Penn Dining has initiated several new changes for dining halls and food options, according to a Jan. 17 email.
Director of Business and Hospitality Services Pam Lampitt wrote in an email to the Daily Pennsylvanian that these changes come from student feedback in a variety of forms.
Lampitt wrote in the ‘We Heard You’ email that changes were “based off of survey results, discussions with the Dining Advisory Board and on-going student feedback.”
These changes — which come in response to results from the Fall Dining Survey — include smoothies at breakfast, all-day breakfast sandwiches at Gourmet Grocer, more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and more made-to-order pasta.
Smoothies will be available for breakfast at Hill House and 1920 Commons from Monday through Friday. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches "were one of the most requested items" from the Fall Dining Survey. In response, Gourmet Grocer will have more for future meal exchanges. Finally, made-to-order pasta will be more frequently available at Expo stations at Hill House, 1920 Commons, and Kings Court English House.
According to Lampitt, dining hall program changes in response to the survey results depend on the school semester.
"Beginning of Spring Semester changes are often items that can be made quickly from our Fall Dining Survey results, for example adding menu items," Lampitt wrote. "Larger programmatic changes for the next school year generally are rolled out in the Fall."
Lampitt pointed to the creation of the Meal Exchange Program as a previous example of larger program changes that Penn Dining initiates over the summer for the fall semester.
In spring 2022, Penn Dining expanded meal exchange options, provided more vegan and vegetarian dining options, and extended hours at McClelland based on fall 2021 dining survey results. Expanded Meal Exchange options were phased in at Houston Market — which includes La Plancha, Houston Grill, 34th Street Carvery, Penn Pi, and The Market Cafe.
Joe’s Cafe and Accenture Cafe also introduced hot and cold "grab n’ go" options from the Fall 2021 Dining Survey. McClelland extended their hours to 5 p.m. on Fridays in response as well.
Penn Dining will announce more menu options in the coming weeks.
According to Lampitt, the response from Penn dining hall users to the ‘We Heard You’ initiative has been positive. She also wrote that students are encouraged to continue giving feedback on the dining experience beyond when surveys are sent out.
“Students can submit suggestions on our comment boards at any time and we encourage our diners to share feedback that is specific to a particular café directly with the manager of that location,” Lampitt wrote.