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Shippensburg University (Pa.) Dining provider: Chartwells Dining Services

University Business, Oct 2009

Shippensburg University (Pa.)

An L-shaped dining area maximizes the views of Shippensburg's campus.

Total full-time enrollment: 6,662 for Fall 2008

Institution type: Four-year public

Total number of campus dining facilities (includes any facility serving food; please explain): Starbucks, Century Cafe, Reisner Hall, Kriner Hall, Ceddia Union Building (Student Union CUB)

Number of full-service dining facilities (serving three meals a day): 3

Square footage of each main dining facility: Kriner = 15,000, CUB = 9,000, Reisner Hall = 60,000

Location(s) of full-service dining facility on campus: The three facilities nearly divide the campus into three sections.

Name of any dining services provider/s: Chartwells Dining Services provides Exclusive Food Service campus wide including Catering, Resident Hall Dining, Retail Dining and Convenience Store operation.

  • Reisner Hall is our newly renovated primary “all you care to eat” dining facility. The 40 year old building has undergone a complete 22 million dollar, 18 month renovation. Renovations were completed May 15, 2009 and Reisner will be open August 2009 for fall semester. Renovations were extensive including;
  • Increase seating from 850 to 1,400
  • Increase footprint from 40,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet
  • Prior to renovations, all food was completely prepared in a hidden kitchen. Post renovations, nearly all food prepared in the servery.
  • All food production equipment has been replaced with energy efficient equipment.

Shippensburg University is located in South Central PA. Like our Amish and Mennonite neighbors, the campus population shares a strong support for nature, environment and sustainability. Students increasingly request creative and nutritious food options. These concerns were addressed during the design process, thus the final result distinctively echoes the campus culture.

  • In order to minimize the distance between the colossal windows and seating, the dining room is L shaped. All of our tables have been gifted with stunning views of the campus including century old sugar maples and tall pines.
  • Much of our food and dairy is purchased locally from Amish and Mennonite farmers who are gentler towards our planet than others.
  • Herbs are grown organically on campus by chefs.
  • There are 5 chef’s staffing different action stations; an Wok Station, Mongolian Grill, Wood Burning Oven, Italian Saut?, and Full Serve Pennsylvania Dutch Style Deli. Students can collect raw food ingredients from a number of locations and ask any of our action Chef’s to incorporate those items into their entr?e selection. This strategy permits us to achieve the expectations made by demanding groups such as Vegans, Students with allergies, or specific dietary options such as low-carb, high-carb, high-protein, low-fat, etc?.

Traditional Dining Halls are primarily furnished with 6 tops and 8 tops. This mentality may be cost effective, but is not guest friendly. Reisner Hall is furnished primarily with 4 tops. Students prefer the intimacy and our arrangement reduces waiting time.

Reisner servery was designed to maximize traffic flow for our 1,800 guests. Traditional serveries require students to visit each separate concept before being seated. Reisner includes a variety of concepts, each with options for a complete meal. For example, a guest visiting our Mongolian Grill will find assorted salads, vegetables and desserts in addition to entr?e’s.

Guest safety is our primary objective. We help achieve this objective by the careful selection of equipment used in our kitchen design.

  • Refrigerated receiving area
  • Recessed hot / cold wells
  • Alarmed Temperature gauges
  • Motion detection hand-sinks

The design of the kitchen is an important safety component. Production departments requiring refrigerated raw products the most frequent are located closer to the refrigerated walk-ins. The shorter the distance, the less time product is left unrefrigerated. Production departments are strategically located to minimize the chances of cross-contamination. For example, the poultry prep station is located at the opposite end of the kitchen verses the salad station.

  • Cardboard Recycling 2001 (Campus wide sustainability mission)
  • BOD reduction program 2001 (Campus wide sustainability mission)
  • The following initiatives were driven via Dining Services
  • Used Grease conversion to bio-fuel 2007
  • Renewable Packaging 2008
  • Project Clean Plate; a program designed to reduce rubbish 2007
  • Going Tray less 2008
  • Fair Trade Coffee at all locations 2008
  • Sustainable Seafood 2006
  • Cage Free Eggs 2007
  • Local Purchasing 2007
  • Hormone and Antibiotic Free Milk 2006
  • Organic Herb and Vegetable Garden 2009
  • Plastic Bottle Reduction Program 2009

A variety of methods are used to acquire information regarding Dining Services from the Campus Community

  • Bi Weekly meetings between Food Service Committee and Dining Service Management Team. The FSC includes members of SGA, SAAC, and Res Life.
  • Third Party Semi-Annual Campus wide Dining Service survey
  • Annual SGA Survey
  • Continuous Interaction between students and Dining Service Team
  • Facebook
  • Regular Meetings including Res Life and Dining Service
  • Participation in the President’s Late Night Hour Discussions. Twice per semester, students, department heads and the President meet late night in a resident hall to discuss concerns.
  • Soon after information is received, an action plan is generated for each of the aforementioned sources. The action plans are completed by member of the Dining Service Management Team.
  • Individual concerns are prioritized based on the following determinants.
  • Impact on guests safety
  • Frequency of concern
  • Severity of concern
  • Degree of difficulty to address the concern
  • Related costs.

An annual retreat is conducted at a nearby state park. It is mandatory for the entire Dining Service Team to attend. The one day retreat focuses on two important concerns; guest service and sanitation. An important point about our Dining program is that we do not have customers; we only have guests. Our associates are expected to provide the same level of service to our students as they would provide to guests visiting their home. The relaxed state park atmosphere encourages participation and honest feedback. During the academic year, mangers and supervisors participate in professionally conducted guest service training classes. Our associates are reminded daily prior to the start of each meal period the importance of providing excellent guest service.

Good services starts during the hiring process. All interviews for all levels include behavoiral questions such as “Please provide an example of a time you provided great guest service.” Or “Please provide an example of how you fixed a guest problem.” Prior to hiring, we explain to our potential associates, that “guest service” is paramount important to our organization.

* Reisner Hall is a beautiful facility and the food is imaginative, wholesome, nutritious and delicious. Prospective students simply have to visit Reisner and they are quickly convinced of the quality dining program and total quality program available to them at Shippensburg University.

Prospective Students are encouraged to visit Reisner via the following programs.

  • Admission tours
  • Orientations
  • Family Weekend
  • Athletic Dining
  • Spring Week
  • Homecoming
  • Athletic Recruiting

The Dining Program is performing well financially. Some recent actions taken to address the current economic climate are as follow.

  • Tray less service not only helps the environment, but also reduces plate cost by about 1.5 percentage points.
  • Dining Service has increased our purchases of over-runs (not seconds) and general bulk purchasing.
  • Eliminated the use of retail size bottles of Catsup and Mustard which were previously placed at each dining table. Students now use pump-pots for these items. This has saved the local landfill 50,000 plastic bottles annually, and helped reduce plate cost.