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Thermo-Kool Walk-in Coolers in Higher Ed: Spotlight on Campus Installations
How food is prepared and served on university campuses has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Educational institutions are reimagining foodservice to satisfy diverse tastes and ever-evolving expectations. From embracing farm-to-table and allergen-friendly options to integrating cutting-edge technology, campus dining has genuinely transformed.
Shifting trends in campus foodservice present challenges and opportunities for kitchen operators. Adapting to significant changes requires innovative cooking and storage solutions that support the demand for diverse menu options and sustainable practices. Streamlined, tech-savvy commercial appliances are essential to keeping pace with the mobile app-driven students in colleges and universities.
The Evolution of College Campus Foodservice
Meeting the needs of an ever-more health-conscious and food-savvy student population is paramount. By aligning a school’s kitchen equipment with the evolving landscape of college campus dining, school chefs can help institutions provide an engaging, diverse, and eco-friendly experience that resonates with today's students.
Over the past decade, commercial refrigeration experts have also witnessed notable changes. Kitchen operators are investing in eco-friendly refrigeration solutions that minimize energy consumption and reduce the carbon footprint of institutions. Plus, there’s a growing demand for versatile and space-efficient walk-in systems that accommodate all types of food, from fresh produce to frozen goods. Walk-in cooler and freezer technology needs to integrate with smart monitoring systems that provide real-time temperature and performance data, ensuring food safety and minimizing waste.
Many different dietary preferences are required for today's students. Meaning refrigeration systems need to be flexible and capable of storing allergen-free, organic, and locally sourced food items. For kitchen equipment operators in educational institutions this means offering modern, energy-efficient, customizable walk-in cooler and freezer solutions. By aligning with these evolving refrigeration needs, you can help colleges and universities provide students with safe, sustainable, and versatile storage solutions that underpin their commitment to diverse, eco-conscious, and student-centric dining experiences.
Compelling statistics in campus foodservice underscore college and university students' changing tastes and dietary preferences. The average cost of $10.90 per meal in college dining halls is a financial measurement depicting students' budget constraints when seeking sustenance on campus. The resounding popularity of college meal plans among first and second-year students, with a striking 88% participation rate, highlights the convenience and cost-efficiency of new meal plans.
However, the revelation that 45% of college students deplete their meal plan points prematurely underscores the need for more efficient and flexible dining options. American colleges squander a staggering 142 pounds of food per student yearly.
A Peek Inside the Campus Walk-in Refrigeration at Universities
University of Missouri
Established in 1839, this west of the Mississippi River university is no stranger to firsts. They were the first public college in their area, the world’s first journalism school, and the first to start the homecoming tradition. This black and gold campus thrives on the belief that empathy, innovation, and hard work combined can solve the world's most significant challenges. Thermo-Kool created the Walk-in Cooler/Freezer for the University of Missouri’s Farmhouse with the same belief in innovation and hard work.
Thermo-Kool’s refrigeration team built the team cold storage that features a 30” x 78” flush-mounted door with a pilot light and switch assembly, vapor proof light, a dial thermometer, an interior ramp, and vinyl strip curtains.
Founded in 1856, Auburn University has a rich history of name changes, much like Thermo-Kool's own evolution. In its early years, Auburn was known as the East Alabama Male College when it first opened its doors in 1859. In 1872, it underwent a transformation, becoming a state-owned, land-grant institution and adopting the name the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1960, the college recognized the impracticality of the name for everyday use and became Auburn University.
Just as Auburn's commitment to excellence remained constant despite its name changes, Thermo-Kool continues to uphold its quality standards. An example of this is the Walk-In Beverage Cooler it built for Auburn's Football Performance Center, featuring a 36” x 78” entrance door, a peep window with a heated frame and glass, and a wireless communicator.
Hinds Community College
Hinds Community College started with humble beginnings in 1917. At the time, the campus held an administration building, two dormitories, and a dairy barn and was known as Hinds County Agricultural High School. The college’s first president helped the school transition into a junior college, while the second president, George McLendon, affectionately known as “Mr. Mac,” continued the growth and helped beautify the school.
Introducing the First-Ever Walk-In 3-D Configurator
Thermo-Kool customers can now access an innovative feature, the first and only 3-D Configurator for walk-in coolers and freezers. This strategic planning tool enables website visitors to personally design commercial walk-in units and watch the creation process. The 3D Configurator provides a unique opportunity to visualize a finished refrigeration project and see how Thermo-Kool equipment seamlessly fits in any foodservice establishment.
A user-friendly digital resource, the 3-D Configurator tool allows refrigeration customers to take control and pursue their creative side of kitchen design. Once customers customize a walk-in using the configurator, CAD and REVIT files are quickly provided so customers can begin creating their dream foodservice operation.