Suggestions Through 9/23/21


“Request for longer and extended hours, especially for students who have evening classes.”

-and-

“There should be later hours for one of the dining areas”

-and-

“Please add more places on campus to get coffee and quick grab and go.”

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns about dining hours. We certainly understand the need for students to have access to food later into the evenings. Similar to the trend occurring in the hospitality industry nationwide, we are experiencing staff shortages that have, for the time being, required us to temporarily curtail our evening hours. It is our intention to restore late evening hours and services as soon as we obtain the staffing necessary to do so on a sustainable basis. All of our dining operations offer exclusively a la carte/debit dining and any and all meal options can be taken to-go during the hours of continuous operation (7:30am - 8:00pm weekdays and 10am - 8pm on weekends). We encourage students to make a la carte purchases ahead of time for late-night eating, taking advantage of the micro fridges and microwaves in each room.

Vending machines are another option available for afterhours purchases. The Snack Lounge in the Academic Commons (1st floor) has a machine stocked with sandwiches, salads, microwaveable items, yogurt and other hearty snacks. There is also a hot beverage machine in the lounge. Elsewhere on campus there are eight additional snack and cold beverage vending machines that accept the vending account assigned to each meal plan:

Samuelson Pavilion (snack & cold beverages)

Academic Commons Front Entrance (snack & cold beverages)

Bell-Young Hall (cold beverages)

Norris Hall (cold beverages)

Keck Theater Academic Lobby (snack & cold beverages)

Berkus Hall Courtyard (cold beverages)

 

“More Variety. Bring back Pasta Bar and Waffle Station”

The waffle station, made to order pasta and other favorites, will return when we have sufficient kitchen employees to support the set-up-service and clean up for these options. Thank you for your patience in the meantime!

“Having the coffee cart in Berkus again! It didn’t make much sense to have the coffee cart at the bookstore because it was right by the MP/Cooler with overlapping hours, and made sense to close but I think having it in berkus (with the same hours) would be great! It would be a great dining option for students who live in upper campus, and prevent a lot of students gathering in the cooler or MP, and help increase social distancing!”

At the beginning of the semester, with the Green Bean closed and the Tiger Cooler not opening until 11am daily, the Coffee Cart was offered in a more centralized location by the Bookstore as the sole location for specialty coffee service. Soon afterward, service at the Coffee Cart had to be curtailed so that staff could be reallocated to support the overwhelming volume of business in the Marketplace. This also consolidated product ordering and receiving to two locations instead of three (giving managers more time to devote to the Cooler and Marketplace). Morning specialty coffee service is now offered out of the Tiger Cooler M-F beginning at 8am. The Tiger Cooler is not only better equipped to support the volume of morning coffee business, but is also able to offer a wider selection of grab & go beverage and lunch options - including sushi and a larger supply of menu items provided by Four Cafe.

It is and has always been our intention to expand our hours and services, once we are able to hire the personnel necessary to do so consistently. Whether at Berkus or by the Bookstore, the Coffee Cart will return, but a specific date is unknown at this time.

“Vegan bagels and breads”

At the Tiger Cooler, all buns and bread, including Little Northern Bakehouse (gluten-free), are vegan.

At the Marketplace:

  • At the Grill station: All buns and bread are vegan except when we offer the brioche burger buns.
  • At the Deli: 12-Grain, Sourdough, White and the Hoagie Roll are vegan

All bagels at both locations are vegan (except cheese and egg varieties)

“If going to have soy products can there be more tempeh?”

-and-

“Have tempeh as an options or vegan alternative instead of just tofu. Tempeh at the grill station too”

We have been looking at sources for purchasing vegan and vegetarian alternatives. So far there have been issues with sourcing items (including Tempeh) that are consistently available from our suppliers (this is a function of supply chain disruptions nationally and globally). We have started the process of reaching out to new vendors as well as looking at adjusting the current menus to reflect more plant-based as well as less processed items. Please stay tuned and let us know if you think of other ways in which we may be able to offer vegan and vegetarian options that would work for you. 

“More veggie options like green beans mushrooms cauliflower okra zucchini kale and spinach for daily selection steamed and cooked”

-and-

“Better grain options Wild rice, Farrow and spelt”

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“Less vegan alternatives with just tofu or “soy crumbles” or “soy chicken” . Example- Vegan spaghetti could have lentils instead of soy crumbles. There’s even soy in the vegan chilli. It would be nice to have other grain options like wild rice, farro and spelt. And other pasta like chickpea and red lentils.”

-and-

“Red lentil pasta, chickpea pasta black bean pasta for the pasta station are really good vegan options with good proteins. We should have more vegan options that don’t have soy.”

We have begun to swap out the soy options for other plant-based options, as well as continuing to consider other legumes, vegetables and grains. We will look at our options from our current vendors with soy free ingredients. While we do offer a multitude of steamed and cooked vegetables daily at homestyle and the grill, we will try to offer more of these items throughout the marketplace. We are looking at modifying the items offered in the salad bar and deli to provide alternative vegetables, grains and legumes to expand our options for a broader range. 

“I've been charged the wrong amount for a lot of items I've bought. There is no way I know of to ask for it to be fixed. I think it would be good to have a form for minor refund requests in that situation since it happens at least once a week.”

First off, we apologize if this has occurred. Our cashiers are trained to charge correctly, but sometimes mistakes can be made.  We are also training new employees. When you believe that you have been charged incorrectly, it is best to bring it up to the cashier at that time. This is an easier scenario because we can fix the problem right away and can see what you have, and compare that to what was charged. If you do not feel comfortable doing this you can email ecruz@oxy.edu, Eileen Castellon, with your information (Name, ID #, time and date) and she can look into what has been charged to verify if there are any discrepancies. Please note that the Marketplace charges by the station. For example, if you get food from the grill and go to the salad bar to add salad or toppings to the same container or plate you are charged salad bar items at the cashier's discretion. It is best if you use the appropriate container or plate (see signage) when getting items off the salad bar.

To the student who submitted a concern on 9/22 about a dining employee – we need more information. Please contact Associate VP Amy Munoz munoz@oxy.edu. You will not be identified in the course of investigating this matter. Thank you.