University Dining Services: Team Work Achieves Excellence

University Dining Services ranked in the top 5% of a nation-wide survey
July 9, 2015

Recently, UW-Stout's University Dining Services ranked in the top 5% of a nation-wide survey distributed through University Housing. The survey compares UW-Stout's student satisfaction with dining at UW-Stout to 262 nationwide universities' dining services, in which Stout ranked 11th. UW-Stout was also compared to six pre-selected schools that are similar in size and structure and was ranked first of seven.

Ann Thies, director of University Dining attributes the high ratings to two things.  First, "it means we're focusing on the right things.  We're delivering what our mission calls for: value, quality, and excellent customer service."

Second, this would not have been achieved without the 41 full time employees and over 400 student workers.  "It takes everybody in Dining Services to do this," said Thies. "I can't take any credit; I'm not out there serving any students."

Thies believes one of the strongest factors in the rating is University Dining's value. "It's remarkable how high we are [in the survey] and much of the high rating here can be attributed to the design of our dining plan."

UW-Stout students pay an upfront overhead fee to cover services and facilities and then only pay for food at individual meals. If they have money left over at the end of the semester it rolls over for the next year. This is a contrast to other college dining plans in which students buy a number of meals, overhead and cost of food included in one, and if the meals go unused the full value is simply lost.

UW-Stout is also one of only 5 UW schools that operate in-house opposed to hiring a contractor. Thies says this is also a common theme in schools that rank well in student surveys.

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