Going to College with Acid Reflux: Part II
Last week I provided some helpful tips about going to college with acid reflux. This week, Janelle Craft, Residential Dining Director at Washington College, provides her insight on the subject. I asked Janelle the following:
When students come to college, they often struggle to get their diet just right (like they had it at home). What mistakes do you think students might make sometimes at the cafeteria?
Janelle: We have found that the biggest mistake is often that the guests do not voice their opinions or concerns. We base our program and menus on feedback. And, we are often able to bring in specific items for individuals if they request them. Starting the college life with a new dining hall and a team of chefs can be intimidating, but we enjoy getting to know every guest and would encourage them to come and speak to us.
I think some with acid reflux do not want to be seen as different around their friends so they don't talk to the dining staff and find out about foods that are reflux friendly. Is there a way that students or parents can contact you in private and not in front of everyone in the serving line?
Janelle: Yes, we have worked with numerous students who have special diets or allergies and the feedback is usually that they don’t want to be an inconvenience and they don’t want to hold up the line by asking questions. Our solution to this was to offer “Ingredialert” which allows guests to text us and then we can come out and discuss the menu item with them, share recipes, etc. so that the guest can make an informed decision for themselves about the food. We are also very receptive to phone calls or emails and can always set up meetings to discuss options as well.
What do you say to students or parents who are hesitant to contact you directly because they don't want to seem too demanding?
Janelle: Our goal is to provide quality food and service to every guest. Assisting them in any way is not an inconvenience and we enjoy being able to be creative and help out. It also allows us a format to connect with our guests so we actually really enjoy getting to know guests with special diets and finding ways to meet their needs. Communication is the key to the guest being happy and to us understanding the needs and if we are meeting them. We would much prefer a guest tell us they are unhappy and give us the opportunity to fix it rather than them just keeping quiet.
Thank you for your time!