By Natasha Muhametzyanova, Contributing Writer
West Liberty University’s food service, Sodexo, went through a number of changes this summer, bringing new dining options to students. The biggest change came in a form of a new restaurant, American Grill and Wingery WOW Cafe, that replaced The Grille located in the College Union. This surprising addition offers a variety of burgers, wings and sandwiches and serves nearly 1,000 people a day, according to Sodexo general manager Doug Orr.
“WOW has a great relationship with Sodexo. Our district manager has two other WOW restaurants in his district and they have been very successful with high customer satisfaction at those accounts,” Orr said.
“WOW is different because it brings us a quality brand identity to campus, the menu has a wide variety of items and the food is of great quality and all made to order in house,” he added.
“Everything looks so good,” said graduate student Andrea Puga about the new restaurant. “I think this is the best place we’ve ever had here.”
Those who prefer to eat at the cafeteria also saw an important change. This semester, Sodexo introduced Simple Servings to the cafeteria menu. All food in the Simple Servings area has been prepared by specially trained food service employees to reduce the risk of allergen cross-contact by using only designated ingredients, equipment, utensils and preparation areas.
“There are 15 million Americans who suffer from food allergies and most of these people are in the college age group. We want to make the food allergy experience easier for students who need it, but the format is open to all students,” Orr said.
Not all changes, however, went so smoothly this fall. The increased prices on snacks from the vending machines initially made it impossible to buy them using Sodexo or Topper Dollars, which caused some frustration with the students. According to Orr, a set up problem caused the confusion. After the price change, only cash payment settings were corrected while the card payment settings remained unchanged. Currently, all vending machines on campus work properly.
Sodexo is looking forward to the future and exploring new ways to customize their service for WLU campus.
“Our biggest focus for this year is to create a culinary council that will consist of students, faculty and staff,” Orr said. “The goal of the council is to come together once a month to plan the future of dining services, plan new meal plans for next year, focus on special events for each semester and give us feedback, so we can offer the best dining services.”
For more information, contact Doug Orr at [email protected].
Photo Credit: Natasha Muhametzyanova