| The interior was designed to keep with colonial surroundings while offering a restaurant-like atmosphere. Phil Dibenedetto (above). |
Modeled after a European marketplace, the newly renovated Commons dining hall at the College of William & Mary features authentic foods from around the world.
Built in 1965, The Commons is the largest and only freestanding dining facility on campus. After forty years without any major updates, The Commons recently underwent a complete overhaul of the interior, with contract operator Aramark putting its Fresh Food Company concept designs into place , complete with new equipment and a significant upgrade in food options.
"As student's eating habits change, it's important for us to change and update our facilities with them," says Phil Dibenedetto, resident district manager. "With our introduction of the Fresh Food Company, students who had gone off the meal plan have starting signing back on. They rave about the food offerings and the facility itself. Both have been drastically improved."
With no back-of-the house kitchens, all foods are prepared fresh in front of the customer.
The six different concepts within the Fresh Food Company include a produce market, an Italian oven with pizza and pasta, a wrap station, a grille, a comfort food station as well as a bakery shoppe and ice cream bar.
The menu encompasses a wide variety of dishes; typical offerings include blackened tuna, chicken provincale, Moroccan-Brazilian roasted pork and spicy arugula pasta—to name a few.
"Campus dining has come a long way in recent years. The Fresh Food Company is simply another step in the evolution of campus dining," says Doug Short, design development director of Innovative Dining Solutions for Aramark.
The space itself has been designed to be a lively, comfortable meeting place for students and faculty alike. A reserved dining room was added.
Accompanying the Fresh Food Company in the Commons is a Java City Cyber Cafè and mini C3 Convenience Store.
The $11.5 million renovation began in March 2005. Construction was completed in September 2005.
College Student Eating Habit Survey
Arecent survey by the trend search organization,Y-Pulse asked 175 college and university students aged 18-25—83% full time and 17% part time—about their eating habits and opinions related to food and beverages.
The survey explores subjects such as where students choose to eat, factors that influence choice of dining locations, favorite foods, beverage options as well as views on healthy lifestyles, diet fads and super size perceptions.