What is Yale Hospitality

World Class Culinary and Hospitality Services

“Our mission is to nourish a culture in which the interwoven pleasures of growing, cooking and sharing food become an integral part of each student’s campus experience and relationships,” says Rafi Taherian, Associate Vice President of Yale Hospitality.

“These are an essential part of the memories they will carry with them throughout their lives.”

That nourishment occurs at many levels. You find it in the wide variety of healthful food choices in Yale’s residential halls and campus cafés, in its sustainable farm field trips for students and in special events like its Guest Chef and Final Cut programs. As an educational function, you see it in Yale Hospitality’s efforts to expose students to global food traditions and culture, reflecting the welcome that familiar foods can offer to international students and visitors. At a more practical level, Yale Hospitality and its management team have sought to take the school’s traditional dining programs and services to new levels.

Over the past half dozen years it has earned a national reputation for its nutrition and wellness programs, sophisticated catering services and an industry-leading push for sustainability in food sourcing and production, culinary authenticity and quality and supply chain management.  With 23 residential and retail dining operations across the campus, Yale Hospitality and its skilled, long-tenured staff touch the lives of students, employees and visitors all day long. It strives to ensure that they are served fresh, great-looking and great-tasting food in a clean, safe and friendly environment. It also looks to readily accommodate those with special diet needs and to provide a variety of support services that match the world-class events and programs offered by the University.

What is Yale Hospitality?

In a word, it’s a tradition, one that goes back over 300 years to the school’s 1701 founding in Saybrook, CT. Yale’s Dining programs have evolved since then, but they’ve always been an intimate part of providing students, faculty and visitors with the sense of community, commonality and hospitality that is integral to the Yale experience.

In the earliest years, Yale students dined at the homes of founding faculty or at other local residences. But when the college moved to New Haven in 1716, the first permanent building, Yale College, provided dining as the core of its residential program. Today’s Head of College Teas and Sunday Family Dinners for students, alumni and resident faculty hearken back to those early years.

The idea of breaking bread together has always been a bedrock part of the Yale experience. In the early 1930s, the tradition was enhanced when Yale adopted the Residential College System, based on that of Oxford, giving each college its own dining hall and four-year residential community. Today’s resident students can look back on many generations of others who shared stories, aspirations and experiences over daily meals in the same halls.