Fall Dining

In preparation for the Fall 2021 Semester our expected Hours & Venue spaces have been updated.

OPERATIONAL CHANGES TO LATE NIGHT

William’s Students,

You may have read about the difficult labor market employers are facing nationally and in Berkshire County. The shortage of job seekers is hitting the food industry particularly hard.

As a major food service employer Williams Dining is not immune to the problem. Due to vacancies, leaves and absences, we are currently operating 20 percent below our optimal staffing level. Despite ambitious efforts we have not yet been able to hire to fill the gaps. To navigate and ensure you a reliable dining experience, our team is revising our approach to late-night operations for fall semester.

Our continuous  goal is to provide you with as many options as we can while keeping in mind our staffing constraints. . The option that makes the most sense is to focus our staffing on one location. This fall semester  late-night dining will be available as a self-serve buffet-style option at Whitman’s only, during the standard 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. window. There will be no mobile or a la carte service.

Late-Night Operations for Lee Snack Bar and the ’82 Grill will be temporarily closed so that we can shift Dining staff to fully support the Whitman’s operation. These operations will operate as planned for all times other than late-night. You will be welcome to pick up food at Whitman’s Late-Night and eat in the seating areas or carry it back to your dorms.

My team and I know that the experience of Late-Night at Lee and the ’82 Grill means a lot, however, we also take pride in providing you with as many options as we can. Please know that we weighed the alternatives carefully before deciding this was the best plan to ensure consistent late-night dining for all.

Every part of our community is sharing in the compromise. We recently announced reduced hours at the Faculty Club and our catering operation, which will effect faculty and staff. I appreciate everyone’s sacrifices so that we can provide the best service possible within limits we have been faced with.

As some of you know, the Dining team conducts a very ambitious recruitment strategy, including relationships with local community colleges and technical high schools. While the pandemic disrupted some of those efforts, we are continuing to aggressively seek and recruit talent. We will provide you with an update in February about the dining outlook for spring term.

Our goal is a great dining experience, so we are grateful for the return to dining-in and the chance for you to enjoy meals together. In the meantime, thank you for your understanding. I look forward to welcoming you all back, including to Whitman’s Late-Night.

If you have questions in the meantime, please contact the Dining team at [email protected].

Temesgen Araya

Director of Dining Services

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Dining held a Virtual Town Hall on Friday, May 21st at 5 p.m.  The meeting described plans to continuously enhance the dining experience and the ways that some of this past year’s innovations will carry over into future plans. We asked for feedback during and following the meeting, so that we could see students’ areas of excitement or answer additional questions.

Over this past year, we have adapted and adjusted our dining program to conform to COVID requirements and protocols, but have learned from you that there were some aspects that you would like to see going forward.

A few highlights of the meeting:

  • Locations and hours of operation
  • Production kitchen and Fresh Plant Forward Food Program
  • GET Food Ordering
  • Points/Bonus Meals
  • Snack Bar
  • Late Night

You can view the meeting here. We invite you to provide any feedback through our suggestion box.