Virginia Tech has built a reputation for outstanding dining. Our dining program stays at the leading edge of national trends. Customers report high overall satisfaction and appreciate the variety of dining options available on campus. Recent customer comments such as "I brag about our food service to my friends and family" illustrate that the Virginia Tech students share our pride in the dining program.
- Dining Services serves approximately 7.4 million meals per year
- Total on-campus sales of $62 million annually
- Current national brand annual gross sales of over $9.5 million
- Largest single employer on campus, employing over 2,200 people
- Approximately 19,000 dining plan holders with debit-style plans that can be used in any of the dining centers
Awards and Honors
Dining Services maintains a tradition of award-winning programming, venues, and service. In the last five years, more than 50 colleges and businesses have visited our facilities to see a successful university dining program in action.
Dining Services at Virginia Tech will be the leader of college and university food service by providing innovative and exceptional food, venues, programs and services while fostering student development and a sense of community.
Dining Services Values Statement
"I value every individual's right to have a quality experience."
Rules of conduct through which we govern the organization and ourselves.
- Sanitation and safety are paramount.
- Always treat people with dignity.
- Provide excellence in product and service.
- Be 100% responsive. Take 100% personal responsibility.
- Professional behavior at all times.
- Find opportunities to recognize accomplishments and provide personal growth.
- Promote a sustainable dining and food system at Virginia Tech and therefore in the greater community.
- Dining Services will develop a technology plan and marketing strategies using current and emerging technologies to increase operational effectiveness and to maximize student use.
- Dining Services will develop communication plans to effectively inform staff and strengthen stakeholder support.
- Dining Services will provide innovative, comfortable, well maintained, cost effective, and productive facilities that encourage community.
- Dining Services will provide on-going training and professional development as an operational standard insuring highly skilled, engaged, and productive staff, while increasing retention and excellence in customer service.
- Dining Services will develop a fiscally responsible revenue and expenditure budget to support operational and strategic goals.
- Dining Services will provide an avenue for learning and exploration through special events and educational programs.
- Dining Services will be environmentally responsible by expanding sustainable initiatives and offerings in a safe and fiscally effective manner.
- Dining Services will develop a program to deliver culinary excellence in order to exceed customer expectations for a wide variety of nutritious and safe food choices.
- Facilitated surveys will be conducted by the staff evaluating management and by the guests evaluating the department.
- A professional mystery shopper will be used to evaluate service and products.
- All operating units will be inspected for sanitation and food safety issues and practices accordingly: inspected/audited once a semester by an outside agency (Steritech); HACCP reviews conducted by the administrative dietitian and associate directors twice a semester; and a yearly inspection and follow-up inspections on corrective actions conducted by the Montgomery County Health Department.
- Employees will receive annual training in customer service, sanitation, and safety.
- Two personal development programs will be offered each year.
- Develop a sustainable dining and food system by promoting healthy eaters, ecological stewardship, waste reduction and diversion, the local economy, social justice, and animal welfare.
Sustainability is a top priority for Dining Services. We focus on three main themes of sustainability these being, sustainability in what you eat, sustainability in what you use and sustainability in where it goes. Check out some of the projects we’re working on!
Sustainability in What you Eat:
Through a partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Kentland Farm, Dining Services offers fresh, local produce to students from our very own garden. In partnership with the department of Horticulture, we brought on a full time employee in January 2014 to manage the farm while also teaching classes on campus. Southgate Food Center coordinates with chefs in the dining centers with the goal of routing the produce from farm to plate in 24 hours. The Fall semester is a busy time for the farm, check our Facebook for updates on volunteer opportunities.
The Farms and Fields Project in Owens Food Court offers exclusively local, organic, or sustainable food and is our gold standard for sustainability in dining. All of our units serve local and sustainable options including local meats from the VT Meat Science center, local milk from the VT Dairy and local produce from Kentland Farm and farms throughout Virginia. Virginia Tech Dining Services actively seeks relationships with local producers. To see daily menus for the Farms & Fields Project and information on our local program, take a look at our blog.
Sustainability in Where it Goes:
Since starting our compost program in 2009, we have diverted more than 4 millions pounds of pre and post - consumer waste from the landfill. PME Compost, a local company based in Riner VA visits campus twice a week and turns the organic waste into compost that we then use on our farm. We even close the loop by using the compost at the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm.
Turner Place takes composting a step further by asking our customers to help sort their trash themselves. Our waste stations offer 3 receptacles; compostable, recyclables, and landfill – ables. As a tool to help students understand what goes where, Dining Services created the Sit & Sort website.
Sustainability in Where it Goes:
Another initiative is reducing waste with our popular to-go dining options. Reusable water bottles are offered for purchase at a nominal cost, and when used in the dining centers, receive free water or a discount on fountain drinks.
West End Market has a Reusable To-Go Container program which offers an alternative from foam to-go containers. In the coming years, the hope is that this program will expand to other units on campus. Remember only eat to-go if you’re taking your food to-go, otherwise, use a reusable!