Shamp Responds to Critics of Late-Night Dining

Gianna Hayes, News Editor

Last week, the Voice fielded a survey to gauge the Wooster student community’s opinions on the upgraded Late Night Dining services. The majority of respondents took issue with the limited dietary options, the quality of food and the pricing. These responses were all appreciated, and prompted a further inquiry into the management side of Late Night Dining. When reached for comment, Marjorie Shamp shared some insights to some of the challenges the Late Night staff face, as well as some hopes for further improvements in the future. 

While some speculation has arisen as to what the root of the problem with the declining food quality is, Shamp pointed to the “high volume of orders” as a source, saying that the “biggest challenge…has been adjusting to the new online ordering system.” Many students also cited this as a reason for the poor service, imploring the school to bring back the previous methods of ordering, such as the kiosks from the fall 2022 semester. Shamp also mentioned that the inclusion of meal swipes as a form of payment is leading to more orders, creating a backed up system. Unfortunately, there is not a clear solution. She cited some success from having “several students [who] have responded to the call to work as expeditors” as well as having “senior members of the management team…on hand each night to ensure that the system is working successfully.” She shared some of the tasks student workers take care of, such as “coordinating the food order tickets for the culinary staff, loading and troubleshooting the food lockers and assisting students with placing and receiving orders.” Some students disagree about this management tactic, saying they would rather just have someone take orders face to face, completely eliminating the complicated ordering system which has repeatedly crashed on especially busy nights. 

Dining has long had issues with making sure to offer a diverse choice of foods, ranging from healthy options to comfort foods, and augmenting the menu to cater to specific dietary needs. A notable improvement has been the implementation of vegan and vegetarian options, though students still have complaints with the variety, and Late Night Dining’s dietary accessibility in particular. Shamp also credited students with some positive changes in expanding the menu. After receiving “great feedback from students,” she shared how they implemented specific suggestions, such as “the double Wooster burger, the burger melt and additional modifiers to the Kitt’s grilled cheese.” However, students still lament the limited options, with little to no adjustments made for those students with dietary restrictions or students trying to stay healthy after a sports practice. Commenting on some of the issues many students had with raw pizza dough, or the pizza quality in general, Shamp said “working with fresh pizza dough this semester has also brought some challenges, but the staff is really doing a great job adjusting to the changes.” 

Shamp concluded by encouraging students to share their opinions and provide feedback to improve dining, not just with Late Night Mom’s, but all campus dining locations, saying “[our] menus are constantly under review.” If students have suggestions to expand or improve the menu, Shamp invites students to email, or to fill out the online dining survey to add their suggestions using the QR codes located around campus dining locations. 

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