University of Missouri

Missouri Students Association

The undergraduate student government at the University of Missouri

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Trayless Dining

Campus Dining Services' trayless dining has been in effect less than a month and has encountered a financial roadblock. In order to be completely trayless, both Plaza 900 and Mark Twain would need new belts — an expected $50,000 cost per unit.

Based upon student feedback, it was suggested that our dining facilities become more sustainable. As a result, Mark Twain Market, Rollins, Paviolion at Dobbs, and Plaza 900 now feature trayless dining.

Student Driven

Over the past couple of years, students requested that Campus Dining Services go trayless in the residential dining facilities.  With support and encouragement from members of the Missouri Student Association (MSA) and the Residence Hall Association (RHA), all four all-you-care-to-eat dining facilities are  trayless  (with trays provided for  those with disabilities and/or who need a tray) in Fall 2011.

Conserve Energy and Natural Resources

Nearly 20% of all warewashing is dedicated to the cleaning, sanitizing and drying of trays.  According to Hobart® dish machine representatives, Mizzou would save nearly 100,000 gallons of fresh, potable water each year in a trayless environment.

Reduce Chemical Use

Campus Dining Services could reduce usage of detergents, sanitizers and wetting agents by 10-15% with the elimination of trays.

Reduce Food Waste

A recent Mizzou study showed that trayless dining resulted in a reduction of food waste by nearly 26%.  At MU this translates into almost 65 TONS of food and beverages diverted from landfills and sewers.

Make Healthy Choices and Prevent Weight Gain

Guests who dine trayless are likely to eat less due to their increased awareness of food and portion sizes.

Increase Satisfaction

Colleges and universities with trayless dining found that customer satisfaction is higher with meals served without trays than with trays.  In this restaurant-like environment, customers eat their food without delay, thereby increasing the taste, quality and satisfaction of menu choices.

Pilot Program and Positive Feedback

During Summer Welcome 2011, Mizzou ran a pilot program at Rollins Dining with incoming freshmen and their families.  What was the result?  First-year students voiced overwhelming support and encouragement for trayless dining.

Industry Standard

Over 600 colleges and universities have gone trayless.  This includes a majority of  colleges/universities in the Big 12 Conference and many other private and public institutions.

Walk the Talk

We live our values when we demonstrate an on-going commitment to make a positive environmental impact.  It is the right thing to do!