UMass Dining continues steak and lobster Halloween dinner

By Morgan Hughes

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Marielle Fibish/Daily Collegian

(Marielle Fibish/Daily Collegian)

UMass Dining remained efficient this weekend while serving “all treats and no tricks” for Halloween: the annual lobster and steak special was served with other treats such as chicken, macaroni and cheese and Halloween-themed desserts.

Starting this year, the event featured make-your-own caramel apples, along with tarot card readings, pumpkin painting, costume contests, music, decorations and more.

”They enjoy it very much.,” said Martha Monaghan, special events manager at UMass Dining, in reference to UMass students. “There’s a lot going on. We have entertainment, the food, and the decorations. It’s a nice fall celebration.”

Monaghan added, “We try to do something different every year.”

UMass Dining said they are able to put on such a large-scale event by being efficient and sustainable.

According to Director of Residential Dining Garett DiStefano, doing specials such as serving lobster and steak allows UMass to “support our local economy” by buying local steak, vegetables and Maine lobsters.

UMass Dining remains sustainable by using a waste management program called LeanPath, which helps UMass make decisions based off the weight of food wasted, allowing them to change recipes to be simpler and waste less as well as training staff to be waste-efficient.

“By doing these kinds of things, we saved over $750,000 dollars over the past three years,” DiStefano said, “We want to run a very rich program by providing the best, highest quality food and trying not to waste at all.”

Over 12,000 people attended the event last year. This year, about 10,000 lobsters were purchased, in preparation for the event. DiStefano said there is not a significant difference in cost of preparation for this dinner as opposed to everyday dinners.

“All of our staff are here anyways, we just change the menu. It’s a very popular, very simple special,” said DiStefano. ”It’s a relatively simple menu, and that’s what we generally do here at UMass Dining.”

DiStefano said that this popular dining special is both a social and fine dining event.

He said that the special meal items provide a chance for the University campus to come together and that it allows for UMass Dining to create a community from food. DiStefano added that the dining commons at UMass function as more than just food services, but also as a social hub for students at the University.

Students can expect more specials throughout the year, such as guest chefs, talent contests and treats during finals. In December, UMass Dining will be hosting a parent guest chef for their “Taste of Home” menu feature.

Morgan Hughes can be reached at [email protected]