Rich Jacobs
Rich Jacobs joined the University of Richmond Dining Services team as retail director in March 2023.

Born for Food Service

June 23, 2023

Meet Rich Jacobs, the new University of Richmond Dining Services Director of Retail Operations.

Richard “Rich” Jacobs joined the University of Richmond Dining Services team as retail director in March 2023. With more than 25 years of corporate and collegiate food service experience across the country, the Philadelphia native welcomed a return to the East Coast.

Jacobs was born for a career in food service. As the son of a University of Pennsylvania director of dining services, Jacobs was raised with a strong work ethic and unique insight into the industry. After graduating from Purdue with a hospitality degree, Jacobs immediately started his career with Old Spaghetti Factory, which took him from Indianapolis to Nashville, San Jose, and Oakland. A promotion with Boston Chicken (now Boston Market) brought him back to Philadelphia, and he subsequently worked for Applebee's in several Virginia locations.

His transition to collegiate dining came when Jacobs’ father noticed a University of Notre Dame job listing from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) and encouraged him to apply. Jacobs ultimately became their associate director of retail operations after managing their food court and multiple retail locations on campus. A highlight includes his team’s revitalization of Legends, a Notre Dame sports bar.

Seventeen years after Jacobs’ move to Indiana, another NACUFS job listing caught his eye following the retirement of former Director of Retail Operations Blake Widdowson R’83.

“I knew of UR’s stellar reputation from our work with Grubhub,” Jacobs said. “My first visit to campus was a great experience and I knew this was an excellent opportunity.”

In addition to returning to Virginia (his maternal grandmother lived in Scottsburg), Jacobs most looks forward to driving the evolution of UR’s award-winning campus dining. 

“I’m excited about being part of this creative, experienced self-operation retail team,” Jacobs said. “From transforming Eight-Fifteen at Boatwright into a new campus centerpiece to implementing the latest Grubhub technology, there’s a lot to look forward to.”

Outside of work, Jacobs is a HUGE Philadelphia sports fan (GO BIRDS!) who always knows the latest scores and stats. He enjoys trying out new Mexican restaurants and Orange Theory workouts (it’s all about balance). As dad to four rescue cats, he’s also an animal lover who plans to volunteer at a local rescue organization.