By Karl Zabinski
Campus Eye staff
Fridays at Cambridge campus may no longer see the food court open for service. Lancer Hospitality, the catering company that runs the food service on both campuses, is considering being open only four days a week, due to low student demand for food on Fridays.
Lancer’s district manager, Jason Erickson, met with the Student Government members, Student Activities Coordinator Cindi Gilbert, and students who attended an open forum to voice their concerns about the food and company on Feb. 19.
According to Gilbert, Anoka-Ramsey administration told Student Government at a Dec. 11 meeting that Lancer was planning to end Friday service in the cafeteria. Students at the meeting expressed support for the move, she said.
Erickson, however, said that the food court would be open on Fridays during the spring semester as he took time to observe the actual income rates.
More than a dozen students attended the forum, and raised a number of issues regarding Lancer, including sanitation in the kitchen, the quality and variety of the food, and the waiting time to order food. One student mentioned one time when the cashier was on her cellphone, rather than taking orders. Erickson was responsive to the complaint, and called it “completely unacceptable.”
Another issue raised was that the food court has sometimes closed ahead of schedule, as Student Government President Yerko Besmalinovic said. “I’ve come downstairs before six to get something to eat before class, and here they’ve been closed since five-thirty.”
Erickson also answered questions regarding the types of products that could be sold within the restrictions of the contract. Pepsi products were out, for example, but Coke products had the green light.
Not all the feedback was negative; several ideas for new menu items presented by Lancer were met with enthusiastic approval by the student body. Students gave suggestions for different types of food, as well as well as which foods they would like more of to be available. Ashley Kren requested that more grab-and-go foods be available, to help streamline getting food between class periods.
Lancer won the contract for food service at Anoka-Ramsey last summer. On the college’s campuses, Lancer relies on student workers in order to provide the current service.
Erickson promised to resolve the issues and complaints brought up at the forum. The Student Government and Erickson will meet again after the spring break to follow up.
Contact Erickson at email@example.com if you have questions or complaints about the food service.