CampusDish app provides nutrition guide to dining hall cuisine

ARAMARK launched CampusDish, a new mobile application that provides dining information to college students last month. Available for free download in the iPhone, iPad and Android app stores, CampusDish provides dining hall menus with nutrition facts, including calories, total fat and vitamin counts to its users.

This semester, NYU teamed up with ARAMARK to offer the app to the university’s community. Vassar College, Baylor University and the University of Central Florida also provide CampusDish.

The NYU section on the app contains dining menus for Hayden, Third North, Rubin and Weinstein dining halls. CampusDish allows students to search for different locations and types of food on campus. Students can also advance their searches by inputting specific criteria to find which dining hall and which meal would best match their preferences.

“[The app] gives students access to pertinent information quickly on their smartphones,” said George Hellen, senior district manager for NYU Dining.  “It will help students make better choices when it comes to eating, and the ability to eat healthy is important to the university.”

Hellen said NYU students have been asking the university to provide a service like CampusDish.

“The research we’ve done pointed out that students would like to get this information on their phones without having to look to a book or the computer,” he said.

Lisa Young, a nutritionist and adjunct professor in the department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at NYU, said students who have access to nutritional information concerning their food choices are more likely to make informed and healthy decisions.

“One of the drawbacks of eating out is that we don’t have a clue what is in the foods prepared by others,” Young said. “This app can take the guesswork out of eating at the dining hall.”

Before the university began offering CampusDish, students had to check dining hall menus online through the NYU Dining Services website or use the dining kiosks located in each residence hall.

“[CampusDish] makes the entire process easier so that I don’t have to ask the cooks what they’re making for the day every time I go into a dining hall,” Steinhardt freshman Devonae Robinson said.

The app also features a feedback tool that makes it easy for students to write comments and suggestions and report any problems they encounter while using the app.

“Customer suggestions are reviewed and will be used to make improvements where needed,” said Carmen Mayes, the marketing manager for ARAMARK at NYU.

Although the newly unveiled app is currently only available for a limited number of schools, ARAMARK hopes to expand app usage to all campuses using ARAMARK dining services.

“ARAMARK Higher Education accounts that are linked to CampusDish are able to have their dining and nutritional information available on the app,” Mayes said. “The app is newly launched, but over time all ARAMARK Higher Education accounts will be available.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 13 print edition. Hye Joon Lee is a contributing writer. Tatiana Baez is deputy university editor. Email them at [email protected]