On July 1, 2022, Alma College partnered with Metz Culinary Management. Metz is renowned for its experience in the higher education industry, which was the major factor in Alma College choosing it over other contenders.
Metz was brought to Alma College with the hopes of it being an improvement upon the previous dining company, presumably in response to student complaints and protests in the past years.
Over the past few years, the student body has voiced its concerns and speculations over the quality and lack of variation in menu items and protein sources. Even after changing culinary companies, the student body still is upset over these issues.
“The change from Sodexo to Metz has severely altered my diet. Many of my favorite foods, such as peanut butter and chickpeas or no longer offered at the dining hall. As a student-athlete, I used to eat these foods as a source of healthy fat and protein,” said Ryan Gray (‘25).
Alongside numerous foods no longer being offered, popular food stations are no longer operable in the dining hall.
“I was confused about the two most popular stations, the Mongolian Grill and the pasta bar, to be removed,” said Austin DeRocher (‘24). “It was a staple of numerous athletes’ diets, providing them with high protein and carb options while simultaneously bringing the best flavors to the dining hall.”
The new culinary management has implemented various nutrition changes emphasizing healthier and alternative food options. Metz prioritizes making vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options more accessible for students to implement into their diet. These new changes have come with contradicting viewpoints.
“I’ve been to the dining hall possibly seven times since the beginning of the year. The only enjoyable thing I can find there is chocolate milk, cereal, and fries. I miss the unhealthier options that were offered before Metz took over,” said Andrew Smith (’23).
“I do enjoy the healthier options that are now offered. After practice, I tend to want to eat a lot of food and when healthier options are available, it makes me feel better mentally and physically,” said Gray.
Not only has the variation of food been questioned by the student body, so has the quality of the food. Numerous students have found questionable items in their food alongside of the question of how thoroughly cooked the food is.
“One day, I went to grab some oat milk out of the fridge, and inside the carton was mold. When I showed one of the workers, she looked concerned and took the carton away,” said Kylie Demarets (’25).
This has not been the only case where the food quality has come into question. Many students have found the tortillas at the deli station to be stale, and at times, different foods are under or overcooked.
Although Hamilton Commons is a small dining hall compared to many other campuses, students still wish more variety was available.
“For the whole month of September, all that has been offered at the Southern Cooking station has been tacos. My friends and I assume it is to commemorate Mexican Heritage Month; however, other Hispanic foods can be served that represent the culture. After weeks of only being offered tacos, it gets a little annoying when nothing changes,” said Grace Ludema (’26).
Overall, it seems that although the college had tried to improve the dining hall and its options, it sadly did not achieve this goal.
The General Manager of Metz Culinary Management was contacted on Sept. 27 but was unable to respond by the date of publication.