BYU Dining's cafeteria in the MTC serves three meals a day to these trainees in a “military-style” format dictated by the need to accommodate 3,000 people in a two-hour window (the trainees come in shifts, with each getting 40 minutes to eat). The trainees are cloistered, so it is basically a captive audience, and the cafeteria is closed to outside diners.
BYU Dining Director Dean Wright made a commitment to improve the foodservice to the MTC when he came to the campus in 1997. Previously, the dining hall was a rather basic operation where the food was filling and plentiful, but uninspired.
That has now changed, and in fact, the MTC dining hall served as the prototype for the BYU campus's showcase Cannon Commons Dining Hall (see p. 24) with a platform-based system that gives diners variety and fresh preparation quickly and efficiently.
In the MTC, four distinct platforms proffer different choices. There is a traditional comfort food station, an ethnic station rotating different international cuisines, a salad/wrap station and a grill. Everything is premade because of the need to serve quickly, but it is made fresh at the stations.