Students Complain About Dining

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Published August 15, 2015
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The Montclarion

Students at Montclair State often complain about the quality of service they receive at campus eateries.
“Workers are always on their phones in Sam’s [Place],” said Casey Owens, a freshman Television and Digital Media major. “You shouldn’t be paid for that.”
Other students say it is the lack of employee concern for students’ needs that is the most concerning.
Katie Fierro, a sophomore, said students with health concerns and food preferences shouldn’t feel intimidated about speaking up. “I ordered my omelet and without me telling [the employee] to do this, she added a whole slab of butter on the griddle instead of using the vegetable spray right next to the butter,” said Fierro, who has special dietary needs. “When I told her I didn’t want the butter, she gave me a dirty look and barely scraped it off.”
Social media sites have been full of students voicing their complaints. The Twitter handle @montclairprobs is popular among Montclair State students.
For example, @kmil201 recently tweeted, “@montclairprobs some of these people at [Sam’s Place] serve you like this is a jail house!” Another student, @AllisonSweens recently tweeted, “Glad I just got scolded like a two year old for taking half a wrap out of [Sam’s] @montclairprobs.”
Joe Ponteliona, the Director of Operations of Chartwells at MSU, said that they take student complaints seriously and that food service employees go through a specific training regimen once they are hired.
Prior to their addition to the payroll, potential employees are interviewed by the unit manager. From there, references are verified and a background check is completed.
“During the semester, there are approximately 325 hourly associates, 25 student workers, 40 supervisors and 20 managers working across campus in our dining venues,” said Ponteliona.
While students are away on breaks, employees are put through more extensive training including segments featuring health and safety concerns and customer service, he added.
Complaints are gathered in the marketing department and sorted through, according to Ponteliona. “We take complaints very seriously and deal with them as quickly as possible,” he said. “The guest with the complaint will be contacted personally and may be asked for further information so we can better understand the issue at hand. We take that information and act appropriately to ensure that the issue doesn’t occur again.”
Chartwells welcomes feedback from students. “We offer several mediums for our guests to easily reach us, including social media, our DineonCampus website, text2solve and also comment cards,” he said. “We welcome any feedback that they can give us.”

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