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Campus Food & Drink Outlets – Tips to Improve Quality and Go Greener

Universities and Colleges struggle to find cost efficient ways of providing quality food and drink outlets on campus. Operators on some of our campus fitouts have highlighted this struggle. The need to take the focus off junk-style food and replace it with food of higher nutritional value at a reasonable price is a common battleground. There’s a need also to connect with how much energy and waste can be saved in the process.

Here’s some tips:

First up, get students interested in what the food is about:
Let them know what they’re eating by good labelling and packaging.
Create clear and inviting menu explanations about the ingredients and nutritional values of all menu dishes.
Use innovative, attractive signage, wrappings and packaging. It doesn’t need to be super costly – the more recyclable or less environmentally harmful, the better.
Then carry this through your entire branding to achieve continuity.

Secondly, engage your student community by learning what they care about.
Is it organic food, or low sugar/low fat food, locally grown produce, take home meals, or nutritious late-night snacks? It could easily be all of these. Whatever it is, get to know what they care about. Conduct some small surveys, offer trial sampling to gauge interest and get the ball rolling to get some of these desired items on the menu.

Thirdly, go local.
Look for opportunities with local growers and makers to buy some of your key ingredients from within a hundred kilometres of the campus, for instance. A growing number of younger people is interested in where their food comes from and how sustainably it’s grown. Foster more interest in this area by leading the way.

Fourthly, communicate with a wider audience.
Broadcast the story of your venture by publishing in the student newsletter, open your own Instagram/Facebook page with the latest news, your daily specials or offers, lodge an article in the alumni magazine, and connect with faculty and staff newsletters.

Fifthly, be energy conscious and waste saving.
Determine ways of how you can save on using power, water and limit waste. This might apply to new, more efficient equipment choices when changeover time comes along. Once  those decisions are done, make it known to your customer base what you’re currently doing and what you'rereaching for. Regular posts, helpful signage, recycling bins, composting and so on…all can engage students as part of your environmental policy.

Making Savings, Lifting the Bar and Going Greener – be proactive to achieve these goals.

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