Michigan State University (MSU) was recently named the No. 1 college and university dining program in the nation. The honor was given by FoodService Director, a non-commercial industry leader encompassing colleges and universities, business and industry, contract management, schools, healthcare senior living, correctional facilities and the military.
“Our team is dedicated to continuous improvement, and this growth wouldn’t be possible without our widespread community,” shared Rebecca Selesky, executive director of MSU Culinary Services. “Whether you attend Michigan State, live in the local area or visit often to reminisce, we can’t thank you enough for your endless support. As we face challenges presented by COVID-19, it’s more critical than ever for us to remain united and serve Spartans. I’m proud of our Culinary team for facing adversity with confidence and care, keeping our facilities safe and continuing to nourish guests.”
During this difficult time, MSU is pleased to share the good news and reflect on recent accomplishments. Over the course of six months, the culinary team in East Lansing has made strides in enhancing value, convenience and selection for students and guests, with an emphasis on allergen-free dining, retail operations and concessions venues.
In July 2019, the team opened Thrive, MSU’s first allergen-free dining hall. The project emerged from a growing need that surfaced as more and more students and community members voiced their allergen challenges. Located in Owen Hall, Thrive is sesame-conscious and certified free from the Big 8 allergens (eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat) plus gluten. The offering has had a profound impact, with some guests traveling hours to experience a safe space to dine.
Another development in summer 2019 was a complete transition of MSU Union Food Court venues within a short timeframe. When students returned for fall semester, The Roost, Street Tacos and Unbelieva-BOWL made their debut, featuring chicken tenders, mac and cheese, street tacos and nachos, and a build-your-own bowl concept. Since introducing the new venues, the team has seen a dramatic increase in customer satisfaction and the number of guests served.
Fans attending football and basketball games have also enjoyed concessions updates at athletic venues, including the added benefit of using their meal plan on game days. Two new concepts were introduced at Spartan Stadium: Lower Bowl, featuring allergen-friendly cuisine made without the Big 8 allergens plus gluten, and CX On-the-Go, where dining plan holders can redeem their Combo-X-Change. During the fall season, more than 8,300 combos were served during home football games. The concessions team now accepts Combo-X-Change at the Spartanville venue in the Breslin Student Events Center as well.
Beyond these concept changes and additions, MSU’s dining program now offers Grubhub advanced ordering for pick up at on-campus Starbucks locations, enhanced halal options in dining halls and a nut-conscious bakery facility, where all items are made without peanut or tree nut containing ingredients.
Culinary Services, one of the largest self-operated university foodservice systems in the country, is a department within the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services at Michigan State University. For more information, visit eatatstate.com, like Eat at State on Facebook and follow @eatatstate on Instagram and Twitter.