5 Ways to Provide Better Foodservice on College Campuses

Posted May 31, 2023 by Jon Bowerman

Low Memorial LIbrary of Columbia University at night in New York City.

Simplifying the ordering process while ensuring food quality and safety has never been more important, particularly on college campuses. By focusing on student satisfaction and addressing common issues, colleges and universities can upgrade their C&U foodservice options and cultivate a happier, healthier campus community.

There are several suggestions that university dining halls and kitchens should implement for their students and staff, and we will walk through a few of them now.

Customizable Self-Service Stations

Introducing self-service stations in college cafeterias can give students increased convenience, flexibility, and control over their dining experiences. Options such as salad bars, sandwich counters, or hot food buffets allow students to select their portion sizes, ingredients, and meal combinations. This is particularly useful for students with dietary restrictions or preferences who may have limited choices in a conventional cafeteria setting. Moreover, self-service stations can help reduce waiting times and queues, enabling students to quickly grab a meal and return to their studies or extracurricular activities. And they can also reduce food waste by allowing students to choose only the foods they want.

One of the top options is the buffet system from TableCraft, which features drop-in templates, cast aluminum bowls, and even a spacer bar kit. When combined with their tri-ply stainless steel serving pans, self-service has never been easier. By offering various self-service stations, colleges can enhance the overall dining experience for students and encourage a sense of independence and choice.

Efficient Food Merchandisers

Incorporating hot or cold food merchandisers in college dining halls can offer several advantages for the institution and its students. First, merchandisers can present food in an attractive and orderly fashion, enticing students to sample new items and boosting overall sales. Furthermore, hot and cold food merchandisers can maintain food at safe temperatures, minimizing the risk of spoilage and foodborne illnesses. With options such as self-serve refrigerated cases, specialty display cases, and countertop hot self-serve, Federal Industries allows commercial kitchens and university dining halls to attractively show off food and drinks while streamlining the line in the dining hall. By investing in hot and cold food merchandisers, colleges can enhance the dining experience for students while increasing revenue and optimizing operations.

Interactive Blend & Dispensed Beverages

College students may appreciate a multifaceted experience in the dining hall. With FreshBlend, students can create various customizable beverage options, enabling them to personalize their meals according to their taste preferences. Moreover, the interactive, self-serve format of FreshBlend can be engaging and entertaining, fostering a social atmosphere in the dining hall and prompting students to experiment with new flavor combinations. The FreshBlend self-serve beverage platform has an intuitive touchscreen that makes dispensing a variety of beverages easy. With quality milkshakes and smoothies combined with the latest technology, the FreshBlend technology can speed up turnover while minimizing waste.

Sturdy and Attractive Serveware

Attractive serving ware can create a more welcoming and visually appealing dining environment, enriching the overall dining experience for students. Melamine serveware from BauscherHepp is durable, stylish, and has a sturdy, quality feel. This can be particularly important for students who may spend significant time in the dining hall and appreciate an appealing and comfortable atmosphere. By investing in sturdy and attractive serveware, such as Mayfair, colleges can improve the functionality and ambiance of their dining hall, ultimately contributing to a more positive and enjoyable experience for students with college and university foodservice.

Tech-Friendly & Functional Tables

Students will also appreciate tables with wireless table chargers from BFM Seating. The charging ports are water and shock-resistant, can provide 12 hours of continuous charging, and have an anti-theft design. Given how students continuously use their phones, tablets, and laptops for school and pleasure, having a low battery is a big no-no. Providing tables with integrated charging options can address this problem, allowing students to conveniently charge their devices while they eat, study, or socialize.

Looking for foodservice equipment solutions for your college or university? Click below to start a customized plan created for your business.

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