Grinnell College’s NetNutrition Journey

Jeanette Moser, Associate Director of Dining Services at Grinnell College, has been working in food service since 1982. Starting at Oklahoma State University and the University of South Dakota, she moved to Grinnell in April of 1995. After some considerable prep work and internal processes, Moser's team recently implemented NetNutrition®, and have seen an immediate impact both in terms of student services, as well as in operations hours saved.

NetNutrition is an online solution from CBORD that lets students, staff, and other patrons view menu offerings, filter by dining location, allergens, or other preferences (vegan, kosher, locally grown, etc.), and see nutritional information not only for specific menu items, but for entire meals or days. It is fully integrated with Foodservice Suite® (FSS) and CBORD FusionTM.

Moser and her team began the process by working with administration at Grinnell, which has about 1,650 students, to gain approval to move forward with adding NetNutrition to their campus. While the process hit some snags along the way—eventually ending up taking six years from those first conversations to implementation—the team used that time to prepare for implementing the system. "We anticipated that we would have NetNutrition, and we knew what we had to do in FSS to make it work," said Moser. "When we finally made the purchase, a lot of the preliminary work was already done and implementation ran smoothly."

Two months after making the purchase, Grinnell had the system up and running in their meal plan facility, which houses a number of different venues, including a salad bar, vegan station, gluten-free station, pizza station, hamburger grill, pasta station, and stir fry station, among others. "We announced it on our Facebook site, we posted posters in the marketplace and the grill, and we had an all-campus email to everybody to let them know it was available," said Moser. "You can't believe how well-received it's been. Within a week the site had 1,000 hits, which is pretty great for a small campus."

The current student population are not the only ones that are impressed with Grinnell having NetNutrition on campus. Moser says that prospective students and, perhaps just as important, their parents have shown a great amount of interest in the site. According to her, "A prospective student's parents wrote and said, 'I notice you have NetNutrition, what a great tool!' We've had calls from people saying nice things about NetNutrition. Before we had it up and going, people would call and say, 'this other school has NetNutrition—do you have that?'"

Moser has seen first-hand just how beneficial adding NetNutrition to a campus can be, and she also saw the value of starting the process early, even before implementation. Moser advises: "When you think that you might purchase NetNutrition, start preparing for it. You can input the ingredients and the nutrition information into FSS to be ready to go when you get NetNutrition, because that relieves a huge amount of work." It never hurts to compare your campus to your peers, either. "Let everyone know where you want to go. Be able to show upper administration examples of NetNutrition websites so they have a clear understanding of what is desired to be provided for your own campus. Look at peer institutions to learn how you compare to what they are doing to provident ingredient and nutrition information to their students."

Interested in learning more about NetNutrition? Watch a short video from our popular "To the Point" series showing NetNutrition in action. You can also contact us for more information about Foodservice Systems.