Dining staff cuts lead to lengthy lines


Alek Fleury

Long lines outside of Brennan’s Pub from 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday are a result of staffing changes at Central Dining Hall. Central Dining is now closed at those times, but students can use meal swipes at Brennan’s, the Marketplace and the Green Roof Deli.

Julianne Lesch, Staff Writer

Long lines outside of Brennan’s and a change in Central Dining Hall hours comes as a result of staffing issues.

The change in hours was a result of Central Dining Hall not having enough staff, as workers were quitting after not getting breaks, Brennan’s employee Angel Parent said.

“They lost a lot of people. They were fully staffed and then people weren’t getting their breaks, so they’re quitting,” Parent said.

UVM Dining Director Melissa Zelazny said that the change in hours came as a result of a drop in staff morale since staff was starting to burn out by December.

“People were leaving because they were like, ‘this is too busy’ or ‘this is too much for us,’ so now it allows two different shifts and for people to have a more normal pace from start to finish,”  Zelazny said.

With the new decrease in hours at Central, workers have a more normalized pace during their shifts, she said.

Another reason for the change in hours was because chefs needed more time to prep for dinner because Central is hit with a large lunch crowd, Zelazny said.

Hilary Mahony, Simple Servings cook at Central Dining Hall, said that the demand and expectations were a lot for some workers to handle.

“I think that there is a lot of pressure on us certainly to perform day after day and to hopefully keep everyone happy,” Mahoney said. “People were definitely feeling a little bit of strain to meet the timelines.”

Increased volume from the previous year had also pressed the staff, Mahoney said.   

“I personally feel it has been busier this year than last year in this dining hall. I think the numbers would reflect that across the board,” Mahony said. “It’s the same number of people trying to do it, there are just more people to serve.”

As of Jan 28., Central Dining Hall closes from 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, according to a Jan 17. Residential Life email.

Students are allowed to use meals swipes at Brennan’s, the Marketplace and the Green Roof Deli, according to the email.

Each meal swipe is worth up to $10 at the three retail locations and be can used between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marketplace and the Green Roof Deli, and between 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Brennan’s, according to the email.

Sophomore Caroline Noonan said with Central closing she must have to be more strategic with when she eats as a result of the long lines in the Davis Center.

“It can get kind of messy and complicated, but at least the food is better,” Noonan said.

First-year Kevin Veronneau said that the changes don’t really affect him, though it is nice to be able to utilize the Marketplace and Brennan’s more often.

“It doesn’t really affect me that much because I almost never eat during that time anyway. I do think it’s nice to be able to go over to Brennan’s or the Marketplace and get something,” Veronneau said.

Since the change in hours, places in the Davis Center like Brennan’s have seen a major increase in students during the time in which swipes are valid, Parent said.