6/6/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - Ashland University Dining Services has been awarded the bronze prize for medium schools by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) for its entry in the category of residential dining concept in the annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards.
The award is based on five judging criteria: menu, merchandising and presentation, marketing, nutrition and wellness, and other considerations. In each section, the judges were looking for creativity, atmosphere, nutritional quality and variety.
“The award validates what we are doing with our staff and management team,” said Fred Geib, general manager of Dining Operations. “I think it’s about the whole experience when students come to our campus. Not just in our academics, but in our award winning dining, grounds, facilities and activities.”
Ashland University Student Dining has won several awards over the past two decades. Many of these awards have been from NACUFS as well as a Tabletop Award from Foodservice Equipment and Supplies in 2007.
Under the menu section, Ashland University addressed the variety of menu choices that are offered as well as the frequent introduction of new menu items. The merchandising and presentation section looked at unique food presentations that reflected color, texture, flavor, and temperatures.
The third judgment area was marketing. Under this section, the marketing materials were assessed and analyzed. The judges were looking for descriptive, informative, creative, and polished menus and marketing materials. The dining services signage also must clearly guide customers through food service stations.
Nutrition and wellness was another judgment criterion for the award. This section focused on the availability of special dietary options such as low-fat, vegetarian, and vegan. The judges also were looking for the amount and type of information that is provided to customers regarding dietary options and nutritional content.
The final judgment area was other considerations, which consisted of other aspects of residential dining that are critical to the successful operation of student dining. This area focused on flexible hours of operation as well as student employee involvement. The overall “wow” factor in the concept also was included in the other considerations section.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###