Dining Services to hire manager

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Thirty-three student workers of the Thoroughbred Room have noted lack of a general manager who would be in charge of running overall operations.

Paula Amols, director of Dining Services and Racer Hospitality, is in the planning stages of fulfilling that need.

“I’m looking for a dedicated person on site to control the details of the T-Room,” she said. “At this time, no one takes responsibility for the entire room.”

The T-Room, the second-largest dining venue on campus, feeds hundreds of students per day. The site serves breakfast and lunch and uses the Pullen Farm Complex for composting.

Associate Director Terri Benton presently covers the duties of the position. In January of 2010, she took on the role as best she could and has been filling the position since. Originally, Richard Fritz, former director of Dining Services and Racer Hospitality, told her she would only be needed to fill the position for six to nine months.

Almost two years later she is still performing the tasks of manager along with those of associate director.

Previous to Benton, Tim Bruce, who transferred to Winslow Dining Hall and is now department chef manager, filled the manager position for the T-Room.

Benton said Human Resources was doing an audit on the manager position and she believes someone will be hired within the new fiscal year.

Experience required to fill the position include three to five years in the food service industry with two to three of those years in food service management. Benton said the applicant should have at least an associate’s degree and have culinary experience.

Benton said they will post a job opening and will have to see what’s out there.

“We are hoping for a lot of qualified candidates so we can maintain the tradition of the T-Room,” she said. “That tradition is having high-quality food.”

Benton said they are looking for an applicant with new ideas who can enhance the program, because it is an important place for students, faculty and staff.

Next summer, the T-Room may see remodelling.

The manager will be instrumental to the changes being made, Benton said.

Attilla Simon, graduate student from Hungary and student manager of the T-Room, said the manager position will require someone who can supervise all student workers, know the entire operation, be responsible for hiring and firing staff and maintain the work schedule.

“The position is very important to the T-Room as they will be responsible for managing the whole room,” he said.

Simon said with 30-plus students and 10 full-time workers working in the T-Room, there is a definite need for an appended managerial position.

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said the Office of Dining Services and Racer Hospitality are requesting to fill the position of manager for the T-Room and are looking for an assistant manager for Winslow Dining Hall.

“We had consolidated these positions previously to cut expenses,” he said. “We now feel, in order to expand programmatically and to enhance services, we need to go back and fill those positions.”

Robertson said it would not take new money; the money will come from dollars already being used. The office of Dining Services will simply reallocate money previously spent on something else to fund these new positions.

“In order to provide more pro-active services for the students and to expand its current offerings (the T-Room) will require additional personnel,” he said.

Robertson said adding this position will provide more detailed services and allow the venue to move forward in its goal of excellence.

Contact Wilcox at cwilcox2@murraystate.edu.