PATRICE RENEE HARRIS |
ST. THOMAS — Responding to concerns and outcry from students for an improvement in the dining experience at the University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas Campus, the university contracted Goddard Catering Group (GCG) as the new vendor in January 2015.
The five-year contract with GCG , which commenced in spring 2015, replaced L’ettoile Catering, which served the university for nearly a decade.
Housing and dining services supervisor at UVI, Sean Georges, said “the university received bids from four vendors and were impressed with the plans and presentation by GCG.”
Georges also said that the new cafeteria is a brand new style of dining.
The new vendor has implemented massive changes since assuming its role in January 2015. These changes include: All-you-can-eat buffets from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and the installation of new furniture and healthier meal options for students. Another newly implemented change is that students are no longer allowed to remove food from the dining pavilion.
According to a statement on the company’s website last September, GCG intends to improve “student nutrition and meal plans as well as the dining area by providing unique, innovative, cost-effective concepts that would provide the students with a variety of meal options with flexible pricing and meal times to accommodate their busy schedules.”
General Manager Jahmal Dyer said the dining pavilion is not complete. Other changes to be made include the installation of air conditioning, a sound system, touch screen monitors to display daily menus and a wider variety of menu choices.
Dyer added that the company is currently searching for another chef to help implement a greater selection of special diet meal options and cultural days including Oriental Day.
Secondary education senior Kimberly Donovan said that she likes the new cafeteria. She said that the staff is friendly, the décor is welcoming and the food has improved significantly.
While students have lodged complaints and provided suggestions on how service at the new cafeteria can be further improved, the overall feedback on the new dining pavilion has been positive.
The award winning company supplies food to US Airways, United Airlines, Continental Airways, Delta Airlines and Net Jets. GCG is also the proprietor of Delly Deck on St. Thomas.
GCG is based in Latin America and the Caribbean and owns restaurants in the Virgin Islands.