The University Dining Staff has made many changes to the food being served around campus for the spring semester. These changes have either already been put into effect or will be implemented over the next few weeks.
Most of these changes were brought to the attention of Dining by the 5K Challenge hosted by SA last semester. The challenge introduced a number of new ideas for Dining that didn’t require the 5K. One of the submissions was a request for panini sandwhiches on campus. According to Marketing Manager for ARAMARK Higher Education Kevin Aubrey, “We didn’t need the five thousand dollars to make some of these changes.” The panini service began in Blimpie at the beginning of the semester.
According to Aubrey, almost all of the changes made were inspired by student feedback on the Campus Dining Voice website that UR uses. Students at the monthly dining committee meetings provided other suggestions for changes.
The grill at The Commons has seen a big change. The healthy grill has been taken out and centralized to one large grill. Cheeseburgers now sizzle alongside the healthier options that are still offered, though the less popular healthy items have been removed from the menu. The Mel Burger, originally served at Meliora Restaurant, is now available with the same sauce recipe. The burgers now served in The Commons are from a local supplier and are made fresh everyday. According to Aubrey, this should decrease the wait time for students, especially during rush hours.
Students also told Dining that they missed the pasta station in Douglass. In response, a small pasta station will be added in The Commons, featuring different types of pasta every night. It’s about half a step down from what Douglass had, Aubrey explained.
For tech savvy students, Dining is beginning to add their food options to the Myfitnesspal app. This allows students to log and count calories as well as exercise to reach their fitness goals. “It will give students a way to be accurate with the recipes we are serving,” Aubrey said.
One of the biggest changes, coming soon, will be the winner of the 5K Challenge: the new smoothie bar. SA is working closely with Dining to figure out details like location, staffing, etc. Until then, Aubrey said, students can get smoothies from Connections.
Sanguinetti is a member of the class of 2015