The most disappointing realization when first arriving at SVSU is that food services are rarely on their game. Convenient suppliers, such as Albert E’s food court and the C Store, should work with the young community, but many customers leave dissatisfied because of multiple offenses.
Employees simply do not appear to be routinely managed by a manager or an employee with more seniority. It seems like the majority of Quizno’s subs I order take twice the time to prepare, mostly because the maker has no one to encourage him or her to work faster. I could not see these employees working so slow with management looking over their shoulders, their jobs actually depending on their performance.
The selection of food provided by Albert E’s promotes its diversity, but it subjects customers to unneeded redundancies. Take Papa John’s. Not only is there a station found in the food court, but there is a second location that sells the same pizza, only in different sizes. Why house a second Papa John’s when another brand could be implemented? This decision could be a campus-wide agreement. Taco Bell? Kentucky Fried Chicken? Maybe even a Panda Express? The possibilities are as intriguing as they are endless.
Similarly, the salad bar station has its own set of problems, stemming from its placement between some of the unhealthiest products. Why place a salad station right beside the Quizno’s line and in spitting distance of the Grill Works, where the smell of greasy onions and cheese is sure to lure students in who have little self control? I often find myself arriving looking for a salad, but I end up being led toward something much more fattening.
This leads me to my final dilemma with Albert E’s: the lone cashier who tends to the needs of the consistently hasty public. I understand there are at least two cashiers at all times, but that does not mean that there are actually two working at all times. On many occasions, I am forced to stand in a singular line that stretches back to the Smoothie station, waiting for what seems like enough time for the sub in my hands to run cold.
This lack of available cashiers seems to have affected the C Store as well. How can it seem logical to have only one clerk when the convenience store is in one of the more populated areas on campus? It seems as if the reason why they abbreviated the “C” in the name is because there is no longer anything convenient about it. It takes just as long to stand in line and overpay for a meal than it does to ride a bike to the nearest 7-Eleven to obtain the same product for two-thirds the price.
So why do students continually visit Albert E’s and the C Store even though it turns out to be a hassle and heavy expense? Is it because parents pay for their meal plan along with the Declining Balance and they simply have to spend the money or lose it. Or worse yet, is it because there is not any other food service on campus that accept DB.
I guess the real question is this: why fix something if no one will confess that it’s broken?