Management neglecting Trojan dining services

Pradyot Sharma

Staff Writer

Troy University students have concerns about the level of service provided by campus dining outlets.

On March 21, Sodexo, the company that operates the dining services, rescheduled a Food Advisory Committee of Troy (FACT) meeting. It provided no explanation and informed students about it the day the meeting was supposed to take place. The meeting will be April 4 at 1:30 p.m. in the civic dining room.

This meeting is an avenue for students to express their concerns and dining suggestions to the dining management.

Despite repeated attempts to contact Sodexo management requesting an explanation, no clarification was provided.

A major issue that needs to be addressed is the coffee machine in the Trojan dining hall that has been “temporarily out of order” for almost three months now.

Continuous failure to address this issue can only be construed as negligence by the dining management.

Over the past two weeks, there were instances where it seemed that this issue was being addressed. On March 21, the machine was repaired and the sign removed.

You would think that after 2.5 months, the management would find a permanent solution to this. Yet on Monday of this week, the sign was up again.

By Tuesday, the management had put up a more fanciful sign conveying the same message rather than fixing the machine.

This isn’t only about the coffee machine.

“The drink machines are almost always down, I have noticed, especially the past week,” said Wesley Ralph, a freshman English major from Birmingham.

Ralph also mentioned issues with understaffing that ends up creating long lines on certain days.

“They are definitely understaffed,” he said. “There are instances when the staff are not at their station, and that should not happen.”

Another issue that has been brought up regularly is the lack of silverware at certain stations in Trojan Dining, especially spoons, which are almost impossible to locate at times.

“Clearly the issue is not money … and considering the amount of time it (the coffee machine) has been broken, they could have done a better job of getting that available,” said Perry Metzler, a junior hospitality management major from Atmore.

Campus dining is a hospitality industry, and Metzler pointed out a possible reason for this compromise of service standards.

“Definitely these issues (with dining) are vital because in other restaurants, people are just going to go somewhere else,” he said.

“But with the meal plan, that’s not a possibility, and so there is less of a possibility for complaint or … consequences.”

Campus dining outlets are promoted to incoming students on the website as being top notch. This does not only involve providing good food but also good service like any other food outlet. The lack of competition should not be a reason for the dining management to slack off when it comes to maintenance and service.

Sodexo is a business organization, and Troy University students, as customers, have a right to expect a higher level of service from it.

This involves the company being more efficient when it comes to addressing these problems about campus dining and, like any other organization, putting customers first.

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