GRAMBLING, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Grambling State University officials along with foodservice partner SodexoMAGIC, on Friday unveiled a renovated dining hall to an audience of students, faculty, staff, and community.
SodexoMAGIC is a joint venture formed in 2006, between Magic Johnson Enterprises, LLC, and Sodexo, Inc. Magic Johnson, the company’s chairman, owns 51% of the company, qualifying it as a Minority-Owned business. and serves as its chairman.
Known as McCall Dining Hall, the renovation of the 20,000 square foot facility was a campus-wide project.
Students were an important part of choosing a food service program to serve the university, with surveys asking for suggestions for dining options and accommodations on campus.
The students’ insights were a integral resource as the university and SodexoMAGIC planned the $5 million renovation construction that began in May.
“This is really the manifestation of what students said they wanted to see in a foodservice program,” said Rick Gallot, president of Grambling State University. “It’s not just a place where you can get incredibly good food. It’s also a place where you can establish a sense of home,” he said.
The new dining destination includes a new pizza oven and salad bar offering full customization; a full-service pasta station, featuring homemade pasta; a new station called Bistro 1901 that serves traditional comfort and soul foods; and a plant-based station and smoothie/juice bar to offer healthy dining choices.
Simple Servings, a Sodexos concept serving dishes free of the top eight food allergens, was enlarged for tudents with food allergies and intolerances.
The new Simple Servings station now includes its own dedicated preparation space to reduce the risk of cross-contact, and a new carving station add to add variety.
New additions also include a center-stage salad bar and ‘Chefs Table’ showcase station, which offers students many opportunities to engage directly with the culinary team as they prepare and serve dishes.
There’s also a game room, stage and projector for dining events, where the SodexoMAGIC team plans to hold movie nights, guest chef cooking showcases, karaoke competitions, and for basketball fans like SodexoMAGIC’s chairman, there’s even a March Madness basketball screening in the new dining hall.