Parkhurst Offers New Dining Hall at Mercyhurst, Chef Attended Allergen-Free Food Station
Mercyhurst University students returned to school with a new all-you-care to eat dining plan complete with foods prepared fresh to order, a new chef attended allergen station and technology enhanced furnishings that encourages students to study, dine and socialize, creating a dining experience that engages students and life on campus!
Mercyhurst’s Dining Hall received a new name “Grotto Commons”, plus a major facelift! Thanks to the work of their dining partner, Parkhurst Dining, tray lines were eliminated and gave way to a new scatter food station system that increases foot traffic flow as well as eases access to the variety of food stations where foods are house-made!
A new “chef attended” allergen station called “The Clean Plate” was built around the requirements of students is unique to higher education. According to Dean Schoenfeldt, senior general manager with Parkhurst Dining at Mercyhurst, “Allergen stations are typically self-serve, so this is a differentiator for Mercyhurst.” The station features a steam, turbo chef oven and four gas burner stove with a menu cycle just like any other station.
With over 30 students who have food allergies, the Parkhurst team was able to eliminate major food allergens associated with milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and wheat. “The key is the relationship that Marcy Fickes, executive chef, is building with the students. Chef Marcy works closely with those students and creates menu items that not only accommodates their diet restrictions, makes them feel like everyone else,” said Schoenfeldt.
Students can also select from an expanded deli, made-to-order grill offerings, The Daily Dish featuring a daily hot entrée, The Oven featuring oven-roasted foods and fresh-dough pizza, and at the Bravissimo station, restaurant-inspired meals featuring smaller portions.
How students dine also changed from traditional eight top rounds to two and four top settings, creating flexibility. “So we can flex the seating based on the size of the group needs,” said Schoenfeldt.
Grotto Commons also provides comfortable wireless benches with data USB ports that allow students to charge electronics while they dine! The back of Grotto Commons also features a space for groups up to 60. The new space provides technology, monitors and screens for meetings and learning sessions. “So we encourage the faculty to bring classes, athletic and other groups to meet at the Grotto Commons -– where we can easily provide a healthy meal to fuel learning. It’s a campus dining experience like no other,” said Schoenfeldt.
ABOUT PARKHURST DINING
A member of Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Parkhurst Dining provides authentic culinary experiences to guests at the finest educational institutions, corporations and cultural destinations in its marketing region. Our foundation is built on personal relationships and exceeding the expectations of our guests and team members every day. Join us for a farm-fresh and sustainable dining experience. www.parkhurstdining.com
Grace Hoyer, Public Relations