The past few years have been busy ones for OSU Dining Services, with the openings of a new two-floor 900-seat AYCTE dining hall, a new six-station marketplace location, a new coffee shop serving direct trade coffee and a new convenience store.
More recently, the amount of vegan and vegetarian offerings was enhanced at all locations, a fully customizable made-to-order pizza station was introduced at one of the existing retail locations and a fusion taco station where meat is cooked in Brazilian Churrascaria style and served in Mexican tacos style was rolled out.
Ohio State has also expanded its local and sustainable food program with a newly defined goal of purchasing 40 percent of its food from local and/or sustainable sources by 2025. It also introduced a mobile ordering app that currently represents nearly 30 percent of overall retail transactions.
In addition, the dining department engaged OSU students with farmers in Honduras and El Salvador as part of direct trade coffee program in which the students visited the farmers and built coffee drying beds on the farms and worked with local schools to enhance English education for the children there.
The department also expanded its blend burger (half mushroom and half local Ohio beef) program. It has already been serving only blend burgers at all its traditional AYCTE operations for nearly two years.
Other recent initiatives include introducing a reusable cup program for all residence hall students, who now receive a personalized reusable cup with their preferred names printed on it when they move in during the fall semester. The cups are equipped with a RFID chip and pre-loaded with drinks.
On the operational end, the grab-and-go program has been enhanced to increase variety, flavor and presentation and the dining program’s highly successful LTO program has been expanded to Traditional AYCTE venues along with pop-up food stations.