Lakeside Dining Hall                                        

Photographer: Mary Frances Foster

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Elon Dining Services

ARAM Campus Box 

Elon, NC 27244 

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction 

II. Establishment 

III. Lakeside and Elon University  

IV. How it Works-Interview  

V. Menus/Dining Times 

VI.  Health Initiative 


Lakeside Dining Hall is a centrally located dining hall on the campus of Elon University.  It neighbors the Moseley Center, which is a main building of resources and admissions, leading to Lakeside being often visited and toured by prospective students. It is also near the Alumni Gym on campus and a short walk from many sports fields.  It consists of an indoor and outdoor seating area and it overlooks the main quad of Elon from the front and Lake Mary Nell towards the football stadium in the back.  Lakeside Dining Hall is connected to Moseley Center and can be accessed after passing the new Student Center/Lounge Area.  


Lakeside Dining Hall opened on February 6th, 2013 at lunchtime.  The highly anticipated dining hall began construction in Spring of 2012 and now provides a convenient location for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This state-of-the-art cafeteria was a two story addition and is almost 38,000 square feet.  The bottom level is the dining hall and the upper level was a new multi-purpose room for meetings and presentations.  On opening day, after a year and a half of construction, Lakeside brought in 1,200 diners for lunch and dinner combined.  Many students expressed to the Pendulum that they were excited to see some diversity when it comes to food choices.  Also, the openness of the dining hall is something that sets it apart from the other dining halls.  Leo Lambert was the sitting president when Lakeside was built and finished.  An important part of the creation of this dining hall was the international feel.  There are different countries featured in the food each month so sometimes someone from that country will fix the food that week.  This offers credibility and goes along with a common motif of global acceptance around the university. The modern feel was also a noticeable factor in the creation of Lakeside Dining Hall.  There are "floating lights" and clean cut features.  Also, the large windows create more of interactive feel with the campus.  

Lakeside and Elon University: 

Lakeside has become an important part of campus in that students with classes almost anywhere on campus with the exception of Arts West in Neverland, can get to Lakeside in a short walk.  Also, it allows for students to experience foods from all over the world instead of the regular repeated foods in other dining halls. There are three different stations of food that Lakeside offers, making it unique. The first station is the "local station" which displays basic North Carolinian foods.  There is also a farm-to-fork program involved in the local station which just refers to diners learning more about locally grown foods.  Next, the "home station" is simply homestyle cooking with some kind of meat and vegetables.  Last is the "international station" which consists of food representing a different country each week. Some countries that have been represented are Spain, Germany, and Japan.  The diverse choices is what makes Lakeside different from the other dining halls because there will always be something different each week found in the international station.  Another interactive aspect of Lakeside is that more food is made in front of the students than any other dining hall. For example, in the mornings there is an omelet station where someone makes omelets for the students per request.  Also, while standing in line for food there are stations in the back where everyone can see food being prepared and cooked for that meal or the next one.  This visibility holds Lakeside to a different sanitation standard.  Another international addition is the art featured throughout the dining hall.  The art goes along with the happy color scheme and is from the university's international collection along with some pieces done by Sherry McAdams, a local artist.  The international and local art contributes to the community of Elon University.  

How it Works- Interview 

Krystal Neal is the current Lakeside Dining Hall Manager and offered some insight into what it takes to run the largest dining hall on campus.  She says that there is no set schedule each day, but there are some common activities when she reports to work. Greeting her coworkers, checking to make sure the food lines are in order, and making sure the temperature for the food is accurate are just some regular jobs she takes part in each day.  This shows how Lakeside has many requirements and checklists to get ready for the day.  Next, Neal says she checks her employee's time and then has a meeting to ensure that everyone knows what is being served at each station that way the meals will go smoothly.  There are also various breaks throughout the day where various paperwork and other meetings can take place.  Krystal Neal was also there when Lakeside was opened in February.  She states that contractor meetings, hiring, and menu development were some of the main events that played a role in the opening. In continuation, when it comes to menu planning the system, Smart Menus, allows a menu to be picked for the entire semester and then that is done over again at the start of a new semester.  Neal states, "I believe that Lakeside in itself is very impressive." 


Menus/Dining Times 

Lakeside runs on a four week cycle menu in an attempt to satisfy as many people as possible.  There is also a vegetarian station available for students.   Breakfast is especially hearty at Lakeside with three different stations to choose from. There is a bakery section that offers caramel apple muffins, powdered donuts, chocolate chip muffins, bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits, blueberry scones, maple spice muffins, iced cinnamon rolls, etc.  The bakery doesn't offer all of their menu items each day. For example, on Tuesdays the Bakery Station offers lemon poppy seed muffins, cinnamon-sugar donuts, and bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits.  Then, for other breakfast foods there is an entree station and a home station.  They basically offer similar foods like bacon, oatmeal, eggs, stuff your own omelet station, sausage links, grits, etc.  Lunch and dinner are where the more varied menus come into play. A lunch menu for one day is loaded with options like baked potato.  For example, in the home station one day there was a chicken sandwich, green peas, french fries, fish and chips. and black bean stuffed peppers.  In the local station there was garbanzo bean soup, chicken soup, and greek pastitsio. In addition to all of that there is a salad bar.  Next is dinner, which also different stations with foods like orange chicken, rice, steamed vegetables, and a salad bar.  The international bar goes the extra miles and gives even more options. So for example, one week was a Mexican themed week with enchiladas, black bean soup, and more.  Below are the times one can go eat at Lakeside each day. 

Monday - Thursday
Breakfast 7:00am - 10:00am
Lunch 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner 4:00pm- 10:00pm

Breakfast 7:00am - 10:00am
Lunch 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner 4:00pm- 8:00pm

Brunch 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner 4:00pm- 8:00pm

Brunch 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner 4:00pm- 9:00pm

Health Initiative/Sustainability 

All of the dining halls, including Lakeside, have a focus on making sure that healthy foods are provided so students can be at their best all day! They have a quote that represents this initiative which reads, "Live a good life. Eat what you want, but choose it wisely. Your food should be made from good stuff, healthy and wholesome. Take care of yourself and our planet, so we can all be healthy for life."  This program is unique in that information of all kinds are available on ways to plan meals, allergy information, and things like sodium and calcium health.  This system is crucial for maintaining a healthy student body at Elon University. In addition to those features, there is also information provided on which foods to pick when it comes to wanting less sodium or fat in a diet.  Another activity Lakeside participates in is the concept of sustainability.  The Lakeside Dining Hall recycles, uses bulk dispensers, practices composting, and buys local foods.  This contributes an environmentally friendly campus that Elon is striving to be.  

Recent News:

Recently, on September 25th 2013, Lakeside Dining Hall received a 90 rating for sanitation which is below average for them.  Normally they have earned around a 97 rating for sanitation, so even though this rating isn't terrible, it was not up to the usual standard.  Jeff Gazda, the Regional District Manager of Aramark told Elon Local News after the news got out of the rating that "Elon Dining was striving for a higher level of sanitation."