In response to poor service, a student’s tweet provoked a response from Sodexo.
A student’s tweet turned into a formal complaint with Sodexo when one of the company’s employees saw the tweet and responded, which led to a meeting on March 29.
Brandon Warech, a freshman management information systems major, tagged Sodexo in a tweet about the food and got a response from Michael McManus, the director of public relations for Sodexo, asking for detailed information.
“I emailed him a pretty lengthy email with a lot of specifics, and we kind of just went off there,” Warech said. “We’ve been in contact for the last couple weeks, and I finally got a Google [document] together of a lot of other student complaints.”
The comments Warech received for his compilation of complaints included a student being accused of stealing from the Student Center, employees disrespecting students and unsanitary food, upon others.
Warech met with Sodexo employees, including district manager Bryan Sparks, general manager Dave Tolbert and district marketing manager Bob Griffin.
Griffin said in an email that some of the topics discussed were inappropriate language between employees, healthy food options, improper line management, cross contamination, dirty dishes, disrespect by employees toward students, quality assurance and meal plan setup.
Griffin said Sodexo began the development of a new meal plan option that would allow students to use multiple meals during one meal period, and use meals for guests.
“I was expecting them to blow me off, and say, ‘Oh, we’ll just take care of it,’ but I’m actually really impressed,” Warech said.
Warech said he decided contacting Sodexo’s corporate office would be more effective than contacting Temple Dining.
Sodexo will work to refresh training for all managers, supervisors and front-line employees. The training will focus mainly on the treatment of customers and efficiency, Griffin said. Sodexo also plans to hire a new certified executive chef for Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria dining facilities.
“Honestly, my whole goal … is to be like other colleges who they hire students to work in the food complexes. I feel like students are in more need of money,” Warech added. “I just feel like they would be more dedicated.”
Students eating in the Student Center had other opinions about Temple Dining.
“I thought I’d hate [the food], but it’s not that bad,” Dan Boches, a sophomore economics major, said.
Darren Borman, a freshman education major, said, “We students got to work with what we got. [The food] is not great, but it’s doable.”
“We continue to seek feedback from students about what they want, and look forward to implementing changes,” Griffin said. “But we need specific requests, submitted either by our Facebook page or by our website.”
Lily Fronden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.