What do you want from a food service?

One of the reasons that I think I’m more disappointed with the delivery of B.A. is that I participated in the student focus group last year to help the school’s consultant figure out what students most wanted from a food service. Honestly, of the options made available, I agree that B.A. was the best hands down if only because of its commitment to relying on sustainable resources and local suppliers. But it also promised to make nutrition a huge priority. Many of the students in the focus group with me responded positively to the idea of healthier options since one of our biggest complaints about Aramark was the how much more difficult it was to procure, say, a vegetable or grilled chicken than it was getting french fries (And Aramark’s idea of vegetarian or vegan = healthy didn’t go over well, either. Seriously, fried tofu is great, but not the best thing you could be eating).

But again, many of our other “wants” in a food service went unmet. Like having at least one on-campus facility open at all hours to accomodate student schedules (my suggestion was a compromise between cost and health–a 24 hour cereal bar that offered a variety of milks, fruits and other add-ins that I’ve heard about operating at other schools, but that was an “ideal” case and I knew when I said it that it’d never fly). Or more consideration for student point budgets since 15 points a day only covered the cost of two meals at 8-9 points a pop, nevermind snacks, drinks or breakfast. I mean, I don’t think we were thinking that big. But honestly, in terms of hours of operation, I see almost no difference between B.A.’s and Aramark and I feel like that’s a let down. As for costs, I’ve no idea how they’re going to price things. But supplanting mocon-style lunches with a la carte almost universally means pricier, with a normal meal consisting of say a 6 point sandwich, 2 point drink, 4 point salad, etc. (If they run things like they ran Vegan, I know I’ll be out of points before November. Xue won’t make it until midterms. If that.)

Anyway, I’m curious as to what you guys think. What do you hope for B.A.? What did you hope for during the contract bidding? In your ideal college setting, what would the food service be like? What would be the best option for Wesleyan? Incoming freshmen and rising sophomores, what do you most hope for a food service given you’re (for better or worse) pretty bound to it?

180 thoughts on “What do you want from a food service?

  1. some random kid from '11

    Well, I’d be more worried if you didn’t have iron, protein and Vitamin B12 deficiencies.

  2. some random kid from '11

    Well, I’d be more worried if you didn’t have iron, protein and Vitamin B12 deficiencies.

  3. some random kid from '11

    Well, I’d be more worried if you didn’t have iron, protein and Vitamin B12 deficiencies.

  4. some random kid from '11

    Well, I’d be more worried if you didn’t have iron, protein and Vitamin B12 deficiencies.

  5. Anonymous

    KID, I WOULD FUCKING LAY YOU OUT ON THE CONCRETE IF YOU SAID THAT TO MY FACE. WATCH YOURSELF AT WESLEYAN FRIEND, VDS IS EVERYWHERE AND WE DONT FUCK AROUND

  6. Anonymous

    KID, I WOULD FUCKING LAY YOU OUT ON THE CONCRETE IF YOU SAID THAT TO MY FACE. WATCH YOURSELF AT WESLEYAN FRIEND, VDS IS EVERYWHERE AND WE DONT FUCK AROUND

  7. Anonymous

    YOU FUCKING SPOILED MEAT EATERS ARE GOING TO GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULLS THAT FOOD IS POLITICS EVEN IF THAT MEANS THE GUTTERS RUN RED WITH HUMAN BLOOD. FOR THOSE SEEKING TO ESCAPE FROM THIS CAMPAIGN OF PURE JUSTICE, THE VDS WILL SOON BE OPERATING YOUTH RE-EDUCATION CAMPS ON A CAMPUS NEAR YOU. WE WILL OFFER A STANDARD IDEOLOGICAL REASSIGNMENT PACKAGE ALONG WITH BASIC SMALL ARMS AND HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT TRAINING. SUCCESSFUL RECRUITS WILL BE SPARED, BUT JUDGEMENT OF ALL OTHERS WILL BE SWIFT AND MERCILESS

  8. Anonymous

    YOU FUCKING SPOILED MEAT EATERS ARE GOING TO GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULLS THAT FOOD IS POLITICS EVEN IF THAT MEANS THE GUTTERS RUN RED WITH HUMAN BLOOD. FOR THOSE SEEKING TO ESCAPE FROM THIS CAMPAIGN OF PURE JUSTICE, THE VDS WILL SOON BE OPERATING YOUTH RE-EDUCATION CAMPS ON A CAMPUS NEAR YOU. WE WILL OFFER A STANDARD IDEOLOGICAL REASSIGNMENT PACKAGE ALONG WITH BASIC SMALL ARMS AND HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT TRAINING. SUCCESSFUL RECRUITS WILL BE SPARED, BUT JUDGEMENT OF ALL OTHERS WILL BE SWIFT AND MERCILESS

  9. Anonymous

    According to Camille Dolansky on the parent listserv (hooray students reading that bizness!):*A meal is defined as “all you care to eat” available in the following locations and meal times: dinner (7 nights a week) and Sunday brunch in the Marketplace (Usdan University Center); lunch and dinner in Summerfields (theButterfields). *1 point = $1. Items purchased a la carte are priced individually. Points may bepurchased as needed through the WesCard (https://onecard.wesleyan.edu/).*The points (or cash) cost for an “all you care to eat” meal is $9.25. *Breakfast is always a la carte, and students use points to purchase breakfast, if desired. Breakfast will be served out of the marketplace beginning at 8AM duringthe week and the offerings will include a full complement of hot and cold items. The Pi Cafe also provides some baked goods options in the morning.*Lunch options include a la carte purchases in all venues or a meal option in Summerfields (open for *Students may use points for purchases in WEShop, the campus mini-market….So from what I understand, 1 point will actually be equivalent to $1 this year (as opposed to 1.30ish as in previous years/plans), so even if it costs more points, it will actually be less money. Also, this clarifies the actual price for Usdan buffet meals.

  10. Anonymous

    According to Camille Dolansky on the parent listserv (hooray students reading that bizness!):

    *A meal is defined as “all you care to eat” available in the following locations and meal times: dinner (7 nights a week) and Sunday brunch in the Marketplace (Usdan University Center); lunch and dinner in Summerfields (the
    Butterfields).
    *1 point = $1. Items purchased a la carte are priced individually. Points may be
    purchased as needed through the WesCard (https://onecard.wesleyan.edu/).
    *The points (or cash) cost for an “all you care to eat” meal is $9.25.
    *Breakfast is always a la carte, and students use points to purchase breakfast, if desired. Breakfast will be served out of the marketplace beginning at 8AM during
    the week and the offerings will include a full complement of hot and cold items. The Pi Cafe also provides some baked goods options in the morning.
    *Lunch options include a la carte purchases in all venues or a meal option in Summerfields (open for *Students may use points for purchases in WEShop, the campus mini-market.

    …So from what I understand, 1 point will actually be equivalent to $1 this year (as opposed to 1.30ish as in previous years/plans), so even if it costs more points, it will actually be less money. Also, this clarifies the actual price for Usdan buffet meals.

  11. Anonymous

    As if you could get salty chicken and bland mashed potatoes at 11pm. Chicken fingers, yes. But a meal that wasn’t deep fried? No.

  12. Anonymous

    As if you could get salty chicken and bland mashed potatoes at 11pm.

    Chicken fingers, yes. But a meal that wasn’t deep fried? No.

  13. some random kid from '11

    You know, it is just food. It’s that irresistable blend of hydrocarbons and othr assorted chemical goodness that you simply cant get enough of. Yes, the method in which it is served and distributed differs slightly, but I mean, really, is one shitty catering company that much better or worse than another? You’re not going to boycott your food points and spend a couple hundred bucks a month to prove a point. (If you’re rich enough to afford that, can I talk to you about a zero interest loan?) You will eat it, as will I, as will every single other WesPerson who has a craving for some too-salty chicken served with bland mashed potatoes at 11 PM.

  14. some random kid from '11

    You know, it is just food. It’s that irresistable blend of hydrocarbons and othr assorted chemical goodness that you simply cant get enough of. Yes, the method in which it is served and distributed differs slightly, but I mean, really, is one shitty catering company that much better or worse than another? You’re not going to boycott your food points and spend a couple hundred bucks a month to prove a point. (If you’re rich enough to afford that, can I talk to you about a zero interest loan?) You will eat it, as will I, as will every single other WesPerson who has a craving for some too-salty chicken served with bland mashed potatoes at 11 PM.

  15. some random kid from '11

    You know, it is just food. It’s that irresistable blend of hydrocarbons and othr assorted chemical goodness that you simply cant get enough of. Yes, the method in which it is served and distributed differs slightly, but I mean, really, is one shitty catering company that much better or worse than another? You’re not going to boycott your food points and spend a couple hundred bucks a month to prove a point. (If you’re rich enough to afford that, can I talk to you about a zero interest loan?) You will eat it, as will I, as will every single other WesPerson who has a craving for some too-salty chicken served with bland mashed potatoes at 11 PM.

  16. some random kid from '11

    You know, it is just food. It’s that irresistable blend of hydrocarbons and othr assorted chemical goodness that you simply cant get enough of. Yes, the method in which it is served and distributed differs slightly, but I mean, really, is one shitty catering company that much better or worse than another? You’re not going to boycott your food points and spend a couple hundred bucks a month to prove a point. (If you’re rich enough to afford that, can I talk to you about a zero interest loan?) You will eat it, as will I, as will every single other WesPerson who has a craving for some too-salty chicken served with bland mashed potatoes at 11 PM.

  17. Anonymous

    I agree with Kate’s post mostly. Even if there was just a place to get coffee or tea after we finish studying in the library at 2am, that’d be great.

  18. Anonymous

    I agree with Kate’s post mostly. Even if there was just a place to get coffee or tea after we finish studying in the library at 2am, that’d be great.

  19. Anonymous

    MOTHERFUCKER YOU DONT KNOW THE WAYS OF THE VDS CRIMINAL SYNDICATE. QUIET DOWN AND GO ADVERTISE SOME APPLE PRODUCTS.

  20. Anonymous

    MOTHERFUCKER YOU DONT KNOW THE WAYS OF THE VDS CRIMINAL SYNDICATE. QUIET DOWN AND GO ADVERTISE SOME APPLE PRODUCTS.

  21. Anonymous

    PS – I WILL HAPPY TO BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU IN PERSON TO PROVE THAT VEG IS STRONG

  22. Anonymous

    SELF-RIGHTEOUS IS RIGHT. WE ARE MORALLY SUPERIOR TO YOU AND ONE DAY YOU WILL BE MADE TO FACE UP TO YOUR CRIMES.

  23. Anonymous

    SELF-RIGHTEOUS IS RIGHT. WE ARE MORALLY SUPERIOR TO YOU AND ONE DAY YOU WILL BE MADE TO FACE UP TO YOUR CRIMES.

  24. Anonymous

    EVERYONE SHOULD BE FORCED TO EAT MEAT. THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE FED WHAT IS TASTY AND HELPS THEM GROW TO BE BIG, STRONG, HEALTHY ADULTS, NOT FOOD THAT MAKES THEM GROW VAGINAS ALL OVER THEIR BODIES. THE FOOD SERVICE WILL RUTHLESSLY SUPPRESS ALL INSTANCES OF VEGETABLE EATING. A GIANT PIT WILL BE CONSTRUCTED TO STORE ALL DISSIDENTS. WE WON’T BOTHER THROWING OUR MEAT SCRAPS IN THERE BECAUSE VEGANS ARE ALL SELF-RIGHTEOUS BASTARDS WHO’D RATHER STARVE THAN EAT SOMETHING WITH FLAVOR.

  25. Anonymous

    EVERYONE SHOULD BE FORCED TO EAT MEAT. THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE FED WHAT IS TASTY AND HELPS THEM GROW TO BE BIG, STRONG, HEALTHY ADULTS, NOT FOOD THAT MAKES THEM GROW VAGINAS ALL OVER THEIR BODIES. THE FOOD SERVICE WILL RUTHLESSLY SUPPRESS ALL INSTANCES OF VEGETABLE EATING. A GIANT PIT WILL BE CONSTRUCTED TO STORE ALL DISSIDENTS. WE WON’T BOTHER THROWING OUR MEAT SCRAPS IN THERE BECAUSE VEGANS ARE ALL SELF-RIGHTEOUS BASTARDS WHO’D RATHER STARVE THAN EAT SOMETHING WITH FLAVOR.

  26. Anonymous

    EVERYONE SHOULD BE FORCED TO GO VEGAN. THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE FED WHAT IS GOOD FOR THEM AND THE PLANET, NOT WHAT THEY SELFISHLY DESIRE. THE FOOD SERVICE WILL RUTHLESSLY SUPPRESS ALL INSTANCES OF MEAT EATING. A GIANT PIT WILL BE CONSTRUCTED TO STORE ALL DISSIDENTS. WE CAN THROW OUR TOFU SCRAPS IN THERE TO PREVENT THEM FROM STARVING TOO QUICKLY.

  27. Anonymous

    EVERYONE SHOULD BE FORCED TO GO VEGAN. THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE FED WHAT IS GOOD FOR THEM AND THE PLANET, NOT WHAT THEY SELFISHLY DESIRE. THE FOOD SERVICE WILL RUTHLESSLY SUPPRESS ALL INSTANCES OF MEAT EATING. A GIANT PIT WILL BE CONSTRUCTED TO STORE ALL DISSIDENTS. WE CAN THROW OUR TOFU SCRAPS IN THERE TO PREVENT THEM FROM STARVING TOO QUICKLY.

  28. Anonymous

    24 hour food options are stupid. Maybe around finals, but I don’t think it would be successful enough to warrant people working there.I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m pretty worried about my junk food. I don’t like healthy food and I think it’s good that local food organizations are supported but I still need the crap that I trust. From what I read about BA I’m worried that my only choice for dining will be Weswings

  29. Anonymous

    24 hour food options are stupid. Maybe around finals, but I don’t think it would be successful enough to warrant people working there.

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m pretty worried about my junk food. I don’t like healthy food and I think it’s good that local food organizations are supported but I still need the crap that I trust. From what I read about BA I’m worried that my only choice for dining will be Weswings

  30. Kate

    Hell, Athenian has food service 24/7 and that’s nearby (though not near enough to walk conveniently, sadly). There are plenty of other examples.I wouldn’t necessarily have needed 24hr service, but something going til 3am-ish would have been nice. Especially if it wasn’t as far away as Summerfields. And there really, really needs to be somewhere near a library to get tea/coffee at that time too. If they won’t keep pi open, can’t they make some sort of vending machine/hot drink machine blend?

  31. Kate

    Hell, Athenian has food service 24/7 and that’s nearby (though not near enough to walk conveniently, sadly). There are plenty of other examples.

    I wouldn’t necessarily have needed 24hr service, but something going til 3am-ish would have been nice. Especially if it wasn’t as far away as Summerfields. And there really, really needs to be somewhere near a library to get tea/coffee at that time too. If they won’t keep pi open, can’t they make some sort of vending machine/hot drink machine blend?

  32. Anonymous

    “no food service is open 24/7 in commercial America”McDonald’s has 24 hour drive through, as do many other fast food chains. Also, there are 24 hour diners and stores. So I’m not sure what commercial America you are thinking of. People have different schedules, but it is true that with some planning and Annie’s Mac we should all be set.

  33. Anonymous

    “no food service is open 24/7 in commercial America”

    McDonald’s has 24 hour drive through, as do many other fast food chains. Also, there are 24 hour diners and stores. So I’m not sure what commercial America you are thinking of. People have different schedules, but it is true that with some planning and Annie’s Mac we should all be set.

  34. Anonymous

    Twenty four hour food options simply cost too much to operate. No food service is open 24/7 in commercial America. I think this is one of the worst ideas, not to mention all the energy wastes just so ten or so people can get food at 4 am. Plan ahead for god’s sake and get a snack earlier in the day to eat later. It’s not really that hard.

  35. Anonymous

    Twenty four hour food options simply cost too much to operate. No food service is open 24/7 in commercial America. I think this is one of the worst ideas, not to mention all the energy wastes just so ten or so people can get food at 4 am.

    Plan ahead for god’s sake and get a snack earlier in the day to eat later. It’s not really that hard.

  36. Anonymous

    TWENTY FOUR HOUR FOOD OPTIONSWE ARE HUMAN BEINGSNOT EVERYONE LIVES ON THE SAME SCHEDULE

  37. Anonymous

    TWENTY FOUR HOUR FOOD OPTIONS
    WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS
    NOT EVERYONE LIVES ON THE SAME SCHEDULE

  38. Holly

    Anon #1: Exactly what I was thinking myself as I was writing it. Would it be better to be on the 5 meal plan? However, please be aware that you can change your meal plan during the first two weeks of school, so if you decide it might be a good idea to switch, you still can.Anon #2: In response to the hours, the school reminded us last year that Davenport First Floor was open from 8am to 8pm and on weekends for lunch. So I mean, simply being open doesn’t mean they were offering anything other than cold, greasy pizza and hamburgers. So actually, as far as hours go, it’s not that big of an improvement, but if quality is dramatically improved, then I agree, that would be something.

  39. Holly

    Anon #1: Exactly what I was thinking myself as I was writing it. Would it be better to be on the 5 meal plan? However, please be aware that you can change your meal plan during the first two weeks of school, so if you decide it might be a good idea to switch, you still can.

    Anon #2: In response to the hours, the school reminded us last year that Davenport First Floor was open from 8am to 8pm and on weekends for lunch. So I mean, simply being open doesn’t mean they were offering anything other than cold, greasy pizza and hamburgers. So actually, as far as hours go, it’s not that big of an improvement, but if quality is dramatically improved, then I agree, that would be something.

  40. Anonymous

    Holly: You said you don’t see a big difference in hours of operation between Aramark and B.A., but in reality, it will be much better this year… yes, late night and weshop hours are worse, but the “Café” is open 8am-8pm everyday, the main “Marketplace” is open 8am-3pm and 5pm-8pm weekdays. That is more flexibility in the morning/afternoon and an earlier start to dinner. On weekends, we have 11am-2pm instead of 11:30-1:30, an hour improvement. I assume for upperclassmen this is a disappointment, but for those that will be dining mainly in Usdan, this is a welcome change compared to the Summerfields/MoCon hours of last year. I didn’t have a problem with the food last year, so as long as it isn’t any worse, I’ll be happy!

  41. Anonymous

    Holly: You said you don’t see a big difference in hours of operation between Aramark and B.A., but in reality, it will be much better this year… yes, late night and weshop hours are worse, but the “Café” is open 8am-8pm everyday, the main “Marketplace” is open 8am-3pm and 5pm-8pm weekdays. That is more flexibility in the morning/afternoon and an earlier start to dinner. On weekends, we have 11am-2pm instead of 11:30-1:30, an hour improvement.
    I assume for upperclassmen this is a disappointment, but for those that will be dining mainly in Usdan, this is a welcome change compared to the Summerfields/MoCon hours of last year.
    I didn’t have a problem with the food last year, so as long as it isn’t any worse, I’ll be happy!

  42. Anonymous

    There are a few things that were really important to me in a food service:- treats the workers well- has good vegetarian options available- decently priced and I’m able to eat 2 meals a day and a snack comfortably on my points – tasty foodSo all in all, I was pretty satisfied with Aramark, and was a little sad that we were going to be switching companies. For all our complaining about Aramark, I felt the food was pretty good, the veggie options great, and the workers’ union really wanted them to stay. The pricing wasn’t great, but B.A. seems far more expensive.Something I didn’t really think about until this post – I’ve been told that B.A. *is* more expensive than Aramark or any of the competitors, but that our meal plan price wouldn’t be affected by it. Since the administration is actively trying to cut costs across the board (cough, library, professors), I was surprised, since this meant less money for our precious endowment. However, what I didn’t think about until this post is that we might wind up getting a meal plan that *costs* the same to us, but that our points will just buy us less. We all know that Vegan was more expensive when Aramark was here, largely because they bought expensive organic produce and such. If the entire food market here is like that (organic & sustainable & local produce), does that mean that every eating place will just cost more points, and we will run out faster? I sincerely hope this is not the case. Of course, this is just conjecture, and probably they have things reasonably well-planned. I guess we’ll find out in the fall.Though that would make a pretty big difference on whether it would be worth it to get the 5-meal plan, even as a junior or a senior who didn’t plan to cook most of the time.

  43. Anonymous

    There are a few things that were really important to me in a food service:

    – treats the workers well
    – has good vegetarian options available
    – decently priced and I’m able to eat 2 meals a day and a snack comfortably on my points
    – tasty food

    So all in all, I was pretty satisfied with Aramark, and was a little sad that we were going to be switching companies. For all our complaining about Aramark, I felt the food was pretty good, the veggie options great, and the workers’ union really wanted them to stay. The pricing wasn’t great, but B.A. seems far more expensive.

    Something I didn’t really think about until this post – I’ve been told that B.A. *is* more expensive than Aramark or any of the competitors, but that our meal plan price wouldn’t be affected by it. Since the administration is actively trying to cut costs across the board (cough, library, professors), I was surprised, since this meant less money for our precious endowment. However, what I didn’t think about until this post is that we might wind up getting a meal plan that *costs* the same to us, but that our points will just buy us less. We all know that Vegan was more expensive when Aramark was here, largely because they bought expensive organic produce and such. If the entire food market here is like that (organic & sustainable & local produce), does that mean that every eating place will just cost more points, and we will run out faster? I sincerely hope this is not the case. Of course, this is just conjecture, and probably they have things reasonably well-planned. I guess we’ll find out in the fall.

    Though that would make a pretty big difference on whether it would be worth it to get the 5-meal plan, even as a junior or a senior who didn’t plan to cook most of the time.

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