University of South Carolina

Carolina Dining brings healthy options to campus

By Marcie Nelson,

August is approaching and the population of Columbia will once again soar to accommodate USC’s thousands of students and faculty and staff members. For Carolina Dining, that’s a lot of mouths to feed. 

Every year the dining experience at Carolina shapes how new and returning students, faculty and staff members satisfy their palates and get the nutrition they need to make the most of their USC years. 

This year, big changes are coming.

Based on input from the Carolina community via surveys, Chick-Fil-A breakfast options will make their way to Gamecock Park on the Russell House University Union’s second floor. Burger King has been removed in favor of Sodexo’s own burger station, Fresh Burger.

The lower level of Russell House will welcome a new fresh cantina-style, Mexican concept, Wholly Habaneros, where patrons can build their own delicious and energy-packed burritos and other Mexican fare.

These new developments and more will open when the students arrive the week of Aug. 17. 

Fred Wencel, resident district manager for Sodexo and Carolina Dining, said he looks forward to showing, not telling, the USC community the investments being made in both taste and health.

“Carolina Dining is working very closely with Healthy Carolina to promote fresh produce options and balanced meals,” said Wencel. “We’re partnering with the dieticians over at the Thompson Student Health Center to make it easy for Gamecocks to eat healthy.”

Those initiatives take form in the all-new Market 101, a fresh produce convenience store, salad bar and grill on the lower level of the McBryde residence hall. There will be a covered outdoor seating area and a convenient Grab-N-Go section for Gamecocks on the move.

Healthy Carolina logoThe collaboration with Healthy Carolina also resulted in a new, easily identifiable logo that will be associated with meals that are balanced and less than 600 calories. The logo, which will appear on the description of the meal, will make healthy choices stand out in a clear, concise way.

All Sodexo recipes and meals served in Carolina Dining facilities will now be available through the app MyFitnessPal (a free, mobile app to help manage calorie intake) as well as posting nutritional information directly on the Carolina Dining/Sodexo website.

“One of the unique things about Carolina Dining is that we have genuine, invested employees actively taking an interest in the lives of students, faculty and staff,” he said. “Our people will ask you how your day is going and try to help in any way they can.”

Judging by the 90 percent overall satisfaction rating achieved through surveys conducted by a third-party company in the spring, the Carolina community feels the love.

Inside Carolina is a feature in USC Day Times (subscribe) that highlights academic and support departments on the USC Columbia campus. Who should we feature next? Send your recommendation to Liz McCarthy,

What's new in Carolina Dining

  • Chick-Fil-A breakfast option
  • Burger King replaced by Sodexo's Fresh Burger
  • Wholly Habaneros fresh Mexican fare
  • "HC" logos on healthy, balanced meals
  • Market 101 fresh produce/convenience store in McBryde
  • Recipes synced with MyFitnessPal
  • Marble Slab to offer more fro-yo and cookie choices

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 07/11/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 07/17/13 @ 8:52 AM | Permalink