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RPS conducts satisfaction survey for dining services


By Rachel Osman




Residential Programs and Services recently gave students the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions about IU’s dining facilities through the RPS Dining Service Customer Satisfaction Survey.

RPS emailed all IU students with meal plans a link to the survey. Students could rate as many dining facilities as they wished in six categories: food, menu, service, cleanliness, dining environment and sustainability.

The goals of the survey were to see how satisfied students were with their overall dining experience, as well as to identify areas in which RPS can improve.

This is the second time RPS offered the survey to students. After last year’s survey, some changes were made, RPS Dining Services Director Sandra Fowler said.

“Speed of service was a concern in last year’s survey,” Fowler said. “It was a bigger problem than we anticipated, so we are working this year to improve in that area.”

Errol Huffman, RPS dining services business consultant, said another problem brought to attention in last year’s survey was food presentation.

“We got a sense that students felt the quality of food was good but that the presentation was not appealing,” he said.

To address this issue, RPS provided several food presentation classes and more customer service training to staff during the summer.

The survey was conducted through The National Association of College & University Food Services, a third-party research firm. RPS will receive a report that compares IU data against the results of the other schools that participated.

“I am looking to this survey not only to give me a better idea of how we compare to last year, but to see how we match up to other institutions,” Huffman said.

When analyzing the survey results, Huffman and Fowler will place a large emphasis on improvement. Huffman said they will look to see if there is an upward trend compared to the responses from last year.

“We are anxious to see if we are improving,” Fowler said.

Sophomore Kim Gilmour was one of thousands of students who participated in this year’s survey.

“I think the idea behind it was good, and I was happy to help try to improve upon the meals and overall experience offered in the dining halls because I think they leave a lot to be desired,” she said.

Despite her participation, Gilmour remains skeptical of the effect the survey will have.
“I can’t imagine much will happen based on this type of survey, but I believe that the idea of changing and improving the dining halls is admirable,” she said.

Even if some students are unsure about the survey’s impact, Huffman remains positive.

“We felt really good that our scores from last year were on par with other schools or better and want to make sure that we continue to improve,” he said.

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