Few themed gift packages are ordered

Justin Schmithorst, Contributing Writer

Sodexo, the Pitt-Johnstown food caterer, offers gift packages. This little-known service has packages priced at $25 and $30 that include Munchie Mania, Healthy Snack Pack and the Birthday Party To-Go.

At least some Pitt-Johnstown students said they are unsure about many gift packages aspects. Junior Niki Kusy said that while she was aware of the gift packages’ existence, she was unsure of how to get them.

Kuzy also said that she would consider ordering a gift package if she knew more about it, and that she liked the idea. She also stated that she would advertise more to get students aware of the service.

Underclassmen, however, didn’t seem to share the optimistic sentiment their upperclassmen counterparts had.

Freshman Jacob Caruso said that, while he was aware of the service, he wouldn’t ever consider ordering one, unless he was desperate.

Caruso added that the big change that he would make would be to lower the price.      

Sodexo Marketing Director Emily Michaels said that they’ve been around for a couple of years, and it was a goal for Sodexo to revive them.

Kevin Dicey, Sodexo General Manager, said that gift boxes were going strong and then, one year, they suddenly died.

Michaels said there is variety in how the boxes are prepared. The Birthday Party To-Go is prepared with a full in-house bakery, while other boxes are assembled with pre-made products, like Snickers, Doritos and Pepsi.

Dicey said the gift boxes were a break-even product, and that they have received a few orders since the semester began, mostly birthdays.

Dicey noted that the prices are determined by Sodexo’s price calculator, and it gives him a certain range to price the boxes.

As far as advertising is concerned, both Dicey and Michaels said that the boxes were not marketed aggressively. Recently, Michaels posted a brochure on Facebook, along with there being a traditional brochure holder in the dining room.

Dicey said the revenue gained from the sales of these boxes is put into the dining program.

If students wish to leave feedback, Michaels said that there’s a Sodexo app, called Bite. Students also can leave feedback via email.

Dicey said the biggest part of his job is the students, and that, if any of them have feedback, they should discuss it with him.

Alternatively, Dicey also said that if students are uncomfortable approaching him they can go through Haylie White, Student Government’s Vendor Relations Committee Chair.