Aladdin increases dining footprint on Kentucky and West Virginia campuses

Wheeling, W.Va., February 17, 2020—Aladdin, a member of the Elior North America family of culinary management companies, is excited to increase its dining footprint on university campuses in Kentucky and West Virginia. Students are now experiencing trending food and shopping concepts that keep them healthier and safer, all while providing a socially inviting dining experience on campuses such as Kentucky Wesleyan College, Fairmont State University and Wheeling University.

With a proven record of success in increasing board plan participation, Aladdin serves its fresh and healthier prepared signature food brands including a wide selection of nutritious menu items at each meal.

In addition to enhancing the culinary experience at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky, Aladdin debuted a 24-hour cashless market, the wave of the future in higher education.  With only 288 square feet, The Panther may be mini, but it’s mighty.  It offers 300 different products within its tiny footprint and exceeded sales expectations. Students can find bottled beverages, sundries and toiletries in addition to a mix of grab-and-go healthier food and snack items including everything from the staples such as turkey, ham and peanut butter and jelly to specialty sandwiches.  Also available are complete meals such as pot roast, potatoes with green beans prepared from scratch daily in the main dining hall and delivered to The Panther.  According to Josh Eckman, Aladdin director of dining services at Kentucky Wesleyan, “Our client really likes that we offer more than just a turkey sandwich – students receive a meal from home.”  Students can use their declining balances for purchases.  “Not only do these concepts promote profitability, it’s a safer shopping environment for students, as they don’t need to leave campus for essentials or a quick bite to eat on the go,” he says.

Aladdin opened another 24-hour cashless market called the UT Market in neighboring West Virginia in the newly constructed apartment complex on the Fairmont State University (Fairmont, W.Va.) campus which houses both apartments and dormitory style rooms (approximately 120 dorm residents and 280 apartments).  This dual-purpose building is accessible via a secured magnetic card system 24-7.  According to Joe DeSalvo, Aladdin regional operations manager, we offer pre-packaged foods to go such as deli, salads and fruits – all prepared fresh and delivered to the store daily.”

Kentucky Wesleyan and Fairmont also accommodate both the commuter and residential student populations with We Proudly Serve Starbucks, where students can also enjoy a fresh, single cup of coffee from the Starbucks “Serenade” brewer.

Wheeling University in Wheeling, W.Va., is the latest school to award a food and beverage contract to Aladdin where dining services began on January 6.

Wheeling University President, Ginny Favede, noted, “We are excited to begin our dining partnership with Aladdin. They are a well-known commodity in the student dining world, and experience and quality are elements they strive for. It is our first priority to ensure our students have a wonderful and enriching experience in every way on our beautiful campus and believe that Aladdin will position us to do so when it comes to nutrition, wellness, and quality.”                                                         

All three Aladdin served schools offer gluten-free, allergen-friendly culinary options and Aladdin’s Season Harvest, a plant-based program, which features menu options using fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.  Aladdin also uses menu software to specify the nutritional value of ingredients and recipes to assist people with food allergies or specific nutrition lifestyles.  This information is linked to Aladdin’s digital signage which posts information in real time so that students, faculty and guests are best informed.

“We look forward to our continued growth in Kentucky and West Virginia, bringing the trends to campus that students love, all while creating exciting campus destinations on today’s college and university campuses,” says DeSalvo.

 About Aladdin
Aladdin has more than 40 years of experience, and as part of the Elior North America family of brands, the company focuses on building strong client partnerships while leveraging the resources of our global organization. Our teams understand that enhancing the educational experience is more important than ever and we work to develop a comprehensive culinary management program to meet each client’s needs. Our programs focus on ways to engage and inspire students, staff, and guests by creating flavorful, high-quality, nutritious, made-from-scratch meals to fuel and energize growing minds each day. Aladdin is committed to making a positive difference in people’s lives by creating unique culinary experiences for each local community that we serve.

 About Elior North America
Elior North America enhances people’s lives through culinary innovation and a commitment to providing exemplary service. The family of companies, with more than 20,000 team members, provides foodservice solutions and catering to more than 1,500 client accounts in five industry segments across the continental United States. Elior North America is among the top five contract foodservice companies in the United States. The company is part of the European contract catering firm Elior Group. Learn more at


Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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