Los Olivos has taken fourth place for excellence in dining services from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).
The annual Loyal E. Horton Awards are named after the founder and former president of NACUFS and present an opportunity for university dining services to receive recognition and learn from each other.
Los Olivos entered under the “Residential Dining Concepts” category, which was open to all-you-can-eat campus facilities. Applicants were required to focus on a number of topics, including the facility’s menu, merchandising and presentation, marketing habits, nutrition and wellness, student roles and sustainability. Applicants had to send a comprehensive book filled with detailed descriptions, examples, photographs and marketing materials. Los Olivos personnel and the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation’s marketing department worked on the project for more than a month.
To determine a university’s ranking, a panel of seven judges analyzed factors such as menu variety and food quality. To receive an award, campuses must earn at least 70 percent of the possible points. Cal Poly Pomona was entered in the Large School category, which includes the likes of Cornell, Yale, Harvard and Notre Dame. Los Olivos received high scores across all topics, particularly for their diverse menu: meal options including a Mongolian grill, taqueria, American grill, deli, salad bars and five other platforms. Additionally, Los Olivos operates on a four-week cycle, which means that students receive a different meal each day for four weeks, ultimately decreasing monotony—a subtopic in the menu category.
“Resident students truly appreciate the extras that we offer weekly and monthly to break up what could be considered monotony,” says Patrick McCoy, general manager of resident dining. “Cal Poly Pomona’s Foundation Dining Services’ meal plans also offer resident students the flexibility to go to Vista Market and other dining venues on campus.”
The university received a dining pin and an award at the NACUFS conference in Minneapolis in July.
(Photo: Alex Baker mans the omelette bar at Los Olivos Dining Commons at Cal Poly Pomona.)