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Large Private Institution Winner: Boston University

University Business, Oct 2009

Large Private Institution Winner:

Counter seating is an option for students dining alone or those who want to be close to culinary action.

Boston University

Total full-time enrollment: 16,070 Undergraduate Students, 8,709 Graduate Students

Institution type: Four-year private

Total number of campus dining facilities (includes any facility serving food; please explain): 17 Dining Facilities including Residential and Retail Shops

Number of full-service dining facilities (serving three meals a day): 5

Square footage of each main dining facility: Fresh Food Company at West campus, 28,000

Name of any dining services provider/s: ARAMARK Corporation

West Campus was originally built in the 1960’s as two separate Dining Halls with one central kitchen. A complete renovation was completed during the summer of 2000 turning two outdated dining facilities into ARAMARK’s first Fresh Food Company. Approximate cost was $7M.

The Fresh Food Company, an Aramark residential brand at West Campus overlooks the Boston University Athletic field, formerly home to the Boston Braves Baseball team that Babe Ruth retired with back in the 1930’s. The Fresh Food Company is also home to the famous “West Burger,” a celebrated campus wide menu item which is our version of the “Patty Melt.” The FFCO uses the freshest ingredients, all on display for our guests to see - no walls to hide behind and no mystery as to how the meals are prepared. Our commitment is to provide the highest quality foods prepared right before our customers’ eyes by friendly, energetic people in an open and relaxed atmosphere. Our portions are designed to keep everything fresh and to be enjoyed in courses, rather than all at once. This style of service allows for customized meals that meet the unique dietary needs and preferences of our guests. Craig Hill, Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services at Boston University says, “?a number of students said the meals at the Fresh Food Co. rank right up there with the best restaurants they’ve ever visited. They’re thrilled with what we’ve done.”

The dining room was created with two separate entrances and dish rooms on either side creating a flow from dorm room to dining hall to classroom. Many different styles of seating have been incorporated using bar stools at high counters, circular booths and a variety of table sizes accommodating from 2-8 guests. The use of glass partitions and stone-covered columns helps to break up the expansive seating area into intimate and comfortable nooks that students prefer. Wall to wall carpeting and upholstered banquettes throughout help to keep noise levels to a minimum and a large enclosed private dining room is available to groups and University departments.

2007 ? Bottle and Can recycling started

2007 ? Purchase initiative of local foods and products for offering a seasonal menu

2007 ? Collection of cooking oil for recycling, and soon to be used by Boston University as a source for heating applications campus wide

2008 ? Went completely tray-less in all residence hall operations

2008 ? Composts pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste

2009 ? Baling and recycling cardboard waste

2009 ? Purchased Energy Star rated kitchen equipment when replacements are due

2009 ? Converted to all Green Cleaning Chemicals

2009 ? Promoted sustainability initiatives through permanent Sustainability Board, which is updated monthly: Includes information on total collected materials for recycling, local food items for the month, and features a farmer profile of the month plus announces new programs.

Aramark at Boston University relies heavily on input from student organizations around campus. We conduct focus groups throughout the entire year. Each group is made up of small numbers of students to ensure that every voice is heard. Handwritten comment cards in each location are responded to within 24 hours. We have a very active website that students use daily to ask questions or make suggestions. The Dining Service Advisory Board, a more formal group of students and administrators, meets four times each year to discuss potential policy and concept changes. All students are surveyed via email twice a year and the results of these surveys are weighed heavily when considering any changes to the program.

When hiring any employee for ARAMARK at Boston University we look first for personality and a positive attitude. We know we can train a team member to perform the culinary tasks for a job, but we can’t teach passion for the hospitality industry and that’s what we are looking for. Through a multi-day on-boarding process, our employees come to understand our mission and goals, as well as get acclimated to campus. The constant use of “Pre-Meal” meetings before every meal period ensures that everyone stays current on menus, training issues and customer service focus points. Our Human Resources and Director of Safety and Sanitation continuously run training seminars throughout the entire year that are open to all staff members. Two mandatory formal training sessions for the entire team are held annually.

Dining Services is very active in the Open House process when prospective students visit the University. Daily tours are given to show potential students exactly what the Dining program has to offer. An upscale, but casual lunch is served to every accepted student who visits campus in April.

Having a good relationship with Boston University (which extends back 34 years) and working closely with the University to ensure that we meet their budgetary benchmarks, we are economically sound. We have over 9000 members of the Boston University community participating in the meal plan serving over 125,000 meals per week. Our Chefs and Production Managers work closely with many food purveyors on a daily basis to review commodity bids to ensure we are getting the most up to date price on food. On a weekly basis the menu is reviewed and re-engineered to incorporate the most economical and quality enhanced items. By insisting on the highest standards for each and every customer, day in and day out, Aramark strives to be the dining venue of choice for all members of the Boston University community. We recognize that students, faculty and staff have many options readily available in this urban environment. By supplying our guests with well-prepared, fresh meals in attractive locations, served by friendly and warm team members, we have protected ourselves against current market conditions by having a solid, dedicated customer base.


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