The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU Dining creates Iron Chef experience

Some see eating on campus to be boring. The same food over and over again drives many students off campus in search of variety.

SMU Dining is combating that urge by delivering its own Iron Chef Competition in the Real Food on Campus Dining Hall at Umphrey Lee on Wednesday, March 31.

This, along with other ideas, stemmed from the Dining Services Advisory Board Meeting held bi-monthly on campus. Students attending these meetings can suggest ways to improve the quality, convenience and variety of dining  directly to managers who control these decisions.

Christene Dino, the dining services marketing intern, began this meeting with new business, including SMU’s Iron Chef Competition.

Four culinary schools in the Dallas area will compete on campus by creating a six course menu from a cultural theme (Mexican, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Italian) and serve it in the RFoC Dining Hall.

“All of the schools are excited to come,” Kyle Wilson, location manager of the RFoC Dining Hall, said.  “Their menus were due today and everything looked delicious.”

Students will have their choice from all four themes on Wednesday and can also vote on the winner that evening.

“I’m excited Umphrey Lee is incorporating schools from the Dallas area in something like this,” first-year student, Max Diener said. “I hope they can continue that for the future.”   

To keep new programs like these coming in the future, Dino urged all attendees to complete the Dining Styles survey on The survey is one page  and all participants are automatically entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card to Best Buy.

“All changes to campus dining are based on this meeting and the online survey,” Wilson said. “The online responses are instantly sent to every manager’s Blackberry, so we can start considering your feedback immediately.”

The last topic on the agenda was the secret shoppers selection for March.

Dino explained that students are encouraged to visit a dining location twice, and submit a comment card online about their experience. As an incentive, all secret shoppers receive $10 of flex on their ID card.

“These responses will not get someone fired or anything,” Victor Perli, director of operations, said. “We just use your feedback to help everyone improve.”

Dino adjourned with an announcement of the next meeting on April 14. She encouraged all attending students to bring their friends to the next meeting if they are interested in improving the quality of dining on campus.

“The only way things change is if we get students to help us make their dining experience exactly what they want,” Wilson said.

Eating on campus does not have to be boring. With managers reaching out to the student body, improvements are just a comment card or a click away.


More to Discover