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Dining services offers new options for students

Mensa food
The Mensa is offering more international foods this year along with a nutritional analysis computer system. — Emily Novotny/TRUMPET

Wartburg dining services has made changes in their service and options to improve the overall dining experience for students and faculty, Margaret Empie director of dining and retail services said.

Some changes that have happened so far are operation hours, more menu items and placement of foods, Empie said.

“The trick is to be consistent,” Empie said.

Some of the menu items that have been added include more stir-fry and international foods.  From the surveys and comment cards, people showed interest in having more variety, Empie said.

“Even if we get 50 people to take something I think that’s good,” Empie said.

Another big change that is going to be the main focus of this year is a food management system that helps manage food production and helps control the cost of that, Empie said.

“Having a computer system is the best way to handle that instead of trusting a person to know how much to cook,” Empie said.

She said that Wartburg is a little bit behind in the aspect of a computer system because a lot of other places have one. Having one just makes everything easier to manage, Empie said.

“It’s in the best interest of the students in the long run,” Empie said.

She said the computer system helps tighten up the recipes and forecasting, which will save food cost. Food cost is one aspect of what helps determine prices. It will allow dining to eventually make nutritional analysis of recipe items available to students.

Katie Wyman said she loves the idea of having nutritional facts provided for all the foods she eats.

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“I think most people don’t really know what is in what they eat. Some people may think they do but you don’t really know for sure,” Wyman said.

Spencer Rowell said while this new implement could be beneficial to students, it would take too much time to look up everything people eat.

“I wouldn’t care because I wouldn’t take the time to do it. It would be better if the information was right there in front of me everyday,” Rowell said.

Empie said all the changes that have happened originated from comment cards, surveys and student feedback and are tools that help dining services do their work better.

“We have done enough that I am hesitant to make any more changes right now until we see how it plays out,” Empie said.

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