The Whole Enchilada

Can you believe the school year is over already?! Finals are done, essays are graded and presentations have been presented. You’ve started your days with us and you’ve ended your days with us, and we’ve served you every meal along the way of your college journey thus far. We’ve celebrated many holidays, national food days, and so many more. We had a great time with you, and made a few accomplishments along the way!

From participating in our satisfaction surveys and fall focus groups, we were able to really understand your wants and needs and give you exactly what you asked for! We were able to achieve an overall satisfaction rate of 83% for the fall and spring semester, that’s up 20% from last school year. We couldn’t have done this without YOU! With that rating, we were placed top 5 most satisfied in our dining region of 33 universities two semesters in a row! We also placed 3rd most satisfied in our dining district of 8 universities in the fall 2017 semester, and 2nd most satisfied in the spring 2018 semester!

Here’s a little recap of the exciting year we had and the memories that we made!

In September, we celebrated the grand opening of Devil’s Den in the Student Center, which revealed four new Sodexo branded stations and an overall updated appearance. The new stations that were added to Devil’s Den were Tres Habaneros, SubConnection, The Grille and Natural! Along with the new stations, four touch screen ordering kiosks were installed to allow diners to customize their orders and ensure a shorter wait time.

To create excitement and engagement around dining within the CCSU community, we created a challenge between both resident dining halls for our usual Steak Night in October. Memorial Hall offered shrimp along with steak, serving a “Surf-N-Turf” entrée, and Hilltop Café had a sweet end to the night with Ice Cream Sundaes.

October was also an enjoyable month for us as we welcomed twenty students from Puerto Rico, making CCSU their home after the tragedy of Hurricane Maria. Our dining facilities were a place for these students to interact with the CCSU community and make lifelong friendships over delicious meals.

As a way to celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving in November, we closed down Hilltop Café during dinner and invited all students, faculty and staff to join us for a community dinner in Memorial Hall. We were able to serve a true Thanksgiving meal with all of the fixings to 1,492 individuals and look forward to the next CCSU community Thanksgiving Dinner. We also had a designated photo booth area where memories could be captured forever!

December brought us a great amount of fun memories. We hosted a Sushi lunch in Memorial Hall, where we collaborated with the Confucius Institute on campus, who kindly translated our menus into traditional Chinese language. Another event that we enjoyed was the Almost Midnight Breakfast, a tradition that the CCSU community looks forward to every semester during finals week.

Helping others is always a focus in the month of December. In efforts to give back to our CCSU community, we received a $1,000 grant from Sodexo’s Stop Hunger foundation, which we donated to the on-campus food pantry, Maria’s Place.

Memorial Hall saw minor renovations in January before the start of the spring semester. These updates included new sneeze guards and counter tops, a new island for the salad bar, new heat lamps to ensure the highest quality of our dishes, and a fresh coat of paint. The “My Zone” area for allergies was also freshly updated.

Aside from the physical changes to Memorial Hall in January, we also promoted Will Meijas, previous Catering Executive Chef to a new position of Campus Executive Chef. Will is dedicated to serving the highest quality cuisine and giving diners the opportunity to try new and innovative dishes.

We hosted two big celebrations during the month of February, one of which we collaborated with an on-campus organization. On February 12th, we teamed up with the Confucius Institute to celebrate the year of the dog for Chinese New Year at Hilltop Café. We were joined by 1043 individuals who enjoyed authentic Chinese cuisine and traditional calligraphy writing lessons.  We also celebrated Valentine’s Day with a 3 course dinner, where students were able to celebrate and make a seating reservation in advanced.

In February, we implemented changes that CCSU students asked for in our November focus groups. We changed the hours of operations at Hilltop Café, Memorial Hall and Devil’s Den in order to better serve and accommodate our diners.

We started the month of March off by celebrating National Employee Appreciation Day with all 251 of our employees! We applaud the hard work and dedication they put in every day at CCSU Dining.

In March, we teamed up with RECentral to celebrate National Nutrition Month. We created a three-week challenge where students, faculty and staff were able to participate and win fun prizes. We offered two grand prizes, a bike and FitBit, as well as ten second prize winners who were given a free smoothie from the Natural! station in Devil’s Den.

To end our month long National Nutrition Month celebration in March, Mackenzie Gordon, Sodexo Registered Dietitian, visited Hilltop Café for our last National Nutrition Month event, Rock the Bike. Diners were able to get on a pedal powered bike and make their own smoothie with fresh fruit and other healthy add-ins. Mackenzie was also available to answer any questions that students or faculty and staff had about health and wellness.

During April, we hosted a number of events across campus. We collaborated with the United Caribbean Club on campus to host a dinner with authentic Caribbean dishes. We also had our most favored special, Steak Night, but this time we put a twist on it! We brought a taste of Austin, Texas to our dinner special by serving BBQ Brisket, Pecan Pie and many more southern favorites.

We were finally able to enjoy the April sunshine and bring the CCSU community together as we hosted a Carnival Cookout on Super Saturday. CCSU students enjoyed delicious carnival favorites after competing in their last set of dorm hall games, making the sweetest memories that they will cherish forever.

In the middle of April, we took our positive efforts a step further by serving a Pot Roast dinner at the New Britain Salvation Army. We were proud to represent CCSU and Sodexo as we helped in Sodexo’s month long event Servathon, which is an effort to stop hunger across all countries that we are present in.

In May we had our second and final Almost Midnight Breakfast of the year. We had a great time serving students as they studied for their finals. It was also a time for students and staff to enjoy their last few moments together. We wish all of our graduating student workers and CCSU students good luck in their future endeavors!

We enjoyed every bite along the way, and hope you did too! We look forward to hosting even more celebrations and creating more memories in the fall!


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