In October, a schoolwide email was sent out asking students to participate in a dining hall survey.
According to Dave Reiley, Food Service Director, the purpose of the survey was to gain a better understanding of student dining habits how students live on campus. Reiley said that the survey also asked questions about the perception of different areas to eat on campus in order to see areas that can be improved. This information was collected in order to “help fill any voids in dining options.” Reiley has yet to receive any information regarding the results.
While the results of the survey are not known yet, Reiley said he frequently meets with the Student Government Association’s food service representatives. Adam Schmitt, Student Government Association’s Secretary of Campus Life, and a representative of this committee expressed why he believes it to be important that students have a voice in dining decisions. “Many students have certain dietary needs, and it's important for them to be accommodated, which Aramark has done a great job of. Also, if students like or dislike certain things that are served, it's important for those to be known by Aramark in order for the meal schedule to be adjusted accordingly, which Aramark has also done very well.” According to Reiley, the biggest challenge is to keep new items coming.
The Cafeteria will see some new updates as students return in January. Reiley said that the cafeteria has some “interesting new recipes” planned. Along with new recipes, the cafeteria will also once again be posting its monthly menus on the campus dish website. The cafeteria will continue to schedule specialty nights that include themed dinners and specialty items such as smoothies. These specialty nights are always well-attended as students enjoy a change in the menu.
Along with the recent survey, Reiley said next semester he will begin conducting “voice of the consumer” spot surveys at each dining area on campus. His hope in conducting theses spot surveys is to learn about specific areas that students wish to see improvements. According to Schmitt, repairs are going to be made on the ice cream machine over the break in order to ensure that it is fully operational next semester.
The cafeteria has many updates planned for the spring. These updates come as a result of what the students want. Reiley said that they are actively responding to requests of the students in order to accommodate their needs. While the results of the survey are still unknown, these results will most likely lead to even more updates and additions to the cafeteria in the future.