Miami University's Maplestreet Commons opened in 2013 as a series of seven distinct à la cart dining venues. It soon became apparent that it was underutilized compared to other dining options and something needed to be done to draw students in.
Today’s college-age students have grown up in a world of food diversity filled with conversations about organic, sustainable and ethnic specialties. Their appreciation for food as a cultural experience is changing the face of campus food service and the central role it plays in student life.
To create an environment on Miami's campus that would support this kind of communal experience, we started by converting the three southern-most venues at Maplestreet Commons into one buffet-style dining option. Next, we renovated the four existing north venues at Maplestreet Commons to create a single unified space and a new grab-and-go market for quick, convenient transactions. And finally, a new 1,800 sq. ft. addition provides additional seating and, along with a reworked entryway, helps draw more natural light into the space.
The new, fully renovated space allows students to choose from a variety of food styles, including buffet and made-to-order, and dine together in upholstered booths, banquettes, group tables and individual bar seats. Existing furniture from the previous venues and new additions were distributed throughout the space to provide a harmonious look and updated, consistent flooring now connects each area.
Beyond the actual serving and dining space, our team was also responsible for food service equipment reconfiguration and changes to increase efficiency and support the updated allergen-free menu. With the back-of-house reworked to accommodate two new dish rooms with highly efficient dish washing machines, the facility can run at the same capacity with fewer staff. Additional back-of-house updates were made to interior framing, MEP system modifications, added life safety systems and supporting IT and A/V work, as well as lower level modifications to accommodate staff break room space.