Changes made to dining services this semester

Mackenzie Pflum, Reporter

If you’re driving through Ashland, Ohio you might notice one thing in common, help wanted signs. 

2021 has been full of its fair share of challenges, but Ashland University Dining Services is experiencing its toughest one in years. “Labor is our issue and that drives everything,” says The General Manager of Dining Operations, Frederick Geib. 

Since the COVID-19 virus outbreak AU’s Dining Services staff has slowly continued to dwindle down significantly. Core staff members have left for competing jobs in town due to wage discrepancy and student workers are few and far between, resulting in many significant changes throughout all dining locations.

Ashland students may have noticed the plastic cups and plates in the Convocation Center. This change was made because dining services simply do not have enough staff in the dishroom to wash the dishes. 

Menu items including dessert and pizza are no longer being made in-house. Instead, they have moved to more pre-made options to help save prep time. Breakfast cooked to order is closed and remains closed until further notice. Eagles’ Nest is no longer offering subs, sandwiches, and pizza to help accommodate AU students along with their own staff members. 

These changes made to the dining halls ultimately were made for the betterment of students and staff, but Geibs could not stress enough that “these changes are not who we are. We are scrambling everyday to just get food on students’ plates.” 

Even though changes have been made students at AU are maintaining high spirits and are just happy to be back on campus. Senior AU student Luke Tanner says, “honestly I haven’t really noticed many changes at convo. I mean, they were still serving steak the other night. I think everyone is just happy to be back on campus and are able to have some sense of normality.”

Geib could not be more appreciative of  how all the students have been so patient and kind throughout all the adjustments and changes throughout the campus dining. Though they are shorthanded, he appreciates his employees that are working hard and maintaining good spirits despite the challenges. 

Mckenzee Thorn, the Late Night chef and manager, says, “all in all we are doing the best we can with what we have. Last year I would have had about 5 or 6 workers plus me on duty. Now I have two, maybe three workers serving around 250 students. Even though it’s a lot to take on, we are getting it done and I am proud of that”

Dining services is looking for student and non-student workers throughout all areas of dining 

For an opportunity to work in Eagles Nest or the Convocation Center, visit [email protected] or (Mackenzie Pflum)

services. If you are interested in a position with dining services, you can fill out an application on Handshake or Scan the QR Code below.