Letter to the Editor: Food service is not worth the Bronc bucks

Everyone with a meal plan knows not to expect much from the Rider University food services. The nature of serving to many people does not lend itself to high-quality food products or service. You don’t go to McDonalds and expect to get prime rib. Daly’s may even have what some people consider redeeming qualities. It’s pretty clean. The salad bar is excellent and don’t even get me started about the merits of an all-you-can-eat cereal bar.

Really what is most bothersome are the food services that we pay extra for. I’m talking about the Bronc Diner and Cranberry’s. As a business student, I can’t help but think to myself how they would both be out of business in a real market, under the pressures of competition. If I couldn’t use my Bronc bucks there, and had to pay with actual currency, I would under no circumstances ever go there. In fact, I would rather starve to death on principle. I’m going to assume that a good many Rider students feel the same way. I could give you countless examples of how they’ve ruined meals, but I sum it up by saying that if Chef Gordon Ramsey saw what was going on here, his head would actually explode.

I don’t want to seem too harsh, but I’m going to place some blame on Aramark. I sometimes wonder what kind of training or qualifications its employees have. Are they paid enough? Do they receive benefits? Are they drug tested? Are they on parole? Some of our Aramark employees appear to be the least motivated people I’ve ever seen. The daily facial expressions on some of their faces make me wonder if they are mistreated or underpaid. One employee who works at the C-store appears to be the most unhappy human being I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine how terrible her life must be. I think someone should bring her flowers, or maybe some candy that hasn’t melted in the sweltering hot C-store.

Some of the Aramark characters that I’ve seen come and go were quite interesting, to say the least. As a freshman, I remember a Bronc Diner employee who actually stood behind a box of bread and very carefully removed the tobacco from a cigar, only to replace it with marijuana. He no longer works here, thankfully, but the service is still no better than when he did.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the procedure by which the diner food is made. I’ve studied it carefully and it appears that they just make the easiest tickets first. The whole system is heavily flawed. I’ll also point out that employee retention is not very high and I can only imagine why. I just don’t think any food service company in a competitive market outside of our little Rider utopia would allow things to work this way.

I frequently hear the employees say things that, if my mother heard me say them, would result in a quick and much-deserved slap upside the head. Now, I’m not easily offended — in fact, I rather enjoy hearing most vulgar things — but I know in every job I’ve ever had, I would be fired for some of the things I’ve heard said here.

I don’t really know what can be done to make conditions here better. It is much easier to criticize than to actually come up with a solution to the problem. I guess until someone does, we will have to deal with what we have, or just not be forced to buy a meal plan.
Ryan Durante
Computer Information Systems, Class of 2009

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