Students tweet recipes to nuCuisine, featured in dining halls

Paulina Firozi

Students could soon see their own favorite recipes served in Northwestern dining halls, thanks to Twitter.

As a way to engage NU students with nuCuisine through social media and to bring new ideas into the dining halls, nuCuisine started a Twitter contest this quarter in which students tweet recipe ideas that may be selected as a menu item.

The April winner’s recipe was selected and served in five out of the six dining halls and the May winner’s recipe, which has not yet been selected, will be featured on dining hall menus May 24. Pam Yee, nuCuisine’s district marketing manager said it is important to connect to students through new means of communication. She also said nuCuisine had been receiving increasing student feedback through Twitter and Facebook.

“A lot of students use social media,” Yee said. “They have the smart phones, they use computers. We should be communicating with them in a way that they are communicating.”

Yee said about 10 people tweeted recipes for consideration for the April contest. Weinberg sophomore and former Daily columnist Kayla Foulk was selected as the April winner and received a $50 Munch Money gift card for her recipe for Bacon and Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.

“There were so many great recipes,” Yee said. “Everyone likes macaroni and cheese. And then you add bacon and chicken. It sounded great.”

An nuCuisine committee decides the winner of the contest based on price limitations and feasibility of the recipe, such as whether it can be served in a pan in dining halls, or if it needs to be individually prepared and plated. The winning selection is served in every dining hall except for Willard because of its kiosk system, Yee said.

Yee said nuCuisine is still accepting tweeted recipes to determine the May winner. While the contest will only continue until the end of this quarter, Yee said they will review the program’s success and consider implementing similar ones in the future.

In the last week, nuCuisine has hosted other activities through Twitter, such as a race to find Willie the Wildcat and trivia questions for Munch Money giftcards or reduced prices for items in C-stores. On May 11, Yee said three students participated in a contest by tweeting yes or no questions to nuCuisine on the wherabouts of Willie, and ran around campus until they found him in The Great Room, each winning $100 Munch Money giftcards.

Weinberg freshman Kathleen Ferraro said this is a good strategy that many student groups and campus organizations should continue using.

“It’s a good idea because it’ll reach a bigger audience,” she said. “If they’re going to be on Twitter, they need to create opportunities for people to hear about them and follow them. Nobody would just look up nuCuisine on Twitter, but if there’s like a recipe contest, then they’re more likely to look them up.”

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