Each day, thousands of hungry diners step through the doors of the Alumni Dining Commons at California Baptist University to feast on an unlimited buffet of delicious options.
Although the cafeteria is a familiar locality, the majority of students are completely unaware of the innermost workings that keep this establishment afloat.
As enrollment continues to skyrocket, the staff of the ADC is constantly seeking new ways to cater to hungry students. A generous supply of silverware, trays, employees and menu options are required to meet the needs of diverse dietary needs and preferences.
Kipp Dougherty, Director of Food Services at CBU, offered a behind-the-scenes look at the facts and figures that add up to generate the successful operation of the ADC.
Each week, 22,000 to 24,000 ID cards are swiped for access to the ADC. This averages out to approximately 3,100 to 3,400 meals per day. Up to 200 students are served every 15 minutes during the weekday peak times lunch and dinner.
With so many visitors, an abundance of food and dinnerware are required to keep crowds fed and satisfied. On a typical day, diners consume 240 pounds of bananas. They use over 6,000 cups and between 8,000 and 10,000 assorted plates.
Diners consume approximately 1,500 pounds of French fries and 3,000 pounds of chicken each week. Employees chop 3,000 pounds of fresh fruit each week.
Although menu revisions are constantly considered to meet various needs, there are several classic dishes that remain wildly popular among students. The first of these meals is the CBU Bowl, which consists of breaded chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, cheese and topped with steaming gravy. Street Tacos are another favorite among the CBU population. This dish consists of small tortillas, topped with meat, salsa and other fixings. An additional favorite is any variety of pasta.
Every morning, employees arrive at 5 a.m. to prepare for the day. The ADC remains staffed until midnight on weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends. It takes 104 employees and 85 student workers to maintain smooth meal service operations.
The ADC can seat 405 guests in the main dining room and 285 guests on the outdoor patio. Portable heaters have been recently added to the patio to give diners a more comfortable eating experience.
Diners who wish to avoid crowds should be mindful of the times at which the cafeteria receives the most traffic. On a typical day, the cafeteria is the emptiest between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and at the very beginning and end of the lunch period, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The ADC is the busiest at noon on days on which there is a chapel service.
An amazing amount of groceries, dishes and hard work are required to provide the CBU community with the most pleasurable dining experience possible. An understanding of these facts, figures and behind-the-scenes details provides us with immense appreciation for the ADC and the individuals who give it life.