Chartwells Food Service / Poor choise

1 United States Review updated:

I had been dining at Southern Polytechnic State University for four years until Chartwells Food Service replaced the existing catering service. I came in one day at around 4:00pm for the all you can eat buffet. And around 4:30 as the place transitioned from the lunch menu to the dinner menu, the cashier clerk confronted me with a snooty attitude, stating that I needed to swipe my dining card again (effectively paying for 2 meals in the same sitting). I told her no, that I was on the 14-meal plan per week and the plan does not differentiate between meals. It's 14 sittings per week no matter which time one comes in. I told her to get her manager and she began yelling, and beckoned as if I were a dog. The manager at the time, came in and talked to her and disappeared into the back office. I told her to get the manager, Ron, again and she said that he was already aware of the issue. Infuriated at this point I walked straight through the kitchen to the managers back office to tell him about what happened. Immediately he was more concerned that I was back there, than he was about the problem at hand (however, the previous catering service had an open door policy and I had been back in that office several times.) Enough said, in other words, Ron the manager, could have cared less about this poor customer service experience.

Still disgruntled from what happened, I came in the next morning to speak with another manager, Jamie. After telling Jamie about this employee's consistently dismissive and careless behavior (an ongoing problem), he interrupted and said that this was just my opinion. He then said that he had worked in this business for 30 years. He said that he had never had a problem with this employee. He even brought up an irrelevant time where I had questioned an employee who requested me to leave just 10 minutes after closing. In other words, the manager tried to disregard my complaint and water it down. At this point, I couldn't even believe this guy was a manager. Told him this was ridiculous and he mentioned that I was interrupting him. At this point, I simply told him that I wasn't going to mess with him on this and that I was not a student; I was the president and CEO of a successful Corporation and part of the University Faculty and Staff. And that he could be sure that the Director of Auxiliary Services, Kacey Helton, would hear about this. And the next day after submitting correspondence to the Director of Auxiliary Services, they all came to me with smiles, asking how I was doing.

In hindsight, obviously these individuals, would have behaved differently if they had known who I was. But that is just my point. Students on this campus make up 97% of their business and yet they are looked down upon, and disregarded as paying customers. And not even two highly paid managers are adequately trained to address a complaint. It has been 5 months since that day, and I have not been back ever since. After four years of coming to the facility, Chartwells Food Service blew it in only two months. And while it might be easier for the school to keep the company around than to endure a rescission or injunction of the 4-year contract, it is a poor reason to continue employing this food service. As a president and CEO of a corporation, value is something that a company provides to customers before capturing it in return, not the other way around. Would not ever recommend this company, Chartwells Food Service.

As if this werent enough, I later caught this employee doing something that has never been done in the last four years. The employee, Connie, blockaded half of the dining room with a line of chairs, because it would be less work. In other words, its suddenly more important to work less and keep customers crowded than to allow them to sit wherever they want. I simply moved the chairs, and chose my seat. The problem employee knew there would be a scene and did not confront me, but still here I am complaining once again, but to the acting manager this time. Connie then receded the boundary line of chairs to a different place (still not eliminating the problem!) I left a note behind, congratulating the problem employee, Connie, once again on yet another complaint well earned. Once again, As a president and CEO of a corporation, value is something that a company provides to customers before capturing it in return, not the other way around. Would not ever recommend this company, Chartwells Food Service.

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  • Mi
      13th of Apr, 2010

    I have been a student at SPSU for three years now. In the past, I had a meal plan and rarely used it because I did not like the food. Since Chartwells took over, I have eaten in the cafeteria more times without a meal plan than I did the last two years. I have also heard several of my peers constantly talk about how much better this food service is. As for Connie, I buy my morning coffee from her nearly everyday, she has been nothing but pleasant every single time I talk to her, she always has a smile on her face and works harder than most people I know.
    On quite a few occasions, I have had the pleasure of dealing with Ron and Jamie. Both of them try to do what it takes to make sure everyone is enjoying their meals and coming up with new ways to make the students enjoy their experience. Nothing I have seen from any of these three people would ever give me the indication that they would be put off by dealing with a student or faculty member. I would recommend Chartwells Food Service to anyone that asked.

    -1 Votes
  • Je
      11th of Sep, 2010

    It is quite obvious that this is coming from an employee on the inside of this corporation. Unless one had a problem, they wouldn't know the managers by name. It's also quite obvious in the tone and voice of this comment. If this were a legitimate corporation, they would have handled the complaint directly at the time. Not 5 months later by posting a positive testimonial in response to negative feedback on a message board. Especially after contacting internal affairs. As far as Connie is concerned, even fellow employees have reported problems with her. But I'll leave the anecdotal hearsay aside.

    0 Votes
  • Re
      7th of Feb, 2011


    +2 Votes
  • Di
      16th of Oct, 2018

    @REPLACEABLE You are very right about the treatment of employees. I recently walked off my job because I am disgusted to be treated the way I was treated. I have complained to the office many times and looked where it got me. My job was stripped and was down to looking like I was a lap dog!

    0 Votes
  • Za
      16th of Apr, 2011

    This company has some of the worst management I've ever encountered. I worked at Walgreens previously and management was great and respectful, while employees were often poorly chosen and not great workers. Here at Chartwells, many of the employees I work with work VERY hard, sometimes shifts up to 12 and even 15 hours (I thought it was illegal but apparently not), and are paid barely above minimum wage. Management, on the other hand, is often not considerate of its employees.

    I myself went from Walgreens, 8 dollars an hour, to here, 7.75 an hour, and have been here a year and not received any recognition for the fact that I work hard and do more than my share of work. No sign of a raise. Absurd. My supervisor, Claire, treats me like garbage and is sexist. My shift lead, who is a female, is given less work to do, and for any sort of manual labor Claire comes and barks at me, a male, to do it because I'm a man. Bathroom cleaning, mopping, taking out all the trash to the back of the building. She deals sexistly with me on a regular basis and NEVER has apologized for being wrong. e.g. one time attacked me for coming in late, when I was in fact a minute early; she got my shift mixed up, and then when I explained calmly that I was actually early, she said nothing, neither apologizing nor even admitting she was wrong, let alone acknowledging that I was timely. She NEVER encourages me or commends on my work, EVER. Incredibly disrespectful and rude.

    I am resigning in a few weeks because of this supervisor, as well as because of ZERO benefits, even though I'm a certified Starbucks barista working part time. Chartwells is a TERRIBLE with no concern for its employees. They have a great front, but the internal cogs and wheels are treated like garbage.

    +4 Votes
  • Sh
      22nd of Sep, 2011

    I stood in the ordering line forat least 10 minutes (not to make this a race issue) but i was the only black standing in line. the cook who was taking the orders looked straight through me, . as if i didn't exist. He took the person in front of me and the person behind me orders. When i spoke up, he tells me he did not see me. Really, how could you not see me. My entire outfit is white. Get real and get a pair of glasses. Shirl the Pearl

    +2 Votes
  • De
      11th of Nov, 2011
    Best Best Advice


    +6 Votes
  • Ab
      5th of Jan, 2012

    we are children of one of the schools that Chart wells caters for. We are in primary school and we often have school meals. We have a number of complaints to give and to share such as hairs in our food flies hard food KS1 have same portion sizes as KS2 and leaves lots of children hungry.We know it may be a lack of money in the country but we do not deserve to pay more than more than £2.35 to have a cold and dirty meal.
    thank you for reading we hope you take this message into consideration and think twice about Chart wells
    Remember we are in the actually having the meals so we know all about thedisgracefulnesss!!!

    +2 Votes
  • Ba
      9th of May, 2013

    I am student of one of the many schools chartwells serves the schools experience with them is absolutely horrendus the food is gross such as the pizza they dont know when to stop putting grease on it and it is barely cooked have they ever even heard of a oven!! I ALSO GOT DENIED LUNCH BECUASE I OWED $2.30 AND I COULD NOT GET LUNCH I HAD TO GO ALL DAY WITHOUT EATING I ONLY NEEDED ABOUT .20 CENTS AND SHE STILL WOULDNT LET ME HAVE FOOD THAT I NEEDED TO FINISH MY DAY AND BE FOCUSED AND GET EDUCATED IN SCHOOL. THIS COMPANY IS AWFUL!!! tHE FOOD IS OFTEN COLD AND IT IS BAD THEY PUT IN VERY MINIMAL EFFORT INTO MAKING IT I PAY $2.50 A DAY FOR LUNCH FOR FOOD THAT IS BAD WITCH IS 100% WRONG AND SHOULD NOT BE TOLLERATED.!!! I find multiple hairs in the food I consume in school!!!

    +2 Votes
  • Ba
      21st of Jan, 2015

    I'm not going to SAIT, but olds college has the same company managing their, er, food services if that's what you want to call it, yeah, the food, is sort of eatable. The cafeteria has been renovated on the campus, and really, the look of the room is all that has changed, it started off not bad, but actually proceeded to get worse.
    # 1 problem is the food quality it self, ok, so I may not be a chef, but I know how to make a decent meal. The food cooked here tastes like pre-cooked frozen crap dumped into a pot and heated up, the soups specifically, are either pre made else where, or ground up left overs sitting in an unevenly heated vat for a total of 14-16 hours, I have yet see them change out a soup, and its cold and UN-seasoned, to the point where it just tastes bad... besides the point. I have a food allergy, and have stated that, but there are no vegetarian dishes, stated on the wall you can talk to a chef to get something made, but all I have gotten is grief, the lady serving the food just looks at me and says, well, we don't really have a vegetarian option, we have bean burgers (which again, is part of my allergy, it is protein I cannot consume, which no one seems to understand) when I told them I couldn't have that, their option was for me "to make a sandwich". Ok, so big deal I don't mind a sandwich, but I HAVE a HUUUUUGGGGEEE problem paying 143 dollars a week for a meal plan to sit and make sandwiches all week (which is required if you live in res) so, yeah, I'm not happy eating my 7.00 sandwich a meal...

    +2 Votes
  • Se
      1st of Oct, 2015

    Chartwells is quite possibly the worst food service in the country. Absolutely terrible. Not just for the food. I actually don't mind the food sometimes. But the WORKERS. Ugh! Horrible people. So rude to every customer. If I was running the show I would replace 95% of the Chartwells workers at my University. The other 5% are on the entire opposite spectrum - incredibly kind and hospitable. But if that makes up 5% of your workforce, maybe you should think about changing your ways. Not but 20 minutes ago I was served about 4 french fries and was charged $2.50. I asked if she could please not charge me that much for the fries. She told me to go back and get more (simple, right?). But no, I had just waited upwards of a half hour for a cheese burger and whenever you want to just get fries to have to get to the back of the line again. She said just go back, I said no I don't want to wait in line again for more fries. A coworker came up and asked what the problem was. You want to know what she said? Blatantly: "Don't be nice, charge him for the fries if he doesn't want to wait in line." DON'T BE NICE? Says a lot about your character. This woman in particular hates everybody who wanders in the cafeteria for food as well.

    Furthermore, I find a serious race issue occurring in the cafeteria. Most of the Chartwells workers at my school are African American. They absolutely detest the white students that attend my University. I have seen time and time again them let their "brethren" skip entire lines and serve them first and foremost, and quite frankly I am tired of it. It is not even subtle anymore. It is BLATANT. Nobody, including me, has the balls to say that publicly of course, and lord knows if I ever actually brought this up to one of them they would probably go off on me and call ME a racist, but in fact it's the other way around. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would probably give my school a few million dollars just to rip their contract in half and hire somebody else. It is disgusting how terrible these workers are, and I am growing more and more frustrated as my college career continues on.

    +4 Votes
  • Tc
      7th of Dec, 2015

    I go to a school that Chartwells provides food for and it is horrific. Sometimes there is only one person in thr kitchen for hundreds of students, and they never actually cook what is on the schedule. I know so many people who have gotten food poisoning from their food, but the management doesn't take it seriously. They try and make the cafeteria look slightly nicer instead of cooking quality food for students. They leave produce out for multiple days, and barelg serve anything healthy, especially for vegetarians and vegans. Most of the staff are nice and hard-working, but the management is absolutely despicable. They've basically stopped making food on the weekends for us, and what they do make is not what I would even consider food. Undercooked chicken is a daily occurrence, but even with complaints there are no changes made besides making the place look nicer. We're required to have a meal plan if we live on campus, and it's absolute bulls*** that we have to pay so much to be treated so badly.

    +3 Votes
  • Go
      1st of May, 2016

    My daughter attends a college that has Chartwells as the food service provider. It is a disgrace to charge money for the quality of the food. As a vegetarian -vegan - the most you can hope for are some - straight from the can beans on the salad bar, once in a while some tofu. And yet, when some of the district managers come around - they are able to produce decent food.
    In this day and age, there is no reason that decent, nutritious vegan and vegetarian food cannot be served. Lousy pizza and frozen " vegetarian chicken nuggets" - does not constitute a healthy diet. Yes, there is a veggie burger - but if you don't want it on a white bun, with fries and a soda - tough luck.
    As parents who are in the food service industry - we know first hand how an account can be run - within budget and with healthy delicious food. Shame on you Chartwells.

    +2 Votes
  • Ma
      25th of Jan, 2017

    I go to a school where Chartwells is our food service. It's the actual worst. We're supposed to be able to come in and get food anytime, but about half of the open hours they only have bread and cereal out. While some of the employees are friendly, others such as the managers and people swiping your ID at the entrance are terrible. Our ID's don't swipe well and they always complain and tell me I need to go pay for another one which will have the same problem because they don't want to type in my ID number. This is always when there's no line coming into the dining hall. Like someone else said, , the food never matches the menu. They do a few healthy items like veggie burgers and chicken breast on special request, but good luck finding someone who will do it for you in under 10 minutes and then they're super rude about it. They're not consistent in what's supposed to be put out, every time I go in there during actual meal hours something isn't available and it's not just for a few minutes. The salad bar is mostly gross, soggy stuff. Almost all of the veggies in the main line are more fat then carbs because they add so much oil. We get charged about $9 a meal and most of us are required to live on campus and consequently get a meal plan. So we're stuck with it. Then if you want more than a half a serving of meat, they make you get in the back of the line to ask for more. Half of the days there isn't a meat only option and it's only a little mixed in a big casserole or pasta dish. As the only meat option. We should at least be able to control our portions with how much profit they're making off of us. We've also had the news come to our school before because of problems with undercooked chicken and fish. It's a joke and I'm so glad to be graduating soon. I can eat far better for 1/4 the cost a semester, but I'm stuck with this deal. Chartwells is the epitome of how schools are being run like a business, but where students are considered less than a paying customer.

    +2 Votes
  • Ma
      25th of Jan, 2017

    @mastiff93 I meant just finding someone who is willing to make your special item, in under ten minutes. This isn't including the time for them to make it.

    0 Votes

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