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New caf, short-staffed

Despite being new, the cafeteria on campus has been working through a major issue— and it isn’t about the food at all.

Dining Services has been working to fill over 40 empty positions with qualified applicants since the beginning of this semester, General Manager Kyle Grover said. However, it was not possible to hire enough people to staff the cafeteria before it began operation.

The result is an employee shortage, causing food stations to close during slow traffic times, as well as forcing student workers to cover shifts when possible.

Catering— a subset of Dining Services— has been allowing students to cover shifts ordinarily filled by full-time Sodexo workers.

“Basically, the caf needs more people to run it, and we have fewer people than last year,” said junior, Kevin Febus. “They’re working out background checks and other hiring stuff, and so while they do that, they have us filling in.”

Febus is one such student worker who has been covering whenever open time slots are available.

“They are always glad when we come into work,” he said.

Skylar Roberts, another student worker in catering, has also been an interim worker for the new cafeteria.

“Since we are already employed by Sodexo, it is really easy to pull us in for shifts,” Roberts said.“It also helps that things are slow for catering while the year kicks off.”

Grover recognized that hiring would be an issue and planned accordingly.

“Hiring employees in the Nashville market can be somewhat challenging,” Grover said. “We started interviewing and hiring in the beginning of July. Our biggest obstacle is the lack qualified applicants in the area looking for work.”

Grover also said that this hiring issue is not isolated to Belmont’s new cafeteria.

“There appears to be such a shortage of employees in the Nashville market as many companies are using temp workers to cover positions.”

Nonetheless, he is optimistic that the issues related to hiring will be resolved very soon.

“The good news is we have filled the positions, are getting the training accomplished and fine-tuning the operation to serve our student body the best way possible.

This article was written by Danny Zydel.

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