Higher Education Dining - CulinArt Group

Higher Education Dining

CulinArt continually breaks ground in higher education dining with innovative program development, maintaining an emphasis on retail-oriented programs that afford students more choice, freedom and flexibility in their dining decisions than from traditional meal plans. From coffee houses and virtual cafés to nationally branded concepts, convenience stores and late-night eateries, CulinArt meets and exceeds the discriminating tastes of our college, university and graduate school students, faculty and staff.

CulinArt also places heavy emphasis on the means necessary (including food and entertainment) to help transform traditional campus dining facilities into multi-use environments that facilitate a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. This includes a wide variety of programming that may offer Karaoke Nights, talent shows, club meetings and more – all supported by delicious food and refreshing beverages.

Additionally, a growing segment of CulinArt’s higher education division is graduate schools, which include some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions that inspire future leaders in the fields of law, medicine, teaching and architecture/design.

Culinary Innovations

As the country becomes more culturally diverse (and with educational institutions, colleges and universities reflecting that demographic evolution), CulinArt is committed to providing a contemporary dining service program that reflects a campus’ specific community. By incorporating international cuisines into our concepts, and regularly introducing cultural theme days and promotions, CulinArt’s dining program offers more options to more students, faculty and staff.

CulinArt’s Culinary Development and Marketing Departments work together to introduce “diversity through multiculturalism” into the design of our concepts and menus for colleges and universities. CulinArt explores the composite of each of our operations’ populations, through customer feedback and one-on-one customer participation to determine a proper approach to the elevation of our culturally diverse dining service program.

Wellness Solutions


We know that students work hard, and it is our goal to provide them with nutrition programs that are both healthful and delicious. Our campus dining service strives to offer culinary creations that replicate homemade comfort foods, but with a healthy twist. CulinArt Signature programs such as Eat Well and 500 Calories-or-Less allow students to make choices that they can feel good about. These selections focus on whole, naturally flavorful and nutritious foods. We enjoy partnering with student activities, athletic directors and health centers to provide ongoing educational support in the college and university setting. Our staff of registered dietitians and nutrition experts can often be found on campus discussing the latest nutrition trends, participating in health and wellness fairs and seminars, conducting café tours, and educating on special dietary needs, among other activities.

Sustainable Solutions

CulinArt is committed to adopting sustainable food service practices in all aspects of our operations – not just for the benefit of our clients and ourselves, but also for the betterment of college students. We firmly believe that food can and should be incorporated into the educational process. Involving students in activities that range from recycling and composting to on-campus gardening and even visiting farmers’ markets goes a long way toward achieving that goal.

Toward that end, CulinArt offers a comprehensive suite of solutions for colleges and universities that can be deployed in operations based on the goals and priorities of our clients. We believe that programs should be modular, scalable and dynamic to meet the needs of our clients as well as changes in the marketplace. Indeed, CulinArt’s growth emanates from the ability to assist our clients in moving their greening efforts forward by adopting sustainable practices such as local sourcing, on-campus gardening, recycling, composting, and using sustainable resources, among other tasks.

Marketing Solutions


Just because you provide on-campus dining services does not mean that your faculty, staff, and students are going to utilize them, especially with the selection of dining options available just off-campus. As a result, having an aggressive dining services marketing strategy is essential to generating excitement, attracting customers, and improving the revenue potential of your dining program.

At CulinArt, we develop targeted marketing strategies for the higher education sector. We customize those strategies according to each campus’ unique culture and customer satisfaction data. This enables us to effectively promote our services to each school’s students, staff, and faculty.

From limited-time retail promotions and daily specials to themed promotional events, we create fun, spontaneous, and exciting dining environments for today’s discerning student diner. With CulinArt handling your school’s dining service program, your students, staff, and faculty will enjoy healthier, more delicious food and a stronger sense of community.

Technology Solutions

Today’s higher education students are no strangers to the conveniences of technology. So, why not provide them with technological solutions that are designed to make their campus dining choices easier and more user-friendly?

At CulinArt, we offer next-generation dining service solutions for today’s higher education institutions. Our innovative web-based solutions allow you to service your students, faculty, and staff faster and more successfully, all while increasing the ease and efficiency of managing your school’s dining program.

CulinArt’s technological solutions allow our clients to seamlessly convert old-fashioned restrictive meal programs to the more popular declining balance programs. This lets your students, faculty, and staff members decide what they will eat, where, and when – thus improving customer satisfaction and loyalty (as well as revenue potential).

Our Educational Institution Dining Service Technology Solutions include:

  • Cashless Payment Systems – Our cashless payment systems give students more financial freedom while improving the dining service’s overall revenue potential.
  • Digital Menu Boards – Digital menu boards attract and inform busy students about the day’s menu. And, the boards can be updated as needed in real-time.
  • Webcams – Webcams installed in the dining commons allow students to make more informed decisions about when to visit the dining facilities. They can access the video feed online at any time.
  • Web-Based Accounting Software – Our easy-to-use web-based accounting software program allows for unit-level financial reporting, which transfers information instantly between our dining service locations in the field and our corporate office.

With the technology solutions offered by CulinArt, our higher education clients enjoy improved quality control and more accurate budgetary management for food costs, labor costs, inventory control, forecasting, and more.

Food Safety


With such a wide array of dining options available at most higher education institutions, ensuring that each one is safe, sanitary, and always providing fresh, high-quality food can be a challenge for any food service. But, at CulinArt, we utilize best-in-class food safety practices in all of our dining programs, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your students, faculty, and staff are enjoying the healthiest food in the safest environments possible.

Our higher education food safety practices are designed to help your school’s foodservice program exceed the strict code regulations of local health inspection departments. To accomplish this, CulinArt’s practices include:

  • Mandatory Safety Training and Development Workshops that are held monthly
  • ServSafe® certification accredited by the National Restaurant Association
  • Registered ServSafe® Instructors located in all of our geographic areas
  • All initiatives and programs are inspected and supervised by our Director of Food Safety
  • All safety initiatives are qualified and implemented by our Regional Safety Coordinators
  • Fresh foods are selected and purchased from approved and highly qualified vendors who are regulated by federal, state, and local laws
  • A strict food inspection program that includes inspections by our vendors before delivery, and then secondary inspections by our team members before preparing and serving
  • All team members, at both the management and associate levels, are trained in ServSafe®/HACCP procedures, which include proper temperature control (receiving, cooking, cooling and serving), storage, and personal hygiene

CulinArt also has established partnerships with Shoes For Crews, a leading provider of safety footwear for the hospitality industry, and Travelers Insurance, which provides regularly scheduled risk assessment inspections to help identify and resolve potential safety issues before they arise.

Financial Management

Higher education dining programs are unlike any other. These complex programs usually involve multiple dining locations, food courts, snack carts, coffee kiosks, and sports arena concessions, among other places. As a result, it can be a challenge to manage the financial responsibilities of such a large-scale program.

At CulinArt, we specialize in providing high-quality food service for the higher education sector. And, our dining programs come with the added benefit of our proven financial management solutions. We custom-tailor our programs to meet the unique culinary needs, campus culture, and budgetary requirements of each of our education clients. Colleges, universities, technical schools, community colleges, and other types of higher learning institutions face specific challenges in providing their students with quality dining options. CulinArt helps you reach your food service goals without sacrificing quality and with minimal impact on your budget.

Cafe Design Consultation

CorporateDining-CafeDesignConsultationHigher education students, faculty, and staff have a lot of options when it comes to choosing where to eat. One of the most effective ways of keeping their dining dollars on campus is to provide them with smartly-designed, retail-oriented dining facilities and always-fresh culinary creations. At CulinArt, we help educational institutions accomplish this task with our professional design and total dining program development services.

From concept to construction, CulinArt handles every step of your dining service’s renovation. We partner with some of the country’s leading architects, designers, and equipment retailers to create fully-functional, technologically-advanced, and profitable dining services for the education sector.

CulinArt’s suite of design services include:

  • Schematic Design – Our designs optimize traffic flow and visual appeal for students and staff and workspace efficiency for culinary teams.
  • Concept Development – Every project’s concept development is managed by a team of professional marketing managers, operational executives, and consultants, each of whom are experts in food industry trends and program development.
  • Equipment Layout – Our well-established vendor relationships enable us equip your kitchen with quality products without compromising your budget.
  • Construction – We have management personnel onsite during the construction for point-of-contact support.

What our clients are saying

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“I can’t thank your entire team enough for the outstanding service, food, displays, everything!  You are a master at detail, and because of that Adam and I were able to focus on the parents.  I know what a sacrifice pulling off a weekend like this means, we are so appreciative and grateful to you all for your talent and generosity.”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“Thank You! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

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