Fireside Café in student center receives national recognition

By University Communications
May 31, 2016
University Dining Service recently received a silver medal for Fireside Café from a national college food service organization.

Photo: University Dining Service recently received a silver medal for
Fireside Café from a national college food service organization.

University Dining Service at UW-Stout has received national recognition for one of its campus dining locations.

The Fireside Café recently earned a silver medal in the multiple concepts/marketplace category in the 2016 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards from the National Association of College and University Food Services.

The café, on the second floor of the Memorial Student Center, allows customers to select from five venues, which are complimented by a variety of bakery, beverage and grab-and-go options. Most of the venues offer customization upon ordering with cook-to-order or build-to-order options.

Options include comfort foods, gourmet salads and sandwiches, a Mexican station, stir-fry, pasta and breakfast all day, according to Ann Thies, director of University Dining Service.

Fireside received high marks in a 2015 survey by NACUFS, scoring 4.10 in overall satisfaction compared with an industry rating of 3.75. The café also rated higher than the industry average for overall service, food quality and value.

UW-Stout’s award entry was prepared by Justin Krahn, dining manager at the Memorial Student Center, and Emily Kuznar, marketing specialist for University Dining Service.

“The student center dining team works hard to bring dining excellence to the campus and community. We are very proud to be able to showcase one of our most popular dining locations on campus, Fireside Café, and share the reasons for its success with our colleagues,” Krahn said. “NACUFS is about colleagues sharing ideas, and this contest is one of the best member resources for ideas.”

University Dining Service is a self-contained UW-Stout operation, one of five in the UW System. In addition to operating the student dining halls and restaurants on campus, it has a catering service for special events on and off campus, such as the Graduation Buffet, banquets, receptions and conferences.

University Dining Service has 41 professional staff members and more than 500 part-time student employees.

More than 80 colleges and universities across North America submitted entries for the NACUFS awards, which are named for a founder and past president. The winners will be recognized at the national conference in July in Anaheim, Calif.

NACUFS members include college and universities from across the U.S., Canada and abroad and from industry members in the food, equipment and consulting market segments.