Students who are about to enter colleges/universities today evaluate them on several aspects, and experiences such as campus life, social events, and on-campus food are some of the critical factors.
In the past decade, dining experiences have shifted from being a requisite to something that can make a university stand out. When opting for a tech-hospitality partner, it’s easy to look at numbers such as food or labor costs, however, the soft benefits of a wholesome dining program are just as significant. Students' overall experience on campus is a key part of what keeps them engaged and glad.
Here are a few ways that an exceptional cafeteria experience at educational institutions can help attract new students and retain current ones:
Integrating technology into cafeteria services: Smart food courts can be categorized as canteens that use technology to streamline the front and backend operations. Such food courts aim to offer customers a tech-centric culinary ecosystem where patrons enjoy a seamless experience with interactive menus, easy payments, and quick delivery, among others. Introducing tech solutions across the whole process from procuring raw materials to delivering food to the table help ensure that quality is maintained throughout the system. Since the pandemic began, food courts across universities are leveraging tech to set new standards in food service, quality, safety, and choice for students, thus redefining their cafeteria experience.
With feedback and sales dashboards, universities can maintain transparency and understanding of student response to cafe partners, through metrics that track progress toward their objectives and recognize concerns before they escalate.
Building distinctive dining experience: Developing a one-of-a-kind dining experience on campus involves multiple tasks that go beyond breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Offering 24/7 dining, introducing an on-campus café, and holding special events, all lead to a livelier overall campus experience. A spur-of-the-moment food-themed pop-up event is one way to keep students engaged. Dining is an act that brings people together, and a unique cafeteria experience can build special bonds that might not happen otherwise. The objective is to encourage creative, engaging experiences for students, keeping them eager to know what may come next.
Delivering healthier options: Students today are conscious about their health and wish to know what they are eating, whether the items are nutritious or not, and how they influence their lifestyle. Just as there are students without any dietary restrictions, it is also important to cater to people with unique nutritional needs and make the right items accessible to them. Delivering tailored dishes that can be easily accessed can make or break a student’s on-campus cafeteria experience.
It is possible to enhance the cafeteria experience at campuses by offering clarity and demonstrating what goes into making the food they're consuming. Vendors must discuss the products they’re offering to give a sense of honest communication
Involving the opinion of students: When universities make students a part of the decision-making process on dining by soliciting their feedback, they are likely to be more content and engaged. If students share their opinion about on-campus dining and give genuine responses, they feel included and listened to, which enhances their overall experience
Embracing a frequently changing menu: Changing items on the menu occasionally, delivering seasonal treats, and introducing ethnic cuisines can diversify a university’s offerings and provide options to people with all dietary practices. Having a flexible and all-inclusive menu will make students feel like their wishes are being fulfilled. Universities can change the menu and shift to new dishes quarterly, monthly, or in any way that fits their program
Combining food experiences with festive traditions: Most universities have traditions that are often associated with ongoing festivals. Such traditions help build a sense of community and camaraderie among students. Annual events help create shared experiences year-on-year and give students a day to look forward to
An on-campus eatery offering meals is more useful than going to the grocery shop, particularly for students with no transportation. It is always better for universities to provide ready-to-cook meals to be more inclusive. At SmartQ, we design and build eateries at institutions that inspire, engage, and ultimately enhance student engagement by providing a pleasing cafeteria experience driven by technology.
Our services enable universities to deliver agile and visually appealing offerings designed and curated for specific requirements that fulfill evolving standards of a typical culinary experience. We offer tech-driven menu curation that makes the whole cafeteria experience seamless by serving contemporary food in universities.