Guest Blogger: Tony Hein

Missouri State Dining Services

Today we are fortunate enough to have Tony Hein, Director of Missouri State Dining Services to be our Guest Blogger.  Tony is here to talk about the services they provide to Missouri State students on a daily basis…

At Missouri State Dining Services, our goal is to provide students with fresh, innovative dining options through a combination of educational and interactive programs. These programs include cooking stations, themed meals, and free cooking classes; along with featured Chartwells programs such as Balanced U, which educates students on how to develop healthy eating habits for a lifetime.

We provide nutritional information for daily menus in the dining centers through our website, and the Chartwells’ iPhone and Android App, AppOnCampus. In addition to nutritional information, we also list all of our upcoming events, photos from previous events, hours of operation, and specials at our retail locations on these two outlets.

We take pride in our social media efforts, and are able to connect with students and faculty/staff through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Flickr. These social media channels allow us to have a whole new level of connectivity with students and other campus groups and departments; ultimately giving us endless connections and opportunities to reach new students every day. Through these sites, we are also better able to share events, photos, and in general connect with students who otherwise would not reach out to us.

We offer several residential dining programs to keep students entertained and learning throughout their college dining experience. We have hosted an array of themed nights, from seventies night to whoopie pie day to Harry Potter Night; this includes many holidays such as Mardi Gras and Halloween. We also have educational dining programs such as Balanced U, which teaches what foods a person eats can affect everything from skin and hair to mood and energy; and My Kitchen My Chef, which brings our chefs out in front to cook interactively with the students presents to show them the techniques and give them tips and tricks.

In Fall 2012, we starting Cooking 101, a series of free cooking classes available to anyone on campus; Chef Vito has taught a wide range of classes that include chocolate truffles, guacamole, and sushi. We invite anyone who loves to learn new cooking skills to these free monthly classes, which are posted on our website, social media sites, and in the dining centers a couple of weeks before the class is scheduled. We are always looking for new ideas on what to teach too, and we would love to hear if you have any suggestions for us; visit our website and click the “Feedback” tab!

Our retail operations consist of ten locations, most of which are located in Plaster Student Union. This past semester, we opened Red Mango Yogurt and Smoothies, and Panda Express; both were the first of their brands to be located in Springfield. We also have Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Papa John’s, Subway, GrillNation Burgers. Across campus we offer two Outtakes locations, one in Meyer Library, and the other in Strong Hall; these are great grab-and-go options for those between classes, or studying in the library. In addition, we have The Union Club, which is a sit down style restaurant located on the 4th floor of the Plaster Student Union, and is operated by our catering department.

Our catering department is the most mobile of our departments, and does everything from graduation parties to weddings, and retirement parties to baby showers. If you’re in need of a catering team, we have the experts. For more information, and all of your catering needs, contact Jeffery VanCamp at 417-836-4629 or

We are always looking for ways to connect with the Springfield community, and support the university. This semester we hosted An Evening of Miracles, and gala for the Children’s Miracle Network at Cox Hospitals. In total, we raised over $6,300, all which stays here in our Ozarks community. Our management team has also donated their time to volunteer at The Missouri Hotel and help the children decorate cookies and visit with Santa. Here at the University, we have donated $50,000 towards scholarships, and are always looking for students groups to be involved with.

Our goal here a Missouri State Dining Services is to provide students with fresh, innovative dining options through a combination of educational and interactive programs. We are always looking for ways to improve our programs, and would love to hear suggestions on what you would like to see happen in the upcoming semesters!

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