Campus events now required to use Pedestal Foods


Mary Healy, a community adviser, said the food they ordered for an event in Irwin Hall last month from Pedestal Foods was a lot smaller than they had expected. She said they were lucky enough to have enough money left over to purchase more fruit for the event.
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As of this year, all campus events that have food are required to use only Pedestal Foods.

However, Nancy Tinker, the director of dining services, said it was the understanding of Pedestal Foods that this was always an agreement, but the rules have tightened this year.

In an attempt to make this easier for students, Pedestal offers Catertrax, the new online menu provided by Pedestal Foods for all campus event coordinators to order from.

This is the inaugural year for Catertrax, and according to Tinker, Pedestal Foods is still looking to move forward.

While Pedestal is looking to improve, student organizations have had to adjust from being able to order outside food.

One community adviser, Mary Healy, said the food ordered from Pedestal was too expensive for what was received.

Healy said she and a coworker had ordered a fruit platter for their event in Irwin last month.

She said the fruit platter was $60 and meant to feed 25 people, but when they received the platter, it was smaller than expected.

“When we ordered it, we presumed there would be a lot, but it just really disappointed us,” Healy said.

Healy said the platter would have been gone with the first few guests if they hadn’t been lucky enough to have spare money in the budget to buy more fruit. With their spare money, they bought a few boxes of strawberries for $13.

Tinker said the pricing on the Catertrax catering menu is based on an analysis of other universities in the area.

“We’ll use Maryville, we’ll use Webster, we’ll use UMSL [University of Missouri – St. Louis],” Tinker said. “And I do believe that most of the time, our prices are a little bit less.”

Platters like the one Healy ordered for Irwin Hall are around $22 at Sam’s Club and around $32 at Walmart.

Healy said they ordered food from outside sources last year.

“I remember one of the boys’ dorms did an event where they ordered Papa John’s pizza,” Healy said.

Healy said she feels her residents are confused as to why outside food can’t be ordered. She said students eat Pedestal Foods all day, every day, and events are often an opportunity for variety.

Tinker said the concern of the university is food safety. The food could be time or temperature sensitive and may need special care.

Healy said the biggest problem is the price for the amount of food that is ordered. 

“I feel like that’s something they really need to change,” Healy said. “We should be getting value for money, especially since we’re getting all of our food through them.”