Changing Times, Changing Tastes

Campus dining offers range of new options this fall

09 September, 2015 by Ashley Ferguson

Student tastes are changing, and college budgets are shrinking, so Chuck Wagers, director of campus dining and conference services at The College of Wooster, has had to find creative ways to keep pace.

Wagers and his crew made several changes across campus during the summer to make dining options more attractive and more efficient. For example, a new machine that cracks, shells, and liquefies fresh, local eggs instead of relying on liquid whole eggs, has been added to the dining room in Lowry Center. Meanwhile, those who prefer to grab their energy on the go will notice the switch to regionally roasted Erie Island Coffee, made in Brecksville, and voted Best Coffee in Cleveland by Cleveland Magazine.

“Our decisions to change menu items to provide more variety, higher quality, and fresher product, [as well as] our new procedures to create a more sustainable budget are part of our [commitment to] continual improvement,” said Wagers. “We want our foods and services to be the best possible.”

The efforts are visible at both Lowry and Kittredge Dining Halls where students can now find more special diet options, including vegan and allergen-free selections. Both places now feature specialty meals, too, so students can plan on gourmet grilled cheese in Lowry on Sunday and quesadillas in Kittredge on Monday.

Communication within the campus community is important in deciding which products stay on the menu and which ones go. “We have a food committee, suggestion boxes, and we talk to students, both verbally and through e-mail,” said Wagers. “We give students food survey cards when sampling new products, and we use Twitter to tweet information about new items and services, and often get comments from students.”

Expanded food choices can also be found in MacLeod’s Convenience Store and Old Main Café, where those seeking a quick, yet nutritious, lunch or snack, can purchase soups, salads, fruits, sandwiches, and smoothies.

With all these options, just about everyone on campus can get a taste of something new, and Wagers is excited to see these plans come to life. “We always try to buy the best quality product at the best possible price,” he said. “We hope that students enjoy the changes.”

- Written by Ashley Ferguson '18