Looking for previous articles? View the News Archive.

Latest News

Campus Dining Challenges? Here’s How Schools Solved Them With Food Lockers

March 22, 2024

At Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., a library cafe called The Grind @ FML is a busy hangout spot for students to socialize and grab a quick bite as they study or head to class. Many of these students order ahead using their Grubhub Campus app, and over the years, the number of mobile orders has dramatically increased. That meant simply placing mobile orders on the counter for pickup was no longer effective or practical. The pickup process was inefficient and confusing, and orders were frequently picked up by the wrong person. As the 2023 fall semester began, Lehigh’s foodservice management team introduced an Apex pickup locker solution for managing all those mobile orders. Students can count on quick order pickup, there’s less crowding at the counter and lost orders have been virtually eliminated. In just one semester, the food locker at The Grind handled more than 13,000 mobile orders. In their next phase of adoption, the Lehigh team plans to use a larger bank of food lockers in an upcoming food hall scheduled to open in Spring of 2025.

New 'Convenience Corridor' at Lehigh University is powered by robots and vending

August 16, 2023

Lehigh University Dining turned to robots and vending to create its new Convenience Corridor at the Siegel Gallery in Iacocca Hall. It’s filled with fresh food concepts offering everything from ramen bowls to coffee and salads, using tech to optimize accessibility.

42 college & university supervisors who made a difference in the past year

June 30, 2023

Chip has been a member of our team at Lehigh University for eight years in a supervisor role and has had to adapted to many on-campus changes. And, each time, he's done it with a smile on his face. Chip is a ‘go-to guy.’ No matter what the task is, no matter how big or how small, Chip gets it done with a smile on his face.

Grubhub usage booms at Lehigh University

April 19, 2023

Lehigh University Dining has seen significant gains in customer usage and decreased lines at retail locations since doubling down on its usage of the Grubhub program following the closure of the Clayton University Center last December for a major renovation. The center was the site of an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall and the main retail hub for Lehigh Dining, accounting for some 21,000 meals a week. The center will reopen in 2025 with a fully transformational dining program, but in the meantime, Lehigh will rely on its other dining locations, which are now seeing more traffic. “Rather than build any temporary dining locations, we renovated an existing retail location, Hawk’s Nest, to become more of a retail food court with four concepts [ChickNBap, Mein Bowl, Tres Habaneros and Good Batter], a grab-and-go and self-ordering and checkout kiosks,” explains Marketing Manager Evan Rehrig. “While there have been some bumps in the road and learning curves, our true success lies in the explosive growth we're seeing with Grubhub and on-campus orders.”

Student nutrition ambassadors promote healthy eating

April 15, 2023

College is the first time many students live alone and are fully responsible for their health. With this new freedom comes the need to nourish oneself frequently and substantially. According to a Northwestern Medicine study, 95% of college students fail to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, and 60% do not get enough physical activity. Bella Clark, ‘26, said the transition from eating at home to eating in dining halls was difficult when she first arrived at Lehigh. “At home, my mom always cooked really nutritious food for me, so I’ve never had to make an effort to seek out healthy food,” Clark said. “It took me a while to figure out how to find healthy options here.” Keri Lasky, Lehigh’s on-campus registered dietician, said she recognizes the struggle to find healthy, affordable options on campus and aims to assist students in developing good eating habits. To do this, when Lasky arrived at Lehigh in March 2022, she formed a team of four undergraduate student nutrition ambassadors to promote healthy eating. Lasky said she created the role because she saw value in having students further nutritional guidance on campus. “Peer-to-peer education and outreach always seems to be a little bit more comfortable for the student population as opposed to adults telling them things,” Lasky said.

What allergy-safe dining means now

April 12, 2023

As food allergies rise, dietitians and chefs are developing and evolving better and better systems, recipes and concepts to keep every guest safe, well and living their best life. Right now, approximately 32 million people in the U.S. have food allergies, so you can safely bet that you’ll serve someone who could have a bad reaction (or worse) to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish. And, since most food allergy reactions happen outside the home, foodservice operators bear a big responsibility, especially in onsite operations, where oftentimes students, employees or residents rely on a safe dining spot, day in day out. Sodexo’s solution for allergy safe dining, a program called Simple Servings, began years ago and has evolved as food allergy awareness (and actual cases of food allergies) has been on the rise. The program itself is a good case study into how food allergies are accommodated in foodservice operations, and how it’s evolving.

Top 50 Green Colleges

April 05, 2023

The schools that made the Princeton Review's Top 50 Green Colleges list share superb sustainability practices, a strong foundation in sustainability education, and a healthy quality of life for students on campus. We chose our Top 50 Green Colleges for 2023 based on a combination of school-reported data and student opinion, via our institutional and student surveys. Lehigh University is listed #24 nationally.

8 college menu favorites with a cult following

March 20, 2023

Chick-N-Bap is a Korean street food concept created by a graduate of one of New York's state universities at his alma mater. It is now expanding to other campuses, and has quickly gained a cult following at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Founder Sung Kim infuses the curated and customizable bowls and wraps with flavors and combinations remembered from his Korean childhood, adding a New York City street-cart vibe. The marinades, toppings and sauces are made fresh and in-house several times a week at Hawk's Nest in Lehigh's Lamberton Hall. Students sometimes come in a couple of times a day to grab a bowl or wrap, reports Kim.

Introduction of fresh food vending, Yo-Kai Express at Lehigh University

March 14, 2023

Students at Iacocca Hall at Lehigh University's Mountaintop campus can select freshly prepared sandwiches, salads and sushi along with beverages and snacks thanks to newly installed options from Sodexo, according to a press release. The lineup includes InReach vending units, a Starbucks Serenade machine and a Yo-Kai Express hot ramen noodle bowl machine, the first-of-its-kind on the East Coast. The Serenade single-cup, bean-to-cup brewer features a 17-inch touchscreen. Yo-Kai Express serves contactless, freshly prepared meals. The cooking technology creates hot ramen noodles on-demand, featuring Tonkotsu Ramen, Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen, Vegan Ramen and Spicy Chicken Paitan Ramen.

Foodie Fridays at Lehigh University

March 06, 2023

Foodie Fridays are a collaboration between Lehigh Nutrition Services and Taylor Gym. On the last Friday of select months, we conduct a tabling event featuring a nutritious product from one of our retail food service locations across campus that may help those at the gym fuel their bodies.

Eat, Eagles, Eat!

February 10, 2023

Lehigh executive chef Mike Gronczewski won’t be at work on Monday, February 13 — the day after Super Bowl LVII. The Philly native anticipates an Eagles Super Bowl victory. And we all saw what happened on Broad Street last time ... “You might see me out in that crowd screaming and hollering if they win,” Gronczewski laughed. “Not climbing any light poles, though.”Mike Gronczewski and his fiance Colleen Siddall at a Philadelphia Eagles game Gronczewski is a Philly sports fanatic and will spend Super Bowl weekend in his hometown with his family of diehard Eagles fans. Growing up in Northeast Philly, Gronczewski’s fandom is expected, but he also shares professional and personal ties to the local teams. Before Lehigh: Gronczewski spent five years at the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park — the homes of the Philadelphia Flyers, Sixers, and Phillies. With the Flyers and Sixers, he was a personal chef for players and team ownership. Working for the teams offered Gronczewski face time with childhood sports heroes like Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, and Ron Hextall. For a Philly guy who started his culinary career as a teenage dishwasher for a small caterer, working for these teams was a dream come true. In fact, working for these teams led him to the woman of his dreams too. Gronczewski and his fiancée, Colleen Siddall, who is also a chef, met while working in the Wells Fargo Center years ago. The couple shares a love for the Eagles, but Gronczewski assured us a midnight green-themed wedding is not in their future.

Meet the 2021 Food Management Best Sandwiches winners

November 17, 2021

Ingredients: Chicken thigh fried in secret coating, shredded pickled daikon, Bap sauce Why it’s special: 24 different variations of the breading process have resulted in a technique that produces the crackliest fried chicken. Combine that crazy crunch with Korean flavors, and it’s brace yourself, tastebuds!

Lehigh opens library café, doubles venue sales

November 01, 2019

Unit hits the cultural sweet spot in terms of providing a dining option in a classic collaborative space, which is what trend data shows is popular with college students.

Smoothies of the future

May 08, 2019

Adding eye appeal plus fiber and more nutrients are great reasons to dress up your smoothie or smoothie bowl with gorgeous garnishes. At Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., Spirit Bowls is an in-house concept featuring seven different smoothie and chia pudding bowls that are customizable.

Lehigh University drives diversity with Halal food truck

April 26, 2019

On April 1, Lehigh University Dining by Sodexo unveiled the latest addition to its mobile culinary fleet. After months of anticipation, "Simply Skewered" made its debut featuring the authentic flavors of Brazil, a churrasco inspired menu of Halal-certified grilled meats, vegetables, and side dishes.

Lamar Johnson: 18 years at Lehigh Dining and still smiling

April 18, 2019

It’s the middle of exam week. Tired, overworked college students litter Fairchild-Martindale Library, working late into the night. If a student decides to walk down the stairs of the library into the cafe for a late-night snack or coffee, he or she will likely be greeted by a bald man with a winning smile behind the counter. That man is Lamar Johnson.

Police, dining join for dining competition

April 17, 2019

Crime show-themed culinary challenge had university police teamed with dining staff members to create dishes based on famous TV crime shows.

Food for thought: Dining employees feel part of the Lehigh community

November 08, 2018

Eating at Lehigh dining halls is part of many on-campus students’ daily routines. Though it might not be noticeable as students grab their food, Rathbone employees find that a community is created between students and staff during meals.

Lehigh University Goes Plastic Straw Free

September 06, 2018

Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has announced that they will phase out the use of plastic straws across their campus

Lehigh University to switch from plastic to paper straws

September 06, 2018

Lehigh University students and faculty will be sipping through paper straws, putting the school among a host of businesses, cities and countries taking steps to eliminate plastic straw use and the litter that can follow.

Lehigh's new Diner concept is a huge hit among students

January 30, 2018

Take a tour of the Rathbone diner, with its retro design, menu of diner classics (hello, perfectly smashed burgers), modern comfort food and fresh ingredients.

Lehigh Renovates Rathbone Hall for Fall 2017

January 02, 2018

Renovated in the Summer of 2017

Lehigh University pledges shift to 20 percent "real food" by 2020

December 12, 2017

Lehigh University’s Rathbone dining hall provides nearly 5,500 meals a day on average, not including some 300 employee meals. Right now, about 10 percent of those meals consist of “real” food — local, fair-trade, humane or organic. But by 2020, the college wants to double that.

Lehigh's Smoked Mac & Cheese was featured on food-management.com

December 05, 2017

The signature mac (and most popular dish) at Common Grounds, a soup-and-sandwich coffee venue at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., features hickory-smoked cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, which are smoked daily in the on-campus smoker, which gives the cheese a distinctly deep and complex flavor.