1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
Students Living on Campus: 17,800
Dining Head: Joseph Charette, executive director of dining services
Total Enrollment: 47,000
No. of Meal Plans Sold: 18,803
Annual Dining Program Revenues: $77.6 million
Cost Range of Residential Meal Plans: $1,884-$2,543/semester
No. of Residential Dining Halls/Commons: 4
No. of Retail Outlets: 21
Phone: (848) 932-8040
*stats for main campus only
Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway (the system also has satellite campuses in Camden and Newark) boasts the largest population of students living on campus of any U.S. university, a major consideration for the dining program as all students residing on campus must purchase a meal plan (though the minimum is smaller for upperclassmen).
The school sprawls over six counties, including the city of New Brunswick and Piscataway Township, and is composed of five smaller campuses, each with a residential dining center (Brower, Busch, Livingston and Neilson) strategically located to serve it (Neilson serves both the Douglass and adjacent Cook campuses). Livingston, opened in fall 2011 to replace an older facility, is the newest. It boasts 13,000 sq.ft. of dining space and seats around 900.
The Rutgers dining department’s most recent initiatives include Henry’s Diner, a classic New Jersey diner concept opened in fall 2013 that serves both traditional diner fare and more upscale selections, as well as a campus grocery store called Kilmers, both in the new Livingston Plaza complex. Also new is the Knight Wagon food truck, which debuted this past spring.
Rutgers Dining also took over operation of two small cafes at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey following its 2013 merger with Rutgers. The department also now operates a café as well as in- and out-patient meals at the medical school’s University Behavioral Health Center.