Worker shortage hampers dining hall hours, efficiency

Student+workers+work+at+the+Starbucks+located+in+Kent+State+Universitys+Library.+Feb.+26%2C+2022.

Student workers work at the Starbucks located in Kent State University’s Library. Feb. 26, 2022.

Ty Kohler, Reporter

Kent State is about 150-200 students short of its hiring goal for dining services, causing its hours to be shorter than expected.

“There is an ongoing effort to try and hire more people,” said Gary Goldberg, the assistant vice president for student engagement. “It’s not like we haven’t hired more people because we’re trying to save payroll. We haven’t hired more people because the available pool of student workers is so low.”

The campus has about 500 dining service employees, 350 of whom are students, Goldberg said.

“We could always use some more people at Eastway, but it’s especially bad right now,” said Andrew Herrera, dining services senior manager. “We really could use some more student employees.”

The dining halls are trying to take a more direct approach by trying to recruit potential students while they’re in the halls to get more students to apply, Goldberg said. They also are trying to get more people interested in making quick cash while enjoying a career in culinary service.

“We never seem to have trouble hiring at Starbucks. Students see it as a welcoming and inclusive place that is fun to work at,” Goldberg said. “So we need to get some of that allure to the other dining halls and maybe we’ll get more luck.”

The main priority for hiring is at Rosie’s. The plan is for Rosie’s to continue to expand past its current hours, preferably back into the mornings again, though there are no plans to make Rosie’s a 24-hour restaurant again, Goldberg said.

“Rosie’s is especially hard to hire for. We need people who can and are willing to work during the nights,” Goldberg said.

The other dining halls still need more employees as well. The D.I. Hub would be more likely to expand its hours into the weekend if there were more employees.

“The hours get really frustrating sometimes,” said Connor Quinn, sophomore general business major. “I don’t want to go to Rosie’s and see their breakfast options at 6 p.m., I want a breakfast sandwich when it is breakfast.”

Anyone interested in working for dining services can look at the student job page for opportunities.

 “We still have some months left in the semester,” Goldberg said. “So look forward to hours expanding and the hiring to get better as the semester moves along.”

Ty Kohler is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]