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Don’t Count Your Chickens: Students Respond to Reduced Sayles Chicken Strips

At the beginning of the term, Carleton students joyfully ordered chicken tenders from Sayles Cafe, expecting five, deliciously crispy chicken tenders. Instead, students found that they had received only three strips of chicken, due to a change in policy by Bon Appetit. While the quantity of the meal was reduced, the price of the chicken strips remains the same, at $4.75 with a One Card and $5.10 with cash.

Many students felt shocked by the unexpected cutback on delicious
chicken. Freshman Matt Thibodeau expressed his outrage, saying “The bastards. I feel betrayed.”

When asked the reason behind the new number of chicken strips, Sayles food assistant Nancy explained, “My assumption is that the price of chicken
has gone up, or the surcharges for delivery have gone up. It’s more of an economic thing.”

Attempts to uncover the exact motives behind the chicken strip reduction led me to be referred to various bureaucrats within the Bon Appetit hierarchy, but each referred me to another person, until no clear answer remained. One person said, “We really can’t say”, while another insisted, “It’s a complex question.”

While the complexity of the chicken strips confounds those at Bon Appetit, many students pondered the loss of chicken. Assuming the reduction is due to economic reasons, a freshman who wished to remain anonymous for “fear of retribution” said “It seems to me that the chicken tenders crisis is rising to the level of  Bookstore-Gate. I feel distressed by the rise of intense consumeristic capitalism.”

“I would understand if they reduced it to four” said Freshman Tegan Wilson.
With three, “you’re almost paying twice at much for the same amount of food.”

Many students conveyed feelings of fear and uncertainty regartding the future of food at Sayles. “What if they end up reducing it to one chicken finger? It starts with chicken fingers. What’s next?” said Freshman Rebecca Stover. “We have fundamental rights as Americans. What was our country based on if not the selling of fried meats and freedom?”

Sophomore Alex Berlin said “I do think there’s a certain level of injustice involved.” He also remarked that “it should have been an increase in price. People wouldn’t have noticed as much.”

The myriad of student reactions has not gone unnoticed by Bon Appetit. Sayles workers said they’ve received “a lot” of reactions about the chicken tenders. “But we’ve rectified some of it – now you get four.” Earlier this week, Sayles reversed the decision and now includes four chicken tenders in the order. According to the Sayles assistants, the recent change has eliminated most of the negative reactions from students.

However, there are those that still feel the acute sting of missing chicken tenders. One Freshman said she “felt saddened by the fact that I never got to experience the five chicken fingers. Our wings were taken away before we could even fly.”

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