Aramark should be ashamed

Campus Voice Editorial Opinion

As college students we could all benefit from saving a little extra cash.  Often we can only work a part-time job because of our lengthy schedules and homework.  This causes us to either have little or no money.  So why does Aramark charge us so much for their food?

In 2009, Missouri Western Board of Governors voted in favor of renewing Aramarks contract for up to eight years.  They say that Aramark could provide Western with nearly $3.5 million over that span.  What they fail to mention is the $3.5 million is not coming from Aramark, but from the student’s pockets.

A hotdog, chips and a drink will cost you roughly $5 at our Aramark eateries around campus.  A simple hotdog that cost them roughly .40 cents to prepare cost the students nearly $2.  Their daily specials are $4.00 without a drink.  The options are very limited and often less than appealing.   As a manager of a steakhouse for the last 10 years I got a pretty good idea what they pay for some of their products.  To me it seems they take the cheapest route on virtually every product and in turn charge us a premium price.

Why can’t they offer a few $1 options for college students living on a budget?  If Quick Trip can make money off selling $1 dollar hotdogs and taquitos then why can’t Aramark? I understand they are a business and need to make money but there is a big difference between making money and being greedy.  It feels to me like they are taking advantage of students, especially the ones that cannot leave campus to eat elsewhere.

Why does our administration at Missouri Western continue to let Aramark charge us ridicules prices for low quality food?  Aramark blames rising food cost, which is true and a good excuse, but the food they are serving us is downright disgusting.  We cannot even have a function on school grounds without having to purchase food through Aramark at an extremely higher price than many restaurants in St. Joseph would cater for.  They have us stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I heard that Aramark’s food is so bad that on the first day of Kansas City Chiefs training camp in 2010, the Chiefs organization had their own services from Kansas City brought in because of Aramark’s low quality.  My informant that was working for the Chiefs that day clearly heard a Chiefs player say “This stuff is dog food.”  If it is not good enough for the Chiefs, why is it good enough Western students?

I don’t want Aramark to be replaced necessarily, but I would like them to ask students what they enjoy eating and offer some higher quality products.  Another thing that would be nice is if Aramark could offer students some value priced items.  Not every student has $1300 on a flex card.  If they could do this they would probably see an increase of students eating on campus and that would most likely even out their cost for better products.

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