Campus Dining Service Update – August 24, 2021
To Our Students
On behalf of the entire Vanderbilt Campus Dining team, welcome back to campus. After a challenging 2020-21 year with limited capacity and modified operations, it has been a delight to see our operations come alive with the sounds of community. The renewed energy on campus is palpable, and our staff is excited to be back in the kitchens, serving lines, and dining rooms of our award-winning dining halls.
As many of you have seen both in Nashville and around the nation, the hospitality industry has been under considerable pressure – from both a staffing and supply issue. Since late spring 2021, our leadership team has worked hard to adjust to these new challenges, by investing in recruiting and training, modifying service style and increasing menu variety, and diversifying our supplier base. Despite these modifications, our opening weekend service was still not up to our standards. We’ve heard your feedback, and are aware of unacceptably long lines and product shortages. As we’ve shared before, our leadership team is committed to delivering an excellent dining program. Here are the immediate steps we our taking to address these concerns:
- We are working with suppliers to address late and/or incomplete deliveries and have added additional backup foodservice suppliers to reduce supply chain interruptions.
- We have built a dedicated on-campus commissary kitchen to reduce turnaround time for Grab and Go Market item orders. This will lessen our dependence on third party suppliers, and ensure a fresher product for students.
- We have modified service style in many dining halls, adding self-service and additional food lines to increase throughput and speed of service.
- Students with meal plans will receive a one-time $15 special meal money credit (active all academic year), plus a daily $50 special meal money credit starting today, August 24, and ending Sunday, August 29. The $50 credit will be added each day during this period, and funds will not roll over. Students are free to use these credits at any Taste of Nashville partner restaurant or Grubhub location. We expect that these increased options will reduce the strain on both dining hall staff and students, and allow our operations to rebuild stock for next week.
Our commitment to serving the Vanderbilt community has never been stronger, and we appreciate the support and engagement from our students and parents. We look forward to seeing you again soon in our operations.