Students grill Convo for cheesy friday favorite

By Amanda Eakin

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The start of the semester marked several changes with Convo’s menu, yet the one that captured the most attention was the absence of grilled cheese on Fridays.

The traditional American comfort food was always served during Friday lunches, typically paired with a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Yet when the grilled cheese wasn’t on the menu for several weeks, the response from students was quite unexpected.

Some were simply disgruntled, while others were furious.

“I was just disappointed because I always looked forward to just a simple grilled cheese sandwich after a long day of classes on Friday,” Amber Gindlesberger said.

Kristen Loop made sure to submit a multitude of comment cards so the Convo staff would be aware of her feelings about the change.

“I was so upset by [the loss of] Grilled Cheese Fridays that I signed 15 comment cards in one sitting at Convo…I do not understand why they ever did that in the first place,” Loop said.

Many other students were left wondering the same thing. Yet the reasoning behind such a decision traces back to the students themselves.

“The overwhelming response on [the Zoomerang surveys] was ‘too much repetition,’ and it was ‘too predictable,'” said Fred Geib, the general manager of dining operations, referring to the surveys students can take every spring semester to provide Convo with feedback.

According to Geib, many students were the most dissatisfied with the unchanging rotation of foods served on a given day.

“Grilled Cheese Friday was on every Friday…it doesn’t get any more predictable than that,” Geib said.

In response to the survey, it was resolved to have grilled cheese on different days for the exact purpose of switching up the menu.

“It wasn’t like there [was] any less grilled cheese-it was just scattered across the menu,” Geib said.

He also added that the change students were so distraught over wasn’t as big as some thought.

“Tomato soup never left Fridays…it was just the grilled cheese,” Geib said.

He again emphasized the reason for the decision was made due to student responses.

“It could have been the timing of the survey, because it was at the end of the year, everything seems repetitious and predictable at that point,” Geib said. “It was never intended to cause distress among the student body.”

Still, the general student body was highly dissatisfied with what Convo felt was a seemingly tiny change.

Comment cards, which are located right between the Hot Bar and soup well, were being submitted significantly more than usual.

“I had about 50 comment cards,” Geib said, in reference to the amount dedicated to grilled cheese alone.

Good-natured about the situation, Geib said he plans to display all the comment cards that were sent about the grilled cheese.

He also added that although students tend to leave anonymous remarks, some went up the Convo staff personally and asked about the absence of their favorite food on Fridays.

It was after several weeks lacking in grilled cheese tradition that Convo made amends and decided to serve the beloved sandwich on Fridays again.

“If you want Grilled Cheese Friday, hey, we’ll bring it back,” Geib said with a laugh. “We’re here for the students.”

Geib also noted general student dissatisfaction with the change in pasta sauce. The reaction was perhaps less intense than the grilled cheese change, yet enough for Convo to quickly go back to serving their usual marinara sauce.

“We made that switch…not because of cost, we did it because that marinara sauce that we switched to came locally from a company called Sandridge out of Medina, Ohio,” Geib said.

Geib explained that Auxiliary Services strives to support smaller businesses when buying products.

“We’re always a firm believer in trying to purchase and buy local whether it’s our chicken…or dairy products, so we were doing the same thing,” Geib said, referring to the marinara sauce. “It’s a fresher product, but obviously [the students] didn’t like the chunks. The flavor wasn’t that big of a deal, but they didn’t like the texture of it.”

Geib is well aware that despite the students’ insistence for change, certain menu items should never be altered. The grilled cheese and pasta sauce, apparently, were some of those items.

“Unfortunately, those things don’t tend to work out,” Geib said, particularly alluding to the unpopular switch in marinara sauce.

Now, the sauce is the same as it used to be, and grilled cheese is served on Fridays again.

“I’m extremely happy that they’re bringing [grilled cheese] back because…it was my favorite meal and it’s delicious,” Loop said.

Grilled Cheese Fridays are back and are here to stay.

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