100 Days: How Parkhurst Cultivates Community & Builds Relationships

Parkhurst strives to cultivate a sense of community at partner locations in unique ways. Our 100 Days program is designed to build lasting relationships and retain students through dining. The arrival to college can be challenging for our student guests, so we at Parkhurst want to make sure they feel at home through the universal language of food.   

These opportunities for connection take many forms, from events and recipes to conversations. Learn more about how a few of our higher education sites have implemented this initiative to help keep guests engaged and full.  

Parkhurst Chopped Competition Challenges Guests to Become the Chefs  

At Centre College, Parkhurst engaged the campus community with a Chopped-style event that invited students and staff to put together a meal using the provided ingredients. While the original goal was to motivate current students to get excited about food, a group they hadn’t anticipated to connect with was visiting prospective students.

 “While we were hosting the Chopped Event, prospective students were touring and stopped to watch the excitement,” said Parkhurst General Manager at Centre College, Samantha Balisteri. “Centre later heard from some of these recruits that this event actually helped them confirm their decision to go to Centre because of the dining.” 

Discover more about the Chopped competition at Centre College.

Team Cooking Class Builds Camaraderie and Engagement at Randolph-Macon College

When it comes to Parkhurst’s 100 Days program, Marketing Manager and Dietitian at Randolph-Macon College Julia Danisewicz says she likes having it in the back of her mind, especially when putting together an energy ball class for the women’s field hockey team.   

“The 100 Days program looks to capture as much attention as possible and create excitement and a positive mindset around the dining hall experience. Dining is a centerpiece to their whole college experience, and it’s great to foster these connections right away,” said Danisewicz.  

Learn how Randolph-Macon’s field hockey team built camaraderie in their energy ball class.

How Parkhurst Supports Marietta College’s International Community Through Food Events

Courtesy of Instagram

Parkhurst Dining General Manager Adria Handley and her team at Marietta College used the 100 Days program to help reengage the school’s international student population, whose college experience was significantly impacted by the pandemic. Handley started with reaching out to international on-campus clubs, like Global Connections.  

“We always want to do things that are fun and interesting, and the 100 Days initiative helps us to be more intentional in our messaging and helps students have the things they need when they need them,” said Handley. “The conversation also helped us think through the parent experience. As a dining partner on a college campus, retention is huge. Dining might not be the reason that gets them there, but we certainly don’t want to be a reason they leave.”  

Read more about how Marietta supports its international community through events.