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Carolina Dining Services' new menu aims to cater to student tastes

Menu at Lenoir Dining Hall lists various pizzas - the staple college student food.
Menu at Lenoir Dining Hall lists various pizzas - the staple college student food.

Carolina Dining Services has designed their menu this year with students’ preferences in mind.

“I want to serve what my customers want to eat,” Michael Gueiss, the executive chef for CDS, said.

Gueiss said prior to creating the menu, he worked with marketing to see what food students want to eat in the dining halls, as well as what foods were successful on the past semester’s menu.

Scott Myers, associate director of Auxiliary Service for CDS, said every April, CDS develops an annual plan for the next year. The Student Dining Board, which is made up of 11 students and five administrators, reviews and decides whether to approve the proposed menus from food services. 

This year, some approved additions include the new protein salad station, the wok station at Rams Head Dining Hall and the burrito bar at the Top of Lenoir.

“I like the salad bar actually,” Madison Perry, a first-year at UNC, said. “They have replaced it a lot, and in Ram’s, they do a different mixed salad every day that they make, so that’s really good and I really love that.”

Myers said Carolina Dining Services provides options to students with food allergies.

“Although the challenge for us is we don’t have separate kitchens that don’t have allergens in them — so there is always a chance for cross contamination — we try to mitigate it as much as possible,” he said.

Myers said CDS directs students with allergies to the CDS dietitian. From there, the dietitian will help write a menu for that particular student that meets those needs each day.

Myers said that the dietitian is also part of the marketing team for CDS.

“She reviews the menus and makes sure that there are healthy options at every meal,” Myers said.

Gueiss said one of the main feedback systems in the dining halls is where students write comments on their napkins and put it on the bulletin board.

“We actually tried to do away with it two years ago to go to an all-digital feedback and students kind of were upset with us for doing that, so we brought it back real quick,” Gueiss said.

Gueiss said in addition to the cycle menu, there are special event menus such as the Hispanic Heritage Month meal. He said these meals are a partnership between a student organization and the dining services.

“We will write the menus and interact with (students) on menus and produce the food, and they kind of host the evening with us,” Myers said. 

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