Sustainability | People and the Community

M Dining is focused wellbeing of our customers and employees, the communities that we serve, and the people throughout our supply chain. We want people to build careers and strengthen livelihoods, have access to healthy food, and be able to grow their businesses to benefit the local economy.

Engaging Employees

Our employees drive our business of providing great experiences for the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities community. Employees bring their best to work and are proud of the work they do when they are treated fairly, honestly, and respectfully.

  • M Dining prioritizes having a diverse workforce that is an accurate reflection of the community. We hire, develop, and retain a skilled food service team from the Twin Cities area, and provide several opportunities for students who are looking for work experience.
  • Several student employees have built careers with M Dining, and continue to manage locations in the same place where they finished their education.
Empowering Customers

We are excited to help customers make choices that are good for their health and for the environment. As part of the U of M community, M Dining Chefs, Dietitians, and Managers are always available to meet with students and give them the tools to make the best choices when dining on campus.

  • Our “Plant Forward” menu initiative features vegetarian dishes and entrees where plant-based proteins are at the center of the plate, with the option to add animal proteins as desired.
  • Through our “Healthy For Life” collaboration with the American Heart Association, we have seen a 19% increase in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in our menus, along with a 12% reduction in red meat.
  • M Dining recognizes the environmental impact that animal proteins have on the environment, and we are continuing to expand exciting vegan and vegetarian options, such as made to order stir-fry, mac and cheese, black bean burgers and more.
Source Ethically and Inclusively

It is important to our guests that they see products and menu items on campus that feel culturally relevant, and that represent the greater Twin Cities area. This is why we are always striving to grow our network of small, local, and diverse suppliers.

  • M Dining works with a number of minority and women owned businesses to source office supplies, promotional materials, compostable service ware, cooking oil, food and beverages, and more.
  • We spend an average of over one million dollars per year with certified women and minority owned businesses, and are always searching for opportunities to increase our supply of locally grown and produced items in our locations.
  • M Dining earned the Corporate Star Award from the University’s Office for Business and Community Economic Development in 2016 for vastly expanding our work with diverse suppliers on campus, and for our efforts to bring new vendors in to our supply chain.
Building the Local Community

We are lucky to have talented and passionate employees who are willing to lend their time and skills to make a positive impact in their communities. Our chefs, dietitians, and other employees work with community organizations to lead educational efforts around cooking, healthy food choices, job skill training, and more.

  • The M Dining team participates in the annual “Aramark Building Community” Day by partnering with local non-profit organizations to revitalize community centers, provide cooking and nutritional information, and support the community in any way that is needed. We have previously worked with Pillsbury United, the Camden Neighborhood Center, and the Waite House.
  • We have partnered with UMN Swipe out Hunger since 2017 to allow students on a meal plan to donate a portion of their guest meals to students who are facing food insecurity. Since the start of this partnership, students have donated over 4,440 guest meals to other students in need.
ABC Day 2019

Aramark managers from the Twin Cities participated in Aramark Building Community (ABC) Day 2019 to revitalize several spaces at Pillsbury United Communities - Oak Park.

Volunteers enhanced several classrooms and other indoor spaces, revitalized the outdoor gardens,  created inspirational murals and more. Aramark chefs and dietitians hosted a food discovery experience for community families.