Menu for a successful dining program


Stakeholders’ input

During the planning stages for the Brodhead Center dining hall, Duke University invited input from students, faculty and the local community on the design and dining offerings—and then used that feedback to shape decisions so the facility would feel like a true community space.

Established services

Not all dining programs have to boost ROI. The 24/7 market at Fairmont State University generates revenue, but it also keeps students from venturing off campus to satisfy a late night craving, which improves safety. At Tulane University, an order-ahead app results in shorter lines and happier students.

LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: 5 strategies for keeping students on campus for meals


Affordable meal plans

New meal plan options, menu engineering and creative staffing strategies have enhanced the University of Michigan’s dining program without increasing costs. The school introduced a new $700 per semester meal plan this fall to encourage nonresident students to eat more of their meals on campus.

Plan choices

Offering different meal plans, as well as cuisine and dining environment choices, can keep students excited about eating on campus. At Clemson University, the dining hall at Core Campus includes furniture that is varied in height, materials, colors and layout, so each student can find the right fit.


New and different

Duke’s Brodhead Center dining hall is only two years old, but changes are already in motion. A new Latin concept is slated to open soon, and other offerings will shift based on student demand and dining trends. The dining team anticipates changes every year, such as a unique venue addition, new service or new type of catering option.

Jodi Helmer is a North Carolina-based writer and frequent contributor to UB.


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