Campus Stock Photo

Wondering when the Starbucks cart will open or why prices are going up in Dining Services? Find out more from Dennis Wobbe, the director of Dining Services. 



Wobbe said there have been issues with the pipes for a long time where Kaldi’s used to be, often caused by hard water pressure bursting through the pipes. 

“Right now it is non-operational and it would take a lot of work,” Wobbe said. “A lot of cabinetry got messed up, so we are on hold right now but looking at the possibilities of when that would come back and how it would come back online.”

Wobbe said when the space is operational again, they will look into what students need and want, so it’s not currently clear if Kaldi’s will be brought back. 


Lovejoy Starbucks Cart

Wobbe said they would love to have the Starbucks cart up as soon as they can, but right now their staff is down nearly 30 percent, so it makes more sense to use staff at the main location. 

“We’re doing less than 80 people a day at [the] Starbucks cart in the library versus doing 800 to 900 in the MUC,” Wobbe said. 

Wobbe said they are doing job interviews in the hopes of filling these positions. 


Chicken shawarma

The chicken shawarma at Sammiches has been brought back after working through staffing and supply issues. Wobbe said Student Government brought to Dining Services’ attention that the halal option at Sammiches was gone, and they have since brought the shawarma back. 


Price increases

Wobbe said supply chain issues have made this a challenging semester. He said when actually placing an order, a lot of things are unavailable, and about 10-20 percent of items are missing from the truck when the order arrives. He said when equipment goes out, parts are on backorder for six months to a year. 

“I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. This is the most challenging time we’ve ever had,” Wobbe said. 

Wobbe said food prices are up easily 10 percent if not 20 or 30. 


Staffing issues

Wobbe said they are very short-staffed in the kitchens as the culinary lead of the main kitchen has been gone since June of last year, and other people in the kitchen went on medical leave. He said they currently have one chef for the main kitchen that does all of the catering and serves all the areas, including Head Start programs in East St. Louis and Cahokia. 

“If you see some areas and think, ‘Why’s that one down?’ We’ve been pulling people and training them in other areas and pretty much everybody in Dining Services has been working over in different areas,” Wobbe said. “The culinaries and everybody here, I just say kudos to them. It’s been a difficult time and they’ve really been doing well.” 

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