Tomorrow, eating on campus!

迎着曙光的早7shuttle永远准点,课间穿梭于走廊的各色身影匆匆忙碌,深夜的图书馆灯火通明,在世纪大道1555号奋斗的每一天,唯梦想与美食不可辜负。而学校的cafe和cafeteria在我们匆匆而过的脚步中究竟扮演着怎样的角色,又隐藏着那些鲜为人知的小秘密?OCA中文部采访了目前餐饮服务的supervisor:Mary Kate,她将通过Q&A的形式带领我们一同探索cafe/cafeteria这两个在日常生活中习以为常,却暗含趣味的地点。 Whenever you are hungry and tired, good food can always cheer you up. What role does the school cafe and cafeteria play on our busy days, and what kinds of little secrets are hidden behind? OCA Chinese Department interviewed colleagues from the Sproutworks team who manage NYU Shanghai catering services. Through the following Q&A part, the supervisor Mary Kate will lead us to explore Cafe/Cafeteria, two interesting places on campus, and solve potential questions for you.

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1. 在管理cafe/cafeteria过程中,如何收集同学/教授/staff的反馈呢?又是如何处理这些反馈的?

学校定期会向学生发放一些学校设施的调查问卷,我们主要从这里收集同学们以及学校员工教授的反馈。有时候我会在cafe闲逛,和同学们聊天并收集反馈,当然大家也可以主动来cafe的柜台里找我提出各种建议!对于每一条建议,我都会和 cafe 的员工商量并做一些小调查,最后落实相应的改进措施,尽量能准确解决同学们的问题,最大程度满足大家的需求!当然并不是每一条建议我们都能百分之百完美迎合,为了保证我们的改动符合多数同学的想法,适当的权衡和选择也是必要的。

1. How do you receive feedback from students/professors/staff on  managing the cafe/cafeteria? How do you deal with this  feedback?

The school regularly distributes questionnaires to students about the school’s facilities, and this is where we collect feedback from students and the school staff and professors. Sometimes I hang out at the cafe to talk to students and collect feedback, but of course people can also come to me at the cafe counter and ask for suggestions! For each suggestion, I will discuss with the cafe staff and do some small surveys, and finally implement the corresponding improvement measures to try to solve the students’ problems accurately and satisfy everyone’s needs to the greatest extent! Of course, we try our best but cannot guarantee every suggestion can be carried out perfectly because we need to ensure that our changes meet the majority of students’ ideas, appropriate trade-offs and choices are also necessary.

2. 可以具体说说反馈中反映的主要问题有哪些吗?

很多同学会抱怨有些菜过于油腻,这是因为大多数素菜含水量高,烹饪过程中会产生一定的汤汁。大多数菜油无法溶解而浮在表面,视觉上让大家感到油腻,实则依旧保持了清淡健康。

价格也是一个长久的槽点。吃过其他学校食堂的同学们无一例外地会拿两者的价格进行比较,久而久之转而选择外卖配送。但是外卖配送不一定更省钱,反而更有可能脂肪、钠、糖超标!相比于其他的国内学校,我们的食堂每日烹饪规模较小,很难进一步降低成本。在引进食材的时候,我们都会多方比较选择性价比之王,可是在优先保障健康、营养与安全的同时,做到价格低于国内食堂的可能性不太大。

也有一些同学反映中餐的菜谱菜品重复性大。其实我们的菜单挺长的,中餐区有10多个菜品和面条。每天的菜单都是不一样的。由于每天都有选择,可能会出现一些菜品在下周相似的情况,但我们会尽量每周更换。我们也很感谢大家的反馈,我会记录下来,在每周的内部会议上会看看如何调整。同学们也可以直接反馈给我们,我们很关心你们的想法和幸福感,在可以的情况下,我们会尽力为大家服务,但因为调整很难满足到每一个人的要求, 所以请大家理解。

2. Can you share some main issues reflected in the feedback?

At times we receive complaints that some dishes are greasy. As some dishes such as vegetable dishes contain a high moisture content, they produce a certain amount of soup during the cooking process. Water and oil don’t mix, so most of the time, vegetable oil will not be dissolved and float on the surface, making the dish not visually appealing, but still remaining light and healthy in reality.

Price is also a long-standing groove. Students who have eaten in other school cafeterias will invariably compare the prices of the two, and over time turn to take-out delivery. But take-out delivery is not necessarily more economical, but more likely to exceed the fat, sodium and sugar standards! Compared to other domestic schools, our cafeteria has a quite smaller scale of daily cooking, which makes it difficult to further reduce costs. When we bring in ingredients, we will compare what is the best value, but it is unlikely that we can achieve lower prices than domestic cafeterias while prioritizing health, nutrition and safety.

We also received some complaints about the repetitive Chinese menu. We actually have quite a lengthy menu, and the Chinese section has over 10 dishes along with made to order Chinese style noodles. Everyday the menu is not the same. With everyday choices, it may happen that some dishes may be similar the next week, but we try our best to switch it weekly. We also appreciate the feedback; I will note it down and at the weekly internal meeting will see how to adjust. Students can also give us direct feedback. We care about your ideas and happiness, and we will try our best for everyone, but cannot guarantee to achieve everyone’s requirements and hope for your understanding!).

3. 这个学期有/将会有什么新的创新吗(i.e 产品、优惠、套餐「素食」…)?

Salad section!

去年秋季之前我们在 cafeteria 常设 Sproutsworks 轻食沙拉吧以及12元自选沙拉台,因为便宜、健康又好味,很受同学们欢迎。这学期以来,考虑到疫情安全问题,食堂所有的生鲜菜品都取消了,取代以更多样化的熟食中餐。对于素食者,我们在中餐区设置了更多的纯素菜品以及汤品,保证他们每天饭点有足够的选择。

负一楼的残渣处理桶上周摇身一变,换上了金属外壳。同学们清理饭菜更加方便,观感上也清洁了许多。如果有垃圾不小心分类失误也不要紧,我们的阿姨会在倾倒垃圾的时候细致分类,将错误的垃圾找出来。

这学期的 cafe 迎来了久违的国际生朋友们,白天热闹了许多,大家或坐或立,谈笑风生,原本沉闷的空气立刻生动活泼起来。

3. Will there be any new things this semester (i.e products, vegetarian diet, special offer)?

Until last fall we had a Sproutsworks salad bar and a salad table of your choice in the cafeteria, which was very popular with students because it was cheap, healthy and tasty. Since this semester, all raw dishes in the cafeteria have been eliminated due to epidemic safety concerns and replaced with a more diverse selection of cooked Chinese food. For vegetarians, we have set up more vegan dishes as well as soups in the Chinese food section to ensure that they have enough choices for their daily meals.

The disposal bins area at B1 have been transformed last week making it easier for the community to clean up their meals, and given a much cleaner appearance. Our assistants  spend time to carefully sort the trash a second time to find if any trash has been misplaced. Sorting is very important in Shanghai!

This semester, the cafe has welcomed the long-lost friends of international students, and it was much livelier during the day, everyone was sitting or standing, laughing and talking, and the originally dull air was immediately lively. Welcome back everyone! :)

4. 有什么大家不知道的 cafe 消费攻略吗?

Cafe一直都有积点换咖啡的活动,只是很多同学不了解这个活动或者没有积少成多的习惯,浪费了这个机会。我们也鼓励同学们用自带的杯子,同时还能每杯饮品获得5元的折扣!

4. Are there any cafe spending tips that we don’t know about?

The Cafe has always had a “buy 9 get 1” program, but many students just don’t know about the program or don’t have the habit of accumulating more than they need. We welcome more friends to grab onto the opportunity and value for their beverages, and we also encourage students to use their own mugs and still get a 5 RMB discount per drink!

5. 对于来cafe或cafeteria的同学/教授/staff有什么想说的吗?

希望新的2021年会更好,我们会继续在餐饮的岗位上为每一位同学提供最棒的服务,让你在学习之余获得健康与快乐,祝大家新年愉快!

Feel free to drop by and say hi. 如果有什么好的建议,欢迎来二楼找到我们当面提出!

5. Do you have anything to say to those students/profs… come to the cafe or cafeteria?

I hope the new 2021 will be better. We will continue to provide the best service to every student so that you can get healthy and happy while studying, and wish you all a happy new year!

Feel free to drop by and say hi. If you have any good suggestions, you are welcome to come to the second floor and find our staff in person!

We are interested in the resources you provide that help support students’ happiness, well-being, and recommendations for improvement or new resources to help the university accomplish this goal.

This article was written by Julie Zhu & Coco Wu currently based in Shanghai, China. Please send an email to qz1086@nyu.edu or sw4597@nyu.edu to get in touch.

Photo Credit: Julie

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