Albion Students React to New Dining Service

Albion first year students, Sarah Stone, from Okemos, Mich., and Andrew Carey-Young, from Jackson, Mich., stand in line to get their food in lower Baldwin Hall. With the new processes related to COVID-19 students stand in line and get their food for take away (Photo by Ryan Lemanski).

Albion College is going through a myriad of changes this semester, one of those changes being a new food service contractor: Metz Culinary Management. 

“Metz is a small family company based out of Pennsylvania” said Brian Gilbert, general manager for Metz. 

Gilbert and other former Bon Appetit employees who now work for Metz under the new contract have been adapting to their new employer. 

“So far, Metz has been talking a lot of farm to fork. They’re just working on finding the farmers to buy stuff. I don’t feel like the menus are drastically different, the biggest difference is Metz has a recipe they want you to follow,” said Vanessa Powell, a chef at Albion since 1989. “With Metz you will get the same thing every time” 

Serving food to any sized population is no easy feat. Even when done well, it can be near impossible to please everyone. It is rare to find unanimity among a student population, and that holds true with the food services at Albion. 

Student Feedback 

Many students around campus seem to be pleased with the new food service while adjusting to the new norms. 

“I like and I hate how it is now, sort of because they have taken away the buffet aspect of it. So, if I want to get everything I want, I have to get as much as I can, and I’m not too sure how hungry I’ll be. It’s easier to get my food and I’m able to go back to my room if I want to or sit outside,” said Braylen Padilla, a sophomore from Dallas, Texas. “I think the food has gotten a little bit better. I would say it’s more consistent in how good it is.” , 

Others agreed with this sentiment and remarked liking the differences in food overall.

“I think it’s better. It definitely seems as though there is more variety,” said Alivia Benedict, a junior from Vermontville, Mich., “I think it seems a little bit of a better quality. I don’t know if the dishes are significantly different from prior years, but it does seem like the food tastes a little bit better.”

Many positive student assessments for Metz were in comparison to last year. Students did not praise Albion’s previous food contractor, Bon Appetit, very highly when comparing the two providers. 

“I’m a very picky eater, and at least everyday there is something I like,” said Lucy Nevrly, a sophomore from Downers Grove, Ill. “Compared to last year, I always had the fall back of the fries and pizza, and I haven’t had to do that as much this year. I feel better about what I’m eating.” 

While Nevrly and Benedict expressed gratitude for the new variety of options, other students were just glad there was a general change in food services. In years prior, students often reported under and overcooked meals from Bon Appetit, something that they haven’t noticed yet with Metz.

“I got so sick one time from the food,” said Natalie Cabrera, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill. ”The chicken would be pink, and I wasn’t used to eating food like that.” 

Despite the positive feedback from some students regarding the new food contractor, many students on campus remain displeased with the food options available to them on campus. 

“I think it’s worse, the selections. We can’t even get a burger and fries. The pizza tastes a little bit better, but overall I do not like the food,” said Makayla Hawkins, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill.“I know that when they select the vendors, they don’t taste the food. Because I know you would not feed your kids this.” 

Students with concerns or interest in giving feedback can go to the Albion website

“I’ve gotten probably seven or eight total emails since we’ve started with some negatives that have been surprisingly constructive and really easy to approach and fix,” said Gilbert.

 

About Ryan Lemanski 11 Articles
Ryan is a senior from West Bloomfield, Mi. He loves running around campus getting stories from students and exploring the nature center.

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