Dining Services announces new daily soups and specials feature

Valene Mezmin Apr 16, 2017

Dining Services has recently announced two new search features on the Dining Services website which will allow students and community members to more easily search for soups and daily specials offered at dining locations throughout Carnegie Mellon.

The new Today's Soups feature allows users to see what soups are offered at locations such as Au Bon Pain and the Underground. Choices may range from chicken noodle soup to corn chowder or broccoli and cheddar. Similarly, the new Today's Specials feature allows users to see specials that are being served at locations such as Au Bon Pain, the Underground, and the Exchange. Choices may range from turkey swiss BLT to the “PACO” sandwich or a buffalo shrimp wrap.

This addition was first sought after Dining Services’ Advisory Council reported that they would love to have a more organized way of knowing specials and soups that are being offered across campus on any particular day.

Mandi Semple, the director of marketing for student affairs operations, stated that a Facebook post on To Dining with Love, which is run by Carnegie Mellon students, also stated that students would love to have a soup Twitter account where students could see what soups were being offered across campus. A lot of students responded favorably to this suggestion and stated that they would love to see something like this be offered. “I kept that in the back of my mind as we were building this new feature,” Semple said. While this new feature isn’t connected to Twitter, it is a place online where the community can be better informed about their dining options.

Why the specific focus on soups, you may ask? Semple has noticed that this is a soup heavy campus where people talk about soup a lot, especially students who are interested in vegan and vegetarian soup options. “That’s been something that we hear a lot from students who want to know what those options are.” She also adds that for cold Pittsburgh days, soup is one comfort food that a lot of community members tend to reach for.

“Our goal with our website and everything we do is to continue to find ways to enhance the dining experience for students and community members on campus when we hear requests such as this,” Semple said. Dining Services is aware that Carnegie Mellon’s dining program is unique since there isn’t one dining hall where all food options are right in one place. “Food options are spaced out all across campus,” Semple said. “If we can find a way to help students make better choices before they venture out, maybe they’ll find something new and different that they like.”
The new soup and daily specials features add to Dining Services’ goal of communicating more effectively with students while also creating a fresh new design that blends in with the new cmu.edu website.

Community members may have noticed that, in the previous system, times for dining locations were listed but required new updates depending on special circumstances such as holidays. As a solution, Semple says that dining services updated the website so that it now has “one data entry portal where we could put in special hours.” Hours are put in one place so that the site has a live update of places that are open or closed, not just listed times. Adding the new soup and daily specials features is just another way Dining Services is striving to make the dining experience at Carnegie Mellon easy and enjoyable.

“Dining is always striving to enhance the dining experience on campus for students, faculty, and staff. We hope these two new features will be ones that can serve you on a daily basis,” Dining Services stated in a press release.