It’s no secret that dining halls suck — at least 95 percent of the time. Alas, the Drexel dining hall was no exception; eating at Urban Eatery or the Hans wasn’t usually something students look forward to, but a task done in an effort to use their thousands of dollars of meal swipes.
I mean let’s be real: we just try to convince ourselves that we’re putting our money to good use by using our daily swipes and dining dollars for endless plates of crappy pizza, uncooked pasta, and bland salads where tofu isn’t a protein, but rather, a topping.
So you can understand our excitement when we got an email from the president saying that we’d be switching to Aramark, a company that promised an enhanced dining experience and diverse course options. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed; the Hans went through a makeover like no other.
One day there were subpar burgers and mashed potatoes, the next exotic falafels and crunchy tostada bowls. My personal favorite, the waffle bar, got new flavors of ice cream and desserts — some you wouldn’t even think to find in a dining hall. I mean, chocolate mousse cake? Really? There is a wide variety of options, so no matter what mood you’re in, chances are you’ll be able to find something that looks and tastes good.
For those who want to be healthy, there’s an endless salad bar with every topping you could possibly want, including a nice side of pasta salad. For us tofu-lovers, the Asian station always has delicious stir-fry and spring rolls just waiting to be eaten. And of course, there’s a station dedicated to breakfast food, because what kind of makeover would it be if there weren’t one?
This diversity is perhaps the biggest improvement at the Hans — each day there’s something new to try, if you’re feeling adventurous, and still good ol’-fashioned meals, like the omelets and salads, if you want something familiar. It’s basically getting as close to travelling the world with a styrofoam box as one can get.
These enhancements have made it easier to be healthy and make students want to use their meal swipes. And let’s not forget about the burgers — just when you thought all hope was lost, here comes Aramark with their garden burgers and crispy fries (do you hear the happy cries of the vegetarians?). The quality of the food has gotten significantly better because this food doesn’t go right through you anymore — you can actually enjoy it.
But it’s not just the food that’s seen an improvement; it’s the workers. Aramark has taken customer service to a whole new level. As an avid ketchup eater, it’s no surprise that when I went to refill my condiment cup, there was no ketchup left. Instead of being ignored (which, and I’m speaking truthfully, has happened to me before), not one, but three people came over to try and help me with my ketchup struggle.
The hall hygiene has improved greatly as well. The tables are cleaned within minutes of being emptied, the condiments and toppings are almost always filled and easily accessible, and the employees have no problem addressing any dietary questions and concerns. The employees are helpful, kind, and make your food taste even better because of that little bit of extra love. What’s not to like about that? If you haven’t gotten it already, I’ll spell it out for you: the Hans is awesome. Words can only go so far to try and explain away the enhancements that Aramark has provided. So if you haven’t checked it out yet … my advice? Text your friends and get eatin’.