Changes in campus dining save time

By Cory A. Thompsoncoryetc@gmail.com – Staff Writer

A redistribution of staff in The Down Under should alleviate student concerns regarding excessively long lines, according to the director of dining services.

“We heard a lot of complaints about the line in The Down Under in the first few weeks,” said Emily Williams, director of dining services since July. “In response, we added an extra person to the sandwich line and an extra cashier at the front.”

Williams said this change, along with increased staff experience, will correct the inadequacies encountered by patrons of the eatery.

“Now you have a barista, a cashier and two or three sandwich specialists,” Williams said. “The backlash should subside considerably.”

Williams said the new addition of Starbucks is one of the reasons for the increased business.  According to her, business at The Down Under nearly doubled since the installation of the coffee chain.

“We didn’t realize how busy The Down Under would become,” Williams said.

Kelly McDuffie, a 33-year-old Down Under employee, said The Down Under outperforms the eateries of the other two colleges where she has worked.

“The only possible improvement I imagine is adding a place to order coffee separate from the register,” McDuffie said. “As it stands, we have students in and out pretty fast.”

According to McDuffie, students steadily stream into the shop in the morning for breakfast and from 9 p.m. to midnight for a late-night snack. She said the busiest time is the lunch rush.

“I’ve noticed this school doesn’t have a staggered academic schedule,” McDuffie said. “A whole pack of students show up at the same time for lunch then disappear again in a poof.”

McDuffie said she listens to criticism and feedback and wants to work with the students.

“Students can surely express their suggestions,” McDuffie said. “The only way things get changed is if we know what we need to change.”

Williams said she wants as much student input as possible, but she recognizes some feedback will always remain negative.

“At the end of the day, students are going to think what they think,” Williams said. “I’m still the lunch lady.”

The Down Under serves lunch, and one student said that’s exactly what he needs.

“It’s certainly better than last year,” said Fred Wood, a senior economics student. “You can get a decent sandwich there.”

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