Dining service gets makeover near automotive lab

Rebecca Jordan

News Editor

The Williams Hall Café created new specials in January due to student complaints about lack of variety, but today many students have still not noticed the change.

“The feedback that we received from students, faculty and staff said that they just wanted more variety and that the menu was just too stagnant for them,” said John Poole, food service director, about the new William’s Hall Café options.

These reactions prompted Poole and his team to rework the menu. The “stick-to-your-ribs” options now offered at the café include chicken quesadillas and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, which, according to Poole, have been student favorites so far. Meatball subs, braised beef hoagies, and chili are also available for purchase on select days.

“We tried to choose foods that would allow students to get good bang for their buck, that would be a good quality, and that we could easily produce,” said Poole.

However, students in Williams Hall were surprised to hear that the menu had been reworked at all. “I didn’t even know there were new specials,” said Matthew Fuller, automotive technologies student. “I’ve heard about people wanting new food because the food is terrible; it’s the same, and it’s not a good variety of anything. It’s kind of like a last-minute, desperate, no time to eat somewhere else [option].”

Fuller isn’t the only surprised one, even though the menu changes went effect in January. Luke Fane, an electrical construction maintenance major who buys from the café about once every two weeks, said, “New wouldn’t be too bad, I guess, but we haven’t really noticed [a change in the menu].”

For those enrolled in the automotive technologies or construction maintenance programs, the majority of classes are held in Williams Hall. “It’s not as if there are other easy [eating] options besides vending machines, driving off campus or walking a quarter or half mile in the freezing cold to the campus center, library or science center for those studying at that end of campus,” said Poole.

Poole and his team are still working on improving the menu despite the sales increase caused by the changes. For example, Mac & Cheese will soon be available for purchase, though it will not be made-to-order as it is in the Chartwells food court.

“We’re going to continue to revamp the specials for Williams Hall, and we’re working on maintaining that variety for students,” Poole said.

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