Three students enjoying a pizza on campus.

How to Build Campus Community Through Dining

The strength of the campus community—the social unit students form as a result of shared activities, goals, and interests —has a big impact on the overall college experience.

What makes community so important?

A strong campus community creates a sense of home for students—it helps them feel connected to each other, increasing feelings of belonging. Instead of feeling isolated or lonely since college is such a big change for many people, students have opportunities to participate, make friends, and expand their interests.

Strong relationships and a tight support network also benefit the campus as a whole. They create a vibrant, lively atmosphere that makes classes and extracurriculars more fun. When students are happier, research shows that they perform better academically; they’re also more likely to have higher engagement levels and positive interactions with faculty and staff. Over time, this can boost recruiting, retention, and graduation rates.

5 ways to build campus community through dining

Campus staff plays a key role in creating community at their college They create the infrastructure and direct students toward the people and activities that resonate with their interests.

As you look for ways to improve your campus community, keep in mind that it can be built in many places: classrooms, dining halls, dormitories, student services offices, and student groups. If you can provide opportunities to connect in each of these locations, it’s easier to boost participation and community engagement.

Food is one thing that brings people together and plays a major role in many campus communities. Keep these 5 tips in mind for building community on campus through dining:

  1. Focus on convenience. Ensure students can get food easily at any time, either by dining in or placing mobile orders for takeout or delivery. That way, it’s a breeze to dine together during meals, study sessions, social events, or breaks between classes.
  2. Host and promote campus events with food. Step up your marketing efforts so students know what’s going on, and consider organizing informal dorm or class groups to attend different events. Incorporating food at these events increases student attendance which goes a long way towards building community.
  3. Provide a variety of cuisines on campus. It’s important for students of all different backgrounds to dine together on campus in order to build community. To accomplish this, think about offering several different types of cuisines to ensure that there are plenty of unique options for students.
  4. Create gathering places. Ensure students have plenty of comfortable, welcoming places for studying, eating, and socializing.

Focus on continuous improvement. It is important for college leaders to be constantly improving dining in order to encourage people to stay on-campus and eat with friends. A great way to do this is to actively seek and be receptive to community feedback. Take the time to listen to student’s thoughts and ideas on your dining program and explore opportunities to execute on them.

How Grubhub On Site partners with college campuses

As you build a campus community, Grubhub On Site can support your efforts. Grubhub brings mobile ordering to college campuses, so current students can get meals when and where they want. Thanks to partnerships with campus card providers, you can give students the opportunity to pay for orders with their college meal plans.

Convenient dining options can go a long way toward helping students build community. If your dining program is ready for a technological upgrade, contact Grubhub On Site to get started.