Welcome, we can hardly wait to serve you!

Welcome, we can hardly wait to serve you!

This is the move-in weekend for our 13,000 students living on campus. This past Friday, we witnessed the Class of 2017 (over 4,500) as they settled in. This was a big day for them and for us too. We already met many freshmen and family members through the open house and orientation sessions, but it was a special day as students were ‘really dropped off’ by their parents for the first time.  Many of families dined with their students one last time before heading home. It was also an emotional day for them, that’s for sure.

We always want to impress our students and their family members with great food and services. We know most people drive a long way to arrive here. We set up several tents along the check-in route to welcome everyone with a UMass bag filled with goodies.    As the second largest dining operation in the nation and recently lauded by Princeton Review in the category of top 3 best campus food in the nation; this week also serves as a good way to show others what we are all about, in our efforts to put students first.

Move-in week is always one of my favorite weeks of the year. I run into many parents and students that I met previously or someone will say that they recognized me in one of university publications; this afternoon, I ran into five freshmen at our Baby Berk truck and they thanked us for the delicious food  and wanted a picture taken with me. We talked like old friends and I reminded them that their choice to attend UMass was a great one. I look forward to seeing them throughout the year.

Our customers are amazed by our culinary excellence and impeccable service. They really are enjoying the newly renovated Hampshire Dining Commons with our focus on sustainable, healthy and delicious dishes. I heard someone refer to it as a ‘Whole Foods’ concept.

When we opened the doors for the first time after a 9-month closure at Hampshire DC, there were over 300 students already waiting outside the door. All of them were so excited that their beloved Hampshire DC was finally going to reopen. Some of them were even chanting “Hampshire”, “Hampshire”, as they entered the doorway. https://www.facebook.com/UMassDining?ref=ts

What did the freshman and their parents like about the food? They loved the variety, flavors and the ample supply of local and seasonal foods. Forget about freshmen 15, we provide many healthy choices.

One parents said to me that she wished she could go back to school with her daughters and enjoy dining at UMass.

I reminded them that UMass Dining is family dining; we always love to see parents join us and even send us one of their favorite recipes, as we incorporate new recipes in our menu and use some as part of the Taste of Home Cook book.

It is always so nice to see so many happy faces as they leave the dining commons and we know that it is just the beginning of many happy dining experiences for our students. I am always thinking how can we continue to serve them better.

This is Ken Toong. Thank you for keeping UMass Dining at the top. You can contact Ken [email protected]

Blog Category: 
Author Name: 
Ken Toong
Author Title: 
Executive Director Auxiliary Enterprises
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