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Campus Dining Service Update – August 31, 2021

Posted by on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 in Uncategorized.

To our Vanderbilt students and parents

With nearly one week of classes under our belt, the fall 2021 semester is well underway here at Vanderbilt.  As with all student support operations, the men and women of Campus Dining are hard at work serving our residential student population.

As you may know, our dining program started the semester with a number of challenges, including staffing and supply chain issues.  While our operations remained open to students, we extended a $50 daily meal credit for students to use off-campus; this allowed our dining halls to restock and recalibrate for this week’s meal service. In addition, we’re glad that our students had the added benefit of experiencing firsthand the amazing food culture here in the Nashville area.

As of today, we continue to hear reports from students about long wait times in some of our dining facilities during peak meal periods.  Our team is committed to delivering an excellent dining experience, and continues to work to refine service in our locations.  Please find updates below:

  • Management at EBI, Rand, and Commons are aware of reports of long lines, and have made modifications to queuing and circulation paths. At the Commons and EBI in particular, duplicate serving lines have been stocked (two identical breakfast lines, two identical chef table lines, etc) to expedite service times.  During our busiest hour for dinner, Commons Dining served 627 students between 5pm and 6pm last night (Monday 8/20) – with an average wait time of 15-17 minutes.
  • Some students have observed an unintended consequence of the additional $50 meal credit, leading to widespread product shortages in our Munchie Marts last week. Our markets team has worked with regional suppliers to fully restock our markets, and as of today, products shelves are full once again.  In addition, we have reallocated staff from our Catering and Special Events team to assist the Commissary team in restocking Grab and Go Munchie Mart meals across our network.  We have also launched our much-anticipated Wasabi sushi concept, in addition to added lunch and dinner options at the new Alumni Café.
  • The quickest food service in the evening is at Kissam, due to low volume, a student can get a made to order grain bowl in less than 5 minutes. We would love to see more students in this main campus location.

We would also like for you to know that Vanderbilt and union leaders are preparing for our annual contract negotiations, have begun discussions, and we anticipate a positive and productive outcome.  We appreciate all of our team members and value the relationship with the union.

Dining on campus is central to Vanderbilt University’s residential colleges model, and a key component of our unique campus identity.  We are committed to caring for all students, and to providing healthy and nutritious dining options during their time here at Vanderbilt.