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College Power Players: Pittsburgh

College Power Players: Pittsburgh

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

31. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Dining Head: Abdou Cole: Resident District Manager
Total Enrollment: 35,014
Students Living on Campus: 8,300
No. of Meal Plans Sold: 6,700
Annual Dining Program Revenues: $37 million
Cost Range of Residential Meal Plans: $1,475-$2,625/semester
No. of Residential Dining Halls/Commons: 2
No. of Retail Outlets: 33
Management: Sodexo
Phone: (412) 624-2813

All Pitt students living in residence halls are required to purchase meal plans, while those dwelling in campus apartments have the option to. Residential dining is focused on two major venues, Market Central and The Perch at Sutherland Hall. On the retail side there is a mix of in-house and commercial brands, the latter including major names like Einstein Bros. Bagels, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut Express and Taco Bell.

Sustainability has been a major focus with ventures like Ground for Growth, which sent 105 lbs. of coffee grounds in 10 weeks from the Oakland Bakery & Market to be composed. Another initiative was designed to reduce plastic bag use by giving students a 15-bag/semester quota, after which they were charged $0.25 per bag. It reduced plastic bag use by 70% in the first week.

Partnerships between Pitt Dining and various campus organizations such as the Food Lovers Club, the Gluten Free Students Club and the Vegan Student Club have yielded benefits such as new signage to promote healthier eating. Another partnership, with the Salvation Army for a Christmas Dinner for the homeless, drew 2,000 last year, including international students at Pitt unable to go home for the holidays.

Next: 32. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Previous: 30. Georgia Technological Institute, Atlanta, GA

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