Rob Landolphi, culinary operations manager in the department of dining services, spoke about a new program he’s running as a way of keeping dining fresh and exciting for students.
Landolphi said the idea, called Monotony Breakers, first came about in a meeting where they discussed fun ways to engage the student body. He said they wanted to make programs that would pop-up around campus.
“The idea came about in one of our assistant directors meetings last semester when we were looking to establish some fun giveaways for the students that would happen throughout the semester,” Landolphi said. “We wanted them to be spontaneous, pop-up events around campus.”
Landolphi said the only advertising they do is a Tweet 15 minutes before the individual events take place. After that, he said students will spread the information by word of mouth.
“We usually like this to be a pop-up spontaneous event and Tweet out the location about 15 minutes before we start the giveaways,” Landolphi said. “As soon as we get a handful of students who have received their treat, they do the advertising for us, letting all their friends know where we are located and what we are giving away.”
“We usually like this to be a pop-up spontaneous event and Tweet out the location about 15 minutes before we start the giveaways”Rob Landolphi, Culinary operations manager, UConn Dining Services
Sharing some of the future plans, Landolphi laid out the ideas they have for the upcoming months. He said the dates and foods have been decided, but the locations have not been in order to maintain the surprise.
“On February 17th: ‘The Chocolate Dragon,’ chocolate donut with raspberry cream cheese icing with a dragon fruit sprinkle will be in the Northwest Quad. Wednesday, March 3: cookie bento box, decorate your own cookies, location to be determined. Wednesday, March 17: green whoopee pie with mint cream filling, location to be determined. Wednesday, March 31: Blue Bunny ice cream bars, location to be determined,” Landolphi said.
Landolphi said the feedback they have received has encouraged dining services to continue the program in fall 2021. He said they will continue to keep them in their current surprise format in the future.
“Based on the feedback from students so far, I think these Monotony Breaker giveaways will continue in the fall, but we would continue to keep them as surprise pop-ups, keeping them spontaneous, exciting and of course, delicious!” Landolphi said.
Landolphi also wanted to thank the students who have attended the events throughout the semester. He said they enjoy seeing students walk away from the event smiling with treats in hand.
“I just want to say thank you to all the UConn students we have met at our giveaway tents so far,” Landolphi said. “They are always so appreciative of the items we give away, and it makes our day to see a big smile on their faces as they walk away with their tasty treat.”