Universities focus on education, but they run on food. Lots of food. Synergy Restaurant Consultants recently met the challenge of creating an amazing array of food service venues for the world’s largest women’s university, a $4 billion school now being constructed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The immense campus is being developed over 25 million square meters, an area roughly the size of downtown Atlanta, GA. Within each of six colleges there will be numerous dining experiences designed to promote student interaction and indulge in cuisines from around the world. Additionally, as would be the case on any campus, the Student Union will have a major food emporium offering numerous cafes, food court style outlets and interactive cooking stations.
But, it doesn’t stop there. Synergy Restaurant Consultants also crafted concessions stations for two stadiums, dining areas for a convention/conference facility, Food facilities for student dorms, teaching staff housing, and executive offices for each college staff were individually designed. Even each college Dean has individual dining amenities. Education may be the university goal, but Synergy knows that food fuels colleges.
The Synergy Restaurant Consulting team played an integral role in developing the food programming, detailing all the foodservice venues relative to size, meals to be served, menu direction and overall concept. Synergy interfaced with design consultants regarding the development of the initial block planning regarding all foodservice facilities and the commissary.
Synergy Restaurant Consulting Managing Partner, Dean Small explains their concept solution. “The entire facility is supported by a central commissary thereby allowing for consolidation and efficient distribution of supplies to all the university facilities.”
Small continued. “This is a totally different culture with strict rules that had to be addressed and integrated into the various restaurant designs. Because female students and staff members must be segregated from male workers, the main university campus buildings are elevated, with the vast majority of support services, delivery access points, etc, occurring in the lower areas of the campus, almost underground as it were. The university campus areas are ‘ringed’ by a transportation ‘commuter’ system allowing students to more easily move about the massive facility. It was by far one of our most challenging assignments.”
Even with the restrictions there was room for creativity, a Synergy hallmark. There is the Casbah Café, a full service Moroccan restaurant the melds culture, décor and the exotic flavors of North Africa as well as the Euro Bistro, a sophisticated and whimsical design featuring an eclectic menu inspired by combinations of American, French, Italian and Greek cuisines.