MISSOULA - Whether it's the handmade meatloaf, macaroni and cheese or the abundance of fresh produce, those surveyed after dining at the University of Montana report a greater satisfaction than most college students.
According to the Niche 2016 Best College Food ranking, UM Dining is No. 1 in Montana and 84th out of 1,713 colleges and universities. UM was also the only Montana school to receive a grade of "A" in the Niche Campus Food category.
The National Association of College and University Food Services surveyed campus dining guests this past November and found that guest satisfaction related to food service at UM has increased since 2013.
The survey, which polled 1,869 people at UM, showed that on average guest feels they're getting more value out of their meal plans and are more satisfied with the healthy choices and nutritional content of food than guests at other universities. Ninety-three percent of those surveyed gave UM Dining an overall satisfaction rating of 3 or higher on a 5-point scale.
The survey showed UM Dining satisfaction ratings are higher than the national average in the categories of overall food, variety of healthy choices available, nutritional content, overall service, overall cleanliness, environmentally friendly practices and social ethical practices related to food.
"These guest ratings reflect UM Dining's commitment to serving healthy, delicious and sustainable food," said Mark LoParco, UM Dining director. "There are no surprise casseroles or mystery meats here. The vast majority of dishes served in the Food Zoo, UM Dining's all-you-care-to-eat dining center, are handmade. More than a third of the food served in UM Dining's venues is grown right here in Montana and purchased through the UM Farm to College Program."
Find the full survey results online at: https://colleges.niche.com/rankings/best-college-food/.