Our History

We founded Creative Dining Services with one goal in mind:

creating a new kind of hospitality company offering transparent, client-focused management services. Through our personalized programs and hands-on management style, we’ve spent the last three decades growing into the company we are today.



Founders Steve Hiligan and Steve Renz brainstorm a vision for a new way to manage hospitality on a yellow notepad. Creative Dining Services is born, providing two colleges and a senior living community with an innovative approach to dining.


Hospitality management that is flexible and transparent with strong oversight resonates with more corporations, colleges and senior living facilities. Our number of clients quintupled since our founding, serving 16 clients across 4 states.


We launch Creative University, our comprehensive corporate team members culinary and leadership training and professional development program with online and traditional hands-on classroom instruction.


The National Restaurant Association presents Creative University with the prestigious Winning Workforce Award for On-Site Dining Service Providers.


We launch GROW™, our corporate sustainability program, allowing clients to choose sustainability initiatives like food reduction, sustainable seafood, locally sourced food that best fit their organizational objectives.


We deploy our Allergen Awareness program at all our locations, providing indicators of the 8 big allergens in all dishes served: milk, soy, wheat, egg, tree nuts, peanut, fish, shellfish.

The first Creative Dining client from 1990 undergoes a multi-million dollar dining hall renovation with our team as lead consultants. A Dashi Noodle Bar, award-winning Globe station, and first 100% allergen friendly zone are features.


We add FARMSTEAD™, our farm-to-table supply chain protocol, to our GROW™ sustainability program. Today, Creative Dining partners with 56 farms in six states and still growing.


Creative Dining top chefs serve dinner to George W. Bush, 43rd President of the US at Union University scholarship dinner. What was the menu? A savory beef trio: Bison ribeye with port wine reduction, beef short rib with celery root and parsnip mash, and chilled Wagyu flank steak with greens and pickled vegetables. 

Creative Dining Services acquires Premiere Food Service, a boutique hospitality management firm specializing in corporate dining.


Creative Dining’s New Zealand Egg Pie featured in Flavor & The Menu Top Trends 2019 issue. Food Management Magazine named Creative Dining in the Top 8 Hospitality Companies on the Move.


The Creative Dining culinary team at Pfizer in Kalamazoo serves President Joe R. Biden Jr. and a group of his advisors. The menu includes a French Garden Tuna Salad with Dill, Capers, Persian Cucumbers and housemade Parmesan Croutons and a Chimichurri Turkey Club.


Creative Dining acquires Pedestal Foods, a food service provider of high-end private K12 schools. With this acquisition, Creative Dining adds national reach, infrastructure, and market expansion across the country. 

Present Day

With over 80 clients in 16 states, Creative Dining was named #30 in Food Management Magazine’s Top 50 hospitality management companies in 2023.