Tag Archives: delmar crim

Bon Appétit’s New Delmar

Bon Appétit has apparently hired one Michael Strumpf to take Delmar Crim‘s place as the Resident District Manager at Wesleyan this year. No photo yet, but we can judge him on his Googleable work history.

Strumpf is coming from a former job as the General Manager for Bon Appétit at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he was instrumental in creating that school’s Farm to Fork local-food-based menu. He seems to have done a generally Delmar-type job in his interactions with the student body there.

From Southern Maryland News in March 2007:

Michael Strumpf, general manager of Bon Appetite at St. Mary’s College, makes sure the food he serves comes from local growers like the Funny Farm. He is also attempting to get the local Amish to raise and slaughter cattle specifically for the college. Every year he organizes the school’s “eat local challenge.” – the idea is to serve only local foods for an entire week.

We have these bio-degradable plastic cups made out of corn,” said Strumpf holding one up at the crowded dining-hall furnished with wooden beams and lined by large windows.

Ok, Bon Appétit did all this locally-grown stuff for us when Delmar was here, but Amish-fresh beef? Funny Farm? Locavore diets aren’t nearly as endearing in Middletown as they apparently are in a 50-mile radius of St. Mary’s College.

Delmar’s got a green thumb

How did all my Google searching fail to turn this one up?

It turns out that Delmar Crim, Resident District Manager of Bon Appétit, not only has a knack for resolving Usdan dining catastrophes, but he’s also got a green thumb. Check out the Crim Garden, which Delmar apparently cultivated while he was Senior Executive Chef at Cornell.

We’re big fans of Delmar. Check out some of our previous coverage:

(Thanks, Anonymous.)

Delmar talks about onions, Bon Appétit in space

Earlier we let you know that Bon Appétit’s very own Delmar Crim was on Sunday’s installment of Storm Surge of Reverb, the WESU show hosted by Hunter King ’08. In case you missed it, you can listen to it online, courtesy of archive.org.

Hunter: The song “Spunky Onions”. Would you say that onions are, at all, spunky? Have you ever encountered a spunky onion?
Delmar: Funky onions, but not, uh, spunky, per se.
Hunter: OK, yeah. I can imagine some funky onions.

My favorite part is when Hunter asks Crim if Bon Appétit has plans to expand into outer space:

Hunter: And you know, we’re moving into the future… Do you think Bon Appétit has a potential market in space? Or, do… how do you see the future of space food?
Delmar: Well, we like to think of ourselves as a green company, and I’m not really seeing a lot of a green connection. But, uh, you never know, it might be applications for handheld microwaves at that point, there wouldn’t be a lot of people out there to irradiate. And uh, it’s you know, refrigeration wouldn’t be a problem, obviously, you know. I guess all your worry about methane gas and garbage and post-consumer waste, everything would kinda turn into pretty little meteorites. So, I guess you’d have to rethink the way you thought about that.
Hunter: Yeah.
Delmar: Yeah.

Crim on Boogie Boards

If you remember that last year Hunter King ’08 invited our beloved president Doug Bennet to do voice breaks for his surf rock show on WESU, he’s now taking it one step further. He says

“Wesleyan dining maven Delmar Crim will join me live on air this Sunday from 2:30-3:30 to talk about the obvious connection between surf music and the culinary arts.”

This is one show you don’t want to miss.

Burritos are back! Along with other changes…

Among other changes that our favorite Bon Appétiter, Delmar Crim, mentioned in his recent email to students is the return of burritos! Here’s to hoping they’re as good as the ones they had on Thursdays at the kosher station.

Apparently the servery at Usdan has been updated over break, with new stations added. Delmar says we’ll see:

  • A new Belgian Waffle station open during all dining periods.
  • A new salad bar and sandwich station, featuring “vegan cold salads, salad offerings, and make your own deli sandwich”.
  • The burrito station, which will also have “sizzlin’ salads and tacos”.

The Café place downstairs has reportedly also been revamped, and will now feature sandwiches, salads, entrées, New York-style pizza, and soups.

And though all meals are now all-you-can-eat for one fee, Delmar also mentions that we’ll only be able to take one piece of “hand fruit” with us when leaving the dining area. So watch out for the fruit police, or they may seize your extra banana. (Though if past observations are any indication, enforcement will be lax.)

Dining 101

Sick of sushi? Miss Mocon’s all you can eat lunches? Come to tonight’s WSA meeting to discuss dining options with Mr. Delmar Crim himself.

What: WSA General Assembly Meeting with Delmar Crim to talk about changing dining options next semester
When: 7pm
Where: Usdan 108

The WSA will be discussing two things: the possibility of an all-you-care-to-eat option for lunch, and what improved selection at the downstairs cafe should look like (thinking beyond sushi here…burritos, pizza, etc.) Be there or be square.


The following is a Wespeak addressing BA’s policies. It will be published in tomorrow’s issue of the Argus.

By Lizzie Busch and Jessie Spector, on behalf of USLAC

We appreciate the attention BA and the administration have paid to students’ concerns, and we thank them for answering to those concerns in meetings with the WSA and through the Dining Services Frequently Asked Questions on the Wesleyan website. However, we disagree with some of the assertions that have been made.

“Bon Appetit pays fair wages and benefits to its workers, so its labor costs are high.” (Dining Frequently Asked Questions on the Wesleyan website in answer to why prices are high.)

Because of the contract that the union has fought for over 25 years, workers are paid 18.75 an hour. This may sound like a lot, but food service employees at Wesleyan work only eight months of the year. It breaks down to not a whole lot more than other food service positions. Bon Appetit Management Company (BA) is also owned by the Compass Group, one of the largest food service providers in the world. Last year, Compass made $19.5 billion in revenue. To ask students to choose between lowered prices and fair wages makes it seem as if these are the only options.

“We believe that the frustration workers have experienced with the
transition to new working conditions are significant, but we expect they will prove temporary.” (Dining FAQ)

While the transition to new working conditions may very well improve with time, direct violations of the contract are not just kinks to be worked out. Recently, BA posted a new schedule without first talking to the union stewards. Workers have been unable to negotiate their hours, and now some have schedules they did not bid for. BA’s history with campus unions is also worrisome. Soon after BA took over food service at Oberlin College in 2001, a worker there with strong ties to the union was continually harassed by BA management and then fired on vague disciplinary charges with no founding evidence. At Washington University, threats from BA managers and administration caused a union vote to fail by one vote. This was brought before the National Labor Relations Board and deemed unlawful union-busting. Because of this history, February’s contract negotiations between BA and the food service workers are worrisome.

“We spent 30,000 dollars in overtime last week.” (Delmar Crim, the Argus, September 25th)

That BA paid $30,000 in overtime in one week does not indicate that workers are being overpaid. Instead, it shows that facilities are understaffed and disorganized. Employees have said they’ve had to work longer hours to finish work that simply requires more people. Instead of doing the work they are supposed to, employees have also had to take time to look for things in a new and chaotic workplace.
Food service workers want to work the hours that have been cut from their positions, and facilities would run better if they could work those hours with regular pay and a sufficiently staffed workplace.

“BA made good on its pledge to the Wesleyan community to make fulltime jobs with benefits available to all Aramark’s fulltime, benefits-eligible employees.” (Dining FAQ)

More workers are needed on this campus because food production under BA is more labor intensive. However, in hiring new workers, Bon Appetit has violated the contract. Article 12.9 says that returning workers must be allowed to increase their hours to a forty-hour workweek with benefits before any new hires are brought in. This is why taking 4 hours from Sandy Baik—putting her below benefit level—and giving them to a new hire is a violation. Under pressure from the union, BA has given Sandy back her hours. But her case is not the only one in which BA has hired new workers instead of offering more hours to current employees. The necessary new hires can be made while still following union protocol.

“Giving custodial workers’ discounts on food will open a ‘Pandora’s box.’” (Delmar Crim, WSA forum.)

Aramark gave all custodial workers a discount on food at the campus center. Forty people do custodial work at Wesleyan. The food at Usdan is priced for students with meal plans; lunch can cost up to fifteen dollars. Granting discounts to custodial workers will not open a “Pandora’s box” of discounts. Aramark was able to find the money to extend discounts. The custodial staff keeps this campus running, and they should be able to afford to eat here.

“[The sushi workers] simply have no use for unions in their culture.” (Delmar Crim,
the Argus, September 25)

Regardless of what Crim says about “culture”, the issue remains that, according to the contract, all food service workers on this campus must be part of the union. Even though sushi production is subcontracted to another company, it is necessary that these workers be unionized.

Delmar Crim!

Best facebook group ever?

Did you know:

Delmar Crim has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do?

The name Delmar is Finnish for “professional?”

Michael S. Roth has the key to Middletown, but Delmar Crim has the key to Michael S. Roth?

Delmar Crim never cries?

In college Delmar Crim majored in Efficiency?

Delmar Crim can only be destroyed in the fires of Mordor?


I am sorting through my Wesleying folder from the summer and early fall, and there are loads of stuff in here that we never got to. To all the people who submitted the past few months and didn’t see their things posted, I’m sorry! We recently figured out a brand-spankin’-new way for people to access the Wesleying g-mail account (before there was some weird thing where reading the e-mail would log you into Holly’s account, especially since Blogger switched to using Google logins), so this should cut down overlooked/double-posted/accidentally deleted e-mails. I hope.

Anyways, I mention this because I found an e-mail correspondence that took place in August between Howie Lempel ’08 and Delmar Crim. If you’re planning to go to the WSA meeting with BA, it might be good to look over. I’ve changed it into a Q&A format to make it easier to read, but this is basically the full text.

First off, you wrote “Everyone over twenty hours per week is eligible for full time benefits.” I was wondering if these are the exact same benefits that these workers would receive if they were working 40 hours a week. For example, is there an employee contribution to workers’ health plans if they are working only 20 hours per week than of they are working 40 hours a week?

The benefits for anyone working over twenty hours per week are exactly the same as someone working thirty five or forty. Again the term employee contribution in not relevant! All health insurance premiums are paid in full by Bon Appetit, actually you, to any worker with hours over twenty hours per week.

Secondly, you wrote “The health insurance is fully paid for by the employer, again almost unheard of. I can, if you would like, provide full details.” I would appreciate very much being provided with any other available details.

The insurance is the best Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that money can buy. There is no better! Also workers are able to opt for the Aetna Gourmet plan if they choose. Both of these plans have very low co-pays etc. I do not have plan summaries, but can provide them in the future when I get back. I have taken two days off and I am in North Carolina visiting my mom before things really get going. I will be absolutely transparent with any compensation questions that you may have. If you would like, you can review a copy of the collective bargaining agreement as well as health plan summaries. These workers are some of the best compensated people in the industry. This is fine with me, but at some point it impacts our ability to purchase food in a socially responsible fashion. High quality food is not cheap nor should it be. Mindless people grabbing the cheapest food that they can get is what has lead us to this situation in China, cheap tainted dairy products, meats and vegetables all produced without a sense of responsibility. Bon Appetit not only promised to maintain the current level of staff we promised to purchase food responsibly.

To be honest someone making almost nineteen dollars an hour plus twenty thousand for benefits is enough to have someone make your grilled cheese. I am sorry that some people no longer get the Monday through Friday jobs that they had. We are open seven days and intend on providing the same quality of service on the weekends as during the week. You pay a lot of money for your meal plan and should get great service and food.

During our meeting with the stewards last week they threatened to go to the student body if they did not get the concessions that they wanted. It is unfortunate they chose not to give the full picture of what is really happening.

Thank you very much and I apologize if you’ve been receiving a barrage of emails.

I do not mind the emails. It gives us a chance to present a more balanced vision of what is really going on. Without the total picture you could possibly be manipulated one way or the other. You might want consider asking some of your friends in other universities about what food service workers are making there. Also ask them about their health insurance. It would be very telling.

1) You write: “You might want consider asking some of your friends in other universities about what food service workers are making there.” I was wondering how compensation, and especially benefit packages, for workers at Wesleyan differ from those for Bon Apetit workers at other schools. Is the benefit package you are now offering different from those your other workers receive?

The workers had the choice of keeping the plan that they had or taking a thousand dollar pay out to switch to Aetna. Most of them stayed with Blue Cross. Both of the benefit packages that we are offering are not offered to any other BA workers at other universities. At most of our accounts there are higher co-pays and the workers usually have to contribute towards the coverage. I thought this level of coverage was gone twenty years ago. Most companies had to switch to a more reasonable package in order to stay in business. I won’t get into too many details because this is their privacy. Here you are footing the bill so you have a right to know how your workers are being treated.

Level of benefits is generally a joint decision between the administration and BA. The hourly rate is approximately six to ten dollars per hour richer than I have seen in other schools. To make this kind of money people usually need to work hard, educate yourself and move up to be a chef, administrator or a manager. Workers doing the same job in Middletown would make between eight and twelve being the very highest with no benefits. Not a good life! We are happy that are team members are doing well though it is I must admit disheartening for them to go to student body with partial information because they don’t get their own way on an issue. Someone mentioned to me on the blog one of hour workers said that there were only three forty hour weeks they did not mention that there were dozens of 37.5 hour jobs. This is how we managed the hours we had to work with. There is a lot of concern about hours of operations not being what students would like. With labor costs being already twenty percent higher than traditional food service we simply cannot afford the labor to staff the facilities extended hours. This is your money and there is only so much of it. Benefits and wages that are out of sync with the rest of the industry are good for the workers, but at the end of the day it is going to affect the food that you eat, the hours that we are open and our ability to be a leader at Wesleyan with sustainable practices.

2) You write: “During our meeting with the stewards last week they threatened to go to the student body if they did not get the concessions that they wanted.” I understand if these negotiations must be kept confidential, but I was wondering what these concessions are.

They wanted the number of Monday through Friday jobs to stay the same, they wanted more twenty hour work weeks “twenty and above get full time benefits” and they did not want us to schedule any full time under forty. Many of the jobs are 37.5 to 40. The negotiations apparently are not confidential. Please ask anything you would like.

Lastly, would you mind if I made this email and any other correspondence between us public? I think your answers to my questions would help to make sure that the student body get a balanced view of this issue.

You may share these correspondences’ if you like. Thank you for asking.


Talk to BA at Sunday’s WSA meeting

From Vice President Emily Malkin:

This Sunday (9/23) Delmar Crim, Bon Appetit’s Resident District Manager, will be coming into the WSA meeting to discuss Bon Appetit’s labor policies and to answer student questions concerning dining workers rights. Students will have the opportunity to hear Bon Appetit’s perspective, ask questions, and voice their opinions. Please join us for what will be an informative and important meeting. The meeting will be at 7pm in Usdan 108 (on the first floor next to the Cafe).

We recognize that this very complex issue, and we believe that it’s important for all students who care about the struggle between the union and Bon Appetit to be well-informed about the facts underlying the dispute. In addition to attending the WSA meeting on Sunday, we recommend that interested students take a look at the Wesleyan Code for Service Contractors, written by the administration and USLAC in 2000 and last updated in 2005. USLAC’s website only has the original version, but it is still useful. Check it out here. There will be copies of the most recent version at our Sunday meeting.

We will also have a few copies of the dining worker’s contract available at the meeting.

what: Bon Appetit’s Delmar Crim at the WSA meeting
when: Sunday, 9/23 (tomorrow) 7pm
where: Usdan 108 (first floor next to Cafe)