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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2013 / 08 

Turner Place at Lavery Hall wins best new facility award; Dining Services named innovator of the year

August 27, 2013

Students watch as their food is cooked over an open flame
The teppanyaki grill Origami, which also features a sushi bar, is a popular venue for celebrations and special events.

Virginia Tech's Turner Place at Lavery Hall is the winner in the Best New Facility category of Food Management magazine’s 2013 Best Concept Awards competition. 

The annual Best Concept Awards recognize exceptional achievement and innovation in key areas of noncommercial foodservice, as judged by the Food Management editorial staff. The awards are featured in a special edition of the influential foodservice publication, and will be presented at the 54th annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators (MUFSO) conference Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in Dallas, Texas.

“It took a village to make Turner Place at Lavery Hall the success it is, and I must acknowledge the university-wide team that made it possible,” said Patty Perillo, vice president for student affairs. “Under Dining Services Director Ted Faulkner's leadership, the Dining Services staff made a concept a working reality. They model what it means to lead with a spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).”

This is the second time this year Virginia Tech’s Dining Services has been lauded by Food Management. In its June 2013 issue, the magazine recognized Dining Services as Innovator of the Year

“Turner Place has made an already exemplary program even better,” the feature article stated. The magazine’s cover featured Faulkner in Turner Place at Lavery Hall.

Turner Place at Lavery Hall opened in fall 2012 and immediately became a popular campus dining center. The 35,000-square foot, 1,077-seat facility offers three nationally-branded and five internally-branded food outlets on two levels. Each concept has its own distinctive “look” unique to Turner Place at Lavery Hall. 

As the only dining center on the north side of campus, Turner Place provides convenience to students bustling between the many academic buildings in that area, as well as to off-campus students as they walk to classes from the commuter lots.

“The university’s dining program has met the challenge of attracting a commuter-heavy student population through a shrewd combination of high-profile national brands, innovative internal brands, and plenty of convenience and variety,” said Mike Buzalka, executive features editor for Food Management. “The Innovator of the Year recognition is our annual way of recognizing a standout program in the context of the challenges facing dining in a particular segment—Virginia Tech in the case of the college/university segment.”

Through careful planning and consideration of students’ needs, Dining Services develops facilities that cater to student schedules while providing appealing dining options. Virginia Tech’s dining program has a proven history of attracting large numbers of voluntary meal plan participants. In fact, more than 70 percent of Virginia Tech’s 28,836 students are meal plan holders. More than half of those who live off-campus opt for dining plans.

During the MUFSO conference, Virginia Tech Dining Services team members will also take part in the 2013 Best Concepts Award winner panel discussion, moderated by John Lawn, editor-in-chief of Food Management, and featuring each of the 2013 Best Concept award winners, who will share best practices and lessons learned from their winning concept.

Food Management’s editors based their award decisions on a variety of factors, ranging from the impact of a given program, its effectiveness in achieving targeted results, the impact it may have on others in the field, and the level of innovation it represents in a given noncommercial segment of the foodservice industry.

Food Management, published by Penton, is the leading business publication for foodservice directors, managers, contract management executives and others in the non-commercial or “onsite” sector of the foodservice industry. 

 

 

Photos: Turner Place at Lavery Hall sets trend for campus dining

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