New cafeteria manager enjoys students, creativity

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The new school year brings a wealth of both daunting and exciting challenges, and Becky Archibald, the new manager of dining services at the College of Eastern Utah, is a big fan of variety in her life. In her job and her personal life, Archibald finds opportunities to "break the mundane monotony of everyday life.   Throw in a curve ball once in a while, just try to spice things up."

If you ate at the cafeteria at all last year, you've probably noticed a few changes on the menu. This all started with a power shift in the food services department. Archibald explains, "CEU put Dining Services up for contract for outside catering food management companies to take over the department.   SACCO dining services won the bid and they advertised for a food service manager and I got it."

Archibald, who has worked for the cafeteria on and off since 2001, has not only an understanding of the workings of dining services, but is deeply aware of students needs. Archibald has implemented many new changes to directly benefit students, she says "One thing I strongly disagreed with was some of our prices.   I think last year, cereal for $2.99 a bowl was outrageous. So we did some price comparison and shopping around and got cereal in a to-go bowl and all you do is flip the lid and put milk in it.   We're selling them for a dollar and forty-nine cents.   I just think the prices need to be changed.   We're combining meals so you can get the full meal for five dollars or the full sandwich meal for five bucks.

"We're doing yogurts, parfaits, desserts wrapped ready to go, we're going to implement meat wraps and sandwiches premade so that people who are in a hurry can just come get something and leave."

After years of observation, she has ideas for more changes in the future to benefit students individually. "We're doing salads to grab and go, so if you're in a hurry ... like the volleyball, when they get out, the dining room is closed but the Golden Grille is open.   So we make salads to go so they can just grab it and go and not worry about missing the dining room being open because they can still get a salad" Archibald says.

"We put all the condiments outside of the gate so even if we are closed and you're cooking in your dorm and you don't have any mayonnaise or mustard for your sandwich you can come and get a packet.   And you have access to that stuff even if we're not open."

The varying schedules of the students also prompted Archibald to consider other changes, she explains, "Sunday right now is 11:30 to 1:30 and we're thinking of extending it to 10:30 so that everybody can come and eat before their day begins. I [also] wouldn't mind extending the weekend hours or even the Golden Grille being open until 9 p.m., depending on what the activities are and what's important. I'm a college kid, I went to college down at SUU and it's like at night, when you have a dance on campus, sometimes you just want to go get a drink or go out and have an ice cream. I just think it needs to be more accessible for the students."

Archibald, who has lived in Carbon County for ten years, has contributed in a variety of ways to the community. "I used to own my own coffee shop before I came back here, down on main street.   So I know a lot of the business people in town.   I was on the downtown Alive committee for Price and developed the main street program for Price, for all the improvements on main street.   I just liked the creativity; I liked experimenting with new things and new ideas."

Archibald has a range of interests, she details, "I would like to visit Denmark.   I don't know why- it just intrigues me from all the pictures I've seen and how green and flowery it is that's where I'd like to go.   Someday, I don't know if I ever will, but that will be my goal."

When asked about her new position, she states, "It's interesting.   I like all the changes we're doing and I like the way things are turning for the good.   We try to break the monotony of everyday cafeteria routine eating.   I would much rather be out there cooking and socializing than in here doing paper work but we do it all."

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