story | Reza Alam, Staff Writer
photo | Yip Jia Qi, Editor
As SATS, the vendor operating Yale-NUS College’s dining halls, will see its contract expiring this year, Yale-NUS held a tasting session for potential caterers on Jan. 30. Students had the opportunity to sample food from the participating dining hall operators. SATS, which has applied to renew its contract with Yale-NUS, competed against SODEXO, a French-based food service company, to become the official dining hall provider for Yale-NUS.
The session was held in Cendana College’s Dining Hall, with over 100 students of various dietary preferences or requirements taking part in it. The Dining Hall was closed for half a day for the event. Both SATS and SODEXO were given a number of stalls from which they served their food.
Momoka Ando ’21, who attended the session, said that while the food that the two vendors served was very good, she was concerned that the food displayed may not be the kind of food that the eventual provider will serve during a normal school day. This concern about the potential discrepancy was shared by many other students who attended the event.
SODEXO and SATS, however, face more concerns than simply creating high expectations for themselves. Students from Yale-NUS hail from various cultures and life circumstances that affect their eating habits and preferences. As such, students have many preferences and requests they wish to see reflected in next year’s dining services.
For instance, Christopher Lis ’21 who is a vegetarian said, “I would certainly like to see a different formula to the green lunches. For example in the salad bar, they don’t have tomatoes and cheese”. Others, like Kelvin Fung ’21, would like to see more of certain dishes currently being served at the dining hall. He said, “It would be great if we can have more char siew, siew yoke and Shao La on a more regular basis”.
While SATS and SODEXO have provided impressive food during the tasting, the chosen vendor would still face many challenges if they become the new dining hall operator. Students can use the ‘Dish It’ web application or reach out to the dining hall committee at email@example.com to provide feedback to the vendors.