story | Reza Alam, Senior Writer
photo | Peh Yi Lin, Visuals Editor
Since taking over from SATS on July 28 as the official dining hall vendor of Yale-NUS College, Sodexo has received mixed reviews from various members of the Yale-NUS community. While some students appreciate the general increase in quality, many have complained about the lack of variety.
Chris Liz ’21, who is a vegetarian, said that Sodexo’s vegetarian option is “pretty good” and that the “quality is better” than SATS’. However, Liz also noted that the variety of food had “gone down”, which, to him, is problematic.
This sentiment of better quality and lower variety was echoed by other students. For instance, Kelvin Fung ’21 said that “the dishes that Sodexo produces are tastier and more flavorful” in comparison to SATS. However, Fung added that Sodexo “has much to improve on its breakfast spread.”
For halal food, Abdul Sharapov ’21 felt that in terms of food quality, not much had changed compared to SATS. He also agreed that the variety of food was lacking and said, “There’s a lot of curries, which is fine, but after a while, eating the same thing just gets on my nerves.”
Tan Tai Yong, President of Yale-NUS College, cited in an interview with The Octant on Aug. 23 that Sodexo faced some challenges due to manpower woes. Mr. Tan said that Sodexo is sometimes shorthanded because “previous part-timers don’t want to take over the evening shift (but) only the morning shift.” He said that many of these staff members preferred to return home earlier in the day even if it meant having to start their shifts early.
The Yale-NUS Dining Hall Committee, comprising students, residential and Dean of Students staff, urged students to be patient and understanding during this early period of the handover.
The committee said in a statement to The Octant that “We are happy to work with Sodexo. Through our conversations, we have found Richard [Sodexo’s Site Manager] and Antoine [Sodexo’s Head Chef] to be highly receptive to our suggestions and responsive to our feedback.”
“[Sodexo is] working hard to meet the community’s needs and we seek the community’s patience and understanding throughout this transition period,” the committee added.
Members of the Yale-NUS community can reach out to the Dining Hall Committee using the independent ‘Dish It’ web application or through firstname.lastname@example.org to provide feedback about the new dining hall vendor and its food.