By Natasha Sakovich | Editor-in-Chief
Students may have noticed even more changes to the meal plan and food service this semester after coming back from the holiday break. Some of the major changes include increasing the Wild Thymes brand items available and offering healthier options at all locations as part of the meal plan.
“We had an evaluation meeting back in October to look at what needed to change with the food system,” said Ralph Pfremmer, CEO of Pfoodman Company, Lindenwood’s food service provider. “We were looking to still make the options fresher, and our staff was ready to make it happen.”
Among the changes is a new chef, who formerly worked at a country club, and is now on staff since the holidays, Pfremmer said.
“We’ve got all sorts of changes now like how every day has a ‘salad of the day’ in the Spellmann cafeteria and also the addition of a waffle maker and a Panini machine,” Pfremmer said.
These changes to the Spellmann cafeteria were brought about largely from input by the Lindenwood Student Government Association (LSGA) and the LSGA Senate.
“We want to communicate better with students, and we’ve gotten it where we wanted,” Pfremmer said. “We’re going to have meetings with LSGA and the Senate now, which we really didn’t have before.”
Additional changes are all-new recipes for the “Wai Chi” Chinese restaurant section in the Evans Commons.
“We do a trend analysis to see how each place is doing, and we were seeing the line for Chinese going down towards the end of last semester,” Pfremmer said.
Other changes include the “born on date” now seen on many of the Wild Thymes and fresh options offered at locations like the Spellmann Lone Wolf shop. “This new date system ensures to not only us but also to the students that the products are fresh,” Pfremmer said.
Student Life and Leadership Director Kerry Cox is a fan of the new changes made this semester, as well as the addition of the Evans Commons cafeteria in the fall.
“We used to leave campus to go eat out like four times a week, but now we only eat off campus about once a week,” Cox said.
One of the biggest changes for the “heritage” side of campus, by Roemer Hall and the library, is the addition of the breakfast meal option offered at Butler Hall’s Grab ‘n Go from 7-10 a.m.
“President Evans really wanted and pushed for the breakfast option at Grab ‘n Go and to have both cafes open for breakfast too,” Pfremmer said.
Despite the construction in Butler Loft, the facility is still open for the traditional lunch time and also now during breakfast. “We really want to focus on the dining experience with this renovation,” Pfremmer said. “Before, when students would walk by Butler, they knew it was there, but they knew it was bad as far as atmosphere is concerned.”
Pfremmer estimates that the Butler Loft renovation will cost around $100,000 to complete. “In the future, we might have some events in the outside patio area next to Butler,” Pfremmer said.
The other big change to the heritage side of campus is the removal of the meal plan option at Butler Library’s Lone Wolf shop.
“The location was clogging up the library too much and just was creating too much volume, so this is another reason why the changes were made to Butler,” Pfremmer said.
Anyone can still purchase items in the library by using Flex Points, cash or credit.
Pfremmer said he wants to focus on sustainability for the future, but the key is to do this without increasing the cost significantly to students.
“Sustainability is important, and that’s where I’d like to see more change, but it definitely costs more. I don’t want to be responsible for extra costs to students,” he said.