Innovation Is on the Menu at Babson

Babson Chefs David Rutkowski (left) and Dennis Williams (right) with Celebrity Chef Jet Tila (center)

As Babson readies for a successful return to campus, our executive chefs are making fastidious preparations—and changes—to the way food is prepared and delivered to students. The Dining Services team also is introducing an array of interesting innovations aimed at safety, efficiency, and quality.

“Technology-based dining solutions is a topic we’ve been discussing for the past year. This will allow us to bring new innovations to campus that are exciting for the entire community. The adjustments to the upcoming semester helped bring automated solutions to campus sooner,” said Senior Executive Chef Dennis Williams.

Not only that, but Babson’s executive chefs are laser-focused on minimizing disruption, and, maximizing opportunities to deliver quality.

“Our food philosophy remains the same, we are still sourcing responsibly, using local ingredients, and cooking from scratch. Even though you may see more prepackaged dishes on campus, we are still making them all in house every day. As chefs, we are constantly in communication with our different purveyors to ensure we are getting the same quality products we’ve offered in the past,” said Campus Executive Chef David Rutkowski.

New Looks

For students returning this fall, the space at Trim Dining Hall will be subdivided into two spaces, with the addition of Trim Xpress, and a focus on quick-service dining.

Students will be happy to know that they can now enjoy freshly prepared grab-and-go offerings at Babson’s newly launched markets—located inside Park Manor West and Olin Hall—offering selections including sandwiches, salads, sushi, beverages, and snacks.


“The markets will bring automated dining solutions to campus for students to have access to fresh food and snacks at any time of day.”
Caitlin Cooney, Babson Dining Services director of marketing

“The markets will bring automated dining solutions to campus for students to have access to fresh food and snacks at any time of day,” said Caitlin Cooney, Babson Dining Services director of marketing

And, maybe the coolest innovation to the dining services landscape this semester will be found in the popular Olin Hall, which will now be home to Sally the Robot—an automated vending service creating fresh, made-to-order salads any time of day.

Babson will start using Boost Mobile Ordering at all retail dining locations across campus, and eliminating cashiers, to increase speed of service, and reduce points of contact.

To make it even easier—and quicker—Boost now accepts Dining Dollars, Boost Dollars, and Babson Bucks at Crossroads Café, Dunkin, CREATE, and Centennial Café—some of of the smaller food venues around campus.

“We’ll also be introducing new smart market technology at Olin Café, offering automated, 24-hour dining options,” said Cooney.

Fresh Perspectives

As the semester draws closer, the chefs feel the excitement and look forward to the opportunities that will arise from an ongoing dialogue with the community, always evolving the dining experience.

“I love being part of the Babson community and interacting with students, faculty, and staff. Communicating with them to hear feedback is what helps continue to grow our program,” said Williams.

The summer has seen the team overcome challenges and obstacles, and the chefs are approaching the upcoming semester with the appropriate gravity and perspective.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to convey our gratitude to the Babson community when students get back. I am fortunate to work for a community that is coming together this fall,” said Rutkowski.

Health and Safety Compliance

Babson College and Babson Dining Services is committed to the utmost safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Babson Dining Services will follow state and local guidelines. And, the team is all in.

“Our approach is based off of a tier system that complies with the recommendations from state and local government. We are looking at each location and determining how to continue to provide students with a great dining experience while continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our team members and the entire Babson community,” said Williams.

True to Babson’s entrepreneurship DNA, the Dining Services team is seeing opportunities where others may have seen challenges.

“We are implementing expanded safety protocols across campus and creating ways to drive innovation and the guest experience within our program,” said Williams.

“Even though campus dining will look different, we’re working to create the dining program students have enjoyed in previous years,” said Cooney.

Visit our Return to Campus website. And, read the full Return to Campus Plan.

Posted in Adapting, Together, Campus & Community

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