Chowin’ down at the Pro Ho: Food you want, all you can eat

Ronnie Harry, manager of residence dining, talks about the new food-on demand-program in the Provincial House Dining Hall. (Photo by Alicia Hottle)

Mac n’ cheese, waffles for dinner, burgers, spaghetti, all you can eat – it should be a no brainer. But figuring out what college students want to eat is definitely not as easy as it seems. Just ask Ronnie Harry.

“We had macaroni with four cheeses – cheddar, Muenster, Monterey Jack, Parmesan – but it wasn’t selling,” said Harry, manager of residence dining in the Provincial House Dining Hall (known to students as the Pro Ho) at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. “We asked for feedback and the students wanted to know, ‘What’s wrong with one cheese?’ We changed it and it seems to be working.”

This “food on demand” concept is a new one for Sodexo, UMSL’s food contractor and one of the largest food service and facilities management companies in the world. Sodexo took over UMSL’s food service contract in January of 2011. According to Gary Prellwitz, Sodexo’s general manager at UMSL, it is one of only eight such food service programs in the U.S.

“It began in a small school in California,” he said. “We decided the south campus dining hall with its student residences, would be the ideal situation for the food-on demand-program. Sodexo looked to the restaurant industry for their methods of preparing fresh foods. It’s a big hit on UMSL’s south campus.

The new dining hall features electronic kiosks for individual ordering and a self-serve soup, snack and beverage bar. Meals cost $7.75 for breakfast, $8.85 for lunch and $11.50 for dinner. The new dining hall is open to faculty, students and staff.

Check out UMSL Dining for information on meal plans, menus, hours, promotions and more.

Click here or below to watch a video by Alicia Hottle about the Provincial House Dining Hall at UMSL.


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