BY Citlalli Godinez
This year, Sacred Heart University was ranked third in the state for their dining services. The university was ranked by an online organization called Niche.
According to Sacred Heart’s website, “Niche is a resource for people who are researching colleges, schools, neighborhoods and companies. Students and parents rely on Niche to gain diverse perspectives of varying schools to decide where students will pursue their degrees.”
Sacred Heart was ranked among two other universities, Yale and Wesleyan.
“I think the ranking is accurate. There are so many dining options here on campus for students to choose from. I have visited some friends who go to other schools and it really made me realize how lucky we are to have the dining services that we do,” said junior Danielle Koster.
With a variety of dining services to choose from, students are able to experience different types of food on a daily basis.
President John Petillo shared his favorite dining services.
“I’m kind of eclectic. I enjoy lunch at 63’s because I can see a lot of students there. In the mornings, a couple of times a week, I find myself going to Einstein’s for a morning coffee and a bagel,” said Petillo. “I’m pleased that SHU Dining got this ranking and we want to encourage them to not rest on their laurels but to continue to work for what the students are interested in.” Before opening their doors each morning to students, SHU Dining employees said they work hard to give students a positive experience.
“We are proud to offer our associates many facets of customer training to enhance the student experience. We do pre-service meetings before each shift to discuss our day, we have a You First program that praises associates for the work they do for our customers and guests, and customer service trainings throughout the year,” said Resident District Manager for SHU Dining, Mark Tammone.
Junior Kayla Santos said she learned about the food services once she got here.
“Before coming to Sacred Heart, I didn’t know there were swipe hours at Linda’s and also didn’t know you could make your own wrap at 63’s,” said Santos.
Linda’s is one of the many dining services the university offers. Its dinner swiping hours are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“Something I want new students to know about is when swiping hours are at Linda’s because I wasn’t aware when I first came here. I wasted so much money when I could have used swipes. I would also tell them to budget their dining dollars because I spent so much my first month not realizing how much I was spending and ended up almost running out,” said Koster.
The dining services include diversity in their menus through the different stations and menu items at the different dining locations around campus.
“What sets Sacred Heart’s dining services apart from other universities is the variety of food, variety of cuisine in terms of Spanish, Italian, Southwest, etc. and the settings. Many universities would have one or two settings. We have eight venues where people can get food,” said Petillo.
Sacred Heart’s current venues are 63’s, Einstein Brothers’, The Peak Creamery & Coffee Shop, Starbuck’s Café, The Market at Sacred Heart, The Market at West, Red’s, Linda’s, Balance Kitchen and JP’s Diner.
“SHU Dining is more than happy to have made it on the Niche list, but we know that the number one spot is our obtainable goal for the very near future. I am already working with my student interns and brainstorming ways to capture more voting participation and better scores for next year’s list,” said Marketing Director at SHU Dining, Kayla Hawley.
Hawley said student opinions are important for making updates in their services.
“If I could change one thing about the dining services it would be to have more of a say of the food chosen in the station that changes in Linda’s or the food chosen that is served at 63’s,” said Koster.