Carte Blanche promises better value, nutrition

Sodexho sampled its Carte Blanche program in Eickhoff Dining Hall last week. The program offers better values and choices, according to Seve Hugg, district marketing specialist for Sodexho. It’s also easier because student do not have to montior their accounts, he added.

The trial program ran Tuesday, Nov. 11 and Wednesday, Nov. 12.

Students paid a flat fee for either the specific meal or for multiple dining sessions when they entered Eickhoff Hall.

Students sampled the “All-You-Care-To-Eat-Service,” choosing from salads, deli sandwiches, prepared meals, pizzas, cultural foods and desserts.

It is undecided whether or not the Carte Blanche program will be instituted at the College because financial issues are under negotiations.

According to Hugg and General Manager John Higgens, the program, if adopted, would feature a few different plans that students may choose from.

Some will include breakfast, while others will not.

Before the fall semester, students would pay a set amount for a meal plan. Then, when they entered Eickhoff, they would not have to pay for any food. Students must swipe their cards to prove they have purchased a plan.

Once inside, students can take whatever food they want and continue going back into the dining area for more.

Under the current a la carte plan, students receive a certain portion of food from the available stations.

With the Carte Blanche program, students could ask for less or more than a regular serving or mix different foods to sample a variety of meals.

Students cannot take food out of Eickhoff. But, if a student has begun eating something and wishes to take the rest out of the dining hall, he or she would be welcome to do that.

The program would be geared toward freshmen and sophomores who remain on campus most of the time. Juniors and seniors would not have to participate, unless they want to.

Students who do not participate in the Carte Blanche program can pay as they enter Eickhoff.

They would pay a set price, but would still be able to take advantage of the buffet options.

The normal a la carte plan would also be available in all other dining spots on campus, including T/W, the Brower Food Court and the Rathskellar.

Students had both positive and negative reactions to the program.

Kevin Tierney, freshman biology major, said the benefits are “More food, less money.”

Jenn Kaplan, freshman math secondary education major, said, “It’s good for people who want to try a lot of food and don’t want to risk paying for something they don’t like.”

Bethany Shifrin, freshman Spanish and elementary education major said the buffet style would interfere with a studen’s goal to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Having a buffet rather than a la carte dining will lead to students overeating and wasting food,” Shifrin said.

“Many students are trying to stay fit by balancing exercise and healthy eating, but a buffet system would make people feel like they have to eat all that money’s worth.”

Jennifer Csontos, registered dietitian, was present during the sample days of the program. She said many students may overeat, initially, but after a few days students should resume their eating habits.

Although students may be allowed to take more food, Csontos also said they can choose more nutritional meals, such as salads, without having to worry about how much they must pay.

Hugg said, if instituted, the program would be a success.