Mission Statement

Oberlin College in partnership with Bon Appétit Management Company strives to provide excellent food prepared in the healthiest and most socially responsible manner possible.

Upon delivery, we inspect our food with safety and quality in mind. Foods are made from scratch from top quality natural ingredients (without added antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones) with the healthiest cooking method.

Products that are produced locally, using sustainable and organic practices are preferred. 30% of annual food purchases are local.

Interesting and flavorful vegetarian and vegan options are provided in all dining halls; 50% of the food offered in the dining halls is vegetarian and/or vegan.

Carry Out packaging that is environmentally sensitive is utilized whenever possible. 45% of annual packaging is degradable.

Efforts are made to reduce food waste through portion control, biannual food waste audits to raise awareness and the tray less program. Last year, student auditors found that 72,000 pounds of food was wasted in Stevenson alone. Most plate waste was an untouched portion such as a whole bowl of soup, sandwich or dessert. While we are not able to compost plate waste yet, last year we were able to compost 27,500 pounds of kitchen scraps and 300 pounds of coffee grounds as well as donate 116 gallons of food-grade used cooking oil per week to area farms.

Dining Guiding Principles

With the well being of our guest, community and environment in mind, Oberlin College’s dining program in partnership with Ban Appétit Management Company seeks to provide excellent food prepared in the safest, healthiest and most socially responsible manner possible.

  1. Establish and maintain high food safety standards
    Upon delivery and throughout the service process, we inspect our food regularly with safety and quality in mind. Our food staff receives food handling ServSafe certification training reinforced by weekly 10 minute safety reminders and complete production logs.

  2. Provide the healthy, high quality food
    We create well-balanced, nutritious and excellent tasting food made from scratch from top quality natural ingredients and prepared with the healthiest cooking method. Our fruits and vegetables are always Grade A with a preference towards local and organic. Our meats are fresh, not frozen, USDA Choice Grade and must have been raised on vegetarian feed without added antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones.

  3. Provide nutritional information and educational programs that encourage healthy nutritional choices
    Our menu identifiers list all major ingredients referring specifically to the 8 most common allergens, nutritional analysis, meat/vegetarian/vegan designations and carbon footprint analysis. We provide in-house food allergy training with a Registered Dietitian.

  4. Purchase, prepare and dispose all food and products in the most sustainable, socially and fiscally responsible manner possible

    • Local - Products that are produced locally, using sustainable and organic practices are preferred. (30% of annual food purchases are local). Since 2001, only Fair Trade coffee is served on campus. We cook with cage-free eggs, vegetarian-fed chicken, grass fed beef, and local, organic tomato products.
    • Packaging - We encourage china use when dining-in. Reusable containers, mugs and bottles are recommended for carry out. (Reusable mug program since 1998; reusable carry-out container program since 2007 and our reusable bottle and grocery bag program began in 2008.) Biodegradable packaging that is environmentally sensitive is utilized wherever possible for to-go use. (45% of annual packaging is degradable).
    • Food Waste - Efforts are made to reduce food waste through portion control, biannual food waste audits to raise awareness and the new tray less program. (In 2007 student auditors found that 72,000 pounds of food was wasted in Stevenson.
    • Compost – In 2007 we were able to compost 21,500 pounds of kitchen scraps and donate 91 gallons of food-grade cooking oil per week to area farms.
  5. Educate dining participants about food to help open their minds to new cultures, healthful practices and an appreciation of the global impact made by their individual choices
    Offer a diverse culinary program with an emphasis on creative vegetarian, vegan, regional and international cuisines Interesting and flavorful Vegetarian and Vegan options are provided in all dining halls (50% of the food offered in the dining halls are vegetarian and/or vegan). Weekly and Monthly specials are offered to provide a wide variety.

  6. Be an integral partner with other Student Life departments in promoting a residential college concept that fosters the interaction of students, faculty and staff

  7. Provide wide range of dining venues and hours of service in order to meet the varied needs of the community

  8. Actively listen to diners’ input to improve the dining experience for the community
    We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and commitment to soliciting and responding to the feedback of students, faculty and staff