Sodexo locations and services undergo menu changes and rebranding.
By Hannah Tetzlaff
Sodexo is serving up new improvements this fall as they reimagine eating locations around campus and revamp their menus and services.
According to an email sent by Vice President and Dean of Student Chris Ogle on Friday, July 21, “the Sodexo food service is virtually changing all aspects of their operations including venues, meal plans, a new chef, more flexible catering, and enhanced food options…perhaps most striking will be the new look of the pub, under the new name of ‘The Spot.’”
Ogle added the name “The Spot” was conceived because the former pub was receiving an entire new look and thus needed a new name. The name is based off of a popular destination for college students in downtown Ripon by the same name from years gone by
The changes occurring in The Spot range from flooring to ceiling and all across the menu.
“Based on student feedback, The Spot is receiving all cosmetic upgrades including the floor, comfortable seating, new colors and more comfortable lighting,” said Doug Stenfeldt, general manager of Sodexo. “The ordering will be taking place out in the dining room with a food pick up window. You can pick up a vibrating buzzer device to alert you when your order is ready for pickup as all food will be cooked to your preference and no longer sitting under a heat lamp.”
Stenfeldt noted all the frozen entrees are replaced by fresh options, so there are fresh ground beef burgers and chicken breasts, and the new menu included healthier options such as vegetarian entrees.
Another service of Sodexo’s that is rebranded is “Grab and Go.” According to Stenfeldt, Grab and Go is now known as “Rally’s on the Run” because the quality of the food offered changed dramatically. Starbucks, like Grab and Go, received a new identity as well and is offering new options for drinks and bakery items, but is still serving Starbucks coffee.
Other Sodexo locations have also undergone dramatic change, such as The Commons. The Commons hours are now continuous, meaning students can stop in anytime during the day to eat a late breakfast, early lunch or just to grab a quick snack.
One of the new services offered at The Commons is the carryout container.
“The carry-out container which can be used in The Commons dining is available to all residential meal plans except the Open Access plan,” Stendfeldt said. “It is an optional program that anyone can purchase their container for a one time fee of $5.00 to cover the cost of the container. You would use a meal swipe, fill your container and take it with you anytime we are open. The container only needs to be rinsed out and when you return it to The Commons, we would give you a clean one or a token which you can exchange for a new one if you don’t want to use it on that visit.”
Along with revamping pre-existing locations, Sodexo has a new location in the Wilmore athletic center (previously known as Storzer). The new location is called The Micro Market and is similar to a grocery store.
“The Micro Market is self-checkout,” Stendfeldt said. “Just like some grocery stores, you would scan the items into the kiosk that you wish to purchase and pay using the dining points or Rally Dollars on your student ID. Credit cards are also accepted. The Market will have Simply to Go, microwaveable items, snacks, ice cream, coffee, etc.”
Stendfeldt added Sodexo also changed the meal plans offered, and with the restructuring of the meal plans, meal exchange is no longer available.
“Plans are loaded as such that it is at least an equal value to the old plans if someone wants to stay within that $7 to $7.50 range for their meals and we will have plenty of options,” he said. “There will be higher priced options that include premium ingredients to choose, so it really becomes a choice for students how they want to manage their budgets. Meals can only be used in The Commons, while Dining Points and Rally Dollars work at all locations.”
Another additional improvement is the nutritional information, which is available at all locations across campus.
With the numerous revisions and developments, the administration and Sodexo hope to provide more hours of operation, improved food choices overall, and an ability to choose cheaper or higher end food options at The Spot or Simply to Go.
“I look forward to greater levels of satisfaction from students … and students feeling they have more control over what they eat, when they eat, and where they eat” Ogle said.