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trends – best practices - results
“More students align themselves
along the less-meat to meatless
spectrum, from flexitarian to
vegetarian to vegan…”
Roots is the University's first
exclusively vegan eatery and
lounge. Roots has a clean,
modern feel that reflects its
menu perfectly. Diners can
choose from a delicious variety
of hearty entrees, sides, snacks,
or smoothies.
The Daily Root - Pitchforks
Goal: To create a robust vegan menu program at Arizona State
University as part of the broader residential restaurant experience
14
Harvard Chef Training
“Do the best you can until you
know better. Then when you know
better, do better.”
- Dr. Maya Angelou
Poet, Author, Civil Rights
Activist (1928–2014)
Thank you
______________________________
KBotts@HumaneSociety.org

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Meeting the meatless demand SD

  • 1. trends – best practices - results
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4. “More students align themselves along the less-meat to meatless spectrum, from flexitarian to vegetarian to vegan…”
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. Roots is the University's first exclusively vegan eatery and lounge. Roots has a clean, modern feel that reflects its menu perfectly. Diners can choose from a delicious variety of hearty entrees, sides, snacks, or smoothies.
  • 13.
  • 14. The Daily Root - Pitchforks Goal: To create a robust vegan menu program at Arizona State University as part of the broader residential restaurant experience 14
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 25.
  • 26. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” - Dr. Maya Angelou Poet, Author, Civil Rights Activist (1928–2014)

Editor's Notes

  1. This is Blithe, a student I met at UNT 3 years ago at a Freshman orientation. I was working the dining booth and she approached the table with her parents. I asked her if she had signed up for a meal plan and if she had any questions. Her reply was music to my foodservice ears. She said, with the same smile you see in this image, I chose to come to the University of North Texas over other universities because I heard you had this vegan dining hall called Mean Greens! She went on to say, “If UNT cares enough to serve healthy options like this in the cafeteria, then the school must care about its students” As a food service director or an administrator, this is what we want to hear and this is the smile we want to see on our guests’ faces. For the record I hired her shortly after that to be a student ambassador for dining services.
  2. Blithe of course isn’t an anomaly. In fact, as you probably know and are seeing in your dining operations, more and more college students are looking to eat vegetarian and vegan. In 2012, Packaged Facts, a market research organization, published data that showed how Collegiate Millennials are shaping the culinary trends of tomorrow…
  3. The report said that “More students align themselves along the less-meat to meatless spectrum, from flexitarian to vegetarian to vegan…” that report was published in 2012 so tomorrow is today.
  4. There are roughly 16 million college and university students holding more than $300 billion in spending power. Students vote with their dollars…As Food Service professionals…we are constantly challenged with how we can encourage them to purchase voluntary meal plans and keep them dining on campus after the mandatory meal plans have expired. Here’s an idea…we give them want…and what they want are healthy plant-based options that look good and taste great. (Image source: http://www.foodchannel.com/media/uploads/college_students_cafe.jpg) Let’s take a look as a couple of universities that put plant powered foods on the menu…
  5. In 2010 my team and I designed and opened the nation’s first all vegan cafeteria, Mean Greens, at the University of North Texas.
  6. While I wish I could say that this idea was born from the genius of the dining executive team, it was not. The idea came from our students through feedback programs like the food advisory committee, the student secret shopper program, social listening and old school comment cards. By listening to our students, the executive team heard a consistent message that they wanted more healthy vegan options so we gave it to them and the results were amazing!
  7. Within the first 3 weeks we received $165,000 of free publicity. We were covered in outlets from local to international and by radio, television and print media. USA today recognized us as the nation’s ‘first’ vegan cafeteria. ABC News, with its clever headline, “Adios, A Meat Gos” said what everyone was thinking…a vegan cafeteria in the beef capital of the nation! Then there were articles in industry magazines like Today’s Dietitian “Vegan fare in Cattle country” and of course Foodservice Director Magazine’s article, ‘vegan vacation”
  8. We had lines out the door and saw double digit growth in participation. As a side note…before we opened Mean Greens as a vegan dining hall, we were considering closing this cafeteria. Of the 5 dining halls on campus this was the slowest one. It went from about 175 transactions a day to over 500 a day in its first few weeks of operation.
  9. In addition to the increase in participation, we experienced a jump in our voluntary meal plan sales by 35%. That is a whole lot of students voting with their dollars and saying we like what you are doing. While there were other factors that helped make this happen, Mean Greens was a significant contributor to that increase.
  10. Usually after a new concept opens the “newness” dies down….that has not been the case at Mean Greens. Foodservice Director magazine contacted us and wanted to find out how Mean Greens was doing four years after it opened. They learned that it continues to show double digit growth year-over-year and at the end of the 2014 fall semester was seeing about 750 transactions a day. Throughout the years Mean Greens has been a source of inspiration for other campus food service operators and students wanting to find out how to get vegan options added to the menu. When Food Service directors contact me for assistance I suggest they start by developing a menu, if a student or student group contacts me for help…I suggest they start by speaking with the food service director.
  11. Over the last few years universities have been slowing been adding more vegan options to the menu. In 2012 UC San Diego opened “Roots,” a vegan eatery that features plant-based entrees, sides and snacks. They were nationally recognized for this concept and received honors as one of the most vegan friendly campuses in the United States.
  12. …and recently Bowling Green State University in Ohio opened a vegan concept called Shoots. A visitor to Shoots will be able to find a complete vegan meal including soups, salads, entrees, sides and desserts. Shoots is located in an all you care to eat cafeteria. Their menu features familiar comfort foods like lasagna as well as international foods like black bean street tacos, and pad Thai
  13. Then there is Arizona State University, the largest University by enrollment in the United States, with over 75,000 students. They created a plant based action station that will open in just a few weeks called Daily Root. Their goal is “To create a robust vegan menu program as part of the broader residential restaurant experience”
  14. Over this past year our team has worked with some of the most prestigious universities in the nation…Stanford and UCLA on the west coast, American University and U Penn on the east and in the south at the University of Houston. The demand for plant based options by students is increasing and Universities are responding.
  15. The key to the successful implementation of adding plant-based menus isn’t making special food for one group of students, it is about making food special for all of your students. Have fun with this…get creative and you will see your participation grow, your food cost improve and you non-traditional meal plans sales increase.
  16. So, what does the food look like? When you mention the word vegan, the first thing people think of is Tofu. While tofu is a wonderful food packed with protein…this alone is not what vegan food is. As a matter of fact at Mean Greens we used very little tofu. We created a 3 week cycle menu of foods that were fun, familiar, were highly acceptable to the students and actually lowered the food cost.
  17. Foods like Mexican pizza
  18. Or how about a three bean chili with quinoa…students eat this stuff up!
  19. And of course pasta is always a favorite.
  20. Years ago, when I was just joining the world of campus dining, I had to create cycle menus for a small multi-platform food court, using recipes from a menu data base that was from out of the stone ages. I quickly learned how to input recipes into the menu management program, most of which came from the internet, cookbooks or even my own recipe files. Following that same template…These are the first three books we we used to create the menus for Mean Greens. Vegan in Volume is a great book that was written by Chef Nancy Berkoff, who happens to also be a Registered Dietitian as well. This book was written for institutions looking to add more vegan options to the menu. It has scaled menus and suggested menu plans for all day parts. If you would like a copy of this book sent to you free of charge, send me an email and I will get it out to you. I will have my contact info on the next slide. This second book on the book shelf is the complete guide to vegan substations. When Chef Wanda asked how she was going to make cake without eggs and milk…I handed her this book and said the answer is in here….this book will be a valuable tool for your culinary team. The last one is actually one of my favorite books. There is a perception that vegan menus are expensive. Fact is they can be if you use a lot of frozen or prepared items - that is the case in a regular General Purpose cafeteria environment. Given that most of you work with a plate cost of about .80 cents to $1.25, you will need to focus on scratch cooking using whole fresh ingredients. This book has recipes that are familiar, easy to make and will be kind to your food cost.
  21. As I mentioned earlier, everything starts with menu design and great culinarians who are as passionate about their guests as they are about the food they serve will be successful at this. At the beginning of the year HSUS worked with Chef Wanda White and presented the first plant-based chef training at Harvard University. This two day intensive started with breakfast menus, ended with dessert and resulted in 20 of the countries most talented university chefs excited to introduce plant-based recipes to their students.
  22. In keeping with their commitment as a leader in helping the community not just treat, but prevent disease, tomorrow and Friday, Palomar Health is co-hosting, with The Humane Society of the United States, the first West coast “Food Forward” culinary experience. This training will be lead by Chef Wanda White and will take 20 chefs from some of the most prestigious hospitals and universities on the west coast through a day plant-based culinary excperience.
  23. I would like to close with a call to action. In our roles as food service providers, we serve many clients. In higher education, where I spent the bulk of my food service career, we serve: administrators of the university, faculty and staff, and the most important client - our students who buy meal plans. If you are in hospital food service or working for a school district, the stakeholders are different but the goals and objectives are similar. When we designed Mean Greens, I was inspired by his words from Maya Angelou. and I hope they’ll serve as inspiration to you too. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” - At the end of the day, we all want to do something meaningful. We have a tremendous opportunity to do that by helping our guests enjoy more plant based options.
  24. The Humane Society of the United States wants to help and we have many free resources to assist you. Feel free to contact me via email, social media or phone. I would be more than happy to help in anyway I can. You can also visit our website and download a toolkit that will direct you to other helpful resources and assist you in Meeting the demand for meatless dining. Thank you for your time today and I wish you great success!