Isaac’s responds to student feedback

This month, Isaac’s Cafe introduced new Grab-n-Go options for Maryville College students interested in a quick bite on the go. The new sandwiches include the buffalo chicken wrap, fresh Italian sub and a portabella ciabatta sandwich. Students that are in a hurry and interested in a lighter fare can choose from a chef salad, chicken caesar salad or a strawberry chicken salad.

These new items are available on the meal plan and include a drink. Students may also choose any side item for the sandwiches, including the new fresh berry parfaits and fresh fruit cups in the Grab-n-Go section.

“We have listened to feedback from students and wanted to make a change,” said Jim Cofer, director of dining services at MC. “The new items were created using other Grab-n-Go programs around the country that were successful,” Cofer said “We repackaged the items, created new labels and came up with a way for all items to be offered on the meal equivalency.”

Isaac’s also introduced improved alternatives for chicken tenders and hamburgers. The new chicken tenders are larger with more flavorful breading and made from 100 percent breast meat. The new hamburger, also called the MC Scots Burger, is twice the size of the old hamburger patty and is made completely from Angus beef.

Since the debut of these items, Isaac’s has been much busier at dinnertime. Sharon Pipes, night shift leader at Isaac’s Cafe, said the number of students swiping their meal cards at Isaac’s for dinner has nearly doubled. Before the changes to the menu, between 140 and 170 students would visit the cafe on a weeknight. After the product changes, Isaac’s has been serving almost 250 students every night.

“I believe it’s a better quality of product and students are enjoying it more,” Pipes said.“It’s hard to keep up with the business, it’s become so popular.”

MC junior Chad Brooks was pleased by the new chicken tenders, burgers and the buffalo chicken wrap. “It’s really nice that they took time to change things to the student’s liking,” said Brooks. “It will encourage students to come in more often. They took into consideration what we’ve been asking for. It tastes like it could be at a restaurant rather than just school food.”

Freshman Emilie Perez said that Isaac’s is “20 times better now” than when she first arrived at MC. She said the new tenders were crispy, tender and juicy like homemade chicken tenders, and the burgers tasted like they came straight from a barbecue grill. She also enjoyed the portabella ciabatta sandwich.

These new, popular products demonstrate that MC Dining management read student’s feedback and make a real effort to improve. Students are encouraged to continue submitting comment cards available in Isaac’s and Pearson’s. By offering opinions on the food, whether it’s positive feedback or constructive criticism, students can give the management direction for later improvements in the menu items offered.

What other improvements can be expected next from MC Diing? “We are working to get Eco Grounds, a 100% Fair Trade Coffee Program on campus at Pearsons and Isaac’s,” Cofer said.

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