By Hania Jones
The cafeteria at the Marple Campus has undergone a transformation. According to Sean Gow, general manager of Canteen, a dining service that provides the food at DCCC, “Everything is pretty much the same, but a higher quality and perception.” Gow is referring to the new features of the cafeteria, such as the stone pizza oven and the electronic soft beverage machine.
The cafeteria still features the classic salad bar and the breakfast menu. The menu is more diversified, offering cultural entrees.
“We have Italian, Indian, Oriental and different selections,” Gow said. “So we have more options that are not just burgers and chicken and pizza.”
According to Gow, The cultural entrees has gotten positive feedback from students. “We have a lot of customers who are new to ethnic food.” Gow said.
The enriched menu also accommodates students and faculty who eat gluten-free meals, vegetarian options, and also selective eaters, Gow explained.
“We have a lot of variations of different foods and that also includes vegans and any kind of vegetarian items,” Gow said, adding that he can accommodate people with allergies or those requesting specialty items.
“Even if we can’t give it that day, we always take suggestions.”Gow said. “And it’s not just for vegetarians, it’s for people who want chicken noodle soup everyday because usually, we do three soups, but they want chicken noodle everyday.”
Canteen vending has provided meals for DCCC for seven years. According to their website, Canteen is “committed to providing our clients and customers with wholesome product options and information to help the make informed food and beverage choices and lead a healthier lifestyle on the go.”
This message is part of Canteen’s better-for-you options, which focuses on healthier choices in regards to lunches, drinks, and snacks, according to their website.
“We’re actually talking in terms of transitioning ourselves to go for a more better-foryou solution to change the marketplace and really take control of what’s being served to be able to offer the sweet potato fries, the vegetarian friendly, less beef more turkey, more lean protein,” said Margaret Boyle, the field marketing specialist at DCCC. “So we’re really excited about that platform to move that forward.”
In addition to the new menu, the atmosphere of the cafeteria has also changed.
“It’s bringing everyone in who really never took advantage of it before,” Gow said. “It gives more time for people to instead of sitting down and leaving, they can relax in here or sit outside or in the sun or the seating area that is renewed and built.”
The seating area is an extension of the cafeteria, where students can have a quiet place to eat their food while focusing on their studies. Its design was also part of the school’s construction plan, along with the cafeteria.
“It’s very expansive,” Gow said. “They can even work back there with a cup of coffee or something, either by themselves or with their friends.”
Students weighed in on how they felt about the new design of the cafeteria, as well as the menu options.
“I think it’s very nice,” said Vivian Nguyen, a business major. “The food has changed. I like how you can pick and mix the food, I really like that.”
“Well, it’s my first semester, so I didn’t get to see how the cafeteria looked before, but it looks really nice,” said a science major who preferred to be known only as Tim H. “The food is good.”
A few had different opinions of the menu, especially the cultural entrees.
“I like the attempt, but the [new cuisine] is what scares people,” said Kayla Charles, a science major. “With that being said, just stick to what you know.”
Suggestions about the cafeteria’s menu are always welcome at Gow’s office in the cafeteria, he said.
“I’m on the floor all of the time,” Gow explained. “So if somebody has suggestions, they can either ask one of the employees and they’ll give it to me or they can give them my business card, I’ll talk to them,” explained Gow. “I’ve had people come in, so I’m very friendly and my door is always open for customers who come in with suggestions.”
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