AP: Students Culinary Tastes on the Rise

DSCF0997The Associated Press did a great article discussing how campus dining has evolved in recent years as tastes change and grow.

Mostly, that students want more options and are cooking in their rooms more often.  In the article, it mentions Ohio Wesleyan University, who uses Chartwells for food services like Marietta.  Ohio Wesleyan’s food options include take-away heat-and-eat meals and a convenience store that students can buy ingredients for their own meals from.

Chartwells, the company that prepares food for dining halls at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, offers microwaveable meals that students can take away, as well as a program called “My Pantry,” where students can have food individually prepared, or even do their own cooking.

From Associated Press Article “Campus cuisine: Dorm cooking, dining hall options” by Beth J. Harpaz

Taking a look at OWU’s meal plan costs, they are a tad more expensive on their high-end plan.  While Marietta students will pay $3,646 for a year of traditional food service (19, 14, or 10 meals a week) or $3,840 for special meal plans (Unlimited or Super 3 plans), OWU students pay $4,320 for 3,750 dining points (very similar to MC’s declining balance points) on the high end, or $3,200 for 2,450 dining points at the low end.

Could we see something like this come to Marietta?

We do get declining balance points at MC, but their use is very limited when you consider that most people only get the amount that comes with their meal plan.  But things like Chlapaty Cafe’s coffee shop, vending machines, and Izzy’s options beyond subs and burgers could become more viable with a change from meals to points entirely.  And open up the possibility for a new use for Gilman Express.

Gilman Express is a sandwich shop stuck in a small space above Gilman Dining Hall, which used to operate from 7:30 AM until 1:30 PM.  But now, with Chlapaty Cafe open for business, it is only open from 11 AM until 1:30 PM.  It is very crowded during lunch, but its small size makes it difficult to get in and out quickly during the lunch rush.  Could the space currently used my Gilman Express be converted into a convenience store for students at Marietta?  It is possible, but any decision would be a year or two off, or may take until the next round of contract negotiations.

What changes would you like to see made to food services?  Add your comments below.