Dining Services met with students in a town hall style meeting on March 16 to share feedback and discuss Michigan Tech’s Dining Services, as well as plans for the future. The informal meeting was held between Chuck Brown, Interim Director of Dining Services, students, and representatives from the Undergraduate Student Government and the Inter-Residence Housing Council, among others.
Suggestions and feedback for Dining Services were given by the students on topics ranging from food labeling to recipes and cooking to seating in the dining halls. Issues with specific food items, such as cooking or flavor, were brought up, in addition to more general feedback as to how the dining halls could be improved, such as by providing more options for students with specific dietary needs.
Brown gave a brief presentation on what Dining Services had done recently, notably hiring additional staff to better meet demand and keep the dining halls running smoothly. He discussed ongoing sustainability efforts, specifically how better data on food consumption had helped reduce food waste. There was also a notable switch to digital recipes on tablets that had helped reduce paper waste.
He also mentioned the plans that Dining Services had for the future, both in the long and short term. Notably, the addition of a BBQ bar to the McNair dining hall features traditional meat options as well as a pulled-jackfruit vegan option. More speculatively, plans to renovate existing dining halls and facilities across campus with the intention of modernizing the spaces and improving the dining experience were also discussed. Ideas were mentioned, such as bringing in high-tech equipment and culinary experts to improve the food and the atmosphere.
Brown discussed the ongoing goals of continuing to improve the dining experience across a wide variety of categories, from comfort to food to fun, as well as ensuring a positive working environment for the staff and decreasing food waste. He emphasized that, above all else, the goal of Dining Services is to improve the quality of the dining experience for students at Michigan Tech, saying “It all starts and ends with the students.”