A number of dining service management companies have used guest chef programs to spice up the dining experience on client campuses.
Bob Sempek at Treat America says bringing in chefs from other colleges, as well as from some of the consulting company’s business and industry accounts, has generated enthusiastic response. Students get to watch visiting chefs prepare gourmet fare, while the chefs get to travel a bit and enjoy a change of scene.
“We just ask them if they want to do something a little bit different,” Sempek says. “Everybody is up for that. … They get to be as creative as they want—maybe more creative than they could be in their regular environment.”
The guest chefs draw more dining customers to the campuses, according to Sempek. “Even faculty, staff, and commuter students come in on those days,” he says. “Casual meal sales jump because of the buzz and the excitement.”