Campus dining services combine for efficiency

Chelsea Langevin – Senior reporter. By now it is no secret that the Observatory is vacant, the Catty Shack is open later and Jazzman’s is turning in earlier. But there is a method to the madness.
“Part of my job in recommending changes to the college is in services,” general manager Bill Masullo said.
While Masullo has only been at Linfield for roughly two years, he said he quickly noticed that the Catty Shack, the Observatory and Jazzman’s were all open until 10 p.m., competing for each other’s business. As a result, some food services received more traffic than others.
“My obligation to the school is to show them what I’d do if I were the owner,” he said.
After conducting numerous focus groups and analyzing student surveys, Masullo found a way to satisfy student needs and eliminate unnecessary operating costs — combine the Catty Shack and the Observatory into one.
“We as a group [Linfield] made this decision,” he said.
By extending the Catty Shack’s hours, students can grab food items and toiletries in one place later in the day, Masullo said.
While he supported the decision to relocate the Observatory’s items with basic economics and student input, Masullo also acknowledged that not everyone agrees with the changes.
“It’s the emotional aspect of it,” he said. “The great thing about food is if you eat, you’re an expert.”
Sophomore Jaelyn Forthun has just started her second year working at the Catty Shack. While she said she enjoys the option of scheduling work later in the day, Forthun said she has a hard time finding food that she whats.
“It seems like there are less items available,” she said about looking for energy drinks.
And, while the college installed a second register in the Catty Shack to keep the traffic flowing, Forthun said there are rarely enough workers on shift to run both registers.
“It has always been pretty congested in there,” she said.
For those who want to use their Wildcat Cash for a post-5 p.m. caffeine jolt, the Jazz-man’s coffee cart in Nicholson Library is now open until 10 p.m.
“It depends on the student and where he or she lives, because for that side of campus, Jazzman’s is a lifesaver,” Forthun said.
Junior Lauren Funtanilla said Riley Student Center’s Jazzman’s was a convenient meeting spot for students but added that she understands why it has to close earlier.
“People didn’t really take advantage of it, so it makes sense,” she said.
Funtanilla said she did not agree with the Observatory’s closing but likes that the school compensated for its absence by combining it with the Catty Shack and extending its hours.
“The school should always have something that is available to students, especially if they don’t have the transportation to get to the store,”
she said.
Masullo conceded that there is no win-win situation in the game of food service.
“It’s that emotion tied to food, and once you change it, you’re the one who turned over the apple cart,” he said.

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