University of Richmond Dining Services Receives Two National Awards; Snags Top Honors for Residential Dining and Catering

May 15, 2023

Pictured above: Interior of Heilman Dining Center; Pictured below: Ribbon-cutting event with the renovation was complete and catering team at an Inauguration event.

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The National Association of College & University Food Services has awarded the University of Richmond two Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards. UR Dining Services received a gold award in two categories — residential dining facility and catering, special event.    

These highly competitive awards celebrate exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning, and new dining concepts in college and university culinary arts. 

“It’s a true honor to be recognized for serving our campus community with awards that are considered the industry standard for excellence in college and university dining,” said Dining Services Executive Director Terry Baker.

Ribbon-cutting eventDining Services received a top honor for the Heilman Dining Center. Judges considered menu, presentation, marketing, creativity, atmosphere, nutritional quality, and variety.

The Heilman Dining Center is open for continuous service seven days a week. The facility was recently renovated to modernize the interior design and elevate the food stations and amenities to reflect current dining trends.

“Students have increasingly sophisticated palates and are interested in global, healthy options,” said Executive Chef Tyler Betzhold. “Our renovation helped us expand the international flavors, customizable dishes, and plant-based food on our menus.”

In addition to normal service, HDC hosted dozens of special events last year, including a Latinx Heritage Month dinner, live music performances, and a boba tea pop-up.

The dining team also took home a top award for catering the Presidential Inauguration, held in April 2022 to honor the University’s 11th president, Kevin F. Hallock. Judges considered menu and meal, theme development, and success of the event. 

Catering teamDuring this special event, the UR catering team served thousands of guests at the official ceremony, festive community events, and simultaneous receptions. Menus offered variety and considered dietary restrictions.

“Catering is known for its standard of excellence,” said Catering Director Joe Wolff. “From carving stations to complimentary boxed lunches to ice carving, all hands were on deck for the inauguration.”

“We acknowledge the tireless efforts and unwavering dedication of the exceptional individuals and teams who elevate the standard of campus dining across North America,” said NACUFS Chief Executive Officer Robert Nelson. “Their innovative approaches and unparalleled passion for culinary excellence demonstrate the unequivocal value of campus dining, along with the community, health, and well-being it fosters among college students.”

Dining Services was also honored with a NACUFS  gold award last year in the category of Retail Sales — Single Concept for Organic Krush.