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Gettysburg College (Pa.) Dining provider: None

University Business, Oct 2009

Gettysburg College (Pa.)

Managers can regularly be found sitting in the student dining area at Gettysburg to solicit comments.

Total full-time enrollment: 2,600

Institution type: Four-year private

Total number of campus dining facilities (includes any facility serving food; please explain): Four. The Dining Center, an all you care to eat facility; The Bullet Hole, snack bar facility; Ike’s Pizzeria and Sushi; the Commons, coffee shop

Number of full-service dining facilities (serving three meals a day): 1

Square footage of each main dining facility: 28,908

Location(s) of full-service dining facility on campus: Northwest quadrant of campus.

Name of any dining services provider/s: N/A. Dining Services is self-operated by Gettysburg College.

The Dining Center was built in 1958 and remodeled in 1980. Detailed cost information no longer exists.

Remodeling in 1988 included an addition of 11,00 square feet, adding two dining rooms and a conference room. The remaining space is a dining room and buffet used by College employees during lunch and catered functions. Also, the student seating area was redesigned to include four tiers and more intimate seating. Counters were replaced with Formica and stainless steel. Records of the cost no longer exist.

Remodeling in 2003 cost $2.1 million, including a 3,200-square-foot addition that houses a dry storage area, conference room, office space, and catering storage space. The previous dry storage area is now used for bakery and cold food prep and provides easy access to walk-ins and freezers. In the student seating area, cabinets and countertops received Corian surfaces, six induction cookers were installed at a new made-to-order station, a serving area was added for pizza and grilled items as well as a soup and salad bar and beverage stations. The entire building was recarpeted.

We hang pictures of students reflecting the wide range of campus activities.

We seek student input about menu choices, such as ethnic, regional and personal recipes from home. We also ask them to suggest theme dinners, such as “Chinese New Year,” “French Night,” “Hispanic Heritage Night,” and “Marching Band Night.” The most popular is the annual Thanksgiving Dinner, served family style by faculty and staff , complete with a whole turkey, carved by the students, whipped potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Over 2,000 students and volunteers are served during this event.

Our “Spoil ‘em Long Distance” program allows families to order special treats for their student. We deliver birthday cakes, cookies, and seasonal baskets at the start of the academic year, during finals week, and on Valentine’s Day. We also offer a “Get Well Basket.” We prepare all items and make some 700 deliveries annually.

Dining Center seating areas are divided into multiple levels and carpeted to reduce noise levels. Seating includes both booths and tables and chairs. Tables seat as few as four or as many as 16. Conference rooms are available for meetings.

Ten-foot-high windows bathe seating areas in natural light, which diners can control with blinds.

Salad bars, beverage stations, and condiment locations are sited to facilitate traffic flow.

The entire facility is designed to allow diners maximum control over their meals. For example, students can make their own sandwiches at the deli station and panini presses are available.

Since 2006, we have partnered with a student-run on-campus organic garden for greens and herbs. We purchase seeds raised first in an on-campus greenhouse and then in the garden, which is a project of the College’s Department of Environmental Studies. We also provide peelings, egg shells, and coffee grounds for compost.

Since 2003, we have used Tork Intuition towel dispensers and Xpress Snap one-at-a-time napkin dispensers. We use 100-percent recycled paper towels and napkins from SCA Tissue North America, named the second most environmentally friendly company in the world.

Our waste cooking oil is processed into bio-diesel fuel.

We purchase fruit and vegetables from local farms. What we cannot obtain locally, we buy from a produce house that purchases many products from within 100 miles.

We recycle glass, metal, plastic, and cardboard.

In 2007, we installed a Hobart waste pulper system in our dish room, reducing waste volume by seven-eighths, water use by two-thirds, and continually reusing 95 percent of water.

New this summer is an herb garden planted outside the Dining Center. The herbs will be harvested for use in Dining Services.

An advisory committee including students and Dining Services management meets bi-weekly. Managers also communicate regularly with the Student Senate and many other student groups, and regularly sit in the student dining area to solicit comments. Suggestions can be posted on the College website. Customers are free to walk into the dining kitchen and speak with food preparers.

Students are encouraged to submit their favorite recipes from home. The recipes are prepared and the student’s name is included on the menu item identifier tag.

A Registered Dietician is available for students to meet with concerning specific dietary needs. Students with food allergies and other dietary needs also meet regularly with the Executive Chef of Dining Services to ensure their needs are being met.

Each weekday, “eggs to order” are served during breakfast. Numerous students have requested to be Guest Chefs during service and have a great time preparing omelets and fried eggs for their fellow students.

Dining Services offers continual staff training ranging from a full day of department-wide training each January to an National Association of College and University Foodservice event conducted annually for the entire staff at a campus in the greater Philadelphia area

Approximately 45 employees are certified through the National Restaurant Association’s Serve-Safe program. Training-certified employees conduct annual classes to train new workers and re-certify existing staff.

We continually promote customer service among employees, who are empowered to make decisions to best meet customer needs.

Dining Services emails every student a greeting on his or her birthday.

Vegetarian or vegan guests can serve themselves from a refrigerator filled with deli protein items. Soy, rice, and Lactaid milks are available. A gluten-free section offers special breads, desserts, and cereals.

A Dining Services representative meets with the admissions office’s tour guides twice yearly to review our programs and answer questions. We host lunch events during Fall Open House, Summer Athletic Open House, Junior Open House, and Get Acquainted Day for accepted students so that these groups can taste our food and get a feel for our dining experience. Also during Get Acquainted Day, which brings some 500 accepted students and their families to campus each April, a Dining Services representative is available to answer questions about meal plans and food service in general. A brochure that highlights Dining’s offerings is available.

Dining Services’ budget must include a return to the College. Today’s economic climate challenges us to control costs while maintaining quality. We meet the challenge through efficient purchasing decisions, portion control to minimize waste, and cooking as close to order as possible. The Purchasing Manager works with vendors to obtain a contract price on high-quantity food items like chicken products; takes advantage of rebate offers; and seeks bids for equipment and small wares. Though the Dining Center is an all-you-care-to-eat facility, employees are trained to offer one entr?e at a time and inform customers that they may return for additional servings. To cook close to order, we use an electronic board in the kitchen that shows customer counts every five minutes, permitting staff to adjust preparation according to need.