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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Bon Appetit worker shortage plagues dining halls

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Because four Bon Appetit staff members left over winter break, the dining halls and Sayles have been understaffed for the entire term.

“This is really the first time in a long time we have had positions open for any length of time,” said Bon Appetit general manager Katie McKenna.

Currently, Bon Appetit is looking to hire several dining hall and Sayles cooks.

One of the reasons that Bon Appetit is having difficulty filling the vacancies is that the in the Union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement requires Bon Appetit to post any open positions to current staff before opening the position to the wider public.

As a result, when someone in the current staff applies and is accepted for the open position, a search must begin for the newly vacant position.

Beyond hiring internally, Bon Appetit is using HireBridge to post positions on Indeed and Craigslist. McKenna also placed advertisements in local newspapers and at area technical and culinary schools.

In addition to its 120 staff members, Bon Appetit hires 120 student workers, some of whom stop working after fall term. McKenna attributes the drop in student workers to scheduling conflicts such as off-campus studies and sports teams.

McKenna did not have information on whether other schools, like St. Olaf, have difficulty retaining their student and staff workers.

Likewise, Maureen Kalkowski-Farrand ’17, a former dining hall student worker, said, “I think most student worker leave because they find jobs that interest them more or will look better on resumes.

“The only students I can think of that stay working in the dining hall more than one year are the students that become student managers, but I could be wrong.”

Kalkowski-Farrand said she stopped working in the dining halls because she received a job in the library. She said the only feasible way to retain workers would be to increase pay.

McKenna said she does not know the number of vacant student positions, but mentioned that ads were placed in the table tents in LDC and Burton and in the Noon News Bulletin for a few weeks.

Despite the worker shortages, McKenna assured, “We have an excellent team here, and they step in to cover the shifts that need to be covered.”

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