Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dining Services answers columnist’s criticism, responds to suggestions

by Reland Tuomi, Guest Writer    

     Last week, Mast columnist Brian Bruns wrote an editorial, “Commons should be ‘on Fire’ every week,” in which he critiqued the quality of food in the Anderson University Center (AUC) Commons.

    “Any time someone makes a comment, no matter what it is, there is truth behind it, and you have an unsatisfied customer,” Erin McGinnis, director of Dining and Culinary Services, said.

    McGinnis put the article on the bulletin board in the main kitchen for the AUC workers to see. “I don’t think our employees should be insulated from that,” she said. “Comments and criticism always give us something to improve on.”

    Bruns commented on the quality of pizza in the article, saying it looked old and stale. “I found a lot of value in that observation, so we’ve tried paying more attention to that on a regular basis,” Douglas Hinners, one of the sous chefs for Dining and Culinary Services, said.

    “We brought in different sizes of pizza dough at lunch to see what works,” McGinnis said. “We’ve been doing some testing for the pizza, but it’s just one part of many things.”

    Andrew Morris, a host and dishwasher for the Commons, said that as a student he can see Bruns’ point but also said “he [Bruns] has to understand, we work with what we have, and we want to keep costs down for [the customer].”

    In response to Bruns’ article, Hinners said he invites him to Commons on Fire, the Commons’ annual culinary competition. “With his culinary experience, he’d have a really good time,” Hinners said.

    McGinnis also welcomed Bruns to compete in the Commons on Fire.

    “Comments about quality of food and pride in product are important ones to make, and we are glad he did,” she said.  

     “On the subject of frozen ravioli and pre-cooked burgers, Brian [Bruns] is welcome to bring his food service expertise along and come play in the kitchen. We can test making ravioli from scratch or cooking raw burgers to order any day of the week.”