By Brian Schnell
Two months have passed since County College of Morris drastically altered its cafeteria selections for higher prices and less variety, and many students have taken notice.
In late August, CCM replaced hot food selections in the Student Center and Quiznos in the Cohen Cafe with vending machines and a Chartwells monopoly.
Some students have said that the machines, namely the DigiTouch digital screen machines are dispensing the wrong items. Several of the machines have been reported to just take money and give nothing in return, just like that annoying ex we all have.
Mike Prestano, a music recording major at CCM, said that he had money refunded by the bookstore a few times when the DigiTouch machine incorrectly charged him. He said that a machine had accepted his payment and dispensed no food.
“It authorized my payment, and nothing happened, so that was pretty shitty,” Prestano said.
“I’d rather have the cafe back,” said graphic design major Julio Martinez III. “The pizza, mac n’ cheese, and pasta were better.”
Many students wish for the old cafe to be returned as the new vending machines seem to be a total bust.
“A myriad of problems,” said liberal arts major Zachary Pryer.
Vice President of Business and Finance Karen VanDerhoof did not respond to a request for comment.
It seems that despite the optimistic change in Cohen Cafe’s food selection options, there is no real hope in recapturing the sales of the previous semesters from the students. There is much agreement between students that as time goes on, the demand for the food in the cafe is lessening. The current demand seems to be too high for the cafe to handle even. Often, this results in a nasty bottleneck in the cafe as people wait for their food to be made during peak times, but during non peak times one can see lukewarm burgers, cold onion rings, and tater tots with a questionable taste.
The most outrage appears to be coming from students who become aware that the chicken tenders were removed from the cafe yet still are unable to believe that there is still a slowdown in the ability to consistently pump out good edible food.
“I’m disappointed; the chicken tenders were kind of a snack to eat since the burgers are too much and just eating fries sucks,” said Igor Ramos, a business administration major.
The Cohen Cafe appears to be slowly removing options in an effort to keep up with the demand, yet by doing so the demand is driven down even further. Many students have expressed concern over this. The soups appear to be slowly vanishing into thin air as well as some sandwich options being removed, almost in favor of the expensive build-your-own system for salads. All of this without a notice or explanation. This drives many students towards the burgers, which in themselves cause a back up in preparation, causing a bigger bottleneck than multiple closed lanes on a highway.
The process of ordering food in the cafe could also use for a streamlining update. The cafe is always out of some sort of asian sauce or part of a secret formula, and students do not find this out until it’s too late and they are hassled by cafe staff to quickly change their order. This a major problem as a cafe should not be consistently running out of food multiple times each day, causing a back up and a lapse in the management of the crowds and overall demand.
Add in that there is barely one register open for students to pay for their food also shows that the cafe cannot keep up with the demand. Even when there is a massive line, the second register is usually not utilized. It seems as though the second register is more of a display item than a functioning cash register. Due to the huge crowd and backlog of people pooling in hopes of checking out and paying within that day, many students just walk through between the cash registers without paying for the food.
When the cafe is unable to handle the demand caused by the students, the students will go else where for food, which in turn will decrease the demand and lead to more and more problems. When this is added to the fact that affordable, better tasting, less sketchy. And better prepared food is available within walking distance, let alone a short drive, it’s the final backlogged, poorly prepared, lukewarm, disgusting nail in the cafe’s metaphorical coffin.