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Central Washington University

Dining Services Keeps Things Fresh During Transition to Takeout-Only

Friday, April 24, 2020

There may not be as many people living on campus this spring, but those who are still have to eat. CWU Dining Services is doing everything it can to ensure they’re eating well.

For starters, Dining Services recently introduced its new Fresh Bar concept in the SURC, serving up a variety of healthy food options for students and staff who continue to visit the dining halls every day.

Selections include a poke bar, wellness bowls, Buddha bowls, fresh-squeezed juices, and kombucha. (Poke bowls feature seasoned raw fish that is combined with fresh produce and sauces. Buddha bowls include rice or whole grains, roasted vegetables, protein, and sauces. Kombucha is a fermented, effervescent, sweetened black or green tea beverage.)

Naturally, Fresh Bar has been a hit with health-conscious consumers on campus.

“Fresh Bar offers a mix of some of our most popular products, and our guests have really enjoyed it so far,” said Dean Masuccio, director of Dining Services. “We’re also trying to introduce some daily features to keep our guests excited.”

For example, Campus Executive Chef Joe Ritchie and his team have been preparing a number of pop-up menu items, taking advantage of the produce being harvested from the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm. They’re also offering comfort food staples like all-day breakfast, hamburgers, french fries, and chicken tenders.

Because there currently are no dine-in options, demand for grab-and-go salads, wraps, and sandwiches also has remained steady. The Dining Services experience may be slightly different this spring, but there’s enough familiarity that the regulars still feel right at home.

“The students have adapted very well, and they have been enjoying the interactions with our staff when they come in,” Masuccio said. “As brief as that experience is, we’re trying to make the best of it.”

Masuccio added that his staff has adjusted nicely to the temporary transition to takeout-only services. Everyone has done their part to meet the university’s enhanced safety protocols, such as social distancing and frequent disinfecting. The entire team has banded together to help Dining Services provide quality food essentials to those who remain on campus this spring.

“We’re using this time to prepare us for reopening when things get back to normal,” he said. “We expect to be stronger, more organized, and more efficient so we can serve the campus community even better than before.”

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,

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