9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Executive Assistant to the CFO, Vice President and Treasurer
- American University Community
- Bronté Burleigh-Jones, CFO, Vice President, and Treasurer
Michael Scher, Assistant Vice President Campus Auxiliary Services and Airlie
- End of Fall Semester Dining Update
The AU Dining Program has undergone numerous changes this semester and as we near the end of the fall semester we want to update you on our progress and our plans going forward. During the fall, we opened several new retail venues and completed plans to strengthen and improve our dining program. This message will be the first in a series of regular communications and community engagements about this important aspect of the AU campus experience. Our goal remains to meet and exceed our community’s expectations with the food we serve on campus and to share information and receive feedback from our community members about our efforts.
Each week, we serve more than 45,000 meals to our community across our campus eateries. Our dining program includes 12 retail eateries located primarily in the Mary Graydon Center (MGC) and Butler Pavilion, the Terrace Dining Room (TDR), and catering services. We offer mobile ordering across many of our eateries, have a staff dietician available to all students, and a rigorous quality assurance program to ensure we serve our community safe, nutritious, quality food. We currently offer five student meal plan options and accept cash, credit, and debit cards at all locations.
This summer, we began renovation work on four of the retail venues in the Mary Graydon Center and Kerwin Hall. This work included:
- Opening True Burger, which serves our Airlie Berkshire Farm beef;
- Moving Hissho Sushi to Kerwin Hall;
- Converting Pom & Honey to Paper Lantern; and
- The opening of our campus’ first Halal-certified venue, Halal Shack and Baba’s Pizza, which we announced earlier this week.
Throughout this fall, we continued planning a renovation of our East Campus Convenience Store and will begin the onsite work after the Thanksgiving holiday when we close Build Pizza for renovation. The East Campus Convenience Store will close for renovation after final exams. When you return for the spring semester, we will reopen the East Campus Convenience Store and Build Pizza location as our campus’ first fresh market grocery concept. This new market will include more diverse, healthy product offerings for our students as well as a new venue, Freshens, that will offer fresh fruit smoothies, salads, and bowls.
While both D.C. Health and other third-party inspection firms routinely inspect our dining facilities, this fall we expanded our relationship with an independent third-party inspection firm to conduct additional comprehensive, random inspections of all our food service facilities. This expanded relationship is part of our comprehensive commitment to quality and was a key part of our efforts to address and resolve D.C. health inspection findings earlier this fall. Those findings reflected challenges in our record keeping and preventative maintenance in some of our eateries. This firm will continue to provide these services and, beginning next spring, we will post new signage in TDR and MGC using this firm’s five-star health and safety rating system to better inform our community. Beginning in the spring, we will also post the ratings information and all inspection reports on our AU Kitchen website. Our aim is to improve transparency and information sharing with our community about the health and safety of our facilities.
In January 2023, we plan to engage with student, faculty, and staff representatives as we overhaul the meal plan structure. The goal is to modernize the meal plan and better align choices for our community with the financial and operational requirements of our dining program. We will share more information with stakeholders about this in January.
In the spring, we will begin the first phases of major renovations to our retail spaces in the Butler Tunnel and MGC. This work is intended to create a retail hub and will include relocating and redesigning the Eagle’s Nest using cashless check-out technology and adding two new, well-known, retail eatery concepts to our campus offerings.
As we continue our work, we will provide regular updates about our progress. We invite the AU community to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
For more information about our dining program, you can visit us online at https://dineoncampus.com/au.