Students Say Metz Chickened Out – The Highlander

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Mike Gombita, Reporter

Students are crying fowl over changes to dining menus.
As a result of student and guest feedback and executive decisions of the management, Metz Culinary Management changed the “J. Clark’s Grille” weekly menu.
“They stopped serving grilled chicken every day out of nowhere,” said Mike Harth, first year medical imaging major. “They didn’t notify anyone that they would do that.”
“Currently, on a daily basis we offer chicken patties, turkey burgers, hot dogs,” said Dale Lent, executive chef. “On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, we offer hamburgers. Tuesday and Thursday we offer grilled chicken and on the weekends they are both served on the daily items.”
Bruce Deeble, general manager, said guests may have hamburgers five days a week and grilled chicken four days each week. He said there are alternate chicken selections when grilled chicken is not available.
“We do have chicken available as a patty,” said Deeble. “It’s not a processed patty. It is a chicken breast patty that is offered every day.”
Julianne Cariola, first year occupational therapy major, said grilled chicken is a mainstay.
“I think it’s bad because it’s the most popular item on the menu,” said Cariola. “One day when I was getting dinner, I had to wait in line for so long because everyone wanted grilled chicken.”
Cariola feels grilled chicken is a staple in students’ diets.
“All the athletes need their protein,” said Cariola. “They don’t have a sufficient protein meal in the main plate. Veal is available, but a lot of people do not like it. So then people are left with kind of nothing to eat.”
Cariola also mentioned that she has also seen students add the grilled chicken to their salads as part of their meals.
Jordan Hoffman, a first year physical therapy major, said the grilled bird is always a good choice for a meal.
“I do not think that people eat off of the main plate as much. If I do, it is maybe once a week,” said Hoffman. “I am kind of bummed out.”
Hoffman, who is also a member of the softball team, says it is important that she has balanced and healthy meals.
“Grilled chicken is healthier than the fried foods,” said Hoffman. “Now I kind of have to go to the fried stuff because if I do not like the main plate, I have to eat the fried items on the menu.”
Deeble said he has heard students’ complaints, but there is good reason for the menu change.
“We had more of the concern on the grilled chicken than the hamburgers,” said Deeble. “Our reasoning is the cost of the product and doing it seven days a week, twice a day.”
Lent is interested to find out whether the menu changes will be a success.
“In the beginning of the fall semester we added a gluten-free area,” said Lent. “This semester, we added more items like cereal, pop tarts, and bread.”
Deeble listed more healthy dining additions.
“We added the Live Well Station that contains hummus salad and fruit,” said Deeble.
“We also added spinach this semester to the salad bar every day by students’ request.”
Deeble said sustainability is another reason for the menu switch.
“We don’t limit what you pick. We give you what you would ask for,” said Deeble. “That is why we are very cognitive about that.”
The T.A.S.T.E. Initiative has also helped in sustainability as well.
“It has the students eat what they take,” said Deeble. “In return, they get a stamp and then if they get ten, they get a token.”
Deeble explained that the waste level dropped a substantially as a result of the program. This semester, the waste level had dropped to about seventy pounds.
Metz Culinary Management does its best to please everyone, Deeble said, and he understands that students may be getting tired of some menu items.
“Students eat here six to seven days a week,” said Deeble. “You can go to your favorite restaurant in the whole world, and if you are eating there every day, you will get tired of it.”
Deeble explained that there are many food choices in the dining hall.
“The deli has many meats and cheeses for students to choose from,” said Deeble. “You can basically make your own sandwich there hot or cold.”
Deeble said Metz is willing to accommodate special diets. Students may contact Metz if they have any concerns.