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College Power Players: Ohio

College Power Players: Ohio

A special report from FM profiles the dining operations at the U.S. universities with the largest campus resident populations. See all colleges >>

35. Ohio University, Athens, OH

Dining Heads: Rich Neumann, director of culinary services; Mohamed Ali, director of auxiliaries operations
Total Enrollment: 22,657
Students Living on Campus: 8,150
No. of Meal Plans Sold: 8,200
Annual Dining Program Revenues: $43.3 million
Cost Range of Residential Meal Plans: $1,791- $3,057/semester
No. of Residential Dining Courts/Halls: 3
No. of Retail Outlets: 15
Management: self-operated
Phone: (740) 593-2970

In the past year OU has seen the debuts of the Steam Station Café full-service food cart, McCracken’s FreshTake, Culinary Services’ first departmental food location, and Nelson Catering, a catering extension offering renovated reception and private dining/meeting locations. The Culinary team also launched several foodservice venues and cafés within many of OU’s regional campus locations.

Recent advancements within the Central Food Facility’s central production and centralized cook/chill system include expanded bakery and warehouse additions that have boosted efficiencies and minimized food waste. Centralized production also allowed for the elimination of redundant equipment and paved the way for smaller, more energy efficient production footprints and increased product consistency across each of the three dining courts/halls.

The Ohio University Office of Sustainability recognized such efficiencies in early 2014 by presenting Culinary Services with the Sustainable Department award for its progress in local food purchasing, waste reduction and campus education.

In 2015, OU Dining will concentrate its efforts on another major renovation that focuses on micro restaurants, including a churrascaria, made-to-order special diet meals, flavor-infused water and other healthful customer options in partnership with campus stakeholders.

Also on tap is a fully-customized food truck early next year.

Next: 36. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Previous: 33. University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

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