Chartwells Higher Education Launches 100% Plant-Based Dining Hall Option in Colleges Nationwide

First-ever meatless residential dining hall puts sustainable, plant-based options at the center of the plate.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Chartwells Higher Education, a recognized leader in contract foodservice management, launches 100% Plant-Forward dining to help universities explore new, plant-based meal options and their health benefits at universities nationwide. As Gen Z food preferences continue leaning toward a more meat-free future, Chartwells’ new Plant-Forward locations are the first of its kind allowing for institutions to tailor their dining options to create more inclusive menu options for students, including those with specific dietary restrictions or preferences.

Chartwells’ Plant-Forward dining enables campuses to create everything from temporary pop-up events to fully dedicated plant-based dining halls and incorporates global flavors and ethnic spices to craft cutting-edge, meatless food items. Meals can be made-to-order and include popular dishes such as Braised Lentil Quinoa Burgers, Pomegranate Cauliflower Chickpea Salads, and Thai Spiced Marinated Tofu, among other menu items.

“Students today are exploring more vegan and vegetarian options as a solution for healthy diets but aren’t always sure where to start, says Laura Lapp, Vice President of Sustainability and Culinary Innovation at Chartwells Higher Education. “With plant-forward dining, institutions now have access to a versatile program geared toward educating and providing students with the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet.”

Chartwells’ Plant-Forward dining has already seen success in recent months through pilot launches at select schools nationwide, including Colgate University, St. John Fisher College and Northeastern University. At Colgate University, Chartwells helped the local culinary team plan and execute a one-day, plant-based dining hall takeover on campus. The event featured various Plant-Forward dining concepts, including a Vegetable Butcher Shop and Vegan Rotisserie, and food items such as Vegan Cauliflower Ribs with Texas-style BBQ Sauce and Smoked Carved Roasted Butternut Squash with Chile  Lime.

Along with creating more inclusive menu options campuses nationwide, the Plant-Forward program has helped student-athletes through its protein-focused training table menu. Geared toward helping student-athletes perform better on the field, popular offerings include food items such as Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower, Tikki Chaat, and Mashed Sunchokes with Vegan Gravy.