Michigan Dining Fact Sheet

Dining Venues

Seven dining halls are critical to the residential experience.

  • Central Campus: East Quad, North Quad, Central Campus Dining at South Quad
  • Hill Neighborhood: Hill Dining Center at Mosher-Jordan, Markley, Twigs at Oxford
  • North Campus: Bursley

All of the facilities on Central Campus are newly constructed or renovated. In the Hill Neighborhood, the new Hill Dining Center opened in 2008, and renovated Twigs at Oxford has earned an industry green certification.

In addition, a number of retail cafés and markets provide early morning to late night gourmet coffee, made-to-order sandwiches, smoothies, pizza and fresh salads.  Among the branded concepts are: Beanster’s and JavaBlu coffee cafés, The Pantry, U-go’s, Victors markets, and Fireside Café, which features five restaurant platforms and a rotating selection of entrees. Fields Café, which opened fall 2015, is a casual, farm-to-table restaurant featuring handcrafted food made from fresh, locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. Combined, these services add up to as many as 18 hours of dining service per day.

Meals and Menus

With a database of 10,000 recipes using 40,000 ingredients, U-M chefs prepare a daily variety of dishes that include gluten-free, halal, vegan and vegetarian selections. MHealthy dishes are specially designed as lower in fat, sodium, and sugar. Menu creations that serve diverse appetites and food preferences include locally grown produce, meats and regional dairy products.

Nutrition Information

Establishing a healthy relationship with food is an important part of learning. Michigan Dining offers these nutrition services and resources:

  • Digital menus in dining halls show the day’s selections with icons noting nutrition and allergen information.
  • MyNutrition, an online tool for identifying common allergens and evaluating nutritional values for foods served in our dining halls and cafés, and at catered events.
  • The U-M mobile app, can be downloaded through iTunes or Google Play. It provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack menus, nutrition and allergen information, and hours of operation for all dining facilities.
  • Free one-on-one nutrition counseling for students with meal plans
  • Confidential Q&A at eatsmart@umich.edu
  • The independent MyFitnessPal offers access to the entire UM recipe database along with the ability to track food intake and exercise goals. Just search for “Michigan Dining” when entering meals in the food diary.

Food Safety

  • Food Safety begins with highly trained staff. All managers and culinary staff are ServSafe Certified to ensure safe food handling at every step of the preparation and serving process.
  • Michigan Dining has implemented SmartTemps for automated monitoring of coolers and dish machine temperatures, as well as wireless handheld temperature sensors to monitor food temperatures throughout production.
  • Michigan Dining takes extraordinary measures with allergen labeling on web, mobile app and point-of-service menus, as well as on packaging of all grab-and-go foods.
  • The University of Michigan is part of a national pilot program aimed at providing campuses with gold-standard recommendations and evidence-based resources to effectively manage food allergy, a potentially life-threatening disease. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a non-profit working on behalf of 15 million Americans with food allergies, introduced the College Food Allergy Program to provide students with a safer college experience by developing comprehensive, uniform food allergy management policies.  Michigan Dining provided input for FARE’s pilot guidelines on “Managing Food Allergies in Higher Education,” as well as training materials and student brochures.

[Special note: Outside of Student Life and Michigan Dining, the University of Michigan Food Allergy Center delivers the highest quality care and most comprehensive clinical services available for food allergy patients and their families. Board-certified allergists conduct expert evaluation, testing and diagnosis at U-M’s specialized food allergy clinic and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital facilities in Ann Arbor. In addition, the Food Allergy Center focuses on basic research.]

Gluten-Free Options

With the dramatic rise in the number of students with celiac disease or a preference for gluten-free foods, Michigan Dining is constantly on the lookout for new products and menu items that meet the needs of this population, while delivering delicious and healthy options for everyone. Our recipe database includes 1,900 gluten-free recipes, and our cafés and markets offer an ever-expanding array of gluten-free options.   

While all dining facilities provide gluten-free foods in a segregated location, two of the largest dining halls (South Quad and Bursley) go above and beyond with built-in Gluten Free pantries that provide safe and secure delivery of foods for the growing population of students who have allergies, celiac disease or a preference for gluten-free foods. Students who want to access the pantry go through a required training program that teaches them to be responsible users and how to avoid cross contamination with other food from the dining hall. Once the program is completed, students are given swipe-card access to the pantry.  

Sustainability

Through Planet Blue, the university is engaging the community to meet 2025 goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transportation emissions and waste tonnage. Michigan Dining and Michigan Catering are reducing their carbon footprint by buying more local food products for eateries, reducing food waste and conserving water.

  • Michigan Dining works directly with local farmers and producers to include sustainable foods in menus. It has a goal of serving 20 percent of food on campus purchased from farms within a 250-mile radius. Currently, the auxiliary is at 12.7 percent in local procurement.
  • Michigan Dining is among the first Big Ten universities to achieve Marine Stewardship Council certification.
  • Sustainability culture programs aim to educate the community, track behavior and report on progress over time.

Employment

With over 1000 jobs each term, Michigan Dining is the largest student employer on campus. The auxiliary is always looking for students who enjoy working with people and want to be a part of a team. Dining jobs offer flexible schedules, promotional opportunities, training and a fun social environment.

Community Partnerships

Michigan Dining partners with university, local and regional groups for community-based partnerships and events. Here are a few that count on Michigan Dining’s regular participation:

  • Annual Local Food Summit includes presentations, breakout sessions and initiatives for a sustainable community. It has become a catalyst for finding and filling the gaps leading to healthy food choices. The summit is a non-profit event generated by Slow Food Huron Valley, its volunteers and sponsors who provide education and networking.
  • The annual Earth Day celebration, sponsored by Central Student Government (CSG) and Michigan Dining, engages the community and raises awareness for sustainability.
  • Local farmers events and farmers markets take place throughout the year. More than 30 Michigan farmers and suppliers provide the University with meat, milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables and more.
  • Since forming in January 2013, University of Michigan’s Food Recovery Network (FRN) has collected over 11,000 pounds of food from Michigan Dining establishments for delivery to Food Gathers, the food rescue and food bank program serving the local community.

Awards and Certifications

Michigan Dining has earned national recognition for dining operations, facilities, innovative online nutrition and allergy management programs.  

  • 2015 – For Residential Dining Concepts at a Large School, Michigan Dining took home the Grand Prize and Gold Award for its Central Campus Dining at South Quad facility from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS)
  • 2015 – For  Retail Sales—Multiple Concepts/Market-place at a Large School, Michigan Dining took home the Grand Prize and Gold Award for Fireside Café at Pierpont Commons from NACUFS.
  • 2015 – Twigs at Oxford certified by the Green Restaurant Association
  • 2014 – Grand prize for East Quad Dining Hall from the National Association of College and University Food Services

In past years, Michigan Dining earned an additional three Gold Awards in its prestigious Loyal E. Horton competition in 2007, 2011 and 2012; and Bronze Awards in 2009 and 2010.

Recently, Michigan Dining was named one of the 2014 Power Players in campus dining by Food Management Magazine and South Quad was identified as one of the ten best dining halls in the country.

Leadership Bios

Chef Bios