Throughout this school year so far we have held many different events and promotions on campus for the students. In September, we welcomed the students back with a Bow-Tie Bash themed dinner. Students who participated by wearing a bow-tie were able to win a prize. The University also held the annual FirstFest, which is a welcome back festival with carnival rides, food and a concert. Every year we have a cookout for the event serving hot dogs, hamburgers, black bean burgers and more! Sean Kingston was the performer this year. We also started team member of the week. Every Friday, we choose a different team member who has gone above and beyond to be recognized and win a giftcard.
To start off October, we celebrated National Pumpkin Spice day with different pumpkin spice desserts at the bakery in the Dining Commons. Another event held in October was VegFest for National Vegetarian Month! We showcased many different healthy, plant-based and environmentally friendly recipes throughout the month provided by Metz. A representative from the Humane Society also stopped by the Dining Commons to talk about plant-based recipes and why considering making small choices in your diet can be beneficial for you and our environment. She showed us how to make vegan pumpkin milkshakes and also brought some giveaways for the students! To end the month of October we held our Halloween themed dinner. The students loved the spooky themed food like ghouly guacamole, chicken sandwich monsters and and creepy desserts.
As soon as October came to an end, we had everything ready to roll for our Thanksgiving Pie Sale for November. All the proceeds raised went towards Adopt-A-Family of Niagara Falls. We also celebrated National Chinese Take Out day with $1 vegetable egg rolls at Fusion in the Gallagher Center. Then we had our Thanksgiving themed dinner with assortments of bread, mashed potatoes, vegan stuffing and of course, turkey! As soon as the students returned back to campus, we held our Second Annual Gingerbread House Competition! We had six student teams participate and they all made amazing houses. Then to end November strong, we started Holiday from the Everyday!
December was all about our Holiday from the Everyday Promotion and the Holiday Pie Sale! For our Holiday Pie Sale, we ended up raising over $600 for Adopt-A-Family of Niagara Falls. For Holiday from the Everyday, we offered a different promotion each day. The students loved breaking up their finals week to see what Metz had going on for the day!
Day 1 was free cotton candy in the Dining Commons.
Day 2 was free sushi in the Dining Commons. A local restaurant called Steak, Stone & Sushi came to the Dining Commons and made the students sushi at Bravo!. The students loved it so much, we are bringing it back in March!
Day 3 was a hot chocolate bar in the Gallagher Center. Students could pick from an assortment of toppings including marshmallows, crushed candy canes, and toffee pieces.
Day 4 was home made gingerbread men at Just Desserts in the Dining Commons.
Day 5 was National Cookie day so we decided to do cookie decorating in Lower Level Gallagher Center.
For Day 6 we had a chocolate fountain in the Dining Commons with different fruits and cookies.
Day 7 was breakfast smoothie bowls! Students could order different smoothie bowls from Bravo! in the Dining Commons from 11 to 2pm.
Day 8, students and faculty could enjoy two free deep fried oreos with a purchase of a combo meal at the Grill in the Gally.
For Day 9, the students could enjoy festive desserts at Just Desserts in the Dining Commons.
Day 10 was $1 off any combo meal at the Gally Grill all day long.
For Day 11, students could dip their own apples in caramel or chocolate and choose from various toppings.
The last day, we sold $1 popcorn in the Grove. All the proceeds went towards Adopt-A-Family.
We also held two Late Nites in December right before finals week. The first Late Nite was De-Stress with Dips and Desserts. There was buffalo chicken wing dip, spinach and artichoke dip and so many desserts to choose from. The second Late Nite was Junk Food, so we served Pizza Logs, mozzarella sticks, root beer floats, fried pickles and so much more. To close out the semester, we had our Holiday Themed Dinner where we served the guests carved ham, mashed potatoes, asparagus and of course had holiday themed desserts made by our pastry chef.
January was the start of a new semester and a new concept in the Gallagher Center! We opened up Bravo!Express, which serves various smoothies, smoothie bowls, avocado toasts, and grain bowls. We served free samples with our Sample It program the first couple days and we even held a giveaway! The giveaway was to try and engage with students on social media and it ended up being a success! Another event the students enjoyed was our back to school themed dinner. We thought the Roaring 20’s theme was only fitting! The students enjoyed the pork loin wellington, lobster bisque soup and eggplant roulade and all our decorations to make this event look great!
To start off February, we celebrated National Carrot Cake day with some carrot cake at Just Desserts in the Dining Commons. We also celebrated Valentine’s Day with a themed dinner where we served grilled steaks, shrimp scampi, heart shaped cookies, and more! Another themed meal we had was our Mardi Gras lunch! For lunch, we served some New Orleans favorites, including jambalaya, cajun shrimp soup and cajun meatballs. We participated in a Mardi Gras tradition with the Kings Cake, where students who found a small plastic baby in their cupcake would win a prize!
We have so many different upcoming promotions for the rest of the semester! In March, we have our March Mania Flex Sale to entice students to purchase more Gally Gold so they don't run out! Then in April we will celebrate Earth Week, where we reach out to local produce and dairy companies to come in to the Dining Commons to have table talks with students to show them how we support local farms and bring merchandise for the students. Also in April is our Ultimate Campus Chef Competition! Sign ups for that will start at the end of March when we come back from spring break. To end the semester is Stress Relief Week, where students can come to different events to take a break from studying. We provide something fun and out of the ordinary so they can forget about studying for a little while. After Stress Relief week we will have our last themed dinner in May, Cinco de Mayo! Students will enjoy some Mexican favorites such as tacos, nachos, queso and more!
We can't wait to see what the semester brings!
Emily S. is a Niagara University undergraduate student majoring in Event Management. She is currently serving as Metz Culinary Management's 2019-2020 marketing intern.