Campus dining reopens with some difficulties


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Sabrina Edwards, Laker Life Editor

With students coming back to campus, many of Grand Valley State University’s facilities reopened after being closed due to the pandemic, campus dining included. Due to more students being on-campus, the need for more cafeterias to be opened increased. 

However, even though there is a need for dining on-campus, Campus Dining is still struggling to open at full capacity, but this time it’s not due to COVID.

“Last year, a handful of locations were closed for the entire semester/year due to decreased on-campus population and COVID-19 restrictions,” said Deb Rambadt, Marketing Director of Campus Dining.

Even though many of these facilities are able to reopen, some still aren’t capable due to a shortage in labor. Many on-campus dining options are still closed because they don’t have enough workers to be able to reopen. Some of these are GV Brew, Qdoba and Einstein Bros. Bagels to name a few. 

“This year our plan/goal is to have all locations open as soon as staffing levels are met,” Rambadt said. “In addition to current labor shortages, there are some supply chain issues. Restaurants are substituting items as needed and this may change menu options from time to time.”

While they are hoping to fully reopen as soon as possible, they can’t unless they get more workers. If these restaurants aren’t fully staffed, reopening isn’t a possibility.

If they aren’t closed due to labor shortages, it’s due to supply shortages. There are currently 15 on-campus restaurants closed, a few due to supply chain issues. This is currently causing five facilities to be closed. Panda Express is also being affected by the supply chain shortages, and because of that can only offer a limited menu to patrons.

Campus dining facilities are adhering to all of the on-campus mandatory requirements for indoor facilities. Much like at other restaurants, guests are asked to wear their masks until they get to their table.

“The university mask mandate is in effect in all buildings,” Rambadt said. “Guests are expected to wear masks while circulating dining locations. Masks can be removed only at tables while eating.”

Some things have changed due to the restrictions besides just masks. Guests are not allowed to get refills on any of their beverages and they are being asked to not bring any cups from home so as to not spread any illnesses. These rules may be adjusted as Ottawa County Health Department issues new restrictions or removes them. 

Any questions about what food options are available on-campus can be answered at Hours will be updated on the website once these facilities are fully staffed. 

Students who are looking for jobs on-campus and want to work for campus dining can look on Handshake at the available positions. For information on how to apply check out the listings on Handshake or the campus dining page.