New ARAMARK Dining Hall at Widener University focuses on the space and design
What are you doing to keep your attendees happy? Are you geniunely listening to their feedback to make changes? In an article, “Giving Students What They Want,” we learn that ARAMARK Higher Education is doing extensive research to find out what students want in their dining options. According to the article, Widener University, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Rochester have started the new school year with offerings that reflect feedback from their DiningStyles survey.
In our fall white paper “The Future of Conferences: How Certain Conference Innovators Are Winning,” we emphasized the importance of attendee surveys and space and design; space and design plays an integral role in the future of conferences because it’s what attendees want in their conference experience – a design for collaboration, space to accomplish work and lounges where you can meet others and socialize. Conference planners are considering attendee evaluations to be a significant factor in not only maintaining attendance, but increasing attendance annually and keeping them satisfied by giving them what they want.
The University of Rochester in New York is opening two newly redesigned campus dining facilities. The first known as Danforth Fresh Food Company is “an open kitchen that encourages contact between chef and student; new meal stations like the Mongolian Grill, as well as vegetarian and vegan stations; eco-friendly LED lighting; and chairs made from recycled Coke bottles and cans.” At the University of Texas at Arlington, the new P.O.D. market takes on the locavore movement offering food information with a place of origin and nutritional value. And, a dining hall that places importance on space and design has been implemented at Widener University’s Pride Café. According to the article, input from the students helped them to decide on the name, the logo, and even the chairs; the café now functions as a ‘campus living room’ because it’s a comfortable place to hang out. You can see pictures on the Widener Dining facebook page. Other options include a new “text-and-tell” board, which allows students to text feedback anytime, and other feedback options allow ARAMARK to respond quickly and keep an open exchange going.
Outside of conference centers and dining halls, are you seeing other movements towards space and design? Do you think everything become the next Starbucks and Barnes & Noble – is there that much of a need to disconnect and lounge in a face-to-face atmosphere?