Sodexo service subject of scrutiny

Sodexo service subject of scrutiny

John Richie

Students wait for food at the Mountain Cat Club Saturday Feb. 3.

Brianne Fleming, Opinions Editor

Some Pitt-Johnstown students may have noticed it has been taking longer to receive food while dining on campus.

Pitt-Johnstown freshman Brooke Boyer said she recently visited the Mountain Cat Club on a Sunday evening and waited over an hour and a half for mozzarella sticks.

“There was one young lady who was trying to take everybody’s orders,” Boyer said. “There definitely should have been more than just one person for at least the 50 people that were there.”

Boyer said she felt badly for the waitress and didn’t want to cause any issues by complaining to a manager.

“I’ve heard others complain about it (the slow service), also,” she said. “It’s a bummer that you usually have to wait so long for service because the Mountain Cat Club food is really good.”

Boyer said she thinks the short-staffed problem she has witnessed at the club could discourage students from going there.

“Almost every time I’ve been there, I’ve waited over an hour for my food,” Boyer said. “The only reason I keep going back is because the food is so good, and it is a nice change from the food at the café.”

Mountain Cat Club Supervisor Dannette Ickes said students need to come forward with these kinds of issues.

“I need to know if there are these problems so I can increase the labor,” Ickes said. “I do not want any student to walk out unhappy.”

Ickes said there are usually two servers during a typical dinner shift, but it also depends on what night of the week it is.

“We get hit in waves,” Ickes said. “Even though we have cooks and are staffed, sometimes 20 students will walk in at a time, and we can only make so much food.”

Ickes said due to busy weekend nights, Mountain Cat Club employees began to offer buffets to customers.

“It’s almost impossible to get food out in a timely fashion when 40 people walk in,” Ickes said. “The whole place (on weekend nights) is completely full.”

Ickes said Mountain Cat Club workers would not be offended by negative comments from customers.

“We encourage students to give feedback,” she said. “We have a suggestion box here.”

Ickes said Mountain Cat Club employees are 100 percent dedicated to customer service.

“All the students that work here work very hard and are good students.”

The Mountain Cat Club is not the only place where students seem to be noticing the longer wait time for food on campus.

Pitt-Johnstown senior Ashley Steighner said she has noticed a short-staffed problem at Brioche Doree in the Student Union.

Steighner said she often sees only one person working at Brioche during busy afternoon and evening shifts.

“They are slammed and not one person can do it all,” she said.

Steighner said she thinks the slower service affects how often students return to Brioche.

“People don’t want to go there and eat when it takes too long,” she said.

However, Steighner said she continues to eat at Brioche because the food is good.

“I just wish they had more people working more often,” she said. “Even two people isn’t enough.”

Brioche employee Maria Babula said that she agrees the low number of staff members is a problem.

“It gets really stressful, trying to get everything out in time,” she said.

Babula said the Sodexo staff has had difficulty attracting more student workers.

“The (student workers) we do have are good and reliable workers,” she said.

Babula said, if only one person is working a lunch or dinner shift, they are in charge of making lattes and food, working the cash register and wrapping everything to go.

“It all takes some time,” she said. “I don’t think its fair for a worker to be left alone, especially in the evening.”

Sodexo General Manager Victor Costlow said it is important for students to come forward with good or bad feedback.

“It is possible we need to pay more attention to customer flow during those particular times,” he said.

Costlow said they do their best to analyze the busiest times of each Sudexo location, then readjust the labor hours.

Costlow said students can help improve the service they receive by filling out the Sudexo surveys they receive via email.

“We are all about providing great customer service,” he said. “I will listen to any complaint and take the time to see what went wrong.”