Cafeteria leaves students hungry for more

From the food to the completely remodeled facility, the cafeteria has undergone many changes recently.
They have a new menu and have completely redesigned the facility.
But are these changes getting the positive response from students that food services expected?

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By Erene Abdelmeseeh

Lunch Hour (Bethania Alvarez /Staff Photographer)

By Erene Abdelmeseeh

From the food to the completely remodeled facility, the cafeteria has undergone many changes recently.

They have a new menu and have completely redesigned the facility.

But are these changes getting the positive response from students that food services expected?

Mary Black, food services manager, says that the students are responding positively to the new cafeteria.

“Financially, the students are responding greatly,” said Black. “We are now accepting debit and credit, except American Express, which makes it easier for students to purchase their meals.”

Students can now charge their meals, but many, like Brittany Williams, say that the price of food in the cafeteria is a bit expensive.

“They give small portions for a high price,” Williams said. “I wish they gave us a discount with our student ID cards like they do in the bookstore.”

Many other students agree saying that it is more convenient to buy their food in the bookstore so they don’t spend as much.

“I’ll go to the bookstore and buy my food then just come sit in the cafeteria,” Williams said.

Not only are students complaining about the price of the food in the cafeteria, but the quality of the food, poor organization and the facility itself.

Black says that the food has changed tremendously with new items to accommodate everyone, including vegetarians.

“There’s something for everyone,” said Black. “There are plenty of healthy choices too, like the salad bar, grab and go sandwiches and now you can even order your choice of veggie sandwiches.”

Many students beg to differ, insisting their only option for a non-fried meal is the salad bar, which is not enough.

Ruthanne Meagher, a Riverside City College student who often eats at the cafeteria, says that most of the food does not appeal to her.

“I always get a salad because the food sits there under the heat lamp and it’s nasty,” said Meagher. “They should make fresher food, or at least rotate everything out instead of leaving it to sit there. The pizza is cardboard grease and I’ll surely pay for it later.”

Other students, like Chrystal Garcia, went on to agree with Meagher saying they wanted fresher food and a healthier menu with less grease soaked options.

Edith Sanchez, another RCC student, said that she also wants more diverse choices when it comes to the options and variety of food in the cafeteria.

“I wish they had less fried food,” Sanchez said. “The only healthy options in there are the sandwiches and salad bar. They should offer a variety of fruits too. Something like the salad bar, not just the fruit cups they have now.”

Students like James Sly and Pierre Wattz agree with Sanchez about the lack of options and would like to see a change in what’s offered in the cafeteria.

Another issue that arises is the organization of the cafeteria.

Many students, like Megan Werts, say it gets crazy in the cafeteria during the “rush hour.”

“The lines get pretty hectic sometimes,” said Werts.”You get confused and can’t really figure out if you’re in line to order your food or in the checkout line.”

Other students, like Osker Trujollo, say that the cafeteria needs more tables and places to sit because during the times when more students are present it becomes a mission to find a place to sit.

“It gets kind of crowded,” Trujollo said. “Sometimes I’m in a rush to get to class and don’t have time to wait for a place to sit.”

Although the students are not completely satisfied with the cafeteria, many, like Ruben Garcia, are saying it’s decent.

When it comes down to it, the cafeteria is not the ideal place for students to eat, but it is what’s available and they’ll take what they can get.

Meagher said that the cafeteria left something to be desired.

However,  it is more convenient for students who need to stay on campus, especially for those who don’t have any means of transportation.

Although the cafeteria has undergone a dramatic change, many students want their opinions taken into consideration and hope to see action taken toward making the cafeteria appealing to students.

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