Foodservice Trends Every College and University Director Should Know

Being in charge of the foodservice operations at any college or university can require a lot of attention. From dealing with multiple vendors to catering to the very students in attendance, you want to make sure everyone is happy and participation is high.

As 2020 approaches, several trends are helping to change the foodservice platform as we know it, especially in college and university dining facilities. We've drafted a list of five tips and trends every foodservice director should know when it comes to college and university consumers. 


Students from all over the world are traveling to learn and attend colleges in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and everywhere else in the United States. They're embracing the cultural differences and getting the education they deserve and want. As they go through their studies, it's important they get a little taste of home while being away from their native country. You'll improve relationships with international consumers by upgrading your menu to include some of their native meals. Plus, these new dishes will encourage American students to branch out and try new things, as well. New tastes bring entirely new consumers! 


The life of a student can be hectic. From managing studies to working a job in order to stay afloat during their transition into adulthood, many students don't have time to stop for an enjoyable meal throughout their day. This fast-paced lifestyle leaves little room for putting things on pause. Offering pre-made or pre-wrapped meals gives students the chance to enjoy a delicious snack while keeping up with their class and work schedules.


Limited-time foods create excitement and an urgency to try something while it lasts. Promoting these specially-timed meals to students expands on the hype of only being able to try a dish within a certain time frame. You can utilize this option as a great marketing tool and even use it to rotate menu items. The rotation will keep students intrigued with what's to come next as well as keep them coming back. 

In addition to updating your menu frequently, online ordering is an option everyone loves. It's efficient in making it easy for your consumers to place their order without waiting around, and it frees up staff to focus on students dining in. 


The world is on the move to go green. From healthy eating to more sustainable efforts being made in service opportunities, students have a preference for knowing exactly what they're consuming and how it can help the earth. This movement is encouraging foodservice operations to find more waste-free and cost-efficient methods of preparing and producing meals while giving students the choice to practice self-care through eating. Encouraging this healthy lifestyle allows you to show students they matter.

Another opportunity to take is making sure students know what's in the meals they're ordering. From understanding calories to knowing simple ingredients, the transparent lifestyle makes them feel satisfied in their food choices. 


Splitting checks and dining with friends has always been a common ground between students. They love to dine with classmates and share larger dishes rather than ordering one dish for themselves. In 2020 break out popular dishes like tapas and mezze. It allows you to serve multiple students while also providing a variety of tasty snacks for them to enjoy. 

For all of your foodservice equipment needs in Virginia, Maryland, and the greater Washington, D.C. area, turn to High Sabatino. Our focus is to bring you top of the line equipment for all of your foodservice operational needs. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about implementing trends in your college and university foodservice operation.

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