Students say cafe needs more variety, quality

Students are still not satisfied with the University’s campus dining hall citing that the “café” is lacking many elements that are needed to fulfill their wants.

“It isn’t satisfying,” said Tiffianie Larkins, a freshman physical therapy student.

“They need more variety.”

Linzie Walker, a first-year pharmacy student, added the price of the meal plan, which ranges from $900 to over $1,000, and came to the conclusion that he pays too much money for the quality of food that is served.

“They always run out of juice, ice and dessert,” said Alsean Bryant, a first-year pharmacy student from Waycross, Ga.

Campus Dining Services General Manager Shelita Nelson, said the menu is selected from a corporate menu and is then finessed by the management team to fit the students.

However, there are more issues than the menu that are troubling students. Customer service is another complaint that students have.

“They should hire people who fit the hospitality qualifications,” said Monique Underwood, a first-year pharmacy student from Orlando.

Denisof Carrolton said the servers do not pay attention to his order.

“I have to repeat myself every time,” the freshman biology/ pre-med student said.

Nelson said she welcomes negative feedback from the students.

“It gives us (the management team) an opportunity to improve,” Nelson explained.

“It’s all about the students.”

Nelson also added that it saddens her when her staff cannot do anything about the students’ complaints.

Problems in the cafeteria are not caused by lack of planning. Trained and certified members of the cafeteria staff start their day early to ensure that the food they serve is safe.

The staff begins preparing breakfast at 5 a.m. each day for the 2100 students who are registered on the meal plan.

Between three women, the baking and cooking of the breakfast menu is completed. Four hours later, the lunch staff arrives followed by the dinner staff that arrives around noon.

According to Nelson, the cafeteria operates under a very stringent food safety program.

In addition to the monthly training sessions and the local board of health policies, the Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point program gives the staff safety guidelines.

The management, while adhering to staff health regulations, also had to complete a 10-hour training course where they are expected to know and understand what happens when food is not prepared correctly.

Once they complete the course, they can become Serve Safe Certified, which means they are held responsible for making sure the food they serve students is prepared properly and safe for students to eat.

Still, students said there are improvements to be made.

Walker said she would like to see a better selection of food and products.

Lamonte Horne, a junior computer information student, said he would like to see “better food quality and more soul food.”

Sherie Edwards, a first-year pharmacy student said she would like to see longer hours to accommodate more students’ schedules.

Nelson said communication is key.

“If students are unhappy, they need to tell me,” she said.

“If I do not get any feedback, I can only assume that the students are happy.”

Students can express their dissatisfaction to Nelson personally, or fill out the comment cards. They can also participate in the surveys that are done twice a semester.

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