Hope College Dining Services has won a gold award in the 2018 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards program of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).

The dining service has received gold in the “Residential Dining Concepts” category among medium-sized schools for the college’s Phelps Dining Hall.  Criteria included menu, merchandising and presentation, marketing, nutrition and wellness, and additional considerations such as hours of operation, the involvement of student employees and emphasis on sustainability.  Hope tied for gold with Azusa Pacific University.

The awards are presented in five categories, including not only “Residential Dining Concepts,” but also “Residential Dining-Special Event,” “Retail Sales-Single Concept/Multiple Concept/Marketplace,” “Catering-Special Event” and “Catering-Online Menu.”  Programs compete in divisions for small, medium and large institutions, and can receive gold, silver, bronze or honorable-mention recognition.  This year’s winners will be recognized on Saturday, July 14, during the NACUFS 2018 National Conference in Providence, Rhode Island.

Phelps Dining Hall, which is the college’s primary dining space, is an all-you-care-to-eat facility, open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Attendance peaks during lunch with an average count of 1,253.

The daily menu features a range of options, from “comfort food” entrees and pizza, to international cuisine at the Globe station, to sandwiches made to order, to vegetarian and gluten-free areas, to a salad bar to an every-meal breakfast nook.  The food served is made fresh daily with natural ingredients.  In addition, 43 percent of all food and goods purchased are grown, packaged or manufactured within a 250-mile radius.

Phelps Dining Hall was extensively renovated during 2013 and 2014.  The Phelps Hall residence hall and attached dining facility opened in 1960, and the dining hall had previously been renovated in 1980.

In addition to Phelps Dining Hall, the college’s dining service operates Cook Dining Hall and retail spaces like the Kletz Market in the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center; the Cup & Chaucer café in the Van Wylen Library; and concessions at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse, Ray and Sue Smith Stadium, Van Andel Soccer Stadium and Knickerbocker Theatre.

Founded in 1958, NACUFS consists of institutions of higher education across the United States, Canada and abroad, and industry members from the food, equipment and consulting market segments.  Since its inception, NACUFS has sought to support and promote excellence in collegiate dining by providing members with the programs and resources they need to receive, from benchmarking and best practices to educational programming and professional networking.

Named for a NACUFS founder, past president and highly regarded innovator, the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards program celebrates exemplary menus, presentations, special-event planning and new dining concepts, and provide an avenue for sharing ideas and creative presentations in dining services.  Hope dining services programs have received several awards through the years, including most recently a silver award in the “Residential Dining-Special Event” category in 2016.