Students living on campus present both opportunities and challenges for campus dining departments. They constitute a captive customer base and also help spread business out across the day as opposed to the lunch-centric nature of commuter dining patterns, and provide multiple retail sales opportunities from morning through night.
But resident students also form a vocal and influential constituency on campus, driving everything from sustainability initiatives and expanded vegetarian options to fair trade and living wage policies. And of course, their tastes and lifestyles severely impact the menu, hours and positioning of the dining venues.
Glance through the 25 largest U.S. schools ranked by residential population.