total Project Cost: $118,076 Cost of Foodservice Component, including Equipment: $34,507 Staff: Southside overall, 88 full-time employees, 22 part time employees, 4 managers; Simple Servings station, 4 workers total and 2 at a time



• Although this project was a minor renovation, it involved a major change of culture among the Southside staff in order to accommodate the purpose of the renovation. Four dedicated and trained Simple Servings staff members answer customers’ questions about menu items and the reasoning for using clean plates and not bringing foods from other areas of the facility to Simple Servings.

Opened: January 2017


• Customers can view all production and all equipment. Utensils used at the Simple Servings station are purple so they are easily identified as allergen-free and make it easy to avoid cross-contact from other stations.



George Mason University: Mark Kraner, auxiliaries director; and Annemarie Irwin, project engineer for facilities project management and construction Sodexo: Daphne Miles, general manager of resident dining; Lois Durant, registered dietitian at GMU Architect: Gauthier Alvarado Associates Interior Designer: Internal design, George Mason University Foodservice Consultant and Designer: Internal Equipment Dealer: Sodexo Performance Interior

Induction cookers allow culinary staff to heat soups and make stir-fries without the addition of expensive hoods. Pan storage beneath contributes to staff efficiency and the area’s cleanliness.


• The station features a dual-temp food well for holding a daily hot entrée and side dishes; a 36-inch, four-burner range, a 12-inch induction griddle for custom-made stir fry and a convection steamer for rice. The station also contains a convection oven and a conventional oven along with a reach-in refrigerator.

Ham Steaks and Shelling Beans with Charred Herb Vinaigrette

what’s now. What are we doing now? Just making glazed ham greater. These ‘steaks’ are grilled and basted with sweet-and-sour chili glaze and served with charred herb vinaigrette. It’s flavor on flavor on flavor. To see what we’ll do next, visit and sign up for our newsletter, The 400. @PigAndCleaver

©2017 National Pork Board, Des Moines, IA USA. This message funded by America’s Pork Producers and the Pork Checkoff.


Photos courtesy of Ricca Design Studios; photographs by Brandon Stengel,

uperior Dining Center features a bright, contemporary dining facility serving 2,300 guests. This is a dramatic transformation of the scatter-system residence dining hall opened in 1974 to accommodate 900 students. This reimagined center follows UMD’s Superior Dining’s vision to provide an inclusive experience and to promote understanding of different cultures and life-styles, while striving for complete guest satisfaction. It also strengthens the partnership between the dining team and the UMD Farm.

Though the square footage remained the same, the new facility improves the traffic flow and provides more efficient and comfortable seating options. “As the sole dining hall on campus, offering and showcasing fresh and locally-sourced foods to students was an extremely important component of the renovation,” says Claudia A. Engelmeier, director of dining services. “The traditional back-of-house prep and cooking areas were brought into the front of the house for an exciting, engaging experience for both the chefs and the guests.” Energy efficiency received major emphasis with upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment.

HIGHLIGHTS & UNIQUE FEATURES • The free-standing, centrally located residence hall dining center connects via tunnels to campus housing and campus academic buildings. • Stations include: – The Hot Dish, a live cooking station featuring hot entrees for breakfast, lunch and dinner; this station includes Carving Station, featuring chicken, pork, beef, farm-fresh squash, and other rotating menu items; – Greens & Grains, a salad bar with multiple greens, grains, proteins, add-ins and dressings for create-your-own salads; this station includes a sandwich bar for creating and personalizing sandwiches; – Grille, a live cooking station featuring burgers and fries;

Greens & Grains displays ingredients for create-your-own salads and sandwiches.

– Creation Station features a Mongolian grill so a chef can prepare proteins and produce from the UMD farm; – Sauté highlighting a chef’s favorite dishes; – Allergen-free Station, featuring vegan dishes and gluten-free options. • Featured materials include: locally sourced granite, a natural stone, for The Hot Dish that contains induction units; water, wood, and natural materials used throughout facility; a wall consisting of a reclaimed more than 300-year-old wood section from a historic grain elevator at the edge of the Duluth-Superior Harbor; and Corian countertops throughout the servery. • For the final project, a hallway was relocated to create more back-of-house space for prep, a new walk-in cooler and new walk-in freezer. The flow of foot traffic was enormously improved.

At the Grille, the lunch menu includes chicken breasts, burgers, fries and entrees while the breakfast menu features French toast and pancakes.


University of Minnesota Duluth

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• This year dining used nearly 11,000 pounds of produce from the UMD farm, a 114-acre site approximately four miles from the university. This allows for stronger partnerships with the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) Farm and the use of fresh ingredients.


• Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the room and flood the space with natural light.

Daily Traffic: Approximately 4,000 meals daily



• Sustainable materials include reclaimed lumber and locally sourced granite. Photographs by a student photographer, Alex Ganeev, feature Lake Superior.



Opened: Fall 2016 Hours of Operation: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Monday – Friday; 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Seats: 433 Payment Accepted: AYCTE campus meal plan (2,755 meal plans sold in 2016-2017)

• Recycling and unneeded equipment, chairs, and tables were sold in an auction, thereby keeping them out of the landfill.

Average Check: $8.00

• The recycled material (178 tons) and diverted materials helped keep approximately 60 percent of the total project waste from the landfills.

Total Project Cost: $5.2 million

• The new layout encourages socialization and strengthens the sense of place and community. Customers can sit at booths, square tables, high-top tables, and counters. • Trayless dining reduces wasted food and saves water energy.

Annual Sales Volume (projected): $7.6 million

Cost of Foodservice Equipment: $925,439.00 Staff: 1 senior manager for retail operations; 4 managers; 10 full-time employees; 5 half-time employees; 128 student employees

The Hot Dish features entrees for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Creation Station features a Mongolian grill. A chef prepares proteins and vegetables, many of which are sourced at the local farm. Sauté features chefs’ creations that vary daily.

• Lighting and most of the equipment are energy efficient, contributing to a reduction in energy and water waste. • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system was upgraded, resulting in an overall reduction in energy consumption. • A water-efficient dishwasher cleans silverware, plates, bowls, and cups. • After funding approval and careful consideration, the project was pushed out a year to give the team the time necessary to think through challenges such as temporary dining options in the refitted Kirby ballroom, loss of prep space and working within the limited infrastructure while remaining within the original footprint. The decision also allowed the contractor to be involved long before construction began and to act as an advisor throughout the final design stages.

One wall consists of a reclaimed 300+-year-old wood wall from a historic grain elevator at the edge of the Duluth-Superior Harbor.

KEY PLAYERS University of Minnesota Duluth: Corbin Smyth, Ed. D., associate vice chancellor for student life; Claudia A. Engelmeier, CFCS, director of dining services; Elizabeth Abrahamson, associate director; Tom Linderholm, executive chef Architect and Interior Designer: Architectural Resources Inc.; Katie Hildenbrand, CID, principal Foodservice Consultant and Designer: Ricca Design Studios; Al Moller, LEED AP, principal Equipment Dealer: Boelter Contract & Design; Steve Trebisovsky, CFSP, project manager Construction: McGough; Jesse Turner, project manager

PROJECT SIZE Total: 12,500 sq. ft. Servery: 2,300 sq. ft. Seating: 6,900 sq. ft. Circulation: 3,300 sq. ft.

The dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows bring in natural light. Reclaimed wood and wood booths add a sustainable, rustic, contemporary feel. Customers may choose from many seating options. Every other wooden booth contains a logo of the mascot bulldog.

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SUSTAINABILI TY & REVENUE GROWTH Positive Response to Student Demand By Stephanie Raboin, Marketing Manager NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY DINING




uring fall of 2016, Northern Michigan University (NMU) Dining recycled their plastic packaging once and for all, and switched to a reusable jar program on campus for their salads. These salads have been very popular and provide the campus with a better-for-you, socially and environmentally friendly dining option. The sales volume of our salads went up 45 percent across campus as students positively responded to the change. Students are eager to support the NMU Dine Responsibly efforts. Not only are plant-based protein salads innovative, but in a new program to campus, the jars are returnable and reusable. There is currently a $1 deposit earned for every jar returned. Once students return the jar, they are washed and then reused, creating less packaging waste. These salads embrace the evergrowing sustainable and healthy dining trend. The dining location Sundré Snack & Suppy Co. currently offers eight flavorful and fresh salads that meet the needs of any special diet on campus including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free. They also contain grain and plant-based proteins, low sodium, two servings of grains and vegetables, and on average 11 grams of dietary fiber. “One of the things a student wants is a fast and portable dining option. These salads are a healthy alternative to the usual grab and go meals that students are taking advantage of including those students who are vegan, vegetarian, or on a therapeutic diet. As students are introduced to a larger variety of plant-based proteins, their palates have become more diverse and their reliance on animal proteins has decreased.” Brett Peterson, Registered Dietitian; Northern Michigan University

“NMU Dining has made the commitment to maintain sustainable practices throughout our department. Through our ‘Dine Responsibly’ program we look for

ways to reduce waste while incorporating ecofriendly practices. When the team developed the reusable jar program they were conscious of our commitment to the environment and excited to introduce the jar salads to the students of Northern Michigan University.” Sharon Carey, Dining Director; Northern Michigan University The encouraging feedback we’ve received from our guests on the program, and the uses they discovered when making their decisions to keep their jar makes this a perfect fit for our campus. The new jar salads have tastefully connected NMU’s busy on-the-go students, faculty, and staff with a healthier and more sustainable meal. We encourage you to “picture this” on your campus too.


The College of Brockport community is going loco over Brockport Auxiliary Service Corporation’s new retail shop, Fiesta! By Kelly Bodine, Marketing Manager; Brockport Auxiliary Service Corporation THE COLLEGE AT BROCKPORT



n the fall of 2014 Brockport Auxiliary Service Corporation (BASC) refreshed their main food court, The Square at the Union. New décor, furnishings, and shop concepts were introduced and the overall redesign proved to be successful. One particular shop, The Port, was designed to give students and administration a one-stop shop where customers could customize their own meal, with rotating weekly themes, all for under $6! While BASC saw this as a great value, it just didn’t stick. With the beautiful redesign of the food court and hard work that went into menu design, nobody wanted to see this shop prove to be unsuccessful, but something needed to change. Surveys and focus groups tell us repeatedly that price is most important to customers, but value is not about price alone. It’s a combination of your goods and services for

which your customers are willing to pay. BASC decided to look deeper and conduct some market analysis to determine how value is defined and articulated among the Brockport campus population and use this knowledge to make the necessary improvements to The Port, whether that meant updating the existing shop or doing another creating a new concept. Through the use of custom questions on the annual NACUFS Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey it was discovered that over 50 percent of the survey participants were seeking a Mexican concept on campus, similar to that of a Moe’s or Chipotle. A Mexican shop had previously existed in the food court before the redesign and proved unsuccessful, so it was unclear why that shop hadn’t met customer needs.

27 C A M P U S D I N I N G T O DAY

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and when it comes to communicating with students, sometimes “show” is more effective than “tell”. The infographic visually communicates the positive results that can be attributed to the new glass jar packaging. The positive results of the small change included an increase in the product quality, shelf life, and total sales; while the amount of waste went down substantially. The new packaging also presents the product in a more appealing way to customers. The decision proved to be a “win-win” for everyone.


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To help keep cost and pricing suitable, all recipes were chef-driven so BASC could establish the best and IMPROVED SHOWING THAT STRIDES HAVE BEEN MADE TO MEET most affordable way to serve the campus population. It was required CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS IN REGARDS TO VALUE. that all products purchased have a clean label and as much of the menu Based on the survey findings, BASC conducted a SWOT as possible be made in house. By doing so, BASC was able analysis of its most popular shop in the redesigned food to incorporate garden-fresh herbs, authentic chilies, spices, court, Sprouts, to determine how the success of that shop and fresh ingredients to create a variety of house-made could be translated into a Mexican-themed concept. salsas including corn and black bean salsa, guacamole, Accompanied by focus groups, BASC learned that tortilla chips, and queso cheese sauce. students appreciated the size options for portion control, full customization, fresh ingredients, and fast service. The previous Mexican shop wasn’t seen as a great value because it lacked customization options, and the menu wasn’t authentic. Lastly, it was discovered that students perceive Moe’s and Chipotle as too highly priced. However, they love dining there as a treat when possible. Combined, all of this market analysis fueled the understanding for the students’ desire behind Mexican faire.


In the 2016 NACUFS Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey, BASC’S VALUE SATISFACTION SCORE

By including this many house-made recipes, the chefs were able to make the entire menu gluten free (except the flour tortillas for the burrito enthusiasts of course), stimulate the taste buds of our vegetarian and vegan population, and satisfy the meat lovers. Hot and cold options make it a great meal year-round. Additionally, with the size selections of a small or large, a la carte sides, and the choice of upgrading any entrée to a combo, it’s a wrap! Or rather, it’s a burrito. All of these great choices really spiced up the menu giving everyone a reason to celebrate, and in return giving BASC the name of the future shop, Fiesta. Prior to its grand opening in the fall of 2016, BASC invited several essential groups, departments, and personnel to test the chef inspired menu to ensure that it appealed to the appetites of the campus population. These groups included the BASC board of directors, residential assistants, 50000

Price comparisons were served up next. Using a local burrito shop for market research, but keeping the price point of Moe’s and Chipotle in mind, BASC started to test similar menu options that would fit the criteria of what the students were seeking. Customization became the driving force behind the concept as that was seen as the best value along with price, freshness, and speed of service. Students care greatly about price but agreed they were willing to pay slightly more if it meant they could get exactly what they wanted, see the fresh toppings they could choose from, and watch their meal being built in front of them.


Fiesta 30000 20000 10000 0

Sales $

Quantity Sold


other student life groups, residents of the Student Union, and full and part-time BASC employees. By giving these groups the chance to sample the menu before its grand opening, it gave the staff extra training behind the scenes, invited live feedback from the personally invited customers, and allowed ample time for word to spread. Shortly thereafter the remainder of the campus was anxious to find out what others were going loco over. Fiesta’s grand opening was nothing short of, well, a fiesta! The weeklong event included free food samples, free fountain beverages with any entrée purchase, free house-made chips and salsa, free guacamole, and all week anyone could participate in a social media contest to win $150 in Easy Money, the campus’ debit spending program. “The students really love the pleasing colors of the fresh menu toppings, the option of being able to have two or all toppings, and the portability of a full and nourishing meal,” said BASC employee, Loreen Stetzel. Commuter student Grace Carnall comments, “I like to treat myself to Fiesta at least once a week before my night class. My personal favorite is the salad because I can get all of the fixings of a burrito, but in a healthier way!”

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Resident student Carmen DeAngelo claims, “The burrito with a side of queso and chips is the way to go! I get a lot of food for my money’s worth and it keeps me feeling satisfied all day.” After its grand opening, Fiesta quickly became one of the favorite hot spots located in The Square. In less than a year, this create-your-own burritos, bowls, salads, nachos, and sides, concept made up 11 percent of The Square at the Union’s total sales, compared to The Port at only three percent. In the 2016 NACUFS Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey, BASC’s value satisfaction score improved showing that strides have been made to meet customers’ needs in regards to value. While the price of a meal at Fiesta remains relatively close to what The Port was, the students’ and administrations’ perceived value of the two don’t compare. The majority of the time, consumers are unaware of the true cost of production for foods they consume. Rather, it’s about the internal feeling of how much the food or product is worth to them. That’s what makes Fiesta a great value.


Providing Value to Students and Higher Revenue to UW Dining By Martin Perlman, Communications Specialist UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON HOUSING & FOOD SERVICES


s has likely always been the case, students look for value (a happy meeting of cost and quality) when it comes to dining on campus. For autumn quarter 2016, UW Dining at the University of Washington implemented a trial price reduction in two areas—beverages and meal combos—at the two residential dining venues, McMahon 8 on North Campus and Local Point on West Campus. The results were a win-win for UW Dining and students alike.

Specifically, students on the Resident Dining Account (which works like a prepaid debit card for use anytime at UW Dining locations on campus) could receive a free dispensed beverage (a $2 savings) each time they visited the residence hall dining units by showing their Husky Card to receive a refillable cup. The second cost savings was realized when students purchased a newly introduced Husky Meal, a breakfast, lunch, or dinner entrée with two sides at a 10 percent discount.

Students received news about the two price enhancements through a variety of channels. At the beginning of the quarter, an email communication from Director of UW Dining Gary Goldberg was sent to all students with a Resident Dining Account. The email emphasized the price reduction was student-driven: “As a result of student feedback, Resident Dining Account holders who have chosen level one through six will enjoy some additional value…”

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The email was followed up with posters placed at the dining halls and other high traffic locations within the residence halls with the headline: “New Perks for You at Local Point and The 8!” the email’s longer text was boiled down to the quick messaging: “Free Drinks: Show us your Husky Card to get a cup” and “Try a Husky Meal. It’s a complete meal deal!” Parallel information went up on the dining website and Facebook pages. In addition, in both print and electronic form, a Dining Perks “Get More for Less” infographic (below, right) offered another way to clearly show students how they could save money. As the graphic illustrates, by getting a free drink, including not just soft drinks but sugar-free and no-calorie options, juice, milk, and coffee, with a Husky Meal (10% discount), a diner could save an average of $2.50. The second half of the infographic states that over a quarter, the free drinks and Husky Meal discounts could “stretch your dining account by more than $250.”

NEW PERKS FOR YOU at Local Point and The 8!


Try a

Show us your Husky Card to get a cup. *dispensed drinks only

It’s a complete meal deal!

Did the dining perks attract student interest?

32 C A M P U S D I N I N G T O DAY

Do you have a Residential Dining Account 1-6?

A second infographic (below, left) for UW Dining use tells the story. The combined results from the two serving locations show that the bi-weekly consumption of free drinks was 24,240 and Husky Meals served added up to 795. More specifically, statistics show: Participation (Transactions) Local Point • Up 12.5% compared to fall quarter 2015 McMahon 8 • Up 10.1% compared to fall quarter 2015 Average transaction cost: Local Point • 5% lower than fall quarter 2015 McMahon 8 • 3% lower than fall quarter 2015 Revenue Local Point • Up 6.9% compared to fall quarter 2015 McMahon 8 • Up 6.8% compared to fall quarter 2015

STAY LATE at Local Point and The 8! Open ‘til 1 am Sundays through Thursdays.

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Even with lower average transaction costs, because of a higher number of transactions, revenue was higher overall. Due to the success of the pilot program, the pricing structure is being continued for winter quarter. “We continue to get positive feedback from RCSA (Residential Community Student Association) and the [student] Dining Advisory Group. We plan to continue the free drink program as it is doing the job we wanted for the most part,” said UW Dining Director Gary Goldberg. “We are considering expanding the reach of the Husky Meals to include all stations each meal period.” In addition to the specific items mentioned above, UW Dining also promoted a benefit to students that ties in with a sense of value—the addition of late night hours at both restaurants. Staying open until 1 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, the restaurants provided students with a safe, welcoming and comfortable place to study, snack, and socialize. Part of an ongoing process, UW Dining is evaluating other long-term strategies to find that productive balance between value and quality. Students—customers—want both. Other approaches include leveraging relationships with food distributors for better discounts, expanding the product quantity of produce from the UW Farms, which includes acreage on UW residential sites, and reducing food waste at UW dining facilities.

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By Beckee Moreland, Director of GREAT Kitchens; Beyond Celiac


shley Rohall, a third-year student at Smith College, was having trouble staying completely gluten-free and found herself trying to take care of her meals on her own in her room. Knowing that this was not an ideal or sustainable solution, she and others on campus with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity organized a meeting with dining services personnel to see if they could help her and others with their gluten-free needs on campus. Ashley and other students had many meetings with Andy Cox, food service director; the president; and board members to find a solution. Together, they devised a plan: Create a totally safe gluten-free dining hall available to students who have special dietary needs because of medical conditions. To eat in Dawes dining hall, students must provide a doctor’s note and apply through the college’s disability services office. The school paper covered the story, communicating the process and showing the college’s support for meeting the students’ need. The demand for safe gluten-free options can help or hinder a school’s recruitment for students with medically restricted diets. The Smith College demonstrated a positive, inclusive response; providing ongoing communication to its students as well as education for the staff. Is providing reliably safe gluten-free options that are healthy and appealing a big deal? Yes. For a person with celiac disease, not only can on-going exposure to gluten cause long-term health problems, including additional autoimmune disorders, certain types of cancer, and even death, but being able to eat at school without stress and inconvenience can do wonders for their morale, their academic and athletic performance, and their overall impression of their school.

Students may take risks when time and convenience are compromised. Young adults in school live in a fast-paced world, balancing classes, activities, social life, and work. They don’t want to have to wait and may not make the best decisions if the options are hard to access. And when it is hard, they have difficulty recommending their school to someone else in the same situation. The demand for gluten-free meals is on the rise. However, 60 percent of the college students who responded to a recent New England Celiac Organization (NECO) survey report that they would not recommend their school to others with celiac disease. The cost and availability of gluten-free foods has never been better. So how can college or university dining services make it work? Despite the Lesley University Settlement in 2012, Beyond Celiac recently surveyed college students and found that 42 percent of gluten-free students who contacted a university administrator felt the official did not have sufficient knowledge about their gluten-free diet.

Needs of students with gluten-related disorders are the same across the country, but how the needs are met has changed in the last five years. Many foodservice operations have taken steps to become educated and to implement safe gluten-free options.

Safety First Thirty percent of Beyond Celiac survey respondents said they had missed class due to gluten exposure. Exposure to gluten can lead to debilitating symptoms that can create challenges to learning and participating in class and other activities. These symptoms may include brain fog, severe fatigue, diarrhea, and more. But how does this exposure come about, especially in a dining hall with gluten-free options? The primary causes are lack of ingredient sourcing and cross-contact. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and their derivatives. Common foods containing gluten include breads, cereal, pasta, pizza crust, muffins, bagels, pie, and croutons. Other foods that may contain gluten may not be so obvious. Processed meats, sauces, condiments,

BRIEF HISTORY In 2012, the US Department of Justice reached a settlement agreement with Lesley University in response to a complaint surrounding the lack of gluten-free and food allergy-friendly options on campus with no opportunity for meal plan exemption. The agreement stemmed from a complaint that the University was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), preventing students with special dietary needs from “fully and equally” enjoying services provided by the University. Following an investigation, the Department of Justice and Lesley University entered voluntarily into an agreement that would ensure “reasonable modifications” are made to address the needs of gluten- and allergen-free students. While the settlement only applied to Lesley University, it set a precedent in favor of students with special dietary needs. Some schools across the country have used the agreement guidelines as a template for ways to accommodate special diet students.

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NACUFS members pride themselves on engaging all students


The Value of Communication and Providing Safe Gluten-Free Campus Dining



Beckee Moreland, Director of GREAT Kitchens, assists Swarthmore dining staff during GREAT Schools training, Swarthmore College

French fry coating, and salad dressings can contain gluten. By FDA FALCPA of 2004, wheat, one of the top eight allergens, must be identified on retail packaging of foods regulated by the FDA, but barley and rye do not. The FDA Gluten-Free Labeling regulation is a voluntary claim that basically states that foods can be labeled “gluten-free” if they do not contain wheat, rye, barley, or their derivatives and contain less than 20 parts per million gluten. Being able to identify hidden sources of gluten plus diligent label-reading are skills that will help when sourcing ingredients. Foodservice teams can benefit from having a registered dietitian on staff who can take the lead on this process. Gluten cross-contact can be direct or indirect. Direct cross-contact happens when one food containing gluten (croutons) comes into contact with another food (salad). Removing the croutons from the salad doesn’t fix the problem and could make a student very ill. Indirect gluten cross-contact occurs when hands, utensils, cooking equipment, etc. that have been used in the preparation of gluten-containing foods come in contact with a gluten-free food. For example, a knife used to slice

bread is then used to cut open a baked potato. Learning ways to prevent cross-contact through training, practice, and using dedicated space and equipment can prevent students from experiencing debilitating consequences and benefit staff by building confidence in their ability to execute these skills. Foodservice managers can create a successful program with a few key steps: • Implement continuous special diet education and training of staff through a program such as the GREAT Schools, Colleges, and Camps program offered by the non-profit patient advocacy group Beyond Celiac. • Include allergen and gluten controls in your standard operating procedures and manage their implementation. • Be transparent about what you offer students. Communication is key. Label menu options with icons, identify choices by station, clearly and prominently offer website information, mention accommodations during campus visits, orientation, and residence hall news—printed, digital, and ver-

bal. With a quick search, students and parents should be able to access services and options for what your dining service offers special diet students. • Help students to help themselves— provide nutrition information on websites and dining apps with ingredient and allergen filters to help students make smart choices. The fear of food is real. People with celiac disease are all too familiar with the experience of “getting glutened” while dining out. And college students on a meal plan may have very few other options. A student’s comfort level of eating in the dining hall depends on how seriously the staff take their gluten-free diet requests. Unfortunately, 42.37 percent of college respondents in the Beyond Celiac 2016 survey said they were not comfortable eating in their dining hall. They cite the following reasons: inability to avoid cross-contact, lack of variety of food options, and a lack of training of staff for safe cooking practices. Unfortunately, 30 percent of NECO survey respondents found no solution to their food needs on campus.


Requiring a gluten-free diet should not reduce their choices to dry chicken, baked potato, steamed vegetables, salad, and cold cereal. Variety and solid nutrition are important when your only meal options are in the dining halls, c-stores, or restaurants. Students with special dietary requirements need and want a wide selection to include nutritious options at every meal, on every day, for four years. They want to be included when they see what other students have available at food stations that include stir-fry, pasta, panini sandwiches, wraps, sushi, grain bowls, burgers, soups, and more.

For those who did report feeling comfortable, their top 3 reasons included: Clearly labeled gluten-free options; approachable and responsive staff; and availability of healthy gluten-free options.

Here are some examples of dining solutions from schools that have staff trained by the Beyond Celiac GREAT Schools, Colleges, and Camps program:

G8 Station

Valparaiso U; Valparaiso, IN Gluten 8 (G8) is Valparaiso University’s allergen-friendly station, located in the Founder Table restaurant in the Harre Student Union. The menu options at this station are void of the top eight food allergens and gluten. The G8 menu specialist ensures that no cross-contact occurs while cooking and preparing foods at a specialized G8 area in the kitchen, complete with purple utensils. “The G8 station has grown in popularity among students, serving 1200 meals a month to not only students, faculty, and staff with diagnosed food allergies; but also, with people who avoid specific food allergens by preference. Many of the foods served at G8 have undergone very little processing, and are great options for anyone looking to eat ‘cleaner’ and healthier,” says Nicole Bianco, RD.

The Free Zone

Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, PA

Real world solutions that build variety and convenience Foodservice operators may find that creating appetizing and convenient options for their students with dietary restrictions are not as daunting as they seem. More college and university operators are creating stations that include safe options for special diet students but don’t exclude other students from trying these choices as well. This can make the special diet station less stigmatizing and more inclusive.

Opened in the Fall of 2013, the Free Zone is designed for students who need to eat an entirely gluten-free diet. Gluten-free hot foods, staples, and desserts are available in the Free Zone, as well as equipment for students to prepare their own items. “Free Zone options are designed to mirror our general offerings as much as possible. This is an emphasis that I hear frequently from our students—that they desire a dining experience as broad and interesting as we offer students without dining restrictions,”

Gluten-Free Zone ready for service, Cal Poly Campus Dining Starches and vegetables on the line in the Gluten-Free Zone, Cal Poly Campus Dining says Mary Kassab, Special Diets Advisor. Packaged gluten-free products are available at coffee and snack bars. To have access to The Free Zone, students must complete a food allergy/intolerance health form and submit it to dining services.

Gluten-Free Zone

California Polytechnic State University; San Luis Obispo, CA “Since its inception in 2013, our Gluten Free Zone has served thousands of students, staff, and faculty. The menu rotation offers one roasted protein, a cooked vegetable (local when available), a starch option, 2-3 composed salads, and a robust salad bar which includes two rotating fresh fruit options. While our gluten free zone was specifically designed for our customers with celiac disease, it is also

Meal from G8 Station, Valparaiso University

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Variety of Menu Options and Convenience

frequented by many others looking for simple and healthful items. The gluten free station is also virtually free of the eight most common allergens including milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and shellfish,” says Megan Coats, RD.



Smith College; Northampton, MA



Students with celiac disease started advocating for a dedicated kitchen in 2014. Now the renovated Dawes dining hall serves two hot gluten-free meals for dinner plus breakfast, lunch, and snacks for students who have registered with the Office of Student Affairs and Disability Services. “From 14 original students, we have grown to accommodate over 70 students in need of a strict gluten free diet. In the many conversations I’ve had with incoming students and their parents regarding their college decision, many referenced Smith College’s commitment to accommodating food allergies as a factor in their decision,” says Andrew Cox, director of dining services.

Gluten-Free Station in Café 1201 & Special Dietary Lockers in Broderick Dining Commons

Old Dominion University; Norfolk, VA “We are proud to be one of only seven universities in the country to achieve GREAT School recognition, and we are dedicated to providing healthy and flavorful menu options for all ODU students. Our gluten-free menus

WINNING MENU ITEMS According to the Beyond Celiac student survey, some of the top food options gluten-free students would like to see added in their dining halls include: grab ’n go pizza, pasta, burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, stir-fry, breakfast pastries, and homemade desserts. include freshly prepared whole proteins, starches, vegetables, and desserts. With the rise in diagnosed celiac disease cases throughout the country, it is very important to us that we provide options for Old Dominion University students with a gluten sensitivity so we implemented the Gluten-Free station in Café 1201 and the Special Dietary Lockers in Broderick Dining Commons,” says Monarch Dining/Aramark Executive Chef Robert Patton CEC, CCA. The Special Dietary Lockers in Broderick Dining Commons will be ready for use in Spring 2017. Gluten-free menus include freshly prepared whole proteins, starches, vegetables, and desserts free from gluten or their specific allergy and house them in a temperature controlled locker accessed with their student ID. “Through the use of dedicated lockers, we assist these students in accommodating their individual needs. We work with students, parents, and the Office of Educational Accessibility to identify these students and assign them swipe access into these lockers. Dry, refrigerated, and frozen sections provide meal solutions for all day-parts,” says Janet McLaughlin, Aramark’s

Resident District Manager, Old Dominion University.

Happy Endings Ashley was the first student to eat at Smith’s gluten-free Dawes dining hall in the Fall of 2015. She and the other students note that they were very happy with the school, the staff, the chefs and the experience. Now they feel like regular students—they can get pizza and bagels and have a place to go whenever they are hungry. There are also containers for to-go options that are completely safe, and the students have a great relationship with the chef(s) and the staff. Cox, along with 20 other Smith foodservice staff members, have completed the online training of the GREAT Schools program from Beyond Celiac. This online multimedia course teaches foodservice staff how to properly prepare and serve gluten-free meals. Participants learn how to identify gluten-free ingredients, avoid cross-contact, and answer gluten-free students’ and parents’ questions. Participating college and universities and other foodservice operations can apply to receive GREAT accreditation.



Dietary Food Lockers ready for student use, Broderick Dining Commons, Old Dominion University

Students eating in the dedicated dining hall, Dawes, Smith College



What’s Hot on Campus WHAT’S HOT

Sustainable Solutions: Local Food, Increased Satisfaction



University of Oklahoma Reacts to Students’ Feedback By Amy Buchanan, Director of Marketing & Communications; OU Housing and Food Services


tudents at the University of Oklahoma aren’t shy about voicing what they want, and when the Housing and Food Services department received student survey feedback outlining that they wanted more local and sustainable menu options at their more than 25 dining locations, they knew action was needed. The department had a great starting point for this value-added component of on-campus dining. Efforts to increase local purchases were already in place, energy-efficient appliances were replacing older models, and in a joint effort with campus student groups, departmental leadership had signed the Real Food Challenge. First, more focus needed to be put on communicating what the department was already doing. Some changes were simple: add symbols denoting local products to all qualifying menu items, display signage in operations highlighting sustainability efforts, and increase the conversation on social media. Other items took a bit more planning but were well worth it. The university hosted special events and meals showcasing local vendors, built a dedicated section on the department’s website, and put into action ways to expand current efforts and bring new ones to campus. Take a peek at the fun and exciting projects that OU Housing and Food Services now gets to communicate to everyone on campus. • Two years after signing the Real Food Challenge in 2015, over 16 percent of the department’s food purchases qualify as “real food”. When other local purchases are added to this category, over 50 percent of all purchases are from local vendors. • For pork and beef, the department works with 1907 Meat Company— a small, independent, and local meat market—to source animals that meet OU’s standards for quality; and the Real Food Challenge, directly from small family farms in Oklahoma. All farms that are sourced for OU are Animal Welfare Approved. At OU, this relationship has solved the logistic and quantity challenges larger institutions face when trying to implement farm-to-table concepts by providing a single point of contact between customers and farms. • Over 10 years ago, a small family business began providing cage-free eggs to one campus dining location. That has evolved into Ivy Acres Farms, located in Shawnee, Oklahoma, forming a co-op in order to stock all campus restaurants with more than 70,000 cage-free eggs a month. • In 2016, the department was the first to launch a hydroponic farm on a Big 12 campus. This Leafy Green Machine introduced the concept of hyperlocal food to guests. Lettuces grown in the upcycled shipping container are then served at various locations across campus, most within a couple hundred feet of the container. For a complete list of local food vendors and dining sustainability information, visit

Communication of Excellence: Creating the Student Experience

6 Consider working with popular local providers to host special college nights for your campus. Food trucks and late-night options are very popular with students. But, these can be costly for operators. Get creative and involve the entire community!

7 Can you rotate a dining option throughout your residential dining and retail locations? Create pop-up stir-fry stations at residential and retail dining locations with easy-tomove woks. Students can customize their dish by picking out ingredients for the chef to whip-up a quick healthy meal.

So how do operators adapt to changing student expectations? Colleges across the country are renovating dining halls and serveries to be state-of-the-art culinary facilities for their customers. Operators need to be in touch with trends, but can campus facilities be upgraded as fast as the trends change? Here are some tips for energizing your students’ dining experience while maximizing what they get for their meal-plan dollar:

1 Small food demos in the dining hall. We all work with local companies and farms to bring food to our students. Why not bring in suppliers to demo their products? Students will see that the food they’re served is fresh and grown locally.

2 Have a deli station on your campus? Create monthly specials running a student-designed sandwich. If students feel part of the program, they will promote products and accept plan changes more readily.

3 Line up blenders for a smoothie station. This can help students pack in fruits and veggies on the move. Or offer make-your-own smoothies as part of your grab-and-go area.

4 Maximize grab-and-go offerings. Students want more than just a yogurt and piece of fruit on the way to class in exchange for their meal swipe.

5 Do students want to eat in their dorms but feel frustrated about having a meal plan? Implement a meal-prep equivalent program for upper-class students. Trade meal swipes for a “learn-to-prep-and-go” meal experience. Students work together in a shared kitchen to prepare three days’ worth of reheatable, sharable meals. Make easy side-dishes like pasta, rice, quinoa, or spaghetti squash; these are not costly to the operator and can be added to the students’

There are lots of exciting new concepts—like pizza and cupcake ATMs—and students expect even newer and more engaging concepts and experiences when they enter our facilities. Have fun with your operation and program! Collaborate with on-campus partners; student activities offices staff often have great creative ideas. Work with student groups on food trucks and food festivals. The dining landscape will continue to change, and we need to keep our creative minds open. Remember, students want value, flexibility, and novelty which is possible if we collaborate with our vendors and campus partners.

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ollege dining has come a long way over the years. So have students. Today, college students are more sophisticated and informed about culinary trends than ever before. As a result, the experience that dining operators plate is as important as the food they serve.

meal options. Test kitchens and “my pantries” are on the rise at many local colleges. Providers like Sodexo and Bon Appétit are testing these concepts. Check out Sodexo at Brandeis University or SUNY Oneonta and Bon Appetite at Colby College.


By Naomi Carton Associate Dean for Residential Life and Dining, MIT Sloan School of Management

Cool & Smooth BY DONNA BOSS





hat could be more satisfying than a cool and smooth dessert on a warm summer day? NACUFS institution members’ chefs take the opportunity to show off their talents and give customers something delicious to anticipate with these palate pleasing, refreshing delights. The desserts featured bring sincere and much-welcomed “wows!” to the chefs and their dining programs.

Cicely I. Austin’s Strawberry White Chocolate Pyramid pleased customers attending catered events and banquets at Clemson University. Photograph courtesy of Clemson University Dining/Aramark; photograph by Ben White


Summer Desserts C A M P U S D I N I N G T O DAY




Read C hef Bios at


.O R G /C D



CL E MS ON UNI V E R SI T Y, CL E MS ON , S OU T H C A R OL INA Photographs courtesy of Clemson University Dining/Aramark; photographs by Ben White


Lemon Bavarian with Macerated Blueberries is a spin on a lemon meringue pie.



Cicely I. Austin’s Lemon Bavarian with Macerated Blueberries and Strawberry White Chocolate Pyramid Two of the most popular desserts on Clemson’s catering event and banquet dessert menus are Cicely I. Austin’s Lemon Bavarian with Macerated Blueberries and Strawberry White Chocolate Pyramid. These desserts are offered as often as once a month upon request. Not surprisingly, the president of the university is one of Austin’s most appreciative customers. “I like to work with these recipes because they are traditional and use timeless spring and summer ingredients,” says Austin, who works for Aramark, Clemson’s foodservice provider. Both simple-to-prepare desserts contain flavors, textures, and a deconstructed presentation that are a play on classic desserts. “For example, the lemon dessert is a spin on a lemon meringue pie and the strawberry pyramid is a nod to a classic s’more,” says Austin. The Lemon Bavarian components pair the lemon tartness with the fresh blueberries. “This brings a level of nostalgia,” says Austin. “We can all remember eating our first slice of lemon meringue pie. These flavors harken to classic simple and clean tastes.” The Strawberry White Chocolate Pyramid is what Austin calls “a s’more with dueling chocolate profiles.” Combining sweet and tart flavors, the recipe also calls for nut brittle, which brings in a crunchy texture. Both recipes feature fresh, locally-sourced cream and ripe seasonal fruit. “These play off one another to create an umami experience,” Austin says. She recommends using ripe fruit and berries to get the best quality desserts. Austin advises using a silicon fleximold to make the desserts and freezing the molds first. “Dropping the lemon bavarian custard or the white chocolate strawberry mousse in while cold helps them set up faster and results in a smoother textured finish,” she says. “When making the desserts, use an offset spatula to level out the bavarian and the mousse. This little step helps when plating the desserts so they have a more level base and don’t tip over.” Also, using a little pan release spray will help the desserts release easier as well. “Once unmolded from the silicon forms, keep the desserts frozen for a day or two prior to service until you decide to spray them or glaze the desserts,” says Austin. “The glaze and spray adheres better when the desserts are frozen.”

Cicely I. Austin presents Strawberry White Chocolate Pyramid (left) and Lemon Bavarian with Macerated Blueberries.

CICELY I. AUSTIN CAMPUS PASTRY CHEF CLEMSON UNIVERSITY DINING Cicely I. Austin is Aramark’s campus pastry chef at Clemson University. (Aramark is the foodservice provider.) In her position, which she has held for four years, she is responsible for the campus bakery for which she oversees and participates in all pastry production and operations. These include quality preparation and presentation of pastries, desserts, and baked goods, as well as compliance with all safety and sanitation standards and regulations. In her position, she is responsible for directing and administering the planning, preparation, production, and control of all pastry production for multiple locations on campus. She also provides production for small and large banquets for Clemson Catering, as well as desserts for the students at Core campus dining, which is part of Aramark’s Fresh Food Company. Austin graduated from The Culinary Institute of America. She was nominated for Best 50 Pastry Chefs from “Food & Wine” magazine in 2012; nominated for Pastry Chef of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in 2012; and is currently The American Culinary Federation’s Southeast Regional Pastry Chef of the Year 2017. “I love all aspects of the culinary field but most importantly I enjoy teaching and educating young, eager bakers and pasty cooks,” she says. When she’s not working, Austin plays tennis and golf and refinishes and restores furniture.


H A RVA R D U N I V E R SI T Y, C A MB R I D G E , M A S S AC H U SE T T S Photographs by Lora Morini, HUDS

Ernie Quinones’ Mexican Chocolate Flan and Strawberry Jalapeño Key Lime Tartlets


In his position as executive chef at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA, Ernie Quinones continually searches for recipes to please an international clientele. This graduate school, established in 1936, offers master’s degrees in public policy, public administration, and international development, grants several doctoral degrees, and conducts many executive education programs. “These desserts are examples of what I create for some of our VIP guests, many of whom are world leaders,” Quinones says. “For every occasion we create special menus to reflect a particular event.”



Calling on his baking and pastry arts training, Quinones’ approach to his craft is thinking outside the box to identify flavors that normally are not be found in desserts. These recipes evoke the tropics in two entirely different ways. Mexican Chocolate Flan combines a dark, creamy, seductive texture of chocolate flan with a smooth, sweet richness of caramel. “The spices in Mexican chocolate give a special flavor to the flan,” Quinones says. He advises that the ganache must be made with chocolate or it will seize and leave pieces of chocolate in the flan. Strawberry Jalapeño Key Lime Tartlets bring together strawberry jalapeño syrup, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, key lime juice, and egg yolks placed in graham cracker tartlet shells. An undercurrent of jalapeno heat brings a surprise element to this dessert. “The jalapeño cuts the sweetness of the tartlet and gives just the right amount of heat,” Quinones explains. He recommends that chefs use a double broiler to produce a clear syrup when combining the strawberries, jalapeño, sugar, and water. Both desserts must be refrigerated before serving.



Read C hef Bios at


.O R G /C D .O


T Mexican Chocolate Flan combines a dark, creamy, seductive texture of chocolate flan with a smooth, sweet richness of caramel.

Natural, Simple, Delicious.

• Roasted, U.S. Grown Sunflower Seeds • 7 Grams of Protein • 1.12 oz = 2T = 1 M/MA • Free From Top 8 Food Allergens ©2017 SunButter is a registered trademark of Red River Commodities,Inc.



Ernie Quinones is executive chef at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA, a position he has held since September 2016. His responsibilities include menu development and daily oversight of dining at one of the university’s premiere professional schools. Dining includes a weekday breakfast and lunch café and an extensive and VIP catering program. His responsibilities also include analyzing and justifying food and labor costs; establishing and maintaining business relationships with the union; overseeing and managing kitchen team and food inventory; training the foodservice team on preparation and execution of all menus; and directing and managing retail outlets, the food court, and catering events.


Prior to joining the Harvard University dining team, he served as executive chef with Sodexo at The University of Massachusetts Boston from November 2012 until July 2016; executive chef at The University of Massachusetts Club from September 2005 until November 2012; executive chef at Mantra, Boston, from 2000 until 2005; executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston from January 1998 until October 2000; pastry chef consultant at Hartwell House in Lexington, MA, from August 2003 until March 2004; and night supervisor at Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA, from October 1996 until January 1998. Quinones is fluent in conversational Spanish. His language skills, combined with his understanding of dining desires of people from diverse international backgrounds, allow him to bring an insightful, creative approach to the menus and service at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School. “I enjoy watching people experience my food,” he says. When he’s not on the job Quinones participates in triathlons and rides his Harley.

An undercurrent of jalapeño heat brings a surprise element to Strawberry Jalapeño Key Lime Tartlets.


Quinones received an Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) in baking and pastry arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, in 1996.

Photograph by Lora Morini, HUDS

U N I V E R SI T Y OF I L L I N OI S AT U R B A NA- C H A MPA IGN Photographs courtesy of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Dining Services


Eric Larson adds finishing touches to Chocolate Almond Ice Cream Sandwich (gluten/dairy free) and Green Tea Ice Cream Roll.



Eric Larson’s Chocolate Almond Ice “Cream” Sandwich (Gluten/Dairy free) and Green Tea Ice Cream Roll Eric Larson’s Chocolate Almond Ice “Cream” Sandwich (gluten/dairy free) and Green Tea Ice Cream Roll appear on menus for specialty outdoor events at the campus’s retail operation and for catering events to students, faculty, and staff. “As the diversity of our population on campus becomes more varied, we continue to expand our knowledge of various cuisines,” says Larson. “Accommodating people with dietary restrictions, food allergies, and religious considerations are important factors to take into account.” Larson believes customers like these street-style desserts not only for the flavors, but for the ease of eating as they walk around at an outdoor event. The sandwich’s cookies contain almonds, almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, vanilla powder and egg whites. The almonds contribute flavor and a crunch mouth-feel. The sandwich’s filling consists of ripe bananas that are frozen solid and blended with agave. After blending, the mixture is frozen until solid. Green Tea Ice Cream Roll requires the use of an anti-grill, a machine that flash freezes or semi-freezes foods placed on its chilled metal top. The anti-grill maintains a constant temperature of -30°F by pumping a refrigerant through a compressor to remove heat from its surface. Larson’s rolls contain a stable, crunch surface and cool, creamy center. “The key to this preparation is practice, practice, practice,” says Larson. He recommends serving immediately after preparation, but says they can be made and held frozen until appropriate service times. Larson uses locally-sourced dairy and eggs for these recipes.

ERIC D. LARSON PASTRY CHEF UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN Eric D. Larson, is the pastry chef and manages the bakery operations at Ikenberry Dining Commons at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In his position he oversees production for 9,000 meals daily at the commons. In addition, he oversees production for 2,000 transactions daily at Caffeinator Coffee Shop, 5,000 transactions daily 57 North, and bakery items for residential dining theme events and summer camp and conference operations. As a member of the senior culinary team he provides oversight for bakery items throughout residential dining. Other facets of Larson’s responsibilities include preparation and service of gourmet pastries and other foods for catering functions and special pastries for meals and banquets held throughout campus. He provides training for hourly and supervisory personnel in creative pastry preparation and presentation, and training for the pastry shop and sales outlet operations. “We also have a cake order known as Good to Go cakes in a few of our cash operations,” Larson says. “Clients build their own cakes. They start with the cake design then pick the cake and icing flavors. We instruct new members on the procedure and how to help clients with an order. This service is also available online for parents and other family members to send cakes to a student or staff member.” During his 35-year foodservice career, which began in 1982, he worked in Chicago hotels and restaurants, including Trotters, Lettuce Entertain You and establishments managed by the Restaurant Development Group. Larson earned his AOS degree from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI, in 1991 and has taken many more courses and workshops to round-out his training. He started working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995. At age 13 Larson knew he wanted to be a chef, but it wasn’t until he turned 21 years old when he realized his passion for pastry arts. His colleagues say he is a “born trainer” and makes the most complex pastry arts look easy to those with whom he works. When he’s not working, Larson exercises at a gym and plays with his two dogs.


Photograph by Eric Larson

Cool and Smooth Summer Desserts



The key to preparing Green Tea Ice Cream Roll on the anti-grill, Larson says, is “practice, practice, practice.” Larson picked up this plate at an auction for renowned restaurateur Charlie Trotter’s restaurant.

The Chocolate Almond Ice Cream Sandwich’s filling consists of ripe bananas that are frozen solid and blended with agave.


Vegan Almond Panna Cotta with Mango and Coconut is best served chilled and topped with fruit and coconut.



UN I V E R SI T Y OF C A L I F OR NI A S A N TA B A R B A R A Photographs by Eric Zobel

Senior Executive Chef Dusty Cooper’s Chocolate Coffee Ganache Tart and Vegan Almond Panna Cotta with Mango and Coconut Dusty Cooper believes in simple, but thought-provoking food. “I want to make people think about what they are eating,” she says. “At UCSB, I have the incredible honor of introducing thousands of young eaters to interesting flavors and ingredients. These desserts are no different.” Great texture is another reason Cooper selected Chocolate Coffee Ganache Tart and Vegan Almond Panna Cotta with Mango and Coconut. “Texture keeps people interested and really makes each bite unique.” Customers at The Club & Guest House, UCSB’s fine dining restaurant and hotel on campus, appreciate and look forward to the tart on the dessert menu every day. This dessert

Chocolate Coffee Ganache Tart can be served in a wedge, in a round, or squares. Cooper prefers to serve it with a scoop of the gelato and cherries on top. Refrigerate the tart until service.

evolved as a way for Cooper to utilize local products and marry complimentary flavors and textures. “When I heard fantastic cherries were available I was reminded of a similar dessert I made years ago,” says Cooper. “This time I added the coffee flavor, which enhances the flavor of the entire dessert, and added gelato made by a local purveyor who created the black pepper flavor for this recipe.” The chocolate tart’s crunchy crust made with locally sourced almonds requires being mindful of the butter that can easily melt out if it gets too hot. The ganache requires straight forward preparation. “Smooth and creamy is key,” says Cooper. The last key to the filling is to incorporate the eggs evenly and activate them by baking. The filling doesn’t puff, so a beautiful scalloped-edge crust will be completely on display. Cooper loves the mysterious bite from the black pepper gelato that, she says, “begs for” sweet cherries (add sugar to the cherries if they are too tart). Cooper makes the cherries a few hours ahead of serving time. “I prefer to keep it simple and allow the thyme flavor to permeate the cherries and be the star,” she says. The vegan Almond Panna Cotta with Mango and Coconut is another one of Cooper’s feature recipes. “The locally sourced blueberries are plump and ever so slightly tart so they marry perfectly with the sweet mango,” Cooper says. This dish is completely vegan, calling for agar in place of gelatin, and coconut sugar to sweeten. “Some hardcore vegans will argue granulated sugar is not vegan because of how it is filtered,” Cooper says. She uses mint “because it brings that herbaceous note that keeps your palette interested.” When making the Vegan Almond Panna Cotta with Mango and Coconut, the key is to have confidence using thickeners. “Agar can be a scary ingredient for some who aren’t familiar with it,” Cooper says. “It is a simple one to substitute for gelatin.” Any cut for the fruit works. Cooper prefers the larger coconut flakes to give more emphasis to the ingredient.


Cool and Smooth Summer Desserts

Photograph by Eric Zobel

Dusty Cooper is the senior executive chef for residential dining services at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since joining UCSB and the dining staff in August 2016, she oversees the dining units, which includes testing new products, assisting with menu development for everyday and special occasions, and supporting the production teams to find efficiencies and stay true to UCSB’s culinary vision. She also oversees The Club & Guest House, the fine dining restaurant and hotel on campus, for which she wrote the initial menu and is working with the culinary team to create upcoming seasonal menus. In addition, she supports the catering and concessions teams. Prior to coming to UCSB, Cooper held positions as a restaurant owner, culinary school program director, and executive chef. “I am interested in creating food that is wholesome, innovative, and local to the area,” Cooper says. “In Santa Barbara we are in such a produce-rich area so it is exciting to showcase what’s literally grown in our backyard.” Cooper’s interest in food began while she was growing up in the Midwest and later living in the South. “Food is love, camaraderie, and true hospitality,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity to be creative and play with fire and knives.” Great texture is one reason Cooper selected Chocolate Coffee Ganache Tart (left) and Vegan Almond Panna Cotta with Mango and Coconut.


Exploring California, hiking, wine tasting, and traveling top the list of Cooper’s other interests.



SIGNATURE LOOKS FOR YOUR DINING HALL Choose from 100s of styles and colors to coordinate your entire food service team. Find a look that captures your flavor at


BAND TOGETHER Learn together. Work together. Succeed together.

GENERAL SESSIONS Thursday, July 13 • Balancing Passion vs. Stepping Away from the Stove: Lessons Learned Outside the Kitchen

CHEF SEAN BROCK Chef Sean Brock joined the Neighborhood Dining Group (NDG) as executive chef at McCrady’s in Charleston in 2006. In 2010, Brock opened Husk (also in Charleston) which was named “Best New Restaurant in America” by Bon Appétit in 2011; followed by Husk Nashville in 2013, named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants” by Esquire in 2014. Husk is a celebration of Southern ingredients, only serving food that is indigenous to the South. In October 2014, Brock opened Mexican-inspired Minero in Charleston. A second Minero opened in Atlanta at Ponce City Market in 2015.

Friday, July 14 • Finding Your Collaborative Groove


This music-filled high-energy session illustrates an entirely new way to view collaboration that shifts participants’ mindset from activity based to a defined process that can be learned, taught, developed, and measured. Banding People Together is a super group of rock stars, behaviorists, and strategists that help individuals, teams, and organizations learn how to collaborate effectively to get more done and feel great doing it. Participants will: • Learn how the relationship between voice, contribution, and commitment impacts productivity and efficiency. • Understand the four collaborative behavioral styles and how to modify your communication for a higher level of engagement. • Learn a common language to discuss people and process matters related to collaboration and engagement.

Saturday, July 15 • Tell an Epic Story


In this electrifying session, Steve brings his ThemeWeaving® to a finale, blending narratives from his epic journeys with stories from our careers and this conference. Using excerpts from his Sahara adventure and a 72,000 mile global odyssey, Steve will help us see life and work as an unfolding epic tale. We will learn how stories create reality and determine our results and why narrative often trumps logic in many of the most important decisions we make. Steve will show us why our work is truly epic and how to use that narrative knowledge to be the heroes and heroines of our personal and foodservice stories.

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Attend one of two concurrent Super Sessions. Building an Epic Organization - Steve Donahue This high-energy, interactive session will positively disrupt how you imagine your job and motivate others. We will learn how to incorporate the five components of an epic story into our foodservice culture to boost teamwork, elevate effort, and increase job satisfaction. Breakthroughs in brain science are revealing the extraordinary power of stories and how narrative is an essential component of human consciousness. Steve’s research has uncovered three industries generating over $1 billion dollars in revenue by leveraging the world’s oldest story type. Steve will give us a complete narrative system to create a workplace that inspires epic results.

Member Forum Roundtables


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We have moved and expanded the member forums! Right here at the beginning of the conference make sure you Band Together with your peers. Compare notes, get new ideas, network, and get to know your colleagues. The member forums are divided into two 30-minute roundtable sessions. Each session will have a topic and a moderator to keep the valuable exchange of ideas going. This will be an extremely interactive session of ideas. Don’t miss this chance to meet your counterparts from other schools. The roundtable member forums will include hot topics in a number of areas: c-stores, sustainability, contract managers, directors, nutrition, marketing, catering, and more!


Come one, come all to the 17th NACUFS Culinary Challenge! Pans will be sizzling, knives will be moving with speed and precision, and competition will be fierce. Six contestants chosen in regional challenges earlier this year face off and race against the clock in this American Culinary Federation-sanctioned contest. The challenge is classified as a Category W (Customized Wildcard Competition). Be sure to stop by and cheer for your region’s competitor! Individual competitors will have 60 minutes to prepare four portions of an original hot entrée, featuring the mandatory ingredient of bone-in pork loin, to create a nutritionally balanced plate. In addition, the competitors will be judged on two classic knife skills. Three ACF-approved judges will select the winners. Contestants will be judged on the taste of the finished product, the demonstration of cooking skills and culinary techniques, the practice of organizational skills, and sanitation principles. ACF gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded on competition point totals. All participants will receive ACF certificates.


(Additional registration and fees apply.) • Tour of Jack Daniels Distillery • Vanderbilt University Campus Dining Experience; Tour of Vanderbilt Food Service Venues • The Gaylord Experience; a tour of the Gaylord Hotel and Resort Catering and Food Service Operations

WE ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE SUCH A HIGH-QUALITY CONFERENCE THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS. For a complete list of our sponsors, please visit To become a sponsor and support the NACUFS 2017 National Conference in Nashville, please contact sponsorship chairs Randy Lait,; and Darla Stewart, You can find the sponsorship brochure online at


Note: Times and events are subject to change. All events take place at the Omni Nashville Hotel or Music City Center unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, July 12 11:00 3:30 6:00 7:00

a.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

– – – –

4:00 4:45 7:00 9:30

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

NACUFS Café First-Time Conference Attendees Orientation Theodore W. Minah Reception Theodore W. Minah Dinner and Award Presentation

Thursday, July 13 8:30 a.m.

Awards Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

General Session: Chef Sean Brock

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Super Session: Steve Donahue

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Super Session: Member Forum Roundtables

12:45 p.m. –

4:45 p.m.

Showcase at the Music City Center — more than 440 exhibitor booths

5:00 p.m. –

7:00 p.m.

Culinary Challenge

5:00 p.m. –

7:00 p.m.

Industry Appreciation Reception

9:00 p.m. –

11:00 p.m.



7:30 a.m. –

Friday, July 14 7:00 a.m. –

8:30 a.m.

Regional Breakfasts

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

General Session: Banding People Together

10:50 a.m. –

1:50 p.m.

Showcase at the Music City Center — more than 440 exhibitor booths

2:00 p.m. –

3:00 p.m.

Interest Sessions

3:20 p.m. –

4:30 p.m.

Interest Sessions & Flash Sessions

5:00 p.m. –

6:30 p.m.

General Membership Assembly

9:00 p.m. –

11:00 p.m.


Saturday, July 15 7:30 a.m. –

8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast



Interest Sessions

a.m. –


9:35 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Interest Sessions & Flash Sessions


General Session: Steve Donahue

a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

1:00 p.m. –

2:30 p.m.

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Awards Luncheon Closing Event at Wildhorse Saloon

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: MAY 26, 2017 Register online for the national conference and edutours. Stay at an official conference hotel and receive your registration discount!

REGISTRATION FEE EARLY BIRD RATES (Discount deadline May 26) Member Non-Member

$660 $1,080


$860 $1,280


$280 per day $310 per day


CONTINENTAL REGIONAL CONFERENCE February 26 - March 1, 2017 |Sanford Medical & Concordia College|Fargo, North Dakota •

PACIFIC REGIONAL CONFERENCE March 2-4, 2017 | Azusa Pacific University | Pomona, California •

“Hunger is not as issue of charity, it’s an issue of humanity.” (Melissa Devan)

“There is no such perfect model of leadership or management, but we always strive and motivate to learn and work on our skills to provide better leadership to our team.” (Samuel B. Samaan)

“University dining services have the opportunity not only to make more sustainable purchasing decisions for their campus but also to play a large role in educating students about how their food choices impact the environment.” (Kristen Wonder)

56 63 C A M P U S D I N I N G TO T O DAY DAY

“As in many performance-driven industries, NACUFS members face increasing demands on their time and energy. But, people don’t work the way that machines do—continually able to contribute more, faster, and better than ever before. While we may desire to stay sustainably engaged, many of us are running on empty; unable to exert the physical, emotional, and social energy required to perform at a high level.” (Lori Mason)

MID-ATLANTIC REGIONAL CONFERENCE March 5-8, 2017 | Villanova University | Valley Forge, Pennsylvania •

“We should all be committed to understanding the reality and consequences of our diet, the footprint it makes on our environment; and seek food products that are in the best interest of all living things.” (Richard Oppenlander)

NORTHEAST REGIONAL CONFERENCE March 12-15, 2017 | University of Connecticut & Connecticut College | Groton, Connecticut •

“Create a culture of value. Create food that’s so good students don’t want to waste it!” (Garett DeStefano)

“The #1 campus need is a central place to gather, build community.” (Matt Hyatt/Shannon Gurek)

“Consider increasing seafood consumption in a responsible way by introducing underloved, affordable, and delicious species.” (Sea to Table Presentation)

SOUTHERN REGIONAL CONFERENCE March 15-17, 2017 | University of New Mexico|Santa Fe, New Mexico •

“The amount of food on a plate—whether it’s one helping or four—is what most people consider a “normal” serving. If you have a visual cue that tells you to stop before you get stuffed, you’ll eat less but feel just as satisfied.” (Jim Painter, Ph.D., R.D.)

MIDWEST REGIONAL CONFERENCE March 19-22, 2017 | University of Iowa|Iowa City, Iowa •

“Veggies at Breakfast had an objective to deliver nutrition information thru recipes and food demo, while asking food service operators to consider increasing the offerings of vegetables at the breakfast meal, which is the most important meal of the day and essential to our students to succeed in school.” (Magda Mello, Laura Croteau, and Eric Cartwright)

Effectively Supervising International Students explored the awareness of both the benefits and challenges of cross-cultural supervision that can help both supervisors and the students develop productive, positive, and collaborative working relationships. (Brandon Paulson, Shuhui Lin)

2017 NACUFS REGIONAL CULINARY CHALLENGE WINNERS Continental: Conor Maki, University of Minnesota - Duluth Pacific: Mauro Daniel Rossi, Art Institute of California - Hollywood Mid-Atlantic: Michael Blackwell, Fairleigh Dickinson University Northeast: Robert Bankert, University of Massachusetts - Amherst Southern: Travis Johnson, Tulane University Midwest: David Wolf, Ohio State





JANUARY 24-27, 2017


65 58

2017 OPERATOR ROUNDTABLES Operators and industry representatives met in San Antonio on January 24-25 for the annual NACUFS operator roundtables. The roundtables provided a structured format for 15 industry members to engage face-to-face with collegiate foodservice leaders from 15 schools from across North America. Each discussion lasted 20 minutes, allowing each vendor and each campus uninterrupted time to exchange information about products, services, campus challenges, and industry trends. While industry members value the undivided face time with campus foodservice decision-makers, operators gain valuable insights into new products and services while also expanding their industry network.

THE TWO-DAY SYMPOSIUM FOCUSED HEAVILY ON CREATING AWARENESS AROUND TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION AND THEIR IMPACT ON COLLEGIATE FOODSERVICES. ON DAY ONE Lander Medlin, executive vice president of APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities, shared key trends in higher education. • Fluctuations and uncertainty in global markets are negatively impacting endowment and gift revenues. Could this impact the annual revenue goals for dining services? • Population statistics indicate that the number of high school graduates will decline in the next two decades. How will this affect the customer base for dining services? • The U.S. lag in international student recruitment is exacerbated by new competition from China and the recent uncertainty in U.S. immigration policies for international students. Are there implications for menu planning? • Technology is accelerating and changing at an exponential rate. How are you leveraging technology in your operation to improve efficiencies and effectiveness. • Data analytics is driving strategic decisions on campus. How are you defining, tracking and reporting on your key performance indicators (KPIs) to stay relevant to your institution’s core mission? • As the world moves from a service economy to a knowledge-human economy, how are you providing soft skills training for your foodservice staff?

ON DAY TWO Erin Murray, Food Trends Expert and Marketing Strategist of Datassential, presented findings about current menu trends. • The challenge for the foodie generation during a time of increased rate of change is boredom. 46 percent of college students are described as “Experientialist” eater types—going beyond the food to focus on the experience of eating and drinking. • Heart health, living longer, and sustaining energy during the day are the top healthy eating and drinking motivators. • Pulses (crops harvested for their dry seed) have seen tremendous growth over the past 10 years. Chickpeas have seen 129 percent growth as a potential meat substitute. • Hyper-local looks at high indexing foods at the metro level. For example, hot chicken and fried green tomatoes top the index in Nashville as hyper-local foods. • Consumers are most interested in knowing about the freshness of ingredients, quality of ingredients, and how the food is actually prepared. Open kitchens, visual assembly, and freshly grown produce meet these needs.

NACUFS WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING INDUSTRY MEMBERS FOR THEIR SPONSORSHIP AND PARTICIPATION IN THIS YEAR’S OPERATOR ROUNDTABLES: Ajinomoto Windsor; Avocados from Mexico; Bakergroup Foodservice Consulting and Design; Foodesign Associates; Foodservice Design Professionals; Gordon Food Service; Hormel Foods Corporation; LeDuff America; Pinnacle Foods; RC Fine Foods; Rich Products Corporation; Sushi with Gusto; Sysco Corporation; The Dannon Company; and Wells Enterprises/Blue Bunny.


Serving procurement choices: • • • •

Satisfies your procurement requirements Lowered food costs Contracts competitively-solicited on your behalf Nationally leveraged volume pricing

Participate at no cost. Here’s a sampling of our more than 200 national cooperative contract solutions:



BAND TOGETHER Learn together. Work together. Succeed together.


! n o o p S a h t i it w t a E l l ’ u o Y d So Goo

L i v e We l l

E a t We l l

B e We l l

New in 2017: On-The-Go Packets & Cups For additional information, contact: Mary Crogan p: 612.716.3436

Jennifer Becker p: 507.263.8599 x255




Grow Your Plant-Based Menu With RC Fine Foods.



RC Fine Foods offers a full portfolio of products that will not only expand your plant-based menu, but will deliver exceptional taste every time. For more information on our products, and to get a free copy of our plant-based menu guide with recipes, call 1.800.526.3953 or visit us online at

Bases • Sauces • Gravies • Dressings • Desserts

Spring 2017 Campus Dining Today  

Communicating Value