Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Nelson Dining Hall on South Green.

Dining halls adapt to employee shortages

Ohio University is currently experiencing a shortage of dining hall workers and has made changes, such as switching to disposable cutlery, to accommodate for low employment.

Frank Pazzanese, executive director of Culinary Services, said the shortage is a “serious problem” OU is trying to address. 

Culinary Services has been holding job fairs and mass hiring events to advertise job openings for students. Dining halls reopened for in-person dining at the beginning of the semester, according to a previous Post report

Surrounding universities are experiencing similar shortages. Some, such as West Virginia University, have had to resort to dining hall closures to stay afloat. Pazzanese said the Culinary Services team is doing everything in its power to avoid closing. 

“Sometimes we’ll struggle on some of the dining halls, but we’ve tried to keep everything open and consistent and flowing, and support our staff on what we can do,” he said.

Pazzanese said the reason for the switch from traditional plates and silverware was done in an effort to rotate their staffing and be more “front forward.”

“We’ve taken people — instead of staffing the dishwasher — we use them on the frontline to serve,” he said.

Dining halls have also faced issues with manufacturers. Pazzanese said many providers the university uses to purchase food are having difficulty with shortages when it comes to acquiring the necessary product.

Some students, like Olivia Thomas, a sophomore studying nursing, say they don’t have time for a job. 

“I’m a nursing major. I study all the time,” Thomas said.

However, Kelsey Spencer, a senior studying psychology who has been employed by Culinary Services for four years, said she loves working there.

“I started as a student employee — the people you see helping with the food — and now I am an office assistant,” Spencer said. “They are very flexible with your hours. They make sure that they work around your school.”

Pazzanese said one of the benefits of working for Culinary Services is the opportunity to help fellow students. 

“The one thing I've learned in my three months here is, we're very proud of Bobcats helping Bobcats,” he said.  “You really are helping fellow students eat.” 

For more details on student jobs in Culinary Services, click here.


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH