By Jacob Beach
In an effort to bring better food and service to campus, Chartwells has recently extended a hand to both students and the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs.
This semester Gene Castelli, resident district manager for Chartwells, has been meeting with students for lunch on a regular basis.
Junior Martin Clark, WCSA president, said the idea was conceived by the WCSA executive body as a way for students to “interact directly with Gene (Castelli), to tell him what they liked and did not like about food on campus.”
According to junior Alex Kerensky, WCSA representative, the meetings address “small specific issues at Thomson and Smith to larger issues like labeling of food, vegetarian options and how Chartwells deals with different allergies.”
Clark said WCSA and Chartwells have previously worked together on a number of occasions.
Chartwells, in another effort to reach out to students about its dining servers and buildings, recently conducted a student survey asking questions about what types of food they would like to see more of to what they thought of the current seating situations in certain facilities.
Castelli referred to the survey as a “gut check” to make sure student views are in line with the future of the food courts and services, specifically Chartwells’s plans for the summer.
The first question—the most important, according to Castelli—asked the participating 163 students which food they would prefer to have served in the Food Court.
59 percent of the 163 respondents prioritized healthy food options; 51.5 percent favored a rotating weekly food schedule.
Among other issues that received overwhelming responses was Bishop Café—64.9 percent of students said they wanted “improved speed of service.”
Castelli said Chartwells will order Turbochef, a toaster oven able to cook four to six sandwiches at once. The current machine can only cook one sandwich at that time.
Students also responded strongly when asked about bringing a national brand to campus. Castelli said Chartwells is considering installing Chickendippity, an internal chicken franchise, at OWU. A contract with Papa John’s Pizza is also a strong possibility.
“They wouldn’t deliver, but would be available to students to make personal 8-inch pans and would be fast, clearing up a lot of congestion in the Food Court,” Castelli said.
In an attempt to reduce congestion in the Food Court it was suggested the salad bar be removed, since pre-packaged salads are offered. Survey results proved correct Castelli’s prediction students would not like the idea.
About 57 percent of respondents said they would rather make a salad from the salad bar, while 10.2 percent said they preferred pre-packaged salad.
Castelli said much of the information used in the survey has and will be considered during the planning process for renovations of the HWCC Food Court and dining areas.