Despite consistently ranking among the nation’s top dining halls, Wheaton’s Bon Appétit is making strides to improve food quality. This semester, Bon Appétit added additional supplements to its menu, based on student feedback during the fall semester. Among the additions are “a breakfast station available on Tuesday nights,” including waffles, a rotating “hot sandwich station or thick crust pizza station,” “an increase in the rotation of chicken tenders and chicken parmesan during the semester,” and, to the delight of many students, the inclusion of shredded cheese at the salad bar.
“I’ve been lobbying for shredded cheese in the salad bar for four years,” said senior Matt Bowman. “I actually eat salads now.”
“I’ve been writing ‘add shredded cheese’ (on questionnaires) since my tender, youthful freshman year,” said senior Daniela Cuba. “I’m all about the cheese.”
Likewise, Bon Appétit announced additions to Sam’s and the Stupe, including focaccia flatbreads, chocolate dipped strawberries, jumbo specialty dessert bars and assorted truffles and tarts at Sam’s and bratwurst, meatball hoagies, Grecian pork gyros, polish sausages and falafels at the Stupe.
Campus-wide emails from Bon Appétit general manager Raul Delgado expressed that the changes are aimed to improve students’ “dining experience” at Anderson Commons and expand options for “afternoon snacking” and gluten-free food at Sam’s.
“We will continue to work and be the best we can be for you,” said Delgado in the email. “We love your feedback, and it is through that process that we will continue to make dining at Wheaton an exceptional experience.”
Bon Appétit also relied on student feedback to enhance traffic flow during busy hours. A few weeks ago, Anderson Commons altered the rotation of silverware in the dining hall, following the suggestion of junior Levi Soodsma.
“The suggestion was to switch the direction of the silverware by 90 degrees in order to have people flow through the station instead of always having a traffic jam,” Soodsma said in an email. “It was not my idea. My roommate Topher McCauley had mentioned it to me one time when we were both trying to grab silverware in a mob of people.”
“When I was going to lunch one day I … went up to the manager, and asked what she thought about potentially changing the direction of the silverware. She looked at me and instantly said we should give it a try. She walked over and changed it. It has been in the new direction ever since.”
“Topher had the idea, I had the initiative to tell the manager and she had the openness to try new things,” Soodsma added.
Through and through, students seem pleased with the overall quality of Bon Appétit, especially after the changes this semester.
“Over the years, I have grow to realize that Bon Appétit has pretty great food,” Bowman said. “There is a lot of turkey and pork which I am not a fan of,” Cuba said, “but it does its job.”
“Bon Appétit is a great place, with great food,” Soodsma said. “I am really happy to see that they are willing to listen to their customers.”