Case Study: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Content sponsored by: Alto-Shaam

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) is the state’s flagship public research university and a member of the Big Ten Conference. It is home to almost 26,000 students and offers 150 undergraduate majors, 20 pre-professional programs, 100 graduate programs and 275 programs of study.

The university’s foodservice program consists of five dining centers, four grab-and-go shops and five convenience stores. Menu items vary from sandwiches and salads to pizza and pasta, in addition to upscale entrees, grilled items and ethnic foods.

UNL was seeking cooking equipment to support its expansive and varied menus when they turned to Alto-Shaam for combi ovens.

Alto-Sham Oven

“We needed an oven to help us return to more scratch cooking and expand our farm-to-fork program,” says Ron Burke, the university’s director of dining services. “About a year and a half ago, we incorporated two Alto Shaam combi ovens, due to our complete dissatisfaction with two other major brands.” 

UNL completed construction of a 650-seat dining center on campus this summer, and now has five Alto-Shaam ovens in place for the start of the new school year.

“These ovens will continue to be specified in all our future construction and renovations,” says Burke.

UNL soon experienced unbelievable results with the Alto Shaam combis for root vegetables and starches that were usually steamed.

The school also experienced success with other food items.

“We got the ovens with optional smokers, knowing we would use this feature for meats, but our staff has branched out to smoking vegetables, peppers and spices,” says Burke. “We recently purchased a meat grinder and will be grinding, stuffing and smoking our own sausage, brats and other meats.”

Alto-Shaam Ovens

Being an all-you-care-to-eat, self-service operation, UNL’s foodservice facilities were often faced with over production. Rather than finding it necessary to rework items like in the past, food is now able to be rethermed using Alto-Shaam’s combis.

“In many cases, we find casserole dishes actually taste better after retherming,” says Burke.

UNL has found that Alto Shaam combis provide excellent product quality. With these ovens, cooking times and temperatures hold amazingly well, substantially improving both timing of production and service.

Burke and his team also found value in the services and support Alto-Shaam provides. The company’s website contains all the resources needed as well as the support necessary to operate the products—including comprehensive demonstration videos and an extensive resource library. Alto-Shaam also has factory-trained service agents located throughout the country ready to help when needed.

“With our former ovens, we were having trouble getting manufacturer/vendor support and found the other brands to be a maintenance nightmare,” says Burke. “With Alto-Shaam equipment, we have no maintenance problems.”


Looking to upgrade your menu or renovating your kitchen? Learn how Alto-Shaam’s foodservice equipment solutions can save space and expand your menu at an upcoming A Taste of Alto-Shaam demo event near you. Register today at www.alto-shaam.com/taste.

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