Sodexo looks to constrain behavior

Sodexo looks to constrain behavior

Sodexo Manager Victor Costlow (third from right) leads a Sodexo staff meeting in the Student Union cafeteria.

Amstrid Gomez, News Editor

Every day before lunch hours, Sodexo staff members may be seen talking around a dining hall table, preparing for daily meals.

Sodexo General Manager Victor Costlow said these meetings are to provide information on safety guidelines, allergens and proper customer service techniques.

Costlow said he always encourages staff members to not be afraid of communicating with students.

He said, in the past, employees would be the ones to serve food so there was more communication between them and students.

“We lost that piece of customer service because of the buffet style service, so we are trying to develop more positive communication,” he said.

He said poor customer service issues are handled immediately. Complaints of staff members arguing or engaging in improper workplace behavior are reviewed individually, and steps are taken to ensure improper behavior does not continue.

“If employees have something to say to one another, they need to do it on their own time not in front of customers.

“If the behavior were to continue we then would push further with counseling because it has to stop,” Costlow said.

He said all conduct information is given once a week during training.

Costlow said there are a few things that may cause tension between employees.

“Right now, employees are changing jobs. They can bid on and take jobs they want, so, if someone doesn’t get the job, they may be mad at the person who does,” he said. “There have also been a lot of employees out on family medical leave this year and that may also lead to some issues.”

He said student feedback is always welcome. Whether positive or negative, it helps them see what is being done right or wrong.

Student Government Foods Chair Nolan McGuire said he meets with Sodexo staff members every other week.

“We talk about everything food-related from the big to the small,” McGuire said.

McGuire said he receives a lot of student feedback.

“I receive an idea or feedback at least five times a week and that’s the smallest amount, so it’s probably around seven to 10.”

He said staff behavior is something they are continuously working on, and he believes it has been getting better, but there is always room for improvement.

He said he would like to see the two open positions filled soon.

McGuire said he is now working with Sodexo staff on a build-your-own meal plan within Sodexo limits.