Students don’t like cafeteria food. Whats new.



One of the most common questions about any University is the food. How is the food provided by the school? The answer to that question can play a large part in deciding where to attend school. The University of Denver educating ~12,000, its primary food vendor Sodexo, is one of the largest food providers in the world. Turns out students aren’t thrilled about it.

Why is this a timeless issue? Universities need to figure it out.

The University has three main dining halls located inside the dorm buildings themselves. Giving students four options to choose from in terms of plans. The Commuter Block plan has 50 meals per quarter with $200 meal plan cash. Meal plan cash can be used at a handful of locations off campus as well as at the DU bookstore. Then there is the 100 block meal plan, 125 meal Block Plan and the Unlimited plan ranging from $1457 to $1607 per quarter according to the DU meal plan page.


Talking to some of the students around campus there were several different feelings about the food. Sachin Verma, a junior at DU, had a rather bad impression of Sodexo. Saying that he hasn’t eat there since freshman year, eating at his fraternity house most of sophomore year. Comparing the two he liked the food provided by his fraternity better.

Verma is not alone in this thinking. There is a Twitter page dedicated to complaints about Sodexo food with over 1,000 followers

“you have to put this into perspective too you know” Verma said to the food providers credit “Sodexo makes food daily for thousands of kids while the catering company for my fraternity makes food for about 30 guys”

Walking around campus I began to talk with another student at DU Liam McHugh. McHugh liked Sodexo it seemed like, being an ex-athlete he would often go to a cafeteria after practice and indulge himself in the nightly meal. His favorite meal was breakfast, always at the omelet bar made fresh by a Sodexo worker.  If not that then there was always the option of making waffles from a pre-made mix and waffle iron.

Question: What do you think of our schools provided meals?


Anderson Academic Commons, University of Denver. Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 (Photo by Matthew Stallone)




Liam McHugh, Junior, Daniels College of Business

“It is a necessary evil I think… I used to eat there a lot but that was because it was really my only option. I think the food options aren’t bad, just the way the meals are prepared and the ingredients used are sub-par”

Question: Why don’t you have a meal plan?

 Place and time of Interview: Driscoll Green, University of Denver. Monday Oct. 3, 2016

 Tess Greenwald, Senior, Student Body President

“I am a senior and no seniors really have meal plans. I have a kitchen in my house so I don’t really need to go to a cafeteria for food”

Question: Did you like Sodexo when you ate it?


Wash Park, University of Denver. Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 (Photo by Matthew Stallone)




Sachin Verma, Junior, Daniels College of Business

“Not really, pretty bad food in my opinion, I would usually use the microwave in my room for meals”

When talking to the students it seemed that having a meal plan was a factor of the past. As they grew up and became more independent, food provided by the school became obsolete or not the norm. The three upperclassmen interviewed no longer had a meal plan but seemed to reminisce about Sodexo food catering during their freshman year.

When asking if McHugh wished he had a meal plan:

“I wish I did, but I am trying to be more independent” McHugh said.


2 thoughts on “Students don’t like cafeteria food. Whats new.

  1. I really enjoyed how you opened up the story with a important question for the reader to think about before going any further into the reading. The second paragraph is very informative and gives the reader a solid understanding of how the meal plan works, it also fits the inverse pyramid scheme. There seems to be a shift with upperclassmen moving away from the meal plan. Perhaps interviewing a freshman or sophomore with a meal plan could give us more insight into this issue.


  2. Matt,

    Nice story. I liked that you chose this topic because when I was a freshman and sophomore it was definitely something that bothered me. I didn’t love Sodexo and I could also tell that a majority of the campus felt the same way which made me believe the school could do more. As I’m graduating I don’t care for the issue as much, but I think Denver should poll how their students feel and make changes based on those answers.


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