Dining Services for
Colleges & Universities

Top-notch dining experiences are a cornerstone to the campus community, delight your students and staff, and give parents peace-of-mind.

Contact UsDownload Our College Dining Guide

Drive Increased Meal Plan Participation

Are your campus dining locations must-stops for visitors on all tours? Is your dining hall bursting with students and staff members on any given day? We’re passionate about creating can’t-miss dining experiences that bring students together while nourishing them for studies, athletics and internships.

Food is a core element to university social life—it’s an opportunity to bring students of different backgrounds together for the experience of a shared meal, to deepen friendships, to foster campus belonging and pride, and even to provide a home-like atmosphere with a favorite meal.

Quality dining programs not only help colleges and universities attract and retain talented students, but also provide a steady source of revenue with meal plan participation.

Learn how to increase your elective meal plan participation with strategies that meet the current-day needs of your students.

Personalized Dining Services

Enjoy fresh, sustainable and customized dining services tailored to your brand and needs.

Serve Diverse Groups with
Diverse Needs

Host a dining environment that offers something for everyone—regardless of dietary preferences, cultural backgrounds, or level of dining sophistication. Creative Dining’s robust menuing represents a diversity of cultures with meals made from fresh ingredients. Meet special dietary needs and values (halal, vegan, allergies) while providing delicious meals for all.

A Restaurant-Like Experience

Students, staff and their families can relax in an authentic atmosphere just as they would in a neighborhood restaurant or local café. Think: more café, less teria. We provide expertise in the areas of servery design, food station branding, and on-trend menuing. We also make available safely packaged grab-and-go meals and accessibility to campus micro markets for meals, snacks and beverages day or night.


We bring a complete suite of technologies to our dining solutions that cover everything from mobile ordering and point-of-sale to accounting and people management.

Learn more about how we use technology to build custom dining services for our customers.

Responsible Operations

At Creative Dining, we pursue a balanced triple-bottom-line approach to sustainability, which means we thoughtfully consider social, environmental and economic factors in our food and beverage sourcing decisions.

As a long-term industry member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Creative knows the importance of responsible, sustainable practices to students and campus administration.


Sustainability, Wellness & Nutrition

The health and wellness of your students is an important priority. We craft nutritionally-balanced, plant-centric menus that include whole grains and reasonable portions of animal proteins. It’s a more sustainable way to eat.

Our corporate registered dietetic team provides expertise around nutritional counseling, food allergy management, sports nutrition and special dietary needs. Throughout the year, our culinarians and dietitians collaborate on menu development and offerings. We educate your students on healthy eating habits with promotions that educate and inspire.

Local Sourcing

Central to our culinary approach is the seasonal, local sourcing of produce and animal proteins. Through our innovative direct-to-farm purchasing program FARMSTEAD™, our list of partnerships of 60+ privately owned family farms, co-ops and non-profit food hubs is always growing. As we establish new geographic service areas, one of the first things we do is establish a local network to bring fresh and local foods to your table. We deliver fresh, seasonal produce, meat, cheeses and artisan-crafted foods to our locations. Creative Dining chefs support farmers markets, student and community gardens, and apiaries. With us, food safety comes first and our FARMSTEAD™ partners are thoroughly vetted for Good Agricultural Practices and food safety protocols.

Our FARMSTEAD™ programming is essential in supporting our schools who are members of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating Systems.

Want to learn more about local sourcing? Reach out to see what our partners can do for your school!

What They’re Saying

About Our Dining Services

Rebekah Starkenburg
VP of Student Formation & Dean of Students, Hope College

“When you’re looking for a dining provider, you’re always balancing bottom line cost with the quality of the food and the experience for students.

There are a huge number of really popular restaurants walking distance from campus, and yet our faculty and staff often choose to eat here in our dining hall with students because it is such a vibrant place of community and the food’s great.

I just feel like, with [Creative Dining], what you see is what you get. There aren’t hidden costs. There aren’t things that are surprising us from month to month. It lays a foundation of trust between two organizations that’s in the best interest of students.”

Dr. Brad Voyles
President, Covenant College

“When I think about [our relationship with Creative Dining], it’s truly been a partnership.

We’re in this together, working together to provide the best first-class food service for our students. Community is the word that is used most often when students talk about what they love the most. And the Great Hall, where CDS provides the food, is the place where students gather together with their friends, with their halls, with their faculty members and staff members for discipleship. The food is a central part of that.

I recommend CDS to other institutions because I truly view them as a partner, not as a contract. They are collaborative. They listen well. They’re eager to serve the students. They want the students to have a good experience. And as a president, that’s what I want as well.”

Dub Oliver
President, Union University

“I would sum up our experience with Creative Dining this way: The food is excellent. The staff is outstanding. The company is great to work with.

Our contract was in its final year, so we established a committee of students, staff, faculty, and parents to examine our options and make a recommendation to the administration on the best way to move forward.

From our earliest interaction with Creative Dining, they understood us – our goals, our campus culture, our mission as an institution. They won the competitive bid process because we were confident that they would indeed be a partner with us in accomplishing our mission. And over the years, they have been excellent.

I was amazed how many of the staff members in food service would stop me and thank me for making the change. They talked about how different Creative Dining was and how they were being developed as people and professionals.”

Delight Students, Faculty & Their Families

Enhance the student experience and drive meal plan engagement with fresh, socially‑responsible, delicious and on-trend campus dining.