Home cookin' hits Centrespot

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Serving food at Centrespot

Laura Barclay

I'VE BEEN WORKING LONG HOURS AT THE 'YUM' FACTORY. Hospitality Services is now offering homecooked-style meals in Centrespot; the caption writers at The Gazette are setting alarming levels of futility. Mom is making us do our homework right after dinner.

Western’s Hospitality Services has answered the complaints of students who want more than just the fast-food franchises and pre-packaged meals on campus.

On Monday, Centrespot in the University Community Centre launched its new “Just Like Home” menu, offering homestyle meals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

Centrespot now serves a different homestyle dish each day. The two-week meal cycle includes favourites like lasagna Bolognese, roast beef with potatoes and chicken classica.

Hospitality Services introduced the “Just Like Home” menu in response to a number of recent surveys and comments that indicated students want homestyle options similar to those offered in residence cafeterias.

“We put out a ballot asking students what they wanted to see changed and they said that they wanted something outside the on-campus franchises,” Scott Hitchon, Centrespot manager, said.

However, this is not the first time the “Just Like Home” menu has been offered.

“A couple of years ago we tried this program and it failed miserably,” Frank Miller, director of Hospitality Services, said.

“This time, we are focusing on good value and student preferences.”

Unfortunately, the initiative didn’t get off to a great start on Monday. Miller said Centrespot had three people buy homestyle macaroni and cheese on the menu’s first day.

A likely reason for poor sales is a lack of awareness.

When asked about the recently released homestyle options, very few students heard about the new menu.

“I didn’t see anything about it, but if I did I would have eaten it,” Chelsey Winch, a first-year science student, said. “I get pizza here almost every day, and I’m getting sick of it.”

According to Miller, Hospitality Services plans to expand the “Just Like Home” menu in the near future to offer two options per day.

Better signage, more publicity and improved visibility are also part of Hospitality’s strategy to make “Just Like Home” more successful this time around.

“I’m not sure just yet what the outcome of ‘Just Like Home’ will be, but I do know that the students will tell us what to do,” Miller said. “For now, we’re just trying to be as responsive as we can.”

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette