The Evolution of Dining Services

Tobey-Kendel was the first dining room on campus. Originally, Tobey-Kendel prepared and cooked all of the food and sent it to satellite dining rooms to be served. McCowen Dining Room was the second dining room to be opened. Many developments have changed McCowen Dining since it opened in 1963. Originally, the food was served "family style." This means that all the students ate at the same time. The various entrees (usually two choices per meal) and other menu items were at each table. Each student received one serving of each item. The dining rooms did not have the choices that are now usually taken for granted, such as a variety of soda pop and ice cream, salad bars, and specialty bars.

In 1969, McCowen Dining Room changed to serving lines. There were four dining rooms on campus at this time: McCowen, Harrison (which opened in 1968), Tobey-Kendel, and Cross Hall. Each of these dining rooms were serving large numbers of students. The selection was very limited and the atmosphere was somewhat institutional.

In 1975, dining rooms started to allow students to fill many of the positions in food services. The addition of student employees to the UNC work force benefited the University by increasing the amount of student involvement on campus and the potential increase in the number of students who could now afford a college education through work were among the benefits that were created. Students now have the chance to gain work experience involving their major or learn skills which can be applied in everyday situations, such as communication skills, time management, and knowing how to work well in groups.

There have been many innovations in Dining Services since 1980. An example is a focus on customer services. The results of this focus can be seen by the large number of menu choices available each meal. The level of food quality and attention to have healthy choices has increased. UNC Dining Services has also attempted to be flexible with students' work schedules. With the various meal times at each dining room, meals are available 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day. If these times do not fit a particular student's schedule, then sack lunches can be picked up when the student has time. "Gourmet to Go" and "Bear on the Run" meals are available to students during the breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal hours for those who need to "eat on the run."

Currently, UNC Dining Services is providing food service to students and special summer camps and conferences. UNC was the home of the Denver Broncos Summer Training Camp for 21 years until they moved to another training location in Dove Valley. There are three main dining locations on campus—Tobey-Kendel, Holmes Hall and the University Center Food Court, as well as Starbucks, Taco Bell, Coffee Corners at Michener Library, Kepner Hall, Turner Residence Hall, Subway (opened in November 2008), Einstein Bros. Bagels (opened in April 2009) and Munchy Mart convenience store (opened August 2011), UNC Concessions, UNC Catering, and Senior Nutrition Meals for the Weld County Agency on Aging-lunch, Monday-Friday. A recent landmark for UNC Dining Services was achieved during the 2005-2006 fiscal year, in which over one million meals were served. Dining Services has grown from a 12 million dollar operation to a 17 million dollar operation with the addition of Dining Dollars in 2008, and the addition of five new retail dining locations since 2007.

In 2010 added 30 card readers in Pepsi machines throughout the campus, so customers could use ID card to purchase sodas using dining dollars and faculty staff deductions. Added 10 card readers in 2011 to snack machines throughout campus as well.

Notable Notes for UNC Dining Services:

  • Won the Loyal E. Horton Bronze Award in the Special Event Category for UNC Catering in 2010 and 2011.
  • Munchy Mart won the Best in Business Award in the New Design and Innovation Category for NACUFS (National Association of College and University Food Services) in 2012.
    • This award features a DVD that will be circulated around colleges and universities in the nation to include interviews and a video shoot of managers and Munchy Mart location.
  • Nominated for the IVY award (need explanation of IVY award)
  • Won a PETA award for vegan/vegetarian menu choices in the dining rooms in 2011.
  • Dining Services is the largest student employer on campus, employing over 420 students in all locations.
  • Dining Services makes all soups from scratch except for clam chowder and tomato soup.
  • UNC Catering is a preferred caterer at all City of Greeley locations to include Island Grove Regional Park, Stampede Corporate Dinners, Union Colony Civic Center, Family Fun Plex and caters on-campus, off campus, and as far as Denver, Lafayette, LaPorte, and the Butterfly Pavilion in Lakewood!
  • UNC Concessions provide concessions to all UNC Athletic events and all Non-UNC Athletic Events for the campus and surrounding communities to include the Special Olympics and the Big Sky Championships for Men's Basketball in 2011 (does Devon Beitzel ring a bell?)