What should parents ask colleges about campus food services?

Fred Kurt
Fred Kurt
November 30, 2022

When I went to college in the ’90s, I don’t think “foodie” was a term we used. But, it sure is now. Whether your student is a foodie or not, students deserve good-tasting, wholesome food during their college years.

As your family looks at colleges, I’d like to offer seven questions you will want to ask about dining and food at any school being seriously considered.

No. 1: What percentage of food is made from scratch?

Hint: Look for places that make their pizza crusts from fresh dough balls and not from parbaked crusts.

No. 2: If a student has special dietary needs, who helps with that?

Hint: Someone on staff should have the primary role of helping students with dietary needs to ensure a safe and healthy dining experience.

No. 3: How do you ensure dining practices support sustainability overall?

Hint: All colleges do this differently, but if sustainability is important to your family, check to make sure they’re taking steps that match your values.

No. 4: Is the dining area a hangout space for students?

Hint: Eating with friends is one of the best ways to build a social group and feel camaraderie, so inquire to see how the facility fosters a sense of community.

No. 5: Is it possible to get a salad or whole piece of fresh fruit at any time?

Hint: Having daily access to unprocessed fruits and vegetables is a must.

No. 6: What would a foodie love to eat here on this campus?

Hint: Give colleges a chance to brag about what they do well. You may hear about ethnic cuisine, holiday celebrations, sushi nights, locally sourced foods, amazing baked goods and so much more.

No. 7: Can guests eat in the dining center?

Hint: Find out if you can eat in the dining center during a campus visit — at the same time as the students.

At Augustana, whether your student wants to enjoy a sit-down dinner with friends or grab a quick sandwich on the way to class, we have what they need. We invite you to come try for yourself!

Fred Kurt
Fred Kurt
Director of Dining Services