In the C&U space, operators are increasingly partnering with restaurants to develop new cuisines on campus for students of all nationalities and backgrounds. These offerings help meet dietary restrictions and demand for something other than a burger and fries. Furthermore, the expanded menu selection helps satisfy the increasingly complex palette of the multi-cultural student demographic. To serve such a wide variety of meals, operators are turning to rotating theme restaurants within their food courts and are looking for kitchen equipment that can serve multiple functions without taking up large amounts of kitchen space.
Sustainability and ingredient transparency continue to play an important role in the C&U segment. While sustainability initiatives take many different forms, many higher education campuses are taking it beyond recycling and energy efficiency to include revolutionary practices. For example, the dining department at the University of Montana in Missoula, has launched an aquaponics program. This program has a closed loop, 180-gallon system that supports fresh produce production, and a campus garden that grows micro-greens. Operators are requiring more and more product information from their suppliers to satiate student concerns on campus as to the sourcing, safety and nature of the foods that they are putting in their bodies.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.