Another Yale tradition has gone online.
Following the lead of dining services across the country, Aramark, Yale’s food provider, has put its dining hall survey online for the first time.
Aramark officials have set a goal of 100 percent participation, which would be a major increase from past paper surveys. Only 2,691 members of the Yale community took participated in the survey this spring.
Janet D’Agostino, the dining service’s manager of marketing and communications, said the survey is very different from the evaluation conducted in the spring of 2001.
“We came up with a survey targeted to our students,” D’Agostino said. She added that the dining services staff spent much of the summer compiling questions.
When students open the Yale Dining Services Web page, they are led through a series of questions about their dining experiences at Yale College.
The survey first asks where the student primarily eats and for which meals. Choices include all residential college locations and Commons. Students are asked to rate aspects of the dining service’s performance, including taste of food, freshness of food, friendliness of staff, and suitability of current hours of operation. Each area is rated on a scale ranging from “Excellent” to “Poor.”
The questionnaire allows students to name specific foods that they enjoy eating in the dining halls or foods that they would like to have available.
Ignacio Echenique ’05 said that he thinks the food at Yale is good compared to food at other schools, but could be better.
“I’m pretty happy with the Pan Geos,” he said, adding he believes the survey will help bring more food variety to dining halls.
David Davidson, director of dining services, says that managers have been going off campus to come up with ideas to improve what and how students eat at Yale.
“We’re constantly looking at ways to better serve our students,” Davidson said.
To promote student participation, Aramark has placed information cards on dining hall tables, encouraging students to visit the Yale Dining Services Web site and share their ideas.
Still, some students said they were not aware of the survey despite the publicity and Aramark’s lofty participation goals.
“I didn’t find out about the survey,” Erica Machlin ’05 said. Machlin added that, overall, she is happy with the variety of food in Saybrook, her residential college dining hall.
Hans Cho ’04 said he agreed.
“The online survey won’t help because people are too lazy to fill it out or just don’t know about it at all,” Cho said.
D’Agostino said the dining hall services staff will go over each survey they receive “extremely carefully”.
“Each one is read — there is no point in doing a survey unless you pay attention to the answers,” she added.
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